Discovering a Remarkable Natural World

North Palm Beach is well known for the giant sea turtles that lay their eggs on the county's beaches from May to August. These endangered marine animals return here annually, from as far away as South America, to lay their clutches of about 115 eggs each. Nurtured by the warm sand, but targeted by birds and other predators, only about one or two babies from each nest survives to maturity.

Many environmentalists recommend that visitors take part in an organized turtle-watching program (rather than go on their own), to minimize disturbance to the turtles. Jupiter Beach Resort sponsors free guided expeditions to the egg-laying sites from May to August (call to reserve), as does the Marinelife Center of Juno Beach.

Located just south of Jupiter is the Marinelife Center of Juno Beach, Loggerhead Park, 14200 U.S. 1, in Juno Beach (tel. 561/627-8280). Combining a science museum and nature trail, this small center is dedicated to the coastal ecology of northern Palm Beach County. Hands-on exhibits teach visitors about wetlands and beach areas, as well as offshore coral reefs and local sea life. Visitors are encouraged to walk the center's sand-dune nature trails, all of which are marked with interpretive signs. This is one place where you're guaranteed to see live sea turtles year-round. During the peak of breeding season (June-July), the center conducts narrative walks along a nearby beach; reservations are a must. The booking list opens on May 1 and is usually full by midmonth. Admission to the center is free, though donations are accepted. Open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm, and Sunday from noon to 3pm.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.