In all my travels across Florida, there is nothing more fascinating than encountering a dolphin — it’s most likely one you would not soon forget. In case you didn’t know, there are risks of swimming with dolphins in the wild. That said, there are plenty of places where you can safely swim with them! Here’s a list of my favorites.
Marineland Dolphin Adventure (just south of St. Augustine)
Here you can have an incredible, intimate in-water experience as you rub down a dolphin, splash and play with their favorite toys and learn how to build positive relationships with these amazing animals. An informative and educational pre-encounter session will prepare you for your program, and offer the opportunity to learn more about these amazing marine mammals.
Hawks Cay Resort in Marathon
Their Dolphin Connection program is in an ocean-fed saltwater lagoon and is home to a pod of friendly dolphins that visitors can interact with while learning the importance of protecting Florida’s marine ecosystem. Hawks Cay Resort is the only hotel or resort in the mainland United States that offers their guests the opportunity of dolphin viewing on site, in their natural habitat.
Check out their Dolphin Odyssey, where you can get kisses, handshakes, rubs, training techniques, feed, and a dorsal fin tow that will showcase their true power!
Orlando Discovery Cove in Orlando
Get a nose-to-bottlenose encounter in shallow or deep water while learning all about dolphin habits and their amazing ability to communicate.
Theater of the Sea in Islamorada
Swim with dolphins in the Florida Keys! Here you can touch and interact with a dolphin while swimming and snorkeling around a lagoon. This iconic place that’s been around since 1946 is also home to sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, alligators, and a variety of exotic birds.
Dolphin Research Center in Marathon
One of my favorite places to swim with dolphins. There are many other programs they offer, including painting with a dolphin and being an ultimate trainer for a day.
Gulf World Marine Park in Panama City, Florida
For 30 minutes, you get you a belly ride, kiss, handshake, hug and caresses, and free time with a dolphin!
So venture over to one of these places and check “swimming with dolphins” off your to-Do list.
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