We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
Map updates are paused. Zoom in to see updated info.
Reset zoom
Updating Map...
Get directions
Address: 4055 Wildlife Way, Vero Beach, FL 32963-9446
Phone Number:
+1 772-581-5557

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 173 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 84
  • 57
    Very good
  • 21
  • 4
  • 1
Free and good exercise.

We thought we were going to a refuge center but it is a Reserve. Several walking trails. No historic buildings we saw. Some nice info boards. We did a walk out to an overlook. It... read more

Reviewed 5 days ago
Yardville, New Jersey
Add Photo Write a Review

173 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
  • More
Showing 167: English reviews
Yardville, New Jersey
Level Contributor
162 reviews
96 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We thought we were going to a refuge center but it is a Reserve. Several walking trails. No historic buildings we saw. Some nice info boards. We did a walk out to an overlook. It was a mile out and either 1 or 2 miles back. We took the one mile back. We saw some white butterflies and a couple... More 

Thank Charlestontourist58
Harrisonville, Missouri
2 reviews
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Didn't see anything that was advertised. Hard to get to and not what I would expect from the description.

Thank orangegrandma732
Level Contributor
251 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The roads are terrible, wash boarded so bad I turned my Jeep around and left, needs some serious attention!

Thank High_Miles
Harbor Springs, Michigan
Level Contributor
400 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 210 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This relatively small National Wildlife Refuge, the first in the nation, is well worth the short drive north on Orchid Island from downtown Vero Beach. Both driving through and hiking through the refuge are enjoyable and worthwhile activities. There is no entrance fee, but if one is lucky, volunteers may be available to make the trip even more worthwhile.

Thank LouBobHarborSprings
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Basically a walk with no view. Once in awhile we'd get a glimpse of the water and a bird or two but really just a 2 1/2 mile walk.

Thank maggiemily
Melbourne Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
162 reviews
49 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 weeks ago

National Parks with hotels, restaurants & campgrounds are for people. Refuges are for the Wildlife. The wonderful volunteers take you throughout the Reserve to experience the diverse habitats to observe wildlife. Golf cart type vehicles move groups of 7 to enjoy the huge variety of birds who winter here before migrating back up north. Boardwalks and flat paths make it... More 

Thank Lynne D
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
146 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 March 2017

This is the first NWR. There are several trails with one being short but leading on a boardwalk out to a raised viewing area of the Indian River lagoon and Pelican island. What wildlife you see is just a matter of chance. I saw mainly birds. Access is from Jungle Trail, which is a historic dirt road with mainly great... More 

1 Thank donOrlando
Level Contributor
10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 March 2017 via mobile

This park is a nice outside activity with several trails and observation areas - unique history in that it is the first designated national wildlife refuge.

Thank kristin d
Traverse City, Michigan
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 March 2017

The refuge features a 3-mile hiking loop around some of the protected backwaters off the Intercoastal Waterway. We saw a variety of birds, a large Golden Silk Spider who was not pleased to see us approach its web, and traces of other animals. Given it was March, we saw mostly wading birds versus pelicans. Nice spot to get outdoors, away... More 

1 Thank Michael R
Vero Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 March 2017

The path into the vista of the island with its pithy words opened us to the long-range view of island itself. Bring good binoculars so that the roosting birds are not just tiny white blobs on and around the island. The notice that this is an original ecological site is remarkable. j We had no idea.

Thank Scott S

Travellers who viewed Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge also viewed


Been to Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and other visitors
5 questions
Ask a question
2 months ago
Ellicott City, Maryland
Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania
over a year ago
over a year ago

See all questions (5)

Questions? Get answers from Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?