Swimming with dolphins tops the bucket lists of many, and is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Florida. It’s an exhilarating, life-affirming experience that will stay with you forever. However, it can be tricky to locate the best places in the area to enjoy the dolphin experience. To help you out, we have highlighted some of the best venues across the whole of Florida that give you the chance to make your swim with dolphin dreams come true.
Miami Seaquarium, Miami
Miami Seaquarium, 4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149, http://www.miamiseaquarium.com/
This Miami-based seaquarium offers visitors two fun-filled dolphin experiences. The Dolphin Encounter includes an informative classroom session followed by a shallow water session where you’ll get the chance to shake hands with your new mammal friend, while the Dolphin Odyssey will see you donning a wetsuit and experiencing an incredible dorsal pull!
Discovery Cove, Orlando
Discovery Cove, 6000 Discovery Cove Way, Orlando, FL 32821, www.seaworldparks.co.uk
For Orlando-based travellers, the Dolphin Swim Experience at Discovery Cove is a 30-minute adventure that will be one of the highlights of your trip. After being introduced to your new friend in shallow waters, you ‘ll be moved on to deeper water for the full dolphin experience.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium, Clearwater
Clearwater Marine Aquarium 249 Windward Passage Clearwater, FL 33767, http://www.seewinter.com/
Voted one of the best attractions in the whole of Florida, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium gives guests a choice of dolphin-based activities. The Dolphin Photo Opportunity provides an image you will cherish forever, while the unique Paint with a Dolphin session will give you a one-off canvas painted by the dolphin itself!
Dancing Dolphin Spirits Charters, Key West
Dancing Dolphin Spirits Charters, Captain Victoria 5710 U.S. 1, Mile Marker 5, Key West, Florida, http://www.captainvictoria.com/
For a dolphin experience a little different from your average, why not take advantage of one of Captain Victoria’s uplifting dolphin tours? Victoria will take you on a boat tour from Key West to view wild dolphins in their natural habitats, with the trip doubling as a healing and self-renewing activity too. Although the Marine Mammal Protection Act prevents you from swimming with the wild dolphins themselves, getting the opportunity to view them frolicking in their natural habitat is a truly envigorating experience.
Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key
Dolphin Research Center, 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050, http://www.dolphins.org/
Grassy Key’s Dolphin Research Center was founded in 1984 to give dolphins a home for life, while also establishing an advanced research centre to study the cognitive and behavioural traits of these fascinating mammals. As well as being a great place to learn more about dolphins, the Research Center will also provide you with a variety of dolphin experiences to suit all budgets.
Five more dolphin adventures
In addition to the wonderful attractions above, here are a few more venues that will help you get your dolphin fix while visiting Florida:
Gulf World Marine Park, 15412 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach, FL 32413
Dolphin Adventure, 9600 Oceanshore Blvd., St. Augustine, Fl 32080
Dolphins Plus Inc., 31 Corrine Pl. Key Largo, FL 33037
Dolphin Connection, At Hawks Cay Resort, 61 Hawks Cay Boulevard
Theater of the Sea, 84721 Overseas Hwy, Mile Marker 84.5, Islamorada, FL 33036