Facility Improvements & Closures

As you visit Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and enjoy all its offerings, you may not be aware of the work taking place behind the scenes. Updates and improvements to the Nature Center are currently underway and further enhancements are being planned and budgeted for over the next five years, including a boardwalk extension, accessibility upgrades, and decking around the Nature Center. We ask that our patrons stay patient as work through these improvements to provide the best experience for our marine life and visitors alike. Please refer to this page for the latest updates and details.

Upcoming Closures:

  • 1/16/24 - Renovations to the South Parking Lot and Boardwalk will begin. Entrances to the boardwalk will be restricted during this period, with NO ACCESS to the boardwalk from GLNC after 4pm. To access GLNC from the boardwalk after hours, please use the sidewalk along A1A. 

    The North Parking Lot will remain open with extremely limited parking. Visitors may find additional paid parking at Red Reef West. 

    View updated map

ADA Upgrades

  • 11/29/23- Exciting changes ahead! Gumbo Limbo Nature Center's upcoming renovations include updates to our nature center and parking lot to increase accessibility. Construction is expected to begin in December and should last through Spring of 2024. During this time, access and parking may be extremely limited. Updates will be posted regularly. The sea turtle conservation exhibit has been temporarily relocated from the nature center to the Children's Science Explorium at Sugar Sand Park while construction is ongoing.
    • Scope of work: Three new ADA parking spaces and a ramp to the boardwalk will be built. The front and side doors will be replaced with wider, accessible doors and a new ramp will be constructed at the front of nature center. 
    • Doors: Both the front and side doors are being replaced with wider, accessible doors. While construction is ongoing, access to the nature center may be limited. 
    • Boardwalk Access: Due to construction in the parking lot and at the nature center, there may be times where there will be no access to the boardwalk from Gumbo Limbo’s property. During this time, patrons wishing to visit the boardwalk will be able to access it at Red Reef West. 
    • Restrooms: Both restrooms will be completely renovated to meet the current ADA standard. During construction, a trailer restroom will be available in the parking lot for staff, volunteers, and visitors. 
    • Parking lot and ramp: During parking lot construction (ADA parking spaces and ramp), the south loop of the parking lot will be closed for safety. Additional paid parking will be available at Red Reef West.
    • What about the Sea Turtle Exhibit? The Sea Turtle exhibit will be temporarily relocated to the Children's Science Explorium while construction is ongoing.

Observation Tower

  • 10/1/23 - Clearing has been completed, foundations are dug and rebar is being installed.
  • 9/5/23 - Permit is issued and clearing has started.
  • 8/29/23 - Construction of the ADA-accessible observation tower on Gumbo Limbo's boardwalk has begun. Construction will take place along the easter loop of the boardwalk which will remain closed to ensure the safety of our guests. The observation tower will stand an estimated 40-feet high overlooking the preserved Tropical Hardwood Hammock with panoramic views of both sides of the barrier island; the Intracoastal waterway and Boca Raton's beaches. This ADA-accessible tower will feature an estimated 700-foot ramp alongside six levels of stairs attached to the boardwalk. The anticipated completion of this project is Spring 2024. 

  • 8/7/23 - Permit is still in review.
  • 6/6/23 - Preconstruction for the tower was held on 5/9/23. Contractor is working on product submittals and securing the building permit. Pending building permit. Contractor laid out the footing locations and met with City staff on 6/21 to review additional site clearing needed to crane during construction.
  • 9/8/15 - Project Inception - Anticipated completion Spring 2024

Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Facility

We continue with the transition and enhancement of our Sea Turtle Rehabilitation to the Gumbo Limbo Coastal Stewards. Our sea turtle patients and residents are currently visiting other facilities and receiving exceptional treatment and care. Learn more about the transition.