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Dolphin Research Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 58901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
Phone Number:
+1 305-289-1121
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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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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Great way to spend the day.

This establishment is a great resource. We have been here several times. If looking for a laid back day, or high involved day this is the place. The money's that they raise from... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 10 September 2015
Flash394
,
Winter Haven, Florida
via mobile
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1,988 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,733: English reviews
Winter Haven, Florida
Level Contributor
57 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2015 via mobile

This establishment is a great resource. We have been here several times. If looking for a laid back day, or high involved day this is the place. The money's that they raise from programs goes to support the dolphins and Sea lions. They are in a expansion phase, so they do have some fences to keep you safe. They have... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank Flash394
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Nothing makes us happier than knowing that someone so enjoyed their visit to DRC that they decide to return! Thank you so much for your continued enthusiasm and support of our mission, organization and, of course, the amazing dolphins, sea lions and other animals in our family. We appreciate you and hope to see you again soon. Thank you for... More 

Level Contributor
12 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2015 via mobile

I am so glad that I researched and found the Dolphin Research Center! My dream since I was a child was to swim with dolphins and I have finally gotten the chance! The Dolphins were Alita and Diva and they were so much fun. The trainer was absolutely great with them and with our group. I highly highly recommend this... More 

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

On behalf of Aleta, her daughter Diva, and all of the dolphins, sea lions and other members of the DRC family, thank YOU for choosing to spend time with us. We are delighted that you enjoyed yourself and that you feel that we fulfilled your dream. We know that travelers have choices and it means a lot to us that... More 

Bothell, Washington, United States
Level Contributor
26 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2015

Fun place to watch dolphins. You have the option to just watch or pay extra to interact with the dolphins. A lot going on with the dolphins, we were able to just sit and watch all the tricks and fun the trainers were having. we spent a couple hours there and got some great pictures. The best would be for... More 

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

The dolphins and sea lions are always the most interesting to people. We're glad that you had the time to visit and watch them in action during the narrated sessions. Regarding the interactive programs. We appreciate your feedback. We do our best to offer a variety to that there are different options for people depending on their budget. Thanks so... More 

Level Contributor
51 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2015 via mobile

Definitely #2 out of the Turtle Hospital and Aquarium Encounter, with the Aquarium being #1. The Dolphins are so smart and know so many tricks! You can pay extra to swim with them, but watching them do tricks is just as entertaining. The property has other animals on it that you can interact with. A very informative park! It's a... More 

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

Sounds like you did almost all there is to do in Marathon when you were in the Florida Keys. We're certainly glad that you included a visit to Dolphin Research Center in your vacation - and that you had a great time. Thank you for visiting and for telling others about us! More 

Fort Myers, Florida
Level Contributor
81 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 September 2015

Great for younger kids! Good for all ages though. Slightly pricy, but considering the funds go to the research facility, not an issue.

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

Thanks so much for coming to Dolphin Research Center. We're glad you had a good time and appreciate you telling others about us. More 

Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 September 2015 via mobile

This is a great place to stop and look at the animals, about 2 hours is all you need. Nice water park for the kids to run around in and have fun.

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

Thanks for stopping by to see the dolphins and sea lions. You're right that you can see a lot in two hours and also play in the Sprayground. However, if you have more time to spend, we offer narrated behavior sessions with lots of activity and information as well as additional educational presentations about every half an hour. Your general... More 

Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
45 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2015

Stopped in on our way to Key West--just did the general admission, and spent a good hour there. It was very hot out, so that impacted our decision not to stay longer. We walked around the facility and saw some interactions and unique demonstrations. It's obvious that the dolphins are well taken care of and loved. Just watching the trainers... More 

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

You're so right. Rainbow absolutely loves it when people stop by his lagoon and spend time talking to him. If you try to walk by without stopping, he frequently makes noise to draw your attention. We'll definitely tell him that you said hello when we go out to visit. Thanks so much for coming into DRC and telling others about... More 

Elkridge, Maryland
Level Contributor
42 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 September 2015

This place is hands down amazing! As a dolphin lover, I spent all day here. There are plenty of activities to watch and everyone is super friendly. I recommend adding on one of the activities. I did the paint with a dolphin and proudly wear my shirt from AJ.

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

Isn't the Paint with a Dolphin program fun? Not only do you get to meet a dolphin up close and connect with them, but you collaborate on wearable art and take home your painted shirt as a souvenir! We appreciate your visit and are happy that you had a terrific time spending the day at DRC to see and learn... More 

Essex
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2015

We spent my daughters 5th birthday here. We started off doing the Dolphin experience, and got to have fin dras with them, absolutely amazing experience. The staff and location was pristine. We then decided to do the Dolphin painting, and had an absolute blast. My thanks go out to Kay Jay who was simply the most welcoming of people, on... More 

Helpful?
1 Thank essexman2008
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Aww, thanks so much! We are thrilled that you and your family had a terrific time at Dolphin Research Center. We will definitely share this review with KJ. Your visit and those of all of guests directly support the care and home of the dolphins and sea lions and enable our nonprofit mission. Thanks again for making us part of... More 

Malaga, Spain
Level Contributor
98 reviews
30 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 September 2015

We decided to call here following the reports on tripadvisor and so glad we did. You will be able to watch the dolphins close up as well as watch the many interaction programmes they offer. Plenty of opportunities for taking photos of the dolphins including of those taking part in the interactions. Don't forget to say hi to the sea... More 

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

The dolphins and sea lions would agree that visiting them at Dolphin Research Center is a "must do". Thanks so much for spending some time at DRC watching all of the activity and sessions. For those who are interested in also participating in an interactive program, our website has complete descriptions. Some of the programs can be reserved online through... More 

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