Barrier Island Center

Barrier Island Center, Melbourne Beach: Address, Phone Number, Barrier Island Center Reviews: 4.5/5

Barrier Island Center
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Read more
Write a review
About
The 34-acre Sanctuary and education center offers visitors a place to explore the dynamic coastal environment. An observation deck, boardwalk and overlook offer magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean. A 1-mile hiking trail winds visitors across the barrier island, from the ocean to the Indian River Lagoon. Inside visitors can explore aquariums and interactive exhibits, view eco-themed movies in the theater, or shop in the Mermaid's Purse gift shop. The Sanctuary is the environmental education center for the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge, one of the most important nesting beaches in the world for sea turtles. Guided sea turtle walks are offered during June and July and a variety of environmental education programs and activities are regularly offered for visitors of all ages. Admission is always free, open Tuesday-Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
159 reviews
Excellent
104
Very good
48
Average
6
Poor
1
Terrible
0

sarahsb2
Kissimmee, FL40 contributions
Friends
We did the sea turtle walk and were able to see a sea turtle dropping her eggs in the nest! Super cool experience. Staff was super informative and answered our endless questions. Janet went above and beyond to make our trip for a 50th bday celebration extra special!
Written June 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

FLWOOKIE
Indialantic, FL430 contributions
Barrier Island Center was a great place for viewing sea turtles. The center is well kept and all the people are very nice. There is also a nice wildlife sanctuary right across A1A. This is a family-friendly place.
Written June 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

natys_mommy
Michigan187 contributions
Family
This was a great, informative little center. Lots of hands on learning activities in the center. Great location, easy to find right on the A1A. We took a 1 mile hike that went from the center, down the boardwalk and looped across the street. It was so quiet back there. Saw tons of crabs (even a few larger blue crabs), lots of birds, fish, spiders and bugs. I would recommend using bug spray as we ended up swatting the mosquitos the whole time. It was a very cool experience and who doesn't love some free activities that the kids can enjoy too
Written July 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

scott f
Indialantic, FL29 contributions
Couples
I attending this place with my daughter's VPK class in September. An appointment was made in advance by the school to attend. Wow what a disappointment. We get there and no one is at the desk, no one hears a class of 15 kids in the building? We had to call the main number and tell them we were there. Some guy takes us in the movie area, starts a video from the laptop, it froze up several times requiring school staff to fix it because the Center's employees were gone. The tour in the lobby was tired, dated, and partially working. The only time I saw staff members was one person collecting money from the donation box. Imagine that.... What a miss opportunity to fill 4 and 5 year old sponges for brains with knowledge, good environmental habits, and skills. I will not recommend this place.
Written November 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We are the Barrier Island Sanctuary are so sorry that your experience at our education center was a disappointment. We rarely ever receive negative complaints from visitors especially from our visiting school groups. We work hard to create, improve and even test/evaluate our programs to ensure that children are having fun while learning the science standards provided by the State of Florida. We provide a variety of programs for over 2,000 school children each year, and offer a variety of programs for adults for free. We are always seeking feedback from teachers/visitors about our programs and ways to improve them, so we do appreciate your insights. I am not sure if you were aware that your group had scheduled a self guided tour, not a guided tour which just consists of a movie and a scavenger hunt. Staff we not scheduled to provide any programming for your group, that is the responsibility of the teacher and chaperones for self guided tours. I am sorry if there was some miscommunication or misunderstanding about what was to be provided. During the time that your group visited we were also down two staff, and running on a skeleton crew which is why you may have had trouble finding someone to get your group started and we do apologize for that. We also rely heavily on volunteers to help with programs and greeting visitors but many are not around in the late summer but have returned since. We understand and share in your frustration that the children missed out on an important opportunity to learn about our local environment and good habits, and would love for your group to come back for a guided program. Our mission is to educate visitors on the importance of our environment and their connection to it. Which is why we offer home school programs, an Eco-Club, beach clean ups, guided hikes, Eco-Art programs, an Eco-Book Club, workshops and presentations from ocean experts for free each month. Details about guided programs can be found on our website or our Facebook page. Our exhibit hall was created to be a self guided experience because we knew that we would have limited staff for interpretation. Some of the exhibits are in need of updating as we have been open for 8 years and staff are working on grants to help do so. Again we appreciate your feedback and hope that you give us a second chance so that your family doesn't miss out on the many local activities that we provide. If you have any other concerns or comments please feel free to contact Nichole at the Barrier Island Center @ 321-723-3556.
Written November 8, 2016
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

gsellers4
Melbourne Beach, FL43 contributions
Couples
Great building to learn about sea turtles that nest annually on the beach which is right outside the huge windows! Fun gift shop and don' t miss the short film all about the giant turtles. If you visit in the summer, you can sign up for an evening turtle walk on the beach with a volunteer who will take you to see a turtle laying her eggs( (without disturbing her).
Written July 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LeDebant
Rochester, NY55 contributions
Friends
I only wish that this center were larger! The short films were very interesting and informative. And, we enjoyed the 1/2 mile walk through the refuge. In a beautiful spot overlooking the dunes and the Atlantic. It would be great to return to see the turtles hatch and find their way to the ocean!
Written March 9, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RGT
Melbourne Beach, FL46 contributions
Family
We brought our grandchildren here to see and learn about the turtles and their travels in the Atlantic Ocean. Very interesting and never seen a white sea horse either they have displays setup for viewing.When you leave a donation is welcome. Great place and informative.
Written November 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Heather A
British Columbia, Canada201 contributions
Family
We booked a "sea turtle walk" online after finding it on a list of things to do while visiting Florida. The evening walk was to watch a sea turtle laying her eggs. These walks are only booked for June & July with a maximum of 20 guests each night. We booked it in early May & by the end of May they were full for the season.

We arrived early & were able to look at the displays in the center while we waited for the presentation. There was a talk & slide presentation first while the center's scouts went out to see if they could locate a nesting sea turtle. When the guide got the call that they had found some, we headed out for a brisk walk along the sandy beach.

You need to follow their regulations about going only with a guide, wearing dark clothing, using insect repellant to guard against bites on your ankles from sand fleas and mosquitoes, no flashlights or cameras allowed, be prepared to do a quick walk along challenging sandy terrain, etc.

Although there are no guarantees for a particular night, we were able to see a loggerhead sea turtle lay over 90 eggs, then cover her nest, and re-enter the ocean. You can see videos online, but it is so awesome to see this wonder of nature in real life!
Written July 22, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

alexandermcfarlane
Melbourne Beach, FL8 contributions
Family
My wife and I get a lot of visitors as we host couchsurfers from around the globe and the US. We always take them here if the timing is right. Every single time we get oohs and aahs at what a cool place it is and they always remark about the 'free' aspect. This place has a lot of great information about sea turtles as well as the entire barrier island eco system. They always have a movie running in their theater which is always informative and a nice loop of video from a few different web cams that are set up in some of the sanctuary trails. There is some beautiful footage of bobcats and a cool land crab that is considering eating the camera. If you've never been you should stop and spend a little time here. They do have a website that lists any special programs they have upcoming of which there are many.
Written July 9, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

verocrafter
Vero Beach, FL153 contributions
Couples
Any location that has to do with sea turtles gets 5 stars. There is free admission with a donation if you would like. Small display area with interesting facts. Would have been nice if there was a volunteer there to greet you and answer questions. The observation deck is the best part. The views are spectacular. Would stop here again just for the view. Love the baby turtles !
Written January 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 156
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Frequently Asked Questions about Barrier Island Center


Restaurants near Barrier Island Center: View all restaurants near Barrier Island Center on Tripadvisor