Outdoor Exploration

You don’t have to be taking a boat or kayak tour, participating in a naturalist class or public lecture, or attending an education program to enjoy a visit to the Marine Discovery Center. We have those…and so much more!

Admission to our facility & grounds is FREE!
Tours, education programs, and other special events have associated fees.

Our facility hours are:
Mon – Fri, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sat & Sun, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
(check our calendar for boat & kayak tour times)

Wildflower and Butterfly Gardens

Explore our two beautiful gardens and learn more about native plants and pollinators. First, take a stroll through the Native Wildflower Garden, made possible through a grant from the  Florida Wildflower Foundation. Next, visit the beautiful Butterfly Garden, built by the New Smyrna Beach Men’s Garden Club. This landscape features native plants to attract butterflies as well as a relaxing shaded seating area for you butterfly viewing. It also features a cedar pergola built by a local eagle scout! Pamphlets about our gardens’ native plants are available for your use.

Nature Playscape

Our nature playscape offers kids and adults the perfect play area to explore nature. It is conveniently located near our outdoor seating areas so parents can watch their kids discover amazing while relaxing in the shade. 

Salt Marsh and Kayak Launch

A 5-acre restored salt marsh on the Marine Discovery Center property features a nursery full of animals including birds, fish, invertebrates, mangroves, and marsh grasses as well as the launch point for our guided kayak tours. Explore the marsh and living shoreline demo area through walking trails and educational signs. This site is open to the public 24/7.

Hunter Amphitheater

Opened in 2019, Hunter Amphitheater sits adjacent to our salt marsh – making for beautiful views – and plays host to special events like informative presentations, movie nights, musical performances, and our interactive Terroir of the Lagoon. It also serves as the centerpiece of our annual Lagoonacy festival. You can become a permanent part of our amphitheater and help support our programs by Buying A Brick! Rental information for Hunter Amphitheater will be coming soon.

Mount Morgan

Continue along the walking path from the salt marsh and amphitheater up Mount Morgan for a wonderful view of New Smyrna Beach and beyond. Listen and look for all sorts of life coming from the surrounding marsh and mangrove forests. You can even spot the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse from the top!

Pavilion

Back at the MDC building you can take a break under the shade of our covered pavilion. We share this pavilion with our neighbors, Artists’ Workshop NSB, and it is utilized by both organizations for a number of special events. Rental information for our pavilion space will be coming soon.

Public Recreation

Recreational activities are permitted on the Marine Discovery property, such as fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, cast netting, dog-walking etc. There is a public kayak launch and fishing site located on the east perimeter of the property. Please follow all signs and posts while using the MDC property for recreational activities.

"To protect and restore the Florida coastal and Indian River Lagoon ecosystems
through education, research and community stewardship."