For many people, swimming with dolphins is a bucket list item.
Let’s face it, you probably can’t think of something much cooler than spending time bonding with these amazing animals.
However, there are only a few places around the world where you can get an up close and personal experience with dolphins.
A bunch of them are in Florida.
We’re going to specifically highlight these in this post. So if you’re headed on vacation in the sunshine state, these are the best places to swim with dolphins in Florida.
Ready to dive in?
If you’re planning on spending time in Miami, you don’t have to go far from the bright lights and big city to find a dolphin swimming experience.
In fact, the Miami Seaquarium offers several animal encounter experiences, including a bunch of choices when it comes to dolphins. You can hop in a tank with a dolphin for thirty minutes or even act as a trainer for a day and see what happens behind the scenes.
If you get your fill of fun at Disney, you can spend some time hanging out with dolphins in Orlando.
Discovery Cove has a one on one dolphin encounter experience in their dolphin lagoon that visitors can enjoy. The park also has a trainer for a day program as another way to spend time with some fine flippered friends.
While it’s not exactly swimming with dolphins, SeaWorld also offers a trainer for a day experience and some close-up dolphin encounters. It’s a perfect choice if you don’t want to get wet!
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the Keys are chock full of some of the best places to swim with dolphins in Florida.
The Florida Keys can also offer the unique experience of watching dolphins in their habitat instead of a tank or a pool. Fury Adventures has a dolphin watch eco-tour where you can observe dolphins and then jump in for your own snorkel experience.
Key Largo’s Dolphin Plus has two programs for dolphin encounters, including one specially designed for your kids and toddlers.
The Theater of the Sea has been an institution in Islamorada for over 60 years. What sets this location apart is that it’s an all-day dolphin-filled experience. You can enjoy shows, take a glass bottom boat ride, and go snorkeling at this private family owned park.
On Grassy Key, you’ll find the Dolphin Research Center. It has offered a ‘forever home and sanctuary’ for dolphins since the early 1980s. They offer a number of different dolphin experiences from a meet and greet to taking a swim.
Panama City Beach
One of Florida’s most popular spring break destinations is also great for swimming with dolphins too.
The Gulfworld Marine Park has three different dolphin encounters to choose from. Lasting about thirty minutes, you can shake hands and even get a kiss from your new friend.
No matter where you go in Florida, you won’t be far from a dolphin experience. So make sure you check it off your bucket list!