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Spend an hour or the whole day with the Dolphin Research Center family. Whether you come in under general admission for an up close look at dolphins and sea lions during behavior sessions, or choose a fun-filled interactive program including swimming with dolphins, you're going to have a great time!
Experience the dolphins different "dolphinalities" as they go about their day in sessions that include high-flying acrobatics, research, playtime, and husbandry training. Enjoy educational presentations in our air-conditioned theater. Say hello to the exotic bird family. Don't forget to spend time entertaining the dolphins as they people-watch! When they founded Dolphin Research Center, Jayne and Mandy Rodriguez made a commitment to the dolphins that they would always be cared for here in the natural Gulf of Mexico lagoons. Whether a dolphin or sea lion is born here, or comes to us from a rescue or other situation, we provide them the sanctuary of a safe, healthy, happy home for life.
Schooling during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic presents unique challenges. It also opens up some great opportunities. Families are taking the school experience on the road to visit the Florida Keys. Some local accommodations are even offering e-learning vacation packages. Your children can do their schoolwork at a hotel, resort, or vacation rental. Then, they can also enjoy a much needed break and explore all that we have to offer. Expand their knowledge about dolphins and sea lions at our all-natural, outdoor setting. Social distancing is easy outside at DRC.
Remember that about every half an hour, we spotlight different dolphins in narrated behavior sessions with lots of fun activity and a wide-range of topics. Learn dolphin fun facts, observe research studies in progress, see how the dolphins practice behaviors or engage in playtime, and much more!
Staff and volunteers are eager to answer your questions and help you gain even more knowledge about the amazing animals. General admission is good for all day and includes access to the Sprayground. No kids? If you're able to work remotely, the Keys are a great place to do so. When you need a break, come and visit! Spend an hour or the whole day learning all about our family of Dolphins and California Sea Lions. Purchase General Admission now! The dolphins live in various social groups in different lagoons.
About every half an hour, we visit different groups for narrated behavior sessions that showcase their amazing abilities in fun, educational ways. You may see them taking part in a research study or learning new behaviors. Watch dolphin playtime and learn more in Fun Facts. There is plenty of variety for you - and for the dolphins. In between sessions, hang out in our shaded areas alongside the dolphin lagoons.
Don't be surprised when the dolphins watch you and often do things to engage your attention! Even if you are not participating in an interactive program, there is always something to see. Take a look at the sea lions. Visit the bird aviary. Play and cool off in the Sprayground. Grab a meal, snack, cool beverage, or ice cream at Anchor's Cafe. Once you have paid for a Daily Admission, feel free to come and go from the DRC grounds as you please. We will give you a dolphin hand stamp to ensure you can come back later in the day to revisit your dolphin and sea lion friends!
The natural seawater lagoons that the dolphins and sea lions call home are also host to a wide variety of fish and other marine animals. Wild dolphins stop by from time to time to visit with their DRC cousins through the dolphin-safe perimeter fence! Florida Keys locals, pay admission once and then visit free for an entire year when you come with a paying guest. Just bring identification that shows your photo and residence and ask our Guest Services staff about the Monroe County Residents Pass.
Get more information. Dolphin Research Center offers wheelchair accessible restrooms. Pathways provide easy maneuverability around the facility. Traveling with your service animal or pet s? No need to leave your furry friends at the hotel or in your car or RV.
Dolphin Research Center is pet-friendly and welcomes responsible owners with animals that are leashed or harnessed. Observe Animal Behaviors and Actual Research — Observe dolphins and sea lions performing and learning new things.
Watch their creativity. All learning sessions are unscripted and spontaneous. The dolphins add their ideas on a regular basis! Chat with Trainers — Speak directly with our animal care and education staff who are always happy to talk with you about our animal family and marine mammals in general. Live Presentations in our Educational Theater — Enter our air-conditioned theater for entertaining educational presentations. Educational age — Find out all kinds of interesting and fun facts from our educational age as you wander around the grounds.
Cool off at the Sprayground — Access to the Family Sprayground, featuring fresh water blasts and mists, as well as recorded sounds by the DRC dolphins! Relax and reflect in the Veterans Garden — Visit our Veterans Garden, an area of tranquility originally created by Vietnam Veterans and dedicated to all who have served or are actively serving during times of war. Free Parking — Bus parking also available on a limited basis. Group Admissions — DRC offers discounted admission to tour groups of 20 or more with advance notice.
