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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 older children, Activities for young children
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790 reviews from our community

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Staunton, Virginia
Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
10 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 15, 2014 NEW

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

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

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Atlanta, Georgia
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW

We had seven folks in our group; two adults and five teenagers. We did the swim with the dolphins experience and everyone had a great time getting to know our two dolphins and getting pulled around the water for a few minutes. It was not a cheap visit but everyone felt it was worth the expense. In addition to swimming... More

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

Thanks so much for coming to Dolphin Research Center. We know there are different places where people can interact with dolphins and we appreciate you choosing us. The money paid for admission or interactive programs supports the care and home of the marine mammal family as well as the other aspects of our nonprofit mission. We're glad that you had... More

Boulder, Colorado
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW

We visit the DRC every time we're in the Keys. They are a genuine research facility, not just a captive animal entertainment show. They conduct actual research, rescue and rehabilitation. They educate visitors on marine life, climate and ecology. It is a wonderful experience.

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

Welcome back! Hopefully you get to visit the Florida Keys, and Dolphin Research Center, often. Are you a DRC member? Thanks so much for sharing about your experience of us with others here in your review. We appreciate all of your support and hope you visit again soon. More

Tega Cay, South Carolina
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 14, 2014 NEW via mobile

We had the BEST time at the dolphin research center! We chose to do the "Dolphin dip" it was approximately $500 for a family of four but well worth it! We stood on a submerged dock about waist deep, we then got to interact with the dolphin! We pet him, gave him high fives, we even had a splash fight... More

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

Splash fights with a dolphin are the best! (You might have noticed that those flippers seem to give the dolphin the advantage!) We're happy to hear that your family enjoyed the Dolphin Dip program. We appreciate you spending some of your vacation with all of us at Dolphin Research Center. Thanks for sharing about your experience with others, too! More

Sebring, Florida
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014 NEW

This is a large establishment with multiple pens for dolphins; mother & baby, different ages, those being trained & those being treated for injury or sickness. There is also an area where visitors can swim with the animals. Many students work here as well.

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

Glad you had a chance to see all of our dolphin family during the educational, narrated sessions while you were visiting. Thanks so much for coming in to Dolphin Research Center and for telling others about us in your review. More

Westover, Maryland
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
10 attraction reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 11, 2014 NEW

Great place to meet a dolphins. Opportunities to swim, but pay extra. Great show and information about our friends. A must see if in the Florida keys.

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

We're glad that we made a good first impression on your first visit to Dolphin Research Center. Hopefully, it won't be your last! Thanks for including us in your vacation plans and for telling others about us with your review. More

Kalamazoo, Michigan
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014 NEW

My children (12 & 15) did the dolphin swim and loved it. It's very expensive though. $199 each for about 30 min in water. All shows were excellent and staff was very informative. We talked with several students who answered many questions as well. Our entire family loved it! Make a reservation a day in advance so you do not... More

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

We're happy to know that you all enjoyed your visit and your Dolphin Encounter. We know that budgets are always an important consideration and deeply appreciate your support. The money for general admissions and interactive programs helps us provide the finest care and home for the dolphins and sea lions and also supports the rest of our education and research... More

Big Pine Key, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014 NEW

My girlfriend, her daughter, her daughter's friend and myself enjoyed meeting the dolphins and watching what they can do. They try to keep you entertained and educate you at the same time. I do eco tours 25 miles to the west of this facility and people are always asking if they might see dolphins. Sometimes you see them a few... More

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

Mike, thanks so much for both the review and the referrals. Local support is always appreciated! More

Santa Clarita, California
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 10, 2014 NEW

AMAZING describes our 1/2 day spent here. Everyone, including the owner, was beyond nice, patient and informative. There were plenty of dolphins to see, each show was narrated by a well informed and well spoken employee. The grounds were very clean and easy to navigate. There are a few seal, parrots but a lot of dolphins. They offer a wide... More

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

Thanks so much. We think you're nice, too! We're glad to hear that you and your family had such a great time at Dolphin Research Center. We appreciate you including us in your vacation plans! Whichever dolphin painted your daughter's shirt, we're sure she'll enjoy her wearable art. Thanks again for visiting and also for telling people about your experience. More

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