58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL, United States
The Dolphin Research Center, mile marker (MM) 57 bayside on Grassy Key, specializes in behavioral research and maintains liaisons with university research programs and independent scientists around the world.
Founded in 1984 as a not-for-profit teaching and research facility, the center and its staff have received numerous conservation awards for the rescue and rehabilitation of sick and injured marine mammals. With human attention and kindness, the animals return to good health and provide fun-filled programs that educate visitors about dolphins, sea lions and the environment.
Dolphin Encounter is the center's swim program, or visitors can try DolphinSplash, a wade-in program that offers the opportunity to get waist deep in the water with the dolphins. Hands-On Training, Meet the Dolphin and Paint With A Dolphin offer a wide range of interactions.
New in 2011, the facility also features a water recreation "sprayground" for families. Visitors can initiate whale, manatee and dolphin sounds while splashing through sprays of water that shoot out of marine and island-themed figures including a super-size dolphin tail. Perfect for kids of all ages!
The Dolphin Research Center is open daily, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with continuous dolphin and sea lion sessions.