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Dolphin Research Center

58901 Overseas Highway, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
305-289-1121
Website
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Ranked #1 of 1 attractions in Grassy Key
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Aquariums, Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks
Activities: Swimming with dolphins
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... more » 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! « less
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
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799 reviews from our community

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Saarland
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
5 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2014 NEW

You can watch dolphins up close, the prices for a dolphin encounter are unreasonably high. We stayed there and saw one dolphin demonstration, watched 2 baby dolphins.

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

Thanks so much for visiting Dolphin Research Center for a couple of hours to watch the behavior demonstrations. We're glad that you got to see the youngest members of our dolphin family - Windley and Diva - too! We know budgets are always a concern when on vacation and are sorry that the Dolphin Encounter couldn't be included. We do... More

Fort William, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014 NEW

I was lucky to get the last place on the dolphin encounter, so best to book in advance. The setting is so tranquil beautiful gardens, very informative and friendly staff who obviously care deeply for the dolphins. I have a bad leg and staff assisted me to get close to Flagler, without them I would not have been able to.... More

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

We're happy to know that you were able to get into the Dolphin Encounter. This time of year is super busy for us, and most of the spots are reserved in advance with only a few walk-in places available and those are snapped up right away in the morning. Sorry to hear that you weren't able to purchase the pendant... More

London
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 22, 2014 NEW

We visited as a family with a 20 month old boy and felt that the Dolphin Research Centre really lived up to the great reviews. The place seems very much geared up the welfare of the animals without compromising on a really fascinating guest experience and our boy was delighted to get so close to the Dolphins who are all... More

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

We love that you and your son had a terrific time seeing the dolphins and sea lions at Dolphin Research Center. You're correct in that the welfare of the animals that live here is our top concern. In addition to taking great care of them, we also want to inspire every visitor to care about them not only here, but... More

Grove City, Pennsylvania
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 21, 2014 NEW

Rainbow was amazing he stole my heart. He was attacked by a shark and can never return to the wild. He waved goodbye and I was just talking to him as he was resting. The staff was also awesome!

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

Tammy, it sounds like two of our guys might have stolen your heart. Rainbow is the big male that likes to rest in that corner area near the bridge. He seems to enjoy the attention from guests that stop there and talk to him. Plus, he can listen through the bridge to what the dolphins are doing in the front... More

Lumberton, New Jersey
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2014 NEW

We participated in the Dolphin Dip and it was simply amazing. The staff made our experience very special and are VERY knowledgeable about the dolphins. It is a little pricey for a larger family but totally worth the family memory. I highly recommend buying the digital photo package because the pics are great and it is a good value.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We're so glad that you feel your experience in Dolphin Dip was memorable and that you learned more about these amazing dolphins. We know that budget is a consideration in every family's vacation plans and appreciate that you participated here with us. The program fees help us to provide the finest care and home for the dolphins and sea lions... More

Jefferson City, Missouri
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2014

It was my lifelong dream to get into the water with the dolphins. We took a trip to Florida and I was determined to do just that. I researched and researched on the web all the places you can get into the water with the dolphins. I am not a good swimmer, so I needed a place to just stand... More

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

We love hearing when visiting Dolphin Research Center and getting up close to our dolphin family helps someone fulfill a lifelong dream. We're so happy to know that the way we present the program truly met your particular needs. Your experience matters to all of us. Thanks so much for visiting and for sharing about your experience with others! More

Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

This place is pretty cool. You can see dolphins and sea lions. There are several programs for interacting with the animals for an extra fee.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Thanks so much for including Dolphin Research Center in your vacation plans. We appreciate you visiting to see the dolphins and sea lions and then telling others about us with your review! More

Marathon, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

The Dolphin Research Center is the most wonderful place to visit. They are not just there for entertainment, although that is an amazing part of what they do there. They run and publish research on their work with the dolphins. They also now have a degree program available. You can swim with the dolphins (reservations and additional fee required), or... More

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

Eileen, thanks so much for being a member and frequent visitor. DRC can't be who we are without the support and love of our member family! We appreciate you bringing in your friends so that they also enjoy and grow to love the dolphins and sea lions and become part of our nonprofit mission. We appreciate you sharing about your... More

Staunton, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

We visited AGAIN for the 10+ time because it is always educational and relaxing. Love the walking area and the lagoons!

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

10+ times? We hope you've become members so that you can enjoy free admission on your visits! Thanks so much for coming back and being so enthusiastic in your support. We love it! We appreciate you telling others about your visit and hope to see you again soon. More

Marathon, Florida
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014

We live in Marathon and are members of the Dolphin Center. It's not just a dolphin show, but a research facility where they are studied and trained. Visitors can move from pod to pod watching the training sessions, also take in a movie about dolphins. Bring a sack lunch and stay for a while among the beautiful landscaping. There's also... More

Was this review helpful? Yes
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We love to hear that our Marathon neighbors become members and visit us often. Thanks so much for joining the DRC family and supporting the mission. We're glad that you enjoy spending time seeing the dolphins and sea lions and appreciate you encouraging others to do the same. See you soon! More

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