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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

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    Terrible
A good experience... if a little pricey

That said, it's all for the good cause. Lots of narrated programs, lots of dolphins, sea lions, even some exotic birds to see -- the hands-on stuff is pricey but it's worth the... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 2 November 2015
JoeP7494
,
Colonie, New York
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2,035 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,777: English reviews
Colonie, New York
Level Contributor
23 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 November 2015

That said, it's all for the good cause. Lots of narrated programs, lots of dolphins, sea lions, even some exotic birds to see -- the hands-on stuff is pricey but it's worth the visit. Informative and entertaining. Stop by the Marathon Visitors Center for discount coupons to save a buck or two -- but it's a not-for-profit enterprise.

Helpful?
1 Thank JoeP7494
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Thanks so much for coming to Dolphin Research Center. We know that some of our interactive programs are priced higher than some peoples' budget. We appreciate you understanding that we are a nonprofit organization. The admission fees and interactive programs directly support the care and home of the animals and the other aspects of our mission. We're glad that you... More 

Littleton, Colorado
Level Contributor
72 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2015

My wife is a member here and we visit fairly regularly. it is a great place to watch trainers work with dolphins and take them through some of their behaviors on a regular basis. They also feature sea lions. The trainers explain how the dolphins respond to commands and they also have a lagoon with very young dolphins born in... More 

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

First and foremost, thank you so much for being members. Dolphin Research Center could not be who/what we are, or accomplish what we do without the ongoing support of members and donors. We love that you visit on a regular basis. It's always good to see members on grounds. Thank you for sharing about your experiences with others! Much appreciated.... More 

Omaha
Level Contributor
30 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 October 2015

There is no guilt in this animal experience, because you know that the animals that live here are in their home. And, it is a home that takes care of them, and works to promote marine awareness. Great staff and overall a fun, learning experience.

Helpful?
Thank Nebraska2go
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Thank you for recognizing the care and commitment we have for the dolphins and sea lions that live in the Dolphin Research Center family. We always want visitors to feel good about coming here to experience and learn about the animals. We appreciate your visit and your kind words. More 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Level Contributor
66 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2015

My family had a fun time visiting here. My 5 year old loved seeing the dolphins up close. Very hot in Aug.!

Helpful?
1 Thank Nash111
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Yes, it can be quite hot in August. Hopefully you and your youngster spent some time cooling off in the Sprayground that we have at Dolphin Research Center. Thanks so much for braving the heat to visit the dolphins and sea lions and for telling others about your visit in this review! More 

CT
Level Contributor
28 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2015

We have been so many times to visit our "adopted" Dolphins . The animals are amazing, the staff so friendly, a great way to spend the day.

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

DRC members like you are the best! Thank you so much for your ongoing support of the dolphins and sea lions and the other important aspects of the Dolphin Research Center research, education and manatee rescue mission. We hope that we always fulfill your expectations and that you continue to be part of our family. More 

New York City, New York
Level Contributor
328 reviews
123 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 141 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 27 October 2015

The staff really seems to care about what they do and it's kind of infectious. Many different demonstrations of sea lions and dolphins, well-narrated with a lot of passion. Activities available for additional fees - we did the dolphin painting which was fun for kids (and accompanying adults). If you get a chance to see the manatee presentation I'd recommend... More 

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

It's true that there aren't any manatees in New York, so we're glad that we were able to teach you about this endangered species. They definitely need the help of all humans in order to continue to survive! We're delighted that you and your family enjoyed your visit to DRC. Your admission and program fees directly supports our nonprofit mission... More 

Southington
Level Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2015

DRC is always on our list of Must Stop and Visit. The grounds are continually improving, the staff changes from time to time but are always friendly and willing to answer any questions asked. The Dolphin encounters are exciting and informative. We always learn something new with each visit. We have swam with the Dolphins and have had them paint... More 

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

Thank you so much for your ongoing support of Dolphin Research Center and our nonprofit mission. Your visits and participation in the programs help us to do so many things, including the Wounded Warrior visits, research, education, manatee rescue and so much more. We're so happy to hear that you feel that you learn something every time that you visit.... More 

Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Level Contributor
27 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 October 2015

This was my first time swimming with Dolphins and I picked the best. Why you asked. It is a non profit the care team love what the do and have a great relationship with the Dolphins. The biggest seller was they do a lot for our Wounded Warriors program so they can come in and enjoy the interaction with the... More 

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

We know that people have several choices of where to see and experience dolphins, particularly in our lovely Florida Keys. All of us are so happy that you came to Dolphin Research Center and that we fulfilled your expectations. Thank you so much for your support. You're right that your visit helps our entire mission, not only the care and... More 

Williamsport, IN
Level Contributor
31 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2015

This is a must see if you are interested in dolphins or the ocean environment. Activity choices for children and families are an additional cost, but looked like a lot of fun for those of us who were watching. The only reason I marked it as 4 instead of 5 stars was there was some audience members talking during a... More 

Helpful?
Thank Home28
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

Sorry to hear that some other audience members were distracting you during some of the sessions, but we are very happy to know that you had a lot of fun visiting and watching the dolphins in action. Just as important is that you came away from the experience with greater knowledge and, hopefully, understanding of the dolphins and sea lions... More 

Salem, Oregon
Level Contributor
181 reviews
86 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 October 2015

If you are driving through the Florida Keys, you should not pass up the opportunity to visit this attraction! The work being done here to study -- and sometimes rehabilitate -- dolphins is admirable, and your visit helps support these efforts. Even better, however, you have many opportunities to observe the dolphins as the trainers work with them. As they... More 

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

We love it when guests like you spend time with us and have the chance to watch several of the behavior sessions that we share with the dolphins and sea lions. We vary the sessions throughout the day for the dolphins' benefit and find that guests really enjoy this approach too because it opens up the door to learning even... More 

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