By Steve Plunkett
After almost 17 months of coronavirus seclusion, Gumbo Limbo's indoor nature center and gift shop, aquariums and sea turtle rehabilitation facility are open again to the public.
Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and noon to 4 p.m. Monday.
The popular destination's outdoor nature trails are open every day from 7 a.m. to sunset, though restrooms are not available when the nature center is closed.
City officials closed the center in mid-March 2020 in response to the COVID threat. Workers continued to rehabilitate injured or sick sea turtles and maintain sea creatures in the aquariums, just without public participation.
The not-for-profit Friends of Gumbo Limbo, which operates the gift shop and collects the suggested $5 donation for entrance, said last winter that it was $900,000 short in contributions and sales.
In normal times the nature center hosts more than 200,000 visitors a year.