Dolphin Research Center
Dolphin Research Center
4.5
Nature & Wildlife Areas
Read more
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Write a review
About
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. Watch and learn all about these amazing animals including dolphin maternity, social groupings, physiology, natural abilities and more. 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, Family Dolphin Splash, Ultimate Trainer for a Day, VIP Experience half-day program, Researcher Experience half-day program and Paint with a Dolphin. Most of our dolphins were born here. Others have come to us for reasons -- including those who were injured and rescued as youngsters and deemed non-releasable by the government. We provide them with a safe, healthy, happy home for life.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.

Top ways to experience Dolphin Research Center and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
2,821 reviews
Excellent
2,178
Very good
433
Average
122
Poor
46
Terrible
42

Sandra P
Hilton Head, SC214 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
You have to make. Reservation online . The center is amazing and the dolphins are beautiful. I did the family dolphin splash but there are several to choose from. The trainers are knowledgeable and enjoy their jobs. I learned new information about the dolphins. You will enjoy the experience.
Written 28 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Shawn H
Prosperity, SC4 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
This was the highlight of our trip. Even my teenagers enjoyed. Don’t miss this sweet stop to see dolphins up close and personal.
Written 27 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mby1day
Orlando, FL40 contributions
Aug 2022
This was a very nice , well kept place. It's very educational, the animals are always training and looks like they are having a good time.
Written 8 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

KrisB
Hudson, FL4 contributions
Aug 2022 • Family
This is an attraction absolutely worth your time and money. We visited twice. The first time, we paid the general admission price and just visited for a few hours. We were able to attend two sessions with trainers, watched lots of dolphin behavior and training, and asked unlimited questions. Then, my two of my kids wanted to go back so we booked a trainer for a day experience, which was much less expensive than other trainer for a day I’ve seen at Sea World or Discovery Cove. They were there (ages 18&11) from 9 until 4 and talked about the experience for days. It was amazing. I can’t recommend this place highly enough. Completely worth it!!
Written 4 August 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

BenMN80
Boise, ID46 contributions
Jul 2022
We reserved our entry at the dolphin research center ahead of time. There is really quite a bit to look at and do. When we first showed up, we were in the middle of one of the medical times at the front lagoon. And we just sat and watched and asked questions and talked with one of the workers. It was really fun to see the dolphins interacting with the staff members.

Next, we explored and walked around a little bit. It was fun to see the dolphins swim right up near the walkways and look at us with curious eyes. There were a few other presentations that we watched. There was one that focused on training dolphins. And then there was a more general discussion of dolphins. Both of them were a lot of fun and the center staff members made things extremely interesting and interactive.

We had a great time and would definitely recommend the dolphin research center two others looking to learn more about dolphins and the dolphin trainers.
Written 23 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Penfold0308191323
28 contributions
Jul 2022
This was a thoroughly memorable experience for our family. We all took turns to either splash/handshake/dance with a couple of dolphins (Diva and Cacica), we also had a swim with them whilst holding onto their dorsal fin and we also gave them a kiss!
We would recommend this to any family visiting the Keys who are interested in dolphins. The trainers did touch a little on the dolphins they have rescued but I think the majority of their dolphins had been born at the centre.
Written 23 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Lizbethp11
55 contributions
Apr 2022
I did the ultimate trainer for a day experience. I would do it again in a heartbeat! Every employee I was in contact with was so nice! They take the time to answer any questions you might have. I worked with several of the trainers and got to interact with eight different dolphins. You can tell the trainers love what they do, and the dolphins love them back! I love that the dolphins are never forced to do anything. They know they will get fed even if they don't do want is being asked of them. Let's face it, we all have days where we don't want to do certain things! I hope to go back one day and do the program again! I got to have dolphins paint a t-shirt for me, and I got to get in the water with them. The day was a dream come true.
Written 22 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

AJ
3 contributions
Jul 2022
Cool place to visit and helps a great cause, educational but in a fund way. Be sure to bring a swimsuit even if you are NOT going to swim with the Dolphins as they have a splash pad for kids of all ages.
Written 21 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mark R
Virginia Beach, VA45 contributions
Jul 2022 • Family
Excellent place to interact with the dolphins. Staff is very knowledgeable and loved the day with the family and dolphins. Wish we could have seen the otters but construction was in process
Written 19 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

CTmom257
Stamford, CT2 contributions
Jul 2022
We wanted to go to a place that could share knowledge about dolphins...this place is second to none. The staff there is terrific, well-trained, and extremely knowledgeable about every aspect of the animals and their care. They spent lots of time with us, were very clear about all instructions and safety...and we had lots of fun and learned a lot! Thank you!!! It was expensive - but money well-spent. Skip the Disney experience...this is SO much better and humane.
Written 12 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 2,495
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

DOLPHIN RESEARCH CENTER (Grassy Key) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Dolphin Research Center

Dolphin Research Center is open:
  • Sun - Sat 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

We recommend booking Dolphin Research Center tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 1 Dolphin Research Center tours on Tripadvisor