MBL Tours


Summer Tours

Marine Biological Laboratory tours are offered Monday through Friday at 1:00 PM and 2:00 PM from June 27 – August 19. Tours last approximately one hour and consist of a video presentation, a visit to the Marine Resources Center for a look at the marine animals used in MBL research, and a walking tour of the campus.

Tours begin on the first floor of the Candle House building, 127 Water Street, Woods Hole and are limited to 15 people per tour.

Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling 508-289-7623 or e-mail comm@mbl.edu.  Please make your reservations at least one week in advance. If your plans change and/or you decide not to come, please contact us as soon as possible so that we may give your place to someone else.

For safety reasons, children under the age of five are not permitted in the Marine Resources Center, although they may view the video with the group. School groups are not accepted in the summer.

Parking for tours is not available in MBL lots. Street parking is metered and competitive. However, a public trolley (Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority – WHOOSH) runs back and forth between Falmouth (where there is public parking available) and Woods Hole Village every half hour during summer. Please make travel plans accordingly.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the high volume of visitors during the summer months, we cannot accommodate any special groups beyond our regularly scheduled tours (1pm & 2pm).

Off-season Tours:

A limited number of special group tours may be arranged during the off-season months (October through May), Monday through Friday. Tours last approximately an hour and consist of a video presentation and a visit to the Marine Resources Center.

Every tour request during the off-season must be made in writing by completing a 2016 Tour Form (.pdf). We cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate your request. Our tours are organized by volunteers and depend solely on their availability. Following the MBL Tour Requirements listed below will help us to accommodate your tour request.

NOTE: If you’d like to fill out the tour form online, download the pdf for the tour form and open in Adobe Reader version 11.0.06. You can then send us the registration form to the e-mail address below.

MBL Group Tour Requirements:

  • All tours must be booked through the MBL communications office, using the tour registration form above.
  • All tours must be led by an official MBL tour guide or staff member and will last approximately one hour.
  • Due to the limited capacity of our Marine Resources Center, tour group sizes cannot exceed 45 people TOTAL. Large groups will be divided into smaller groups of 15 persons each.
  • The MBL can only accommodate two group visits per week. Whenever possible, preference will be given to Falmouth schools.
  • Tours for groups of up to 20 people must be booked two weeks in advance.
  • Tours larger than 20 people must be booked 3 weeks in advance.
  • Tours can only be booked three months in advance. Limit two tours per group.
  • Tour groups must call ahead (508) 289-7423 or 7623 if they are running late. Any tour groups that do not show up within 15 minutes of their scheduled tour and who have not called to let us know they are running late, are subject to cancellation.
  • We ask that at least two adults chaperone all groups of young people. Teachers, please remind your students that they are guests of a world-class research laboratory. They are expected to behave accordingly. Unruly groups will be asked to leave and will not be given tours in subsequent years. For safety reasons, children under the age of five are not permitted in the Marine Resources Center, although they may view the video with the group.


Parking is generally not available at the MBL. Street parking is metered and competitive in Woods Hole, so please make travel plans accordingly. If you do plan on parking on the street for any length of time, you may want to consider pulling up to the nearest parking meter. The police are extremely vigilant in looking for parking offenders. Twenty-five cents = 15 minutes. The meter will take eight quarters at a time.

Physical Location:

For those using GPS, our physical address is 127 Water Street, Woods Hole, MA 02543. We are located in a three-story stone building with a model ship sticking out of the building on the 2nd floor.


For more information about our tours, contact the MBL Communications Office at 508-289-7623, 508-289-7423 or by E-mail to: comm@mbl.edu.