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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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USD 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” (77 reviews)
Open Now
Hours
Hours Today: 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Suggested Duration: 2-3 hours
LOCATION
58901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
CONTACT
Website
+1 305-289-1121
Write a ReviewReviews (2,305)
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"dolphin encounter"
in 289 reviews
"swim with the dolphins"
in 158 reviews
"sea world"
in 77 reviews
"general admission"
in 81 reviews
"non profit"
in 77 reviews
"hand signals"
in 23 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 34 reviews
"bucket list"
in 43 reviews
"an amazing experience"
in 40 reviews
"money goes"
in 27 reviews
"well worth the money"
in 25 reviews
"key west"
in 60 reviews
"marine life"
in 22 reviews
"turtle hospital"
in 22 reviews
"sea lions"
in 160 reviews
"fish"
in 25 reviews
"love dolphins"
in 39 reviews
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1 - 10 of 2,018 reviews

Reviewed yesterday

This is a great place to visit! We spent half a day there on our way down to Key West and learned more about Dolphins and Sea Lions that we ever imagined. The staff are super friendly and extremely dedicated to what they are doing....More

Thank brw115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago

We had a lovely time here - our daughter Katy swam with dolphins , i didn't book our othe two kids in as i had been told to go to Discovery Cove when we went onto Orlando so i had already booked that for them...More

Thank Michelle W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We visited here just with the general admission so didn’t undertake any of the additional programmes. I must admit when we arrived it didn’t seem we’d be there for that long but we spent a happy 3-4 hours there listening to all of the talks....More

Thank Tatumb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Thanks so much for spending time with us during your vacation. We're delighted that you were with us for a few hours and know that you were able to see lots of dolphin activity during the various narrated sessions. You're correct in that we love...More

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The dolphins have amazing personalities. It was not cheap. $100 for two adults and 2 kids. I like to think the dolphins are eating well.. sushi restaurant quality fish.. the spray park is very dirty and needs a good cleaning. They are building. A new...More

Thank krocking123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

The dolphins definitely get restaurant quality fish. Their care and well being are always the top priority. We know that there are still areas around the facility that need improvement and we're working on them as we continue to recover from Hurricane Irma. We appreciate...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

If you love Dolphins and other wildlife this is a must stop during your visit to the keys. Its not nearly as expensive as other stops and you can spend hours here for cheap money. We watched a small dolphin show and my daughter got...More

Thank Tropicaldestinations
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We are delighted that you had such a great time and experienced so much here at DRC. We really appreciate you visiting. We love all of our flippered family members and it's always a pleasure to share them with our guests. We hope to see...More

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

This was our first trip to the DRC and we had been looking forward to it for several months. The dolphin swim was enjoyable and met our expectations. I was surprised at the poor condition of the front of the facility. the docks and lagoons...More

Thank joeysmomma
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We're very happy to hear that your Dolphin Encounter fulfilled your expectations. As you noted, the dolphins' homes are in good condition. Their well-being is always our top priority. Thankfully, there wasn't major damage to their habitats and since the day we re-opened, we've been...More

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Dolphin Research Center located at Grassy Key offers great opportunity to see and watch interaction with Dolphin. They have small facility, parking, and a research staff that wants to give you information.

Thank 387indy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

All of us on staff love to talk to guests and share information about the wonderful dolphins, sea lions and birds that live in our family. Thanks so much for visiting and spending time getting to know us and them.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

We went here to see the Dolphins and had an amazing time.What an awesome attraction this is! This is a must see when in this area. The staff was outstanding and go above and beyond to ensure that you have an excellent experience!

Thank Kathi B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

We think you're awesome, too! Thanks so much for visiting and for your enthusiastic recommendation of us to others.

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Reviewed 2 weeks ago

It was a very nice trip for kids they learned several interesting things about dolphins.training was very informative to watch.was good time for all family make reservations

Thank fishman2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago

Our family very much enjoyed the Dolphin Research Center - it is small, easy to walk around and watch dolphins from a close distance in their natural habitat. We loved to learn more about dolphins before coming to Key West, where we were fortunate to...More

Thank vladkas111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

Wow. Thanks so much for adopting a dolphin! Every one at DRC puts the dolphins and sea lions first as our priority. Your membership and your visit help us to always provide them with a wonderful home and excellent care. We do our best to...More

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Ask a question
Questions & Answers
NOregrets-Traveler
7 December 2017|
AnswerShow all 3 answers
Response from DolphinResearchCtr | Property representative |
Thanks for your interest in Dolphin Research Center. Depending on what you'd like to do, you can simply come in under general admission and watch the dolphins and sea lions in a variety of different narrated behavior... More
1
Vote
joeysmomma
8 August 2017|
AnswerShow all 4 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
2
Votes
GiddyUp2there
5 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
Vote