Turtle Nesting Season in the Florida Keys

Through the summer months, Florida Keys’ beaches are filled with sunbathers and families enjoying the pristine waters and white sand beaches. But come dusk, up to 200 wild sea turtles crawl onto the sands to lay their eggs, ready to welcome new life into the Keys.

After a two-month incubation period, the baby turtles will emerge to make the long journey back to the sea – an incredible, memorable sight that can draw huge crowds.

Here, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about sea turtle nesting season in the Florida Keys.

When is Nesting Season?

Sea turtles nest on our long sandy beaches from May through October, although it’s not unusual for leatherbacks to begin nesting a little earlier.

Bahia Honda State Park, Florida Keys. US.

Nesting Spots in the Florida Keys

Sea turtles have many regular nesting spots throughout the Keys, including Smathers Beach in Key West and Bahia State Park. Here in the Middle Keys, nests are found at Coco Plum and Sombrero beaches, Sunset Park in Key Colony Beach, and at Long Key State Park.

Follow Expert Advice

If you are lucky enough to spot a nesting sea turtle, remember to allow her plenty of space and avoid using flash photography or shining bright lights (i.e. flash lights). To help ensure the turtles’ safety and comfort, follow the advice of an expert, such as our friends at the Turtle Hospital here in Marathon.

Go Behind the Scenes

Get an up-close look at the threatened and endangered species of Florida sea turtles any day of the year at the Turtle Hospital, located right next door to Tranquility Bay. The rehabilitation center helps sick and injured turtles and provides guided, educational tours. You may even get the chance to feed some of the permanent residents!

Lady snorkleing in the Florida Keys

In the Wild

As you dive into Marathon life—literally—you are sure to spot sea turtles swimming gracefully through the crystal-clear waters beside you. We offer a great range of water sports from Tranquility Bay, in partnership with Turtle Island Adventures, including diving and snorkeling nearby.

Whether or not you are lucky enough to spot a nesting sea turtle, a stay in our Marathon resort is always memorable. Book a family vacation today – check out our special offers or call our reservations team at (877) 209-5774.