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Dolphin Research Center

Address: 58901 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050-6019
Phone Number: 305-289-1121
Website
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93%
Ranked #2 of 37 things to do in Marathon
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Nature & wildlife areas, Piers & boardwalks, Sights & Landmarks, Zoos & Aquariums, Nature & Parks
Activities: Swimming with dolphins
Owner description: Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility. Home to a family of...
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: Nature & wildlife areas, Piers & boardwalks, Sights & Landmarks, Zoos & Aquariums, Nature & Parks
Activities: Swimming with dolphins
Hours:
Sun - Sat 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Owner description: Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility. Home to a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California 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 more. DRC also offers a variety of interactive programs including the Dolphin Encounter swim program, Trainer for a Day, Researcher for a Day 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!
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Activities for young children

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1,092 reviews from our community

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coloradosprings
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

Arrived early and was greeted by amazing dolphins and wonderful staff. I did the dolphin dip and it was amazing and worth every penny. Spent 30 mins in the water on a platform interacting with Pax the dolphin. I got to touch and do a handshake as wel as do hand signals with him. I chose DRC over others because... More 

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Hudson, Wisconsin
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

We spent most of an afternoon here. We were a little worried that it would be a sad dolphin circus but it was so not that! It is a wonderful research and retirement facility for dolphins and sea lions. Pretty paths to wander around and read information about the birds (there is a small aviary) and animals. We watched the... More 

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Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 28, 2015 NEW

Had a wonderful time. The staff is very knowledgeable and friendly. As I was doing the dolphin encounter I rented a wetsuit from a local dive shop as the water temperature was a bit chilly in February.

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DeBary, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 27, 2015 NEW

We could have watched the trainers with the dolphins and sea lions all day! Great time and learned a lot. Go when you have lots of time. Dog friendly!

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Punta Gorda, Florida
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

We took our 9-year-old son here and he had the time of his life actually getting to meet dolphins up close and personal with a dockside encounter. Though we didn't do the swim we got plenty from this experience. Staff was very attentive and explanatory. A must for anyone who is curious about or simply loves dolphins. Very memorable!

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DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

It matters a lot to us that every guest enjoys visiting and feels that they learned more about the dolphins. Whether you spend the day with general admission or also choose an in-water or dockside interactive program, we offer something for everyone. It's clear that you and your family love dolphins and we're happy that you were able to connect... More 

New York City, New York
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

It was better than your average dolphin prison I've visited in the past. The dolphins actually seemed happy. I know they always have a smile on their face but they certainly didn't seem agitated. The trainers seemed to truly care. I hope the dolphins live a happy healthy life.

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DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Well, you certainly have an interesting perspective. Obviously we wouldn't categorize the dolphins' home as a prison, but the most important thing is that, as you saw, the dolphins are happy, well cared for, and the trainers and all of our staff and volunteers genuinely love them. Thanks for coming in to DRC. We are a nonprofit organization and your... More 

Baraboo
Senior Contributor
46 reviews 46 reviews
10 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 25, 2015 NEW

We did the dolphin dip with Pax and his trainer, Brennan. What a wonderful experience and what a lot of fun. It was so enjoyable to watch the dolphins playing before our encounter obviously enjoying ever minute. You can actually "feel the love" between the dolphins and their trainers and amongst themselves. This has been on my bucket list for... More 

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DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

The title of your review made us laugh! We're also glad that you enjoyed your experience doing Dolphin Dip. We'll make sure to tell Brennen and Pax. We can tell that you'll carry the adventure and the message in your heart and be a strong advocate for the environment, conservation and these amazing animals. Thank you so much for joining... More 

Mamaroneck, New York
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
6 attraction reviews
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

My kids 7 and 9 and I did the Dolphin swim. The other group who was supposed to be with us never showed so we had the guide and 2 dolphins to ourselves. we were able to really interact with them. They took some great pics of us which I had to pay 80.00 for in addition to the 200... More 

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DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We're glad that you had a great experience and really appreciate you spending some of your time, and your vacation budget, with us at Dolphin Research Center. Hopefully, you feel that you got great value and will enjoy your memories and your photographs for years to come. Thanks so much for visiting and for posting this review! More 

2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

This attraction is wonderful for people of all ages. The Dolphins are so entertaining there was a new baby dolphin the day we were there, You could watch the mama and baby swim around the pools. The staff was very knowledgable. Great place for young and old.

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DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

So happy to hear that you enjoyed your visit to Dolphin Research Center. Extra special day when you get to see a new baby! Thanks so much for coming in and for sharing about your visit with others! More 

Metro Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 24, 2015 NEW

It's a mini-campus, very educational, engaging, safe and fun. I went on their 'Encounter', got 'up-close and personal' with dolphins (both Cayo and Gypsie). Very safe, fun, structured, inspiring, dare I say, a religious experience. Could've stayed all day and still wanted more. Worth every cent. A "Must" for all nature lovers.

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DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Wow. It always means so much to us at DRC when we know that people visit, learn, have fun, and are inspired by the connection that they make with the dolphins, sea lions and staff. We're delighted that you enjoyed a memorable time and hope that you're able to visit again in the future. Thank you so much for coming... More 

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