If given the opportunity to swim with a dolphin, nearly everyone would take it. Of all the states to try this once-in-a-life time adventure, Florida is your best bet. Here are three of Florida’s best places to swim and play with one of the most beloved creatures in the ocean.
1. Discovery Cove
Orlando, Florida is a hotbed for top-notch attractions, and one of these is Discovery Cove. The park is modeled like a day resort and its signature offering is a half-hour swim with dolphins for guests 6 years and older. Guests first trek through shallow water accompanied by a dolphin trainer. There, they can pat, rub, kiss and hug the dolphins. Later, guests are taken with their dolphin to deeper waters, where they can interact some more and then hop on for an exciting dorsal fin ride.
Other wonderful attractions at Discovery Cove include snorkeling with thousands of colorful, tropical fish and rays at The Grand Reef, playing with otters and other animals at the Freshwater Oasis, and hand-feeding birds at the free-flight aviary. For some downtime, you can relax on the beach or float along the Wind-away River on an inner tube. The Discovery Cove resort package also includes a fresh breakfast and lunch, unlimited snacks and drinks (including alcoholic drinks) and access to lockers and the locker room, plus snorkel gear and sunscreen. Another major perk of reserving is unlimited admission to Sea World and Aquatica for two weeks following your Discovery Cove adventure.
So if you want to enjoy some fun in the sun plus grab some pals, your favorite swimwear and make plans to swim with Dolphins at Discovery cove.
2. Clearwater Marine Aquarium
This one is great for kids between 5 and 7 years of age. Their Wade with the Dolphins program allows them to get into a wet suit, hop into shallow water and interact with a dolphin hands-on. Two other programs, Trainer for a Day and Dolphin Encounter are best for older kids. The first program allows guests to shadow a professional dolphin trainer for three hours. During this time, they will help the trainer prepare food and enrichment activities for the dolphins, and assist with exhibit maintenance and record keeping. The second one is a 30-minute experience of working alongside a trainer during a feeding and training session with an Atlantic Bottlenose dolphin. Guests are first taken on a 15 minute behind the scenes tour where they learn more about dolphin care and maintenance and then spend 15 minutes poolside learning more about dolphins up close and personal.
Family entertainment is available throughout the rest of the facility, including the Dolphin Tale 3D movie and Get Blown Away, an interactive attraction where you’ll be a firsthand witness to the sights and sounds of a hurricane.
3. Marineland Dolphin Adventure
Located in historical St. Augustine, this attraction is geared toward those 5 and older and features a number of different dolphin encounter programs. The most popular option is the Immersion Program, a 30 minute experience that allows guests to share time with dolphins in both shallow and deep water. