Wheeee!

Dolphins of all ages swim, splash and play in their natural seawater home at Dolphin Research Center. Areas of Study

Natural Beauty

Dolphin Research Center embraces a natural, relaxing, island way-of-life at our beautiful location right on Florida Bay (Gulf of Mexico) in the fabulous Florida Keys. Visitor Info

A Double Rainbow!

Rainbow, one of the largest, most athletic of the DRC pod, soars in the beautiful sky in front of a colorful rainbow. Help DRC

Undying Love

Co-Founder Mandy Rodriguez can still be seen playing with his animal family after 30+ years. Our History

Lovely Lady

In addition to dolphins, DRC is also home to three California sea lions, including Karen. read more

Come Meet Our Family

Most of the dolphins were born here. Others have joined the family for a variety of reasons. Each is promised a secure, healthy home for life. Our Animal Family

Research Rocks!

Co-Founder Mandy Rodriguez Cheers Talon on! Current Research

Wow Factor!

Experience dolphins’ amazing athleticism, learn about their intelligence, and enjoy their “dolphinalities." Education

This Could Be You!

Swim with dolphins – the ultimate vacation thrill! Join in the Fun!
Programs
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Dolphin Research Center offers a variety of terrific programs where you can interact with members of our pod. Use the slider below to see all our programs and click on the photo to learn more or make a reservation.
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Dolphin Encounter


Availability: Daily. Advance reservations recommended. Private Encounters available at additional cost starting at $850 for 1-3 people. Call 305 289-0002 for more details
Price: $199 per person. Toddler under 5 yrs $50 - includes all day admission for participant(s)
Program Duration: 20-25 mins in-water. Including check-in, anticipate being at DRC for up to 2 hrs
Age/Restrictions:
  • 5 yrs and up. Children under 8 yrs must be accompanied by participating adult.
  • Toddlers under 5 yrs must be held on adult hip for duration of program and do not do the dorsal pull.
  • For safety and liability reasons, pregnant ladies are unable to participate in this program
    Reservations for Guests with Disabilities: Dolphin Research Center welcomes guests with disabilities. For your safety and to ensure the optimum experience, we would like to handle your reservation personally. Please click here for further information

    Experience a unique thrill of a lifetime when you get an up-close look at the beauty and intelligence of our dolphins in this deep and shallow in-water experience. A memory that will last forever!

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    Dolphin Dip


    Availability: Daily. Advance rez recommended.
    Price: $119 per person. Under 5 yrs $50. Incl. admission
    Program Duration: 20-25 mins in-water
    Ages/Restrictions:
  • Participating adult must accompany children under 8
  • Children under 5 must be held on adult (18+ Yrs) hip
  • For safety and liability reasons, pregnant ladies are unable to participate in this program
    Guests with disabilities, to reserve a program, Please click here

    This small group activity program is perfect for families and people of all ages! Plunge into fun and interact with a dolphin while you stand on a submerged platform.

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    Trainer for a Day


    Availability: Daily. Advance reservations only
    Price: $675.00 per person. Includes all day admission for participant(s)
    Program Duration: Full Day
    Age: Participating adult must accompany children 12 and under but please note: this program is not geared for younger children

    THE ULTIMATE EXPERIENCE. Accompany trainers all day during this intensive interactive adventure!

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    Researcher for a Day


    Availability: Monday -Friday. Advance reservations only
    Price: $675.00 per person. Includes all day admission for participant(s)
    Program Duration: Full Day
    Age: 5 and up but this program is not geared for younger children. Participating adult must accompany children 12 and under

    Enter the world of dolphin intelligence and spend a day as part of our research team!

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    General Admission


    Price:
    Adults: $25.00, Military & Veterans (present military ID): $22.00,
    Children 4-11: $20.00
    Children 3 and under: Free

    Purchase a General Admission and spend some time getting to know our dolphin and sea lion family!

    PLEASE NOTE:
    General Admission does not include hands-on contact with any marine mammals. Interactive programs can be purchased over and above the General Admission.

    Dolphin Research Center offers wheelchair accessible restrooms. Pathways provide easy maneuverability around the facility.

    Dolphin Research Center is pet friendly and welcomes dogs that are leashed or harnessed

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    Play with the Dolphin


    Availability: Daily. Walk-in basis only
    Price: $60 plus admission
    Program Duration: Approximately one half hour
    Age/Restrictions:
  • 5 yrs and up
  • Participating adult must accompany children under 8
  • Detail:
    Join in a dolphin playtime session, have some fun - and expect to get splashed!

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    Dolphin Explorer


    Availability: Daily. Walk-in basis only
    Price: $75 plus admission
    Program Duration: Approximately one half hour.
    Age/Restrictions:
  • Ages 5 and up
  • Participating adult must accompany children under 8
  • English a MUST
  • To fully enjoy this program it requires you to have the ability to stand and kneel on a floating platform
  • Detail:
    Discover the excitement of research while having fun with the dolphins!

