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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 lions” (163 reviews)
“sea world” (73 reviews)
Closed Now
All 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
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Reviews (2,200)
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521 - 530 of 1,923 reviews

Reviewed 26 March 2016

My friend and I visited the Dolphin Research Center thinking we might spend an hour or two but we stayed the whole day, It was a wonderful experience. The Center have different levels of programs to just visiting (well worth the money) to being able...More

Thank Louise F
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

It's always great to hear that time at DRC is well worth an entire day to first time visitors. As a nonprofit marine mammal education and research facility, we strive to ensure our guests walk away with a new understanding for the animals and lots...More

Reviewed 26 March 2016

Our family went there and our daughters, 19 and 12 years old, swimmed with the dolphins. It was an amazing experience for them. The staff is professional and, unlike other places with dolphins, you know that this is a place where the dolphins are really...More

Thank Traveller1887
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

Swimming with dolphins is so fun, isn't it!? Who did your daughters swim with? We're happy to read that you all had a fintastic time at Dolphin Research Center. Thank you for the review and bringing your family to meet our family.

Reviewed 26 March 2016

Spent an afternoon here being thoroughly entertained by the dolphins, seals, and trainers. It's a win/win for everyone. Don't miss this one!!

Thank day4snow
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

We're happy to read you had a great time with the dolphins, sea lions, and the rest of the Dolphin Research Center pod. Thanks for visiting!

Reviewed 25 March 2016 via mobile

We enjoyed this with our toddler - loved that the dolphins were obviously well cared for by a warm, smart and energetic staff. Older kids were having a ball too. Although our toddler was admitted for free, it was worth it for us to get...More

Thank christina_tripster
DolphinResearchCtr, Guest Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

Christina, thank you for bringing your family to meet our family. We are so happy to hear that you have become members and spent time at DRC during the rest of your vacation in the Florida Keys. How many times were you able to visit?...More

Reviewed 25 March 2016

We did the dolphin encounter - wow....in the water swimming with the dolphins and working with the trainer. It was one of the highlights of the week - better than the water sports, beach and walking Duval Street in Key West. Excellent time well spent.More

Thank Ranger7791
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

It makes us immensely happy to read that Dolphin Research Center was the highlight of your vacation in the Keys. Thank you so much for spending time with our family and taking part in the Dolphin Encounter. As a nonprofit, your visit puts the fish...More

Reviewed 24 March 2016

Fun and educational organization. A little pricey to do an encounter with the dolphins but it is a not for profit so it goes to a good cause. We just did a general admission and it was still fun to see the dolphins and others...More

Thank jmmtk
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

Thank you for spending time with our animal family. We're sure that you learned a great deal and had lots of fun while here. What educational narrations were you able to attend on your visit? We appreciate you contributing to the Dolphin Research Center mission...More

Reviewed 24 March 2016

Visited on our way back from key west . Not to be missed . So relaxing after our long journey . Can't believe the way the Dolphins look at you . Not at all touristy . Wonderful opportunity for children but for us older adults...More

Thank Ann F
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 29 March 2016

We are so happy to hear you stopped by on your vacation, Ann. Dolphin Research Center is located in the heart of the Florida Keys so it is a great place to stop, stretch your legs, and, of course, say hello to the dolphins and...More

Reviewed 21 March 2016

This place is an overlooked destination with friendly and expert personnel. The facility is undergoing an expansion and will be an even better venue when completed. Great for kids and adults alike. Dont miss the splash park. With all day access you can come back...More

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

Thanks for visiting. We're happy you enjoyed the splash park and had a great time with our staff. We appreciate your review!

Reviewed 20 March 2016

An amazing place! Do not be fooled by the unassuming exterior as you drive by. This is a beautiful and large facility. This was our second trip to the Florida Keys. We had passed by the Dolphin Research Center on our trip two years ago,...More

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

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you so much for such a wonderful review. We are happy you chose to visit and had a fintastic Dolphin Research Center experience. When we were established in the 1980s, it was stated in our mission that the...More

Reviewed 20 March 2016

As a five year member , we return almost each year to visit our adopted dolphin Sandy. The loving care shown by the staff is why this is a special place. Education and research are paramount to the dolphins well being. Trainer Kelly gave us...More

Thank John T
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded 20 March 2016

As a nonprofit marine mammal education and research facility, our members are the backbone of our organization so THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for adopting Sandy and supporting the DRC mission. It's absolutely fintastic that you visit Sandy each year and are...More

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Questions & Answers
joeysmomma
8 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
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
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anniontourr
3 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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