If you’re looking for a place to swim with dolphins in Florida, you’ve come to the right place. There are many different places in Florida where you can have this unique experience.
In this article, Tavik will share some of the best places to swim with dolphins in Florida.
- 1 About the Local Dolphins
- 2 Best Places To Swim With Dolphins In Florida
- 2.1 Gulf World Marine Park
- 2.2 Panama City Beach
- 2.3 Discovery Cove – Orlando
- 2.4 Miami – Miami Seaquarium
- 2.5 Marathon – Dolphin Research Center
- 2.6 Islamorada – Theater of the Sea
- 2.7 Key Largo – Island Dolphin Care
- 2.8 Key Largo – Dolphins Plus
- 2.9 Key West – Fury Water Adventures
- 2.10 Fort Walton Beach – Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
- 2.11 Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort
- 2.12 SeaWorld Orlando
- 2.13 Clearwater Marine Aquarium
- 2.14 Marineland Dolphin Adventure
- 2.15 Dolphin Connection
- 2.16 Aquatica Orlando
- 3 Tips To Enhance Your Dolphin Experience
- 4 Conclusion
About the Local Dolphins
The beautiful Gulf of Mexico, Panama City Beach and Panama City Beach are home to an amazing array of marine life. This is one of many reasons why people love the Gulf Coast. You never know what incredible creatures you will see here, including manatees and sharks. Dolphins are a constant sight in Panama City Beach.
It may surprise you to learn that there are nine species of dolphins living in the Gulf of Mexico. However, the bottlenose dolphin is the only species that you will find close to the coast.
If you are looking for dolphin swimming opportunities in Florida, Panama City’s coastal region is the best place to begin. These fun facts will help you prepare for your next encounter with dolphins.
Best Places To Swim With Dolphins In Florida
Gulf World Marine Park
We recommend the Gulf World Marine Park experience if you are looking for a safe place to swim with dolphins in Florida.
This is an excellent option for anyone who wants to swim with dolphins but doesn’t want to feel the pressure of a new activity.
Although there are height restrictions at Gulf World Marine Park, it is a great choice for families who want to enjoy dolphin swimming with their children.
Panama City Beach
Panama City Beach is a great place to go if you want to see dolphins in the wild. And it is a good choice.
There are many tours that offer dolphin swimming adventures at Panama City Beach. You’re sure to find the one that suits you.
We love that other marine animal are often included in the tour. If you choose one of the more open-water options, it’s a deal within itself.
Blue Dolphin Tours is a popular choice, but it’s possible to find a better one by doing some Google search!
Discovery Cove – Orlando
Discovery Cove is the ideal place to go swimming if you want to see dolphins in Orlando.
You can live out your dolphin dreams in a safe, comfortable environment with excellent one-on-1 encounters with dolphins.
Discovery Cove’s focus on each individual dolphin is what we love. A guide will help you to understand the personality of each dolphin as you interact with them in the water.
And if all that wasn’t enough, your dolphin friend will pull you back to the group at your session’s end. Awesome, right?
Miami – Miami Seaquarium
Although there are many marine animals on display at the Miami Seaquarium’s aquarium, Dolphin Harbor is the attraction’s main draw.
You’ll have the opportunity to interact with dolphins at the Seaquarium by putting on your wetsuit and getting up close and personal.
If time permits, you can visit the Conservation Outpost for more information about keeping marine animals healthy and happy in the wild.
Marathon – Dolphin Research Center
The Dolphin Research Center is a great place to learn about dolphins and provide an amazing experience for guests.
It offers guests the chance to interact with dolphins and also features a popular painting program!
All that is required of guests is to design a T-Shirt which the dolphin will then embellish with water paint.
You’ll have not only an unforgettable experience but also a unique souvenir.
Islamorada – Theater of the Sea
Islamorada, the theater of the Sea, a great place to see dolphins up close, is the best.
You won’t be disappointed as this is one of the most popular spots in Florida to swim alongside dolphins.
The bottomless boat ride is one of the most memorable parts of your dolphin encounter.
Key Largo – Island Dolphin Care
Island Dolphin Care is the best option for families with children with special needs that want to swim with dolphins in Florida.
Island Dolphin Care has created a program for children with special needs. This will ensure that your experience swimming with dolphins is as safe and secure as possible.
You won’t be disappointed if the experience isn’t right for you.
Key Largo – Dolphins Plus
Dolphins Plus is another great place to swim with dolphins in Florida. It’s located in Key Largo.
Shallow Water Dolphin Encounter promises a dolphin encounter where you can get up close and personal with the dolphins.
Dolphins Plus has a lot to love. Not only are they led by experienced dolphin trainers, but you can also have one-on-one interactions with the dolphins.
You should ensure that your children are at least 4ft and 6ins tall if you plan to travel with dolphin-loving kids. If they are not tall enough, you will have to stand them up.
Key West – Fury Water Adventures
Fury Water Adventures, Key West, is another great place to swim with dolphins.
Key West is a hotspot for dolphins, so you will probably find the dolphins more at ease here than elsewhere.
You’ll have an unforgettable day at Fury Water Adventures with a tour that includes dolphin interactions and snorkeling.
Fort Walton Beach – Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
One of the most popular places in Florida to swim with dolphins is Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park.
It offers guests the chance to swim with the dolphins and feed them. This is one of the best dolphin experiences in Florida.
You can learn more about dolphins by listening to dolphin trainers. They are a great source of information and may help you bond with your dolphin friend.
Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort
This is the place where you can have the longest swim with dolphins in Florida. Most places offer 30 to 1 hour of interaction with these intelligent mammals. At Epcot, Walt Disney Resort, you can enjoy a 3-hour swim with dolphins.
