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“Check out the family membership option if you visit more than once”

Dolphin Research Center
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$155.88*
and up
Dolphin Research Center and Florida Keys Tour
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: 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!
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed March 9, 2014

We rented a house for two weeks just across the bay from the Dolphin Research Center and knew our 2 year old would love it. If you are staying nearby and think you may make multiple visits during your vacation, I highly recommend becoming a member. The staff is helpful and can explain the membership levels to you. The price of a year-long membership was almost the same as the daily rate for 4 adults and one toddler. By becoming members we were able to bring back two guests on another date and had free admission for the two of us and our toddler as many times as we liked. This is a great little non-profit and it is much more personable than a SeaWorld type place. You can watch most of the dolphin sessions under a covered walkway (so nice to be out of the sun!) and my toddler was thrilled to see the dolphins up close. There was also a splash pad, a cute little waterfall fountain, and low-key educational games that you can do as you please. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and took questions at every session I attended. I would highly recommend this over any of the more show-oriented attractions in the Keys.

Thank ChampCamp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2014

Thanks so much for becoming a member of the DRC family! We're so happy that you visited and took advantage of this option. Your membership supports the care of the dolphins and sea lions and other aspects of our non-profit mission. Now that you're members, you'll also receive newsletters, a discount in the Gift Shop, and other benefits for the year so we can keep in touch.

So glad that you had a good time seeing our presentations with the dolphins and sea lions. All of us truly enjoy talking to guests. It's fun to share our marine mammal family with everyone.

We appreciate you positing this review and hope that you're able to visit again soon.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"dolphin encounter"
in 289 reviews
"swim with the dolphins"
in 158 reviews
"sea world"
in 77 reviews
"general admission"
in 81 reviews
"non profit"
in 77 reviews
"hand signals"
in 23 reviews
"once in a lifetime"
in 34 reviews
"bucket list"
in 43 reviews
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in 40 reviews
"money goes"
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in 25 reviews
"key west"
in 60 reviews
"marine life"
in 22 reviews
"turtle hospital"
in 22 reviews
"sea lions"
in 160 reviews
"fish"
in 25 reviews
"love dolphins"
in 39 reviews
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1,367 - 1,371 of 2,318 reviews

Reviewed March 8, 2014

Far more interesting than the places who just concentrate on performances. Informative as well as fun day for the family or like me, mad on animals. Although I didn't get involved with the interaction with the dolphins this time - was extremely impressed with the care & time (not at all rushed) the staff took with those that did - children as young as three (obviously with parents) getting close up with the dolphins - wonderful to see. Spacious areas for the dolphins, clean & dedicated staff, who obviously enjoy the work. Excellent, highly recommended.

Thank Alison W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded March 10, 2014

Thanks so much for visiting and for posting this positive review. We're glad that you had a fun day coming to Dolphin Research Center!

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Reviewed March 3, 2014

Very fun to see the dolphins, etc. We were there on a cold and windy day so didn't stay long. Love to see the interaction the trainers have with the dolphins. They are so dedicated!

Thank Peggy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Oh, what a shame that it was one of the colder days in the Florida Keys when you visited. Usually, the weather is terrific throughout the year. We're happy that you didn't let it keep you from coming into Dolphin Research Center and that you had a good time. Thanks so much for visiting and for telling others about us!

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Reviewed March 3, 2014

up close and personal with the dolphins and employees so helpful! Spent the entire afternoon there and could not get enough of the dolphins !

Thank Susan C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded March 4, 2014

Thanks for spending your afternoon with us while you were vacationing from New York. We're happy that you had a great time and appreciate you telling others about your trip!

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Reviewed February 27, 2014

Friendly place and a lot all on one. Food also available. Good place for kids. Nice area for kids to play.

Thank TeamWildBird
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this reviewResponded February 28, 2014

We do our best to offer a good variety of activities, narrated behavior sessions, educational presentations and other things for visitors to experience and enjoy. We're glad that you had a good time when you visited. Thanks so much for coming in and for telling others about your trip. Much appreciated!

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