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“Great time with the Dolphins!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Dolphin Research Center

Dolphin Research Center
58901 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050-6019
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Ranked #2 of 15 Attractions in Marathon
Type: Wharfs/ Piers/ Boardwalks, Nature/ Wildlife Areas, Zoos & Aquariums
Activities: Swimming with dolphins
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Attraction details
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 young children, Activities for older children
Marathon, Florida
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
56 helpful votes 56 helpful votes
“Great time with the Dolphins!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

Yesterday we went there to see what the Dolphin Research Center was all about. What we found was a large group of people who are very dedicated to the dolphins. They all looked happy and were enjoying their jobs from the trainers to the cashiers. They were all very helpful and informed.
We chose the Dolphin Explorer program and we were not disappointed. We were able to work with Pax a 14 year old male dolphin one on one. We were able to get out on a floating platform up close and personal. We gave him signals and made him to some tricks. We talked to the researcher who works with him and she taught us all kinds of things. We were able to pet him and talk to him. Dolphins LOVE human attention. These mammals are extremely intelligent and love to learn.
This center is a non profit place and spend about $800,000 on fish alone in one year. They have approximately 80 employees who work there. Some of them are volunteers.
If you and your family come to the Keys please come and visit this place. It is amazing and adults and children will have a great day learning about these wonderful mammals.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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982 reviews from our community

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Saint James City, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Love the dolphins”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 19, 2012

I did not swim with them, but love to watch them swimming and playing. They do a great job. Everyone needs to visit the Dolphin Research Center......and the Turtle Hospital. Don't leave Marathon without doing these two places.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bellbrook, OH
Top Contributor
127 reviews 127 reviews
49 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
90 helpful votes 90 helpful votes
“Nice place to view dolphins close up.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

This is my fourth visit to Dolphin Research Center. After seeing the movie "The Cove", I always have mixed feelings about dolphins in captivity. I understand that educating the public about these amazing animals is important but each time I go, I feel like they are doing less educating of the public and more tourist type activities. I wish they had something in place that the first things visitors do is see a movie about how important it is to save the oceans and all the ocean creatures and how much trouble our oceans are in and how the dolphins depend on this. Also would be nice to hear how they are different than the other dolphin programs that just take tourist dollars.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jacksonville, Florida
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Grandkids rated this a can't miss”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 14, 2012

The Grand kids have rated this attraction "can't miss" (ages 7 & 5). My wife decided that the Play with the Dolphins, would be their entry level of participation.("offered Monday through Sunday afternoons. The cost of this program is $60.00 plus admission for visitors ages 5 to adult. Children under the age of 8 must be accompanied by a participating adult. Available on a walk-in basis only, space is limited to 6 participants, and is offered daily"). They completed a voluntary "test" that gave them much insight into the park,history and the stars of the shows. I do believe my wife enjoyed this as much or more than the GK. Small water park for the kids to burn up some energy. Friendly, knowledgeable staff. All monies go to the maintenance of the animals/facilities.

Visited October 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“A truly special place!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 13, 2012

We spent two amazing weeks in Florida but the Dolphin research Center was easily the highlight. The dedication and work of the staff here is inspiring – the emphasis is not about getting visitors to part with their cash, it’s about education through fun and ensuring people leave knowing more about dolphins. We did the Trainer for a Day program and it was worth every cent. Our trainer, Sam, was so friendly and knowledgeable – our kids said it was the best day of their lives and haven’t stopped talking about it since! We also did the dolphin experience at Discovery Cove in Orlando but it wasn’t nearly as good as this.

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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