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Dolphin Research Center

Certificate of Excellence
Features Animals
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Address: 58901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
Phone Number:
+1 305-289-1121
Website
Today
09:00 - 16:30
Closed now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:30
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility....

Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility. Home to a family of dolphins and sea lions, we offer fun-filled narrated behavior sessions and educational presentations every half an hour. During your visit you can watch and learn all about these amazing animals including dolphin maternity, social groupings, physiology, natural abilities and more. You'll see how we care for them, how we're working with them in cognition and behavioral research and the importance of conserving them and their ocean habitat. DRC also offers a variety of interactive programs including the Dolphin Encounter swim program, Ultimate Trainer for a Day, Trainer Experience half-day program, Researcher Experience half-day program and Paint with a Dolphin. We are actively involved in programs for people with Special Needs, as well as veterans from the Wounded Warrior Project, Military families, and others. Most of our dolphins were born here. Others have come to us for a variety of reasons -- including those who were injured and rescued as youngsters and later deemed non-releasable by the government. We are deeply committed to providing all of them with a safe, healthy, happy home for life. The well-being of the dolphins and sea lions is our top priority. Your visit and participation in programs supports the care of our marine mammal family, the maintenance of their natural sea water home, and the rest of our mission to educate others about these animals and the importance of conservation. Thank you for your interest in Dolphin Research Center!

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US$155.88*
and up
Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Key West
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 2,105 reviews
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Key vacation

Great place to learn about dolphins and there behavior. The trainers are very nice and full of knowledge. Great place for people who want to het up close to dolphins. Really... read more

Reviewed 2 days ago
Kristeen D
via mobile
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2,105 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,841: English reviews
Level Contributor
19 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

Great place to learn about dolphins and there behavior. The trainers are very nice and full of knowledge. Great place for people who want to het up close to dolphins. Really enjoued our visit.

Helpful?
1 Thank Kristeen D
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Knowing that you feel you learned more about the dolphins and their behavior when you visited means a lot to us. We strive to make that connection between our guests and each of the animals every day. Thank you for including us in your Keys vacation and then telling others about us too. More 

Flower Mound, Texas
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 days ago NEW

We got to see several of the dolphins and the dolphin show. We listened to a good talk on sea lions and were able to hear the history of the sea lions that are at the facility. One of them is blind but you would never know it by looking at her. They take really good care of all the... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Linda C
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Taking care of all of the animals in our family is the most important part of what we do every day. We're glad that you were able to see this for yourself during your recent visit. We love sharing the dolphins and sea lions with our visitors as they demonstrate their abilities and we're able to talk to you about... More 

Plainfield, Indiana
Level Contributor
100 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

The staff here takes great pride in their family of dolphins and takes great care of them. We were able to watch as the veterinarian gave them their 6 month checkup. We also got to watch the dolphins perform. If you want to pay a little extra, you can get in the water with them. This was a great experience... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank ClButch2014
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We love our dolphin and sea lion family. How cool that you were here when the vet was giving checkups to some of them! We're so happy that you had a great experience. Thanks for visiting DRC and then telling others about us! More 

Marathon, Florida
Level Contributor
16 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

If you are ever traveling through the Keys, you can not leave without visiting this place! The workers are so in touch with the dolphins and have a connection to each and everyone of them. The workers are very informative and so friendly! The shows are always incredible!

Helpful?
Thank Kayla W
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

The dolphins and sea lions mean everything to us and we love sharing about them with all of our visitors - and letting them demonstrate their amazing abilities. Thanks so much for visiting. We're glad that you had a great time! More 

Yuma, Arizona
Level Contributor
115 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

A Must see, especially if you have children. History of ecology, intelligence of the animals, effects of pollution on marine life, intelligence of these beings all explained.

Helpful?
Thank Jane J
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We love when our visitors have a great time. When they have a great time and feel that they learned and had a great educational experience, too, we know we've fulfilled an important part of our mission. Thank you so much for visiting. More 

London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
25 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

I loved this place. The staff were very informative and asked any questions. The dolphins enjoyed the interaction - this place is a must if you love Dolphins

Helpful?
Thank Sue W
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We love when guests engage with what they're experiencing at Dolphin Research Center and ask us questions. It's our pleasure to answer and get involved in conversations about the dolphins, sea lions and ocean conservation. Thanks so much for visiting! More 

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
13 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago

Met the owner who told us his story. He truly believes in all he does and supports - that in itself was an amazing story. NOt often you find someone with such passion - this isn't just a business but a lifestyle. The facility is top notch and all the staff are very friendly and willing to chat and answer... More 

Helpful?
Thank KDHN
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

It's great that you got to meet Mandy, our Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer. (As a nonprofit organization, we don't actually have an owner.) He is passionate about the welfare and care of marine mammals and the environment and a leader for the DRC mission. Thank you so much for visiting and for your positive words. More 

Northern Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

I just don't get the high reviews of this place. It is so not worth the money. You really could see everything in under 30 minutes, and that's being generous. They had a few demonstrations involving the dolphins and a video presentation that extend your stay a little bit, and a splash pad. There is one other pool with sea... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank katiemarg
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We're very sorry to hear that you were disappointed in your visit. While it's true that we are not the size of a major theme park, we are quite spread out with our family of dolphins living in different social groups in various lagoons. The narrated sessions and demonstrations take place about every half an hour, visiting different groups of... More 

Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
107 reviews
40 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Awesome spot to visit with family both human and furry! We are members of DRC and have been visiting for 20+ years but we never realized we could bring our dog Sandy so this was an amazing experience! Sandy LOVED it! She especially loved seeing the sea lions and even barked at them when they were "barking" - SO CUTE.... More 

Helpful?
Thank KLJdolphin
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

You're very welcome. We love furry family members too so polite dogs on leashes or harnesses are always welcome at DRC. Thanks for coming in. We're glad that you and Sandy had a great time! More 

Bradenton, Florida
Level Contributor
101 reviews
47 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The Dolphin Research Center, on Marathon Is conveniently located on the Overseas Highway, the only main road on the Keys. Parking is adequate, the employees are very knowledgeable and well worth you time. Prior to visiting I would suggest you visit the facility on line to see what is available. According to what you financial limits are, there are several... More 

Helpful?
Thank Jim G
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

This place appreciates you right back! All of our guests are the reasons why the DRC mission continues. Your visit supports the care and home for the dolphins, sea lions and birds and helps with our education, research and manatee rescue activities too. We're glad that you enjoyed your visit and thank you for talking about us to others. More 

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