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    Paint with a Dolphin


    Availability: Daily. Walk-in basis only
    Price: $65 plus admission
    Program Duration: Approximately 10 mins interaction
    Age/Restrictions:
  • 3 yrs and up
  • Participating adult must accompany children under 8 or an adult may come down with a child for a nominal fee of $10 with no interaction included

    Detail:
    Meet your dolphin artist and hold the shirt while they paint it for you!

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    Meet the Dolphin


    Availability: Several times daily. Walk-in basis only
    Price: $25 per person plus admission
    Program Duration: Plan for approximately one half hour observing the session. 10 mins interaction time
    Age/Restrictions: 1 and up. Participating adult must accompany children under 8.

    Detail:
    If you've craved the chance to touch a dolphin, this is for you!

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    Hug a Sea Lion


    Availability: Limited Availability - Walk-in Basis Only
    Price:
    $30 plus admission
    Program Duration: Approx 20 mins in habitat including your hug
    Age/Restrictions: 5yrs and up. Participating adult must accompany children under 8
    Details: Hugged a sea lion today? Here?s your chance!
    Research
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    Research Spotlight

    DRC's staff and dolphins are currently working on a number of cognitive and behavioral research projects that relate to their overarching goal of mapping the dolphin mind and understanding how dolphins think and learn. Check here to see what's in the research spotlight, publication announcements and details of DRC findings. This information is also featured in a bi-monthly newsletter for members.

    Education
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    College of Marine Mammal Professions

    The CMMP, the College of Marine Mammal Professions, offers an Associate of Science Degree in Marine Mammal Behavior, Care and Training, with the intention of expanding and offering other degrees within the field of marine mammal professions. Established in 2012, CMMP was conceived in response to the limited availability of licensed and accredited professional educational programs that prepare individuals for careers regarding the behavior, care and training of marine mammals.

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    DolphinLabs for You

    Our DolphinLab programs offer a combination of educational seminars, workshops, demonstrations, in water and hands-on learning activities with our dolphins, sea lions and staff family. Three DolphinLab programs, DolphinLab Adult, DolphinLab Teen and DolphinLab Group, are available and suited for any learning level. Some DolphinLab programs also offer the unique opportunity for participants to earn college credit while swimming with dolphins.

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    Group DolphinLab

    Our DolphinLab programs offer a combination of educational seminars, workshops, demonstrations, in water and hands-on learning activities with our dolphins, sea lions and staff family. Three DolphinLab programs, DolphinLab Adult, DolphinLab Teen and DolphinLab Group, are available and suited for any learning level. Some DolphinLab programs also offer the unique opportunity for participants to earn college credit while swimming with dolphins.

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    For Teachers

    Dolphin Research Center offers many educational opportunities for teachers, including in-classroom curriculum with detailed lesson plans and opportunities for group visits and field trips. Discovering Dolphins, a CD-ROM for grades K through 8, includes curriculum, hand-outs, photographs, sound recordings and more. Explore DRC's resource library for teachers as well as information on outreach and distance learning.

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    Marine Mammal Info

    Explore detailed marine mammal information including guides on dolphins, sea lions, manatees, training marine mammals and strandings. Learn about dolphin acoustics, anatomy, culture, communciation, maternity, natural history and physiology and discover what sea lions and manatees eat, where they live and all about their senses.

    Hot Topics
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    Hot Topics

    Marine mammals fascinate people.  They inspire us in countless ways and motivate us to be concerned about their welfare -- those in the wild as well as those in human care, such as the dolphins and sea lions that live at Dolphin Research Center.  Sometimes people disagree and are passionate in their opinions.  We understand.  Dolphin Research Center is passionate about the wellbeing of marine mammals everywhere!  It is the foundation of everything we do.  In today's world, there are many debates and, unfortunately, a wealth of misleading, often deliberately incorrect information.  This Hot Topics section is presented as a resource to learn about Dolphin Research Center's position on some of these debates and to share correct information.  

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    Manatee Rescue

    Dolphin Research Center is the only Manatee Rescue Team in the Florida Keys authorized by the state and federal governments to assist manatees in distress. Learn about DRC's role in manatee rescue, how you can help and what to do if you encounter a manatee in the wild or in distress. Meet Bonnie, Dually, Douglas, Patsy, Kiandra, Jasmine, Ocean Reef, Nadia and Scott, some of the manatees who have been aided by DRC.

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    How You Can Help

    Get tips from the DRC on conservation including recycling tips, information on ocean dumping and toxins, the dolphin and tuna problem, interacting with wild dolphins and how to eat smart seafood. There are lots of areas where your choices can contribute to the good health of the planet (that includes you and me, your family, your pet, the DRC dolphins and all other life on Earth).

    Membership
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    Being a Dolphin Research Center Member includes free annual admission, newsletters, online access to our Members Only website, special event invitations, discounts at our onsite and online Gift Shops, and other benefits depending on membership level. Membership is great way that you or, as a gift, someone special can support DRC by becoming a member of our extended family.

    Follow Us
    Our Mission - Through education, research and rescue, Dolphin Research Center promotes peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment we share with the well being of DRC's animals taking precedence.