Trip Planner: USA / North Carolina / North Carolina Coast / Topsail Island / Surf City / Wildlife Areas / Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center
Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center is located in Surf City. Put Karen Beasley Sea Turtle Rescue and Rehabilitation Center on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Surf City itinerary builder.
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This was one of my favorite parts of my vacation. Seeing the sea turtles, learning about the different types and what the rehab center does was very interesting. I loved seeing the turtles and hearing... more »
The folks at the center do a nice job telling their story and I appreciate what they do. I visited with my 4-year-old grandson on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. He did well, but the line was a bit l... more »
The new facility is a much needed upgrade from the old cramped quarters on Topsail. I hear that lines can be long in the summer, but in November when we went you go right in. Just know hours off seaso... more »
I applaud what the staff is doing here however i was very disappointed with the way my family was treated today. I haven't seen the new location because it's been awhile since I have been able to come with the family to Topsail. So we stopped by on my way out of the island, because the limited hours and days open, this was the only time I could come. We were aware tours didn't start until 1 but wanted to go check out the new location. We arrived at 12:30, there were a line of people outside the door. Staff opened door and let people in, however when asked if we were with the group, we said no just wanted to come check out the lobby, the ladies at front taking money and sitting at desk became very rude and said we had to leave because the didn't open until 1. When trying to explain we just wanted to take a look at lobby not actual hospital portion, we were interrupted and literally were being escorted to door. I understand hours of operation, it was just the manner of how front staff handled situation. Treating people with respect should be a priority to support donations and repeat visits. Not sure if we will be going back.
I really think what they are doing is great, but... On the day of our visit, it was sunny and about 95 deg. The line outside to enter the center ran about 50-75 people and 30-45 minute wait. Who knew it would be that popular? And okay, the excellent weather is not their fault. When we finally reached the blessed cool of the building, we found that their air conditioning was out. Ugh... The center has some really great volunteers to help and they offer some terrific educational materials. And inside the lobby they have a souvenir shop. But what you see of the actual rescue and rehabilitation facility is not overly impressive. Don't get me wrong, what they do is tremendous. I just didn't think it lends itself well to a tour of the turtle pools.
Yikes. 2/10 would not do again. It's open from 12-4pm because that's how long you need to get through the line. You have to wait outside in the heat only to wait more inside. The line slowly inches through stations where you read posters and listen to volunteers talk about the displays. The possible highlight of the line is at the end where turtle bay is located. Here you find turtles named after Star Wars or Disney characters and a bunch of high school aged interns helping turtles out of their pools to have their blood taken. Each turtle has their story how they came to the hospital: Lennie for example, their permanent resident of 10 years is blind thus never able to be released into the wild and stuck in a 10ft diameter pool for the remainder of its life. But you can "adopt" her or Pooh for $25. The trash and nest education stations were helpful but it's still a lot of hurry up and wait; everything could have been placed on an audio track and played at each station to help the line run more smoothly. Instead, you have a line full of families with hot, tired, fussy, and screaming kids. Charge more for admission or set up a time and ticket system to reduce to amount of time wasted. With rescued turtles being there for going on 8 months, and hatchling having special ramps to protect them from crabs and to find their way to the sea, you're left wondering if human intervention is really helping the ^cute^ sea turtles or just hindering nature's food pyramid and natural selection process.
Very cool place to visit! $5 a person and you get to tour a small section of the hospital. The volunteers educate you about turtles and how to protect them. You get to see the turtles in their separate pools with young volunteers sharing the turtles' stories. Cool gift shop, even though it can get pricy the profits go to the rescue hospital.
Really great organization both for education of the public and rehabilitation and preservation of sea turtles in the Top Sail Island area. A great place for kids and family.
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