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Dolphin Research Center

Features Animals
58901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
+1 305-289-1121
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US$155.88*
and up
Dolphin Research Center and Florida Keys Tour
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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!
  • Excellent78%
  • Very good16%
  • Average4%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
Open Now
All hours
Hours Today: 09:00 - 16:30
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
58901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
CONTACT
Website
+1 305-289-1121
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Reviews (2,187)
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501 - 510 of 1,914 reviews

Reviewed 1 April 2016

We visited and did the dolphin encounter. It was a bit expensive but the entire family had always wanted to swim with dolphins. It was great to learn how they train the dolphins and to see the different personalities of the different dolphins. They only...More

Thank jwodders
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2016

Thanks for letting us be a part of your families once in a lifetime experience. We're glad that you enjoyed your Dolphin Encounter and learning about how we train, care for, and get to know our animal family members. As you stated, the dolphins' participation...More

Reviewed 1 April 2016

Whether you do just the regular entrance fee or pay for one of the "experiences" it is worth your vacation time and dollars. An older child had down Discovery Cove several years ago. That is a beautiful place with lots of "extras" but DRC feels...More

Thank Sandy L
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2016

We agree, Sandy - we are all guests in the dolphins' home here at Dolphin Research Center. The animals' well being take precedence above all else, which means that we make our schedule, interactive programs, and everything else based on their behavior, needs, etc. Having...More

Reviewed 1 April 2016 via mobile

Great for the kids!!! Worth the $ for the kids to swim with the Dolphins. Kids can't stop talking about it. Steep price for watching adults. Good cause.More

Thank Teresa T
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2016

We're happy your children can't stop talking about their experience at Dolphin Research Center. Which dolphin did they swim with? We understand that budget can be a concern for families so we do offer a variety of programs of varying prices. As a nonprofit, all...More

Reviewed 1 April 2016

The Dolphin Centre offered lots of different experience options and make it very clear what can be done with children of different ages. We were able to do the dolphin dip with both our 5 year old and our 23 month year old. They offer...More

Thank Daniella H
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2016

Dolphin Dips are great experiences for children! What part of the program did your five year old and 23 month old enjoy most? We understand that check in can be a little chaotic when you have to be there at 9 a.m., but we truly...More

Reviewed 31 March 2016

This is a very cool place to visit - great learning opportunities for adults and kids, even if you don't opt for one of the actual physical interactions with the dolphins. The setup is more interesting than some aquariums, since the animals (dolphins and sea...More

Thank erika982
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 April 2016

Education is at the core of our mission so we are so happy to read that you found many learning opportunities for both adults and children. As you stated, throughout the day we offer narrated behavior presentations. These sessions take place about every half an...More

Reviewed 30 March 2016

My husband, myself, and my daughter enjoyed the Dolphin Experience immensely. It was a once in a lifetime event for us. Our 11:30 group of 25 people or more was divided up into small groups of six. Each small group went to a different roped-off...More

Thank Marie K
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2016

Hanging out with dolphins is smile inducing. Thanks for bringing your family to meet our family and giving a detailed account of your experience. We are so happy to read that you enjoyed the variety of behaviors you participated in with the dolphins. Which was...More

Reviewed 30 March 2016

Stopped here as a surprise for my wife on the way to Key West. She loves dolphins, and I saw this in a travel book, so made plans to include this in the trip. To say my wife enjoyed the experience would be an understatement....More

Thank Bob S
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2016

What a great way to stretch your legs midway between between the mainland and Key West. We feel so honored to have been a part of your surprise and are thrilled to read you both learned a few new things about the animals on your...More

Reviewed 30 March 2016

There is not much other than the dolphins available at this center, but the experience was amazing. Out of the various dolphin experiences available in the keys, I also was glad to give my money to support a research center rather than a park. This...More

Thank Doctor_Dad_of_2
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2016

How fun! Which one of Flipper's grandsons did you spend time with - Talon, Pax, or Gambit? We are happy to read you enjoyed your interaction. As a nonprofit, we rely on guests, along with members and donors, to provide excellent care to the animals...More

Reviewed 29 March 2016 via mobile

Very fun day with our granddaughter. Nice to see the Dolphins in the natural environment . She did the tee shirt painting . She really enjoyed the performances. Would recommend for kids to seeMore

Thank sandramyers02
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2016

Thanks for bringing your family to meet our family. Which dolphin did your granddaughter paint with!? We're sure the painting was a fintastic piece of DolphinArt. We appreciate you choosing to spend time with your granddaughter at Dolphin Research Center. Thank you for a wonderful...More

Reviewed 28 March 2016

I wasn't impressed with this place. We had six people swimming with the dolphins and another five watching. We arrived to find the place under construction and kind of a mess. The instructions on where to go for the swim/watching were minimal. Those of us...More

Thank Donna M
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2016

We're sorry that you and other members of your party were disappointed with the Dolphin Encounter experience. Dolphin Research Center operates with a structured swim where the guests stand on a platform unless leaving to do the dorsal pull portion. This allows us to ensure...More

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Questions & Answers
joeysmomma
7 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from Tammy S | Reviewed this property |
The Dolphin Center has a better dolphin encounter I had done both and by far the DRC is way better. Also the money spent at DRC stays there to take care of the dolphins and sealions. You can sign up same day if the have... More
1
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GiddyUp2there
4 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 2 answers
Response from DolphinResearchCtr | Property representative |
It is possible to book online for Dolphin Encounter the evening before as long as the program is not sold out. Whether you can walk in and purchase the program on the same day also depends on availability. There are only a... More
1
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thetimeofmylife
2 April 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from DolphinResearchCtr | Property representative |
We do not offer the Hug the Sea Lion program every day. It all depends on Karen, the sea lion who does the program. Sometimes she has other preferences and we respect that it is always her choice!
1
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