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“Interesting and Beautiful”

Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: This wildlife conservation park is home to more endangered species than anywhere else in America.
Vancouver Island, Canada
Level Contributor
51 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Interesting and Beautiful”
Reviewed February 12, 2013

We spent 5 hours today driving through the Refuge, walked the board walk behind the visitor's center. Saw a couple of manatees at the manatee observation platform, saw every type of bird imaginable in Florida including several hundred white pelicans and flamingos. The Black Point Drive was lovely and we even saw a wild black boar quietly on the side of the road. Then we went to the beaches which were unimaginably beautiful and we saw grey whales and dolphins breaching clear out of the emerald green water.

Visited February 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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711 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Level Contributor
57 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
“Amazing wildlife”
Reviewed February 6, 2013

This area is great for anyone interested in nature! Amazing numbers and variety of birds, alligators, manatees, butterflies, dolphins, good information, easy access and lots of opportunities to clear doubts with birders. Black Point Drive and the manatee observation point are absolute musts, there aren't many places where you can so easily observe rare species. As a european traveller it was quite amazing to see how close you can get to the birds. The daily fee to the refuge is quite cheap (5$) and the visitor information centre is well worth a visit.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank Abetarda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Savannah, GA
Level Contributor
221 reviews
120 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 155 helpful votes
“Much better than last year.”
Reviewed February 5, 2013

We visited a year ago, and they had the water levels so low on Black Point Drive that we saw almost no wildlife. It's nature, so you never know what you are going to get.
This visit was great. Saw numerous birds, and some gators. Saw a lot of Spoobills roosting and flying (none up close), a large flock of White Pelicans and many types of ducks.
The Refuge has a very nice visitor center with several short trails to walk.
In addtion to Black Point Drive there are several other wildlife drives you can visit. maps are available at the visitor center.
Stopped at the manatee observation deck on our way out. Saw a couple of manatees off in the distance but nothing up close like we have in the past. Again, these are wild animals so it will vary from day to day, time to time, and most importantly with the weather. If you want to see numerous Manatee up close during the winter months, the best place we have visited is Blue Springs State park.
There is a five mile hiking trail (loop) on the Black Point Drive that looks like it would be fun to walk. From the observation platform we saw lots of birds that looked like they might be in view along the trail. Maybe there are some reviews about the trail. Hope to have the time and energy to walk it sometime in the future.

Visited January 2013
1 Thank bluepelican
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
373 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 201 helpful votes
“Birder's Paradise!”
Reviewed January 29, 2013

If you want to see birds and lots of them----this is the place to go. We went to the Black Point Wildlife Drive area-- which is basically a seven mile, one-way drive through part of the refuge. There is a $5.00 honor system charge to enter. The best time to go is during January-March when a lot of the migratory birds are present. We saw roseate spoonbills, white pelicans, egrets, terns, many species of ducks, hawks, sandpipers, gulls, cranes and many other birds. Alligators were sunning themselves on a mangrove "island" on the latter part of the seven mile stretch. There are places to pull over to take in the sights. If you go, take your time to observe it all. And if you have time, drive through twice. The birds are never in the same location and you get to see different species as well. After you exit the Black Point Drive, you can follow signs to the Manatee Viewing area. Depending on the water temperature (above 70), you should see manatees. Note: we took our bikes and biked through the Black Point drive . We also rode some of the side, unpaved trails and that was fun too.

Visited January 2013
Thank jonsha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Québec city area
Level Contributor
89 reviews
46 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Very easy to mis-read location.”
Reviewed January 25, 2013

This place is in TITUSVILLE. Be warned to load this into your GPS. It is so easy to get lost otherwise. Even the guard on duty at the Employee gate of the Kennedy Space Center provided a photocopy of directions from there to the proper Refuge entrance. Same thing with another problem with the name "Garden Street". Be sure to use this street in TITUSVILLE. The scenic drive is okay, but there is very little activity to see. Bring BINOCULARS! 5$ fee is good if you want to drive out to Manatee Deck. Keep your stub on your mirror or ready to show the guard. Again, the elusive manatees are not here. A pleasant drive, but NOT with a carful of kids!

Visited January 2013
1 Thank GLT-LCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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