Please callext. Find out more about group visits Get information for teachers. Dolphin Research Center is open 7 days a week from 9 a.
See our programs to Purchase discounted general admission in advance to learn more about all of our interactive programs, including prices. You will see our main entrance which is a white building with a blue awning, our and a 30 foot high statue of a mother dolphin and her calf in the parking lot. Google Map.
Mile markers deate locations along US1 also known as the Overseas Highway. Mile marker is the northernmost start of the Keys and mile marker 0 is located in Key West at the far south end of the island chain.
DRC is located at mile marker Continue on US 1 south through the Florida Keys. Look for us on the right Gulf side at mile marker Look for us on the left Gulf side at mile marker US 1 is the main road in the Florida Keys.
In season, December to April, and on holiday weekends, traffic can be extremely heavy. You will need a minimum of 2. Enjoy this image gallery that showcase all the exciting things happening here at the Dolphin Research Center. Check in on the dolphins during our regular hours of 9 to ! Don't forget to us for Live from the Lagoons livestream on Facebook. We'll see you there every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 1 p. This program, which included group sessions, work projects and, of course, time spent interacting with dolphins, would form the basis for many additional military programs in the future.
This project was very close to his heart and he participated along with this group. Even after his tour of duty had finished, the impact of his service had stayed with him and he returned to civilian life burdened with PTSD. Mandy freely states that working with dolphins, experiencing their unconditional acceptance and forming deep bonds of friendship and trust with them, saved his life. From the time that Mandy and Jayne founded DRC, they dreamed of developing programs for other veterans who were also afflicted with the internal and external scars of war.
Military veterans have continued to add to the garden over the years. Guests may visit this area of tranquility to purely enjoy its beauty, to reflect on friends and family who have served, or to seek solace in this place of healing. Watch them run through jets and streams of water and activate recordings of dolphin, manatee and whale sounds. This vision went from dream to reality through the support and generosity of our members and donors.
The Sprayground stands as a tribute to Shawn Rodriguez, a young man who sadly left us far too early in life. He grew up with marine mammals as his family and had a huge passion for sharing them with everyone, but most especially children. Take a break from the sun and step into our Dolphin Theater.
While enjoying the cool A. No purchase necessary to view. No phone or e-mail orders after your visit. You may purchase a download package of digital images, or prints to take with you. The digital package includes a release form, additional stock photos, and educational information about marine mammals, conservation and our research. Please inquire at the Photo Desk for package pricing. As a not-for-profit corporation, revenue from your purchases stays at Dolphin Research Center to help provide the best care humanly possible for the animals that call DRC home. Thank you!
Need help with your photo order? See the Help section at the bottom of the www. For the safety of the dolphins, their habitat, other guests, yourself, and your personal property, no cameras or camera phones are allowed during programs on floating docks. No selfie sticks are allowed. Dolphin Research Center also does not permit the use of drones on or over our facility.
If you are doing a program in the water, you may bring a waterproof camera as long as it either floats, or is attached to you. You are welcome to take your own photographs and videos around DRC of the dolphins, sea lions, and grounds, and of your friends and family during their interactions. All such photographs, videos or other recordings taken at Dolphin Research Center are considered to be for your personal, non-commercial use only. No other use can be made without the express, written prior approval of DRC.
If you are a member of the media, or wish to use photos or video images of our dolphin and sea lion family for any commercial purposes, please the Media Department at media dolphins. Dolphin Research Center is the ideal stop for group tours visiting the Florida Keys. Located at mile marker 59, DRC is home to a pod of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions that live in a natural lagoon setting in the Gulf of Mexico.
To get a sense of all DRC offers guests, tour operators are welcome to schedule a guided visit of the facility prior to bringing their groups. To make arrangements, please contact Susan at susan dolphins. We ask that you contact Susan at susan dolphins. Reservations can be made a week in advance. What is the cost? Groups of twenty or more are offered a discounted general admission rate payable by one credit card to ensure quick processing for your group. DRC does not require a deposit. However, a final head count must be provided 24 hours prior to arrival. Snacks, beverages, meals, and ice cream are available for purchase.
There is also a locally-owned restaurant next door. If your group prefers lunch during their visit with us, let us know when you book your tour. The group rate includes general admission to the facility. Visitors take a self guided tour of the grounds and watch fun-filled, exciting, narrated behavior sessions and educational presentations.
There are activities going on every half an hour and a Sprayground for kids of all ages.Grassy Key adult chat rooms
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