Dolphins are social and friendly. Dolphins will welcome you into their home with water splashes and joy as they jump in and out of the water.
After three hours of dolphin interaction, you’ll be left with a photo-op to capture the moment and a souvenir that will serve as a lasting reminder of the wonderful experience.
You will also learn how to swim with dolphins. A training and research session will be held with experts in marine mammal conservation. All of this is offered through their program, EPCOT Seas Adventure Dolphins In-Depth.
You can swim with sea animals by joining the Epcot Seas Adventures Aqua Tour or Epcot Seas Adventures DiveQuest. This fascinating marine adventure allows you to swim with approximately 6,000 sea animals without getting wet.
Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, is located at 200 Epcot Centre Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL.
SeaWorld Orlando, a Florida marine zoological park, is one of the most visited. It is one of the most popular amusement parks in America. Dolphin Cove is one of its attractions, and it’s the largest interactive dolphin park in the world.
Dolphin Cove is an aquarium that allows visitors to watch dolphins play, swim and leap above the water.
A 15-minute session is also offered at the facility that includes a photo session and touch with dolphins, a lesson about how to care for them and one-on-one interaction between dolphins and humans.
Although it does not involve swimming, you will be with dolphins as they touch you. It is not necessary to swim as the water is only chest-deep.
SeaWorld Orlando can be found at 7007 Sea World Drive in Orlando, Florida.
Clearwater Marine Aquarium
A famous movie from 2011 is called “Dolphin Tale”. Morgan Freeman, a well-known actor, stars in the movie. Two bottlenose dolphins, Hope and Winter, are also featured in the movie. Clearwater Marine Aquarium houses Winter and Hope, who you can see and possibly feed during your visit.
It is home to injured or rescued marine mammals. It follows a policy of “rescue, rehabilitation, and release”. Marine mammals are taken in by the facility and treated until they can return to the wild. It has seven resident dolphins, Hope and Winter.
Although it is not a swimming area for dolphins, visitors can interact with them by the poolside. They will be training or playing.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Marineland Dolphin Adventure often called the “world’s first oceanarium”, is the ideal place for families to swim with dolphins. You will find something for all ages.
It offers education as well as entertainment. Eight programs are available for children as young as three years old.
An art program is available for those little ones who are not proficient in swimming. They will be able to choose the colors that dolphins will use for their canvas.
There are three options for adults and children who are able to swim: the Royal Swim, Dolphin Swim, or the Kids’ Swim. The Royal Swim will see a dolphin push you out of the water by your feet. You will also receive a dorsal handshake, handshake and kiss.
The Dolphin Encounter is open to all, even those who are unable to swim. One-on-one interactions with dolphins will be possible.
The Swim Adventure includes a belly ride with dolphins!
Dolphin Connection is another attraction that is suitable for all ages. This facility allows children to interact with dolphins from an early age, even infants.
Three interactive programs are available.
The Dockside Dolphin program allows you to interact with dolphins from land.
You can spend three hours with a dolphin handler in the trainer for a Day program to learn about how these marine mammals are handled. This program is only available to older children and adults.
The most popular program is Dolphin Discovery. It allows you to swim, kiss, hug and play in the lagoon alongside the dolphins.
Aquatica Orlando is the perfect place for dolphin swimming in Florida.
This is possible with the Dolphin Plunge attraction. This twin slide, which is tunnel-like in shape, winds its way through an aquarium filled with dolphins and other marine mammals.
You will see dolphins racing along with you as you slide down the slide in the aquarium. Although it doesn’t involve swimming, it is just as exciting as swimming. It’s an unforgettable experience.
Tips To Enhance Your Dolphin Experience
You can get the most out of your dolphin experience by checking out the venue prior to your leave. This will ensure that they are open for you and have the availability you require. Some venues may require advance reservations, hours of operation may be restricted, and schedules may change.
- To avoid disappointments, check if there are any minimum requirements or restrictions. Many places do not allow children to swim alongside dolphins and require that they be accompanied by a paying adult.
- Prices can vary depending on which program you choose. Before you make a booking, check the rates for your adventure package. Ask about group rates if you are going with a family or group.
- Due to safety precautions, pregnant women are not permitted to swim with dolphins.
- Before entering the dolphin pool, you may be asked to take off any jewelry.
- You should bring a towel and a swimsuit. If you plan to go into the water, most venues provide life jackets and wetsuits. Bring a change of clothes if you are going in your swimsuit.
- Ask your local authority if sunscreen is allowed. Sunscreen is not permitted in certain areas to protect dolphins. You may also be able to find dolphin-safe sunscreen through other programs.
- If the location allows it, bring along your camera and a friend. You won’t be allowed to bring your camera into the water. Many places will take photos of your dolphin encounter and sell them to you.
- Ask the program if you have special requirements. Many dolphin encounter programs will allow you to meet dolphins!
- You should budget your time for training and instructions. Although the hands-on experience lasts for about half an hour, many places offer briefings prior to the encounter. Some places require you to be there at least an hour prior to your appointment.
- Do not touch or approach dolphins swimming in open water. Dolphins that you see in aquariums or dolphin programs have been specially trained.
- You should not feed dolphins unless their trainer has instructed you to do so or given their permission.
- Enjoy the moment!
If you’re looking for a unique vacation experience, swimming with dolphins in Florida is a must. With the many best places to swim, we listed above, so you can choose the one that’s right for you and your family.
Whether you want to snorkel with dolphins in their natural habitat or take a dip in a dolphin-assisted therapy pool, there are plenty of ways to get up close and personal with these friendly creatures.