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Dolphin Research Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 58901 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Grassy Key, FL 33050-6019
Phone Number:
+1 305-289-1121
Today
09:00 - 16:30
Open now
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Hours:
Sun - Sat 09:00 - 16:30
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Description:

Dolphin Research Center is a nonprofit education and research facility....

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!

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 1,947 reviews
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    Excellent
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    Very good
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    Average
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    Terrible
Interesting place

We initially balked at the $28 entrance fee, but it's a good cause so we didn't mind by the time we left because we learned a lot and they are doing good work here with dolphins... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
TheOranges
,
Orlando, Florida
via mobile
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1,947 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,695: English reviews
Orlando, Florida
Level Contributor
338 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We initially balked at the $28 entrance fee, but it's a good cause so we didn't mind by the time we left because we learned a lot and they are doing good work here with dolphins that would not otherwise survive in the wild. It's worth an hour or so stop if you are passing this way.

Helpful?
1 Thank TheOranges
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW via mobile

We were slightly bummed... had expected there to be lots of things going on and offered activities. Unless you pay for the additional/upgrades experiences, it's an average visit with a high cost. We visited with a 7 & 10 year old, only held their attention for 45 min. Much of the area was under construction. For almost $100 for the... More 

Helpful?
Thank JessieJFam
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Thank you for visiting DRC and for providing your feedback. We always look for ways that we can improve our service and visitor experience. We have the narrated behavior sessions with the dolphins and sea lions as well as other educational presentations taking place about every half an hour so there should have been plenty to see and enjoy. May... More 

Greenbelt, Maryland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 days ago NEW

The staff helped us to have a great experience. We didn't purchase any of the "experience packages" but there was still a lot to see/do!

Helpful?
Thank OnTheGo5763
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

So glad you had a great experience. Our staff loves to help visitors! Thank you so much for coming in and for telling others about us. More 

Boise, Idaho
Level Contributor
32 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 days ago NEW via mobile

We did thee encounter and it was amazing. Even if you don't do the encounter, the staff is so great with the dolphins and you will learn so much. This experience of swimming with the dolphins is unforgettable one.

Helpful?
Thank Terri B
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We know that the dolphins and our staff enjoyed interacting with you when you did the Dolphin Encounter. Thanks so much for visiting. We're happy that you had a great time! More 

Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

My husband and I spent a wonderful afternoon here watching the dolphins and the sea otters. We watched, training and we also caught a few very informative programs We became members and went back for another visit.

Helpful?
Thank Sue U
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Welcome to the DRC family! We're so happy that you enjoyed seeing the dolphins and sea lions and various programs that we offer. Thanks so much for your support as members and for your positive review. We hope to see you again soon! More 

Olney, Illinois
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

We didn't do any encounters but really enjoyed the center. Lots to see and do. We had our 3 year old and 13 month old grandchildren and it was perfect activity.

Helpful?
Thank jar325
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

So happy to hear that you and your grandchildren enjoyed your visit. We do our best to make sure that there's always something interesting to watch with the dolphins and sea lions and to provide a fun, quality experience for all ages. Thank you for visiting and for telling others about us! More 

Richmond, VA
Level Contributor
86 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

We didn't do any of the interactions, just simply observed. It was beautiful to watch and also see the care that the trainers and others took with the dolphins. They also have sea lions and an aviary. Little pricey for just general admission but it seemed like it was going for a good cause, not just a profit attraction.

Helpful?
Thank smb4x4
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Happy to hear that you enjoyed spending time observing the dolphins, sea lions and birds at Dolphin Research Center. It's our favorite thing to do, that's for sure! As a nonprofit organization, we rely on guests like you coming through the doors in order to provide the finest care and home for the animals in our family and to sustain... More 

Naples, Florida
Level Contributor
50 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Great for all ages. From the full ticket of the full interaction with the dolphins to a regular ticket for observation, this is a must do if you are staying in the middle Keys. Staff is extremely knowledgeable and eager to answer your questions. Dolphins are well cared for and free to go if they choose. We have been several... More 

Helpful?
Thank MaryAnn R
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Thanks for being a repeat visitor. Hopefully you've also taken advantage of becoming a member so that your admission is free for the year! One thing we do need to clarify is that the dolphins are free to choose whether or not they participate with us in any session. However, they are not free to leave the facility for many... More 

Wailea, Hawaii
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

Our grandchildren swam with the dolphins and it is something they will remember the rest of their lives. It is obvious the staff loves working with the mammals and people. Our dog loves to visit too.

Helpful?
Thank mauimama2016
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We're happy to hear that you, your family and your dog enjoyed visiting Dolphin Research Center. Thanks so much for coming to see us and for telling others about your experience. More 

Indianapolis
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

We had a great experience. My kids had never done swimming with dolphins and they had a great time. I have swam with dolphins in Mexico several times and I had better instructors. We had Danielle and she was very dry and we finished before any of the other groups. This shortened our time by 10-15 minutes. Best advice: ask... More 

Helpful?
Thank Drkatie
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

We're sorry to hear that your experience didn't fit your expectations, particularly if your kids had a great time. All of the trainers work hard to provide you with a quality, fun experience. Sometimes, depending on the day and the dolphins, an Encounter might run a little longer than the usual time, but we're careful not to shortchange anyone and... More 

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