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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
Closed 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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Up close n personal!

We were hesitant to visit the center because everything on the website looks like it was an extra fee. You do not need to do all the extra stuff to see these animals up close... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 8 August 2015
Jennifer P
via mobile
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1,954 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 1,700: English reviews
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 August 2015 via mobile

We were hesitant to visit the center because everything on the website looks like it was an extra fee. You do not need to do all the extra stuff to see these animals up close. They seem to be very happy to see us humans and the dolphins were actually communicating with us. It was amazing!!

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

We're so glad that you overcame your hesitation and gave Dolphin Research Center a chance to show you what we're all about! We want each guest to have a great time and know that doing an interactive program is not necessary for you to enjoy a terrific visit. There are narrated behavior sessions with the dolphins and sea lions as... More 

Bedford, Ohio
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 August 2015

This place was absolutely AMAZING! make sure to plan to spend your entire day here. At first, i thought the price for a dolphin encounter was a bit pricy but then when you take into account all of the other things that you can do here, it is well worth it. Also, your money is going to reasearch to help... More 

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

So glad that you had a great time visiting Dolphin Research Center and doing the Dolphin Encounter. Thanks for understanding that the money you pay for the program supports all of our mission-based activities -- first and foremost the care and home for the dolphins and sea lions. It's great that you planned to spend much of your day here.... More 

Beach City, Ohio
Level Contributor
35 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2015 via mobile

Awesome tour! The trainers and the dolphins are amazing. So cool to see the dolphins react and interact with the trainers. Worth every penny to see...you will not be disappointed!!!

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

We love that you had a great, fun time at Dolphin Research Center. Thanks so much for coming in and for telling other people about your experience! More 

Sarasota, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
33 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2015

The staff is very knowledgeable and patient. The dolphins are all characters!!! Well worth the price of admission and then some...

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

The dolphins are indeed characters. So glad that you enjoyed your visit. Thanks for coming in. More 

Mission Viejo, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 August 2015

Reservations fill up fast so get here early. We paid to enter and walk the property so we did not get up close and personal with the dolphins. The history of being where the 60s Flipper tv show was filmed is interesting. They don't play this up enough. Some of the property was under construction.

Helpful?
Thank weajd
Syracuse, New York
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2015

Most awesom eplace I hae ever been to encounter dolphins and seals! This place is remarkable! Not a typical Sea World or water animal show, not a show at all. You walk among the lagoons the dolphins natural habitat and stop and watch the research they are doing on the behaviors of each dolphin. This is a must if you... More 

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

Thank you so much for joining the family of DRC members. We're delighted that you regularly come to see the dolphins and sea lions and that you bring others to experience our facility. We appreciate your ongoing support of the nonprofit mission! More 

Kansas City, Missouri
Level Contributor
62 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2015

During our visit to Marathon my wife and I experienced the Dolphin Encounter, It was an amazing experience to interact with these wonderful and incredibly intelligence animals. I would recommend.

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

We're delighted that you and your wife enjoyed yourselves so much at Dolphin Research Center. We share your feeling that connecting with dolphins is pretty amazing. Thanks so much for including a visit here to do Dolphin Encounter in your Marathon vacation plans. We appreciate you sharing about your experience with others. More 

Anna Maria, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 August 2015

We stayed at Hawks Cay and had an amazing time at the Dolphin Conncection but since they have an age and height requirement, my youngest could not enjoy the water experience with us. Therefore, I splurged and we did the Dolphin Research Center 2 days later. I am VERY glad we did. WOW! swiming with dolphins is the BEST!!!! We... More 

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

When your family meets our family, great things happen! Thanks so much for splurging and visiting Dolphin Research Center in addition to Dolphin Connection. (Dolphin-based vacations are the best!) We're so glad that you had a wonderful time. Thanks for posting about your experience in a review! More 

Buffalo, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2015

My daughter absolutely loved swimming with the Dolphins. She was 11 at the time and the trainer was very sweet to her. The staff was very kind and it was apparent they love the Dolphins. iIf we are ever back in Marathon , she will definite be swimming with the Dolphins again.

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

We love that your daughter had a great experience and that you'd like to come back and have her swim with the dolphins again. It means a lot to us when visitors want to form an ongoing relationship with Dolphin Research Center. Thanks so much for your support! More 

Dorado, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 July 2015

Buyer Beware, had a bogus charge of $597 on my account ! Very Bad Experience, call customer service to ask for assitance they were unwilling to help.Beware, would not recomment, keep your credit card safe.

Helpful?
8 Thank dreamteampr1
DolphinResearchCtr, Public Relations Manager at Dolphin Research Center, responded to this review

No bogus charge was made to your credit card. You reserved Dolphin Encounter swims through our online reservation system. Unfortunately, you did not call to then cancel those reservations and you did not show up to do the program. Our policies for cancellations and no shows are included on our website on the page you go to in order to... More 

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