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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
“sea world” (73 reviews)
“non profit” (74 reviews)
Closed 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 (2,188)
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541 - 550 of 1,915 reviews

Reviewed 6 March 2016

By far the best place to experience dolphins up close and personal, in a setting that will remind you of Flipper...

Thank Bird3181
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 7 March 2016

Thank you so much for your positive support. We appreciate it!

Reviewed 6 March 2016

Great work is done here for the rescued dolphins and keeps then active and entertained. Not too sure if it's right for customers to be swimming with the Dolphins. Otherwise good.More

Thank smudge99
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 7 March 2016

We know that some people are concerned about the program that allows people to swim with the dolphins. Please be assured that we carefully consider and structure any interactive program to make sure that it is comfortable and enjoyable for the dolphins as well as...More

Reviewed 6 March 2016

We stopped here to see the dolphins. Lots of them to visit with. Was able to see one of the shows which highlighted the work the center provides. Worth a stop if you have time. The restrooms need some updating.More

Thank SFBzoo
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 7 March 2016

We're happy that you were able to stop by when you visited the Florida Keys and that you enjoyed seeing the dolphins in the DRC family! You're absolutely right about the restrooms. We're in the process of a couple of different construction projects which will...More

Reviewed 6 March 2016

Loved this place as the well- being of the animals is paramount. They rescue and look after those that have been mistreated or been kept in captivity for the amusement of us humans.More

Thank Bernice R
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 7 March 2016

You're absolutely correct. The well being of the dolphins and sea lions that live at Dolphin Research Center is the most important part of our mission. We do need to clarify that we take in rescued animals that have been rehabilitated and then deemed non-releasable...More

Reviewed 4 March 2016

This year we took the time to stop and see what the draw was at this place. My wife and I prepared to take the tour one at a time because we were traveling with our dog, Squirt, only to learn that the entire facility...More

Thank Dave M
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 22 March 2016

Can you tell we're animal people!? We love when guests bring their furry family members to visit the DRC pod. We're sure that you were stopped more than once to introduce Squirt to our staff and volunteers. During busy season, our parking lot can be...More

Reviewed 4 March 2016

The research center has several levels of interaction for guests to learn about, of course, dolphins, but also sea lions, parrots, and environmental issues. For the casual guest, there is a pass to access and see the presentations on the different groups of dolphins as...More

Thank OutInWoods
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 7 March 2016

It sounds like you were able to see a lot during your visit to Dolphin Research Center. We're so glad! Thanks so much for your interest in marine mammals and also the environment we share with our animal friends. We appreciate your support and your...More

Reviewed 3 March 2016

Our family decided to try this place in Marathon rather than the one up in Key Largo where we were staying. We heard this is more research oriented and less "touristy." Here are my suggestions: 1. Find discount coupons if you can in travel brochures,...More

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

We're happy that you had a good time during your visit and that you will come back to see us and the dolphins and sea lions again. At certain times of the year, like Spring Break, you're correct. You might experience lines at the lunch...More

Reviewed 2 March 2016

A friend and I visited the Dolphin Research Center with general admission tickets and came away feeling like we'd participated in their exploitation. We were dismayed at the number of untrained people who were in the water interacting with the dolphins, especially those who couldn't...More

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

Thanks for visiting Dolphin Research Center and for providing your feedback. We appreciate your concern for the dolphins, as they are always our number one priority. So, we wanted to reassure you and others that the interactive programs are designed to be fun and safe...More

Reviewed 2 March 2016 via mobile

Swimming with dolphins has been a dream of mine ! I couldn't have picked a better place to do it. Dolphin Research Center is an amazing place! You can tell right away that the dolphins are not exploited and used to make money like some...More

1  Thank AgaGoodman
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 4 March 2016

We are honored that you chose Dolphin Research Center to realize your dream of swimming with dolphins. Thank you for coming and for letting us know that we fulfilled your expectations. We always want to provide a great experience for you and the dolphins. It's...More

Reviewed 1 March 2016

My family went there because my granddaughter did not meet the height requirement at Hawks Cay so they sent us to you. It was a good choice we had a dreat time, the trainers were terrific and the whole experience was worth every penny. We...More

Thank KathyZanoff
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 2 March 2016

Thanks so much for letting us know that our friends at Hawks Cay and Dolphin Connection referred you to us. We're so glad that you and your family had a great time and feel that we delivered a quality, fun experience for your money. While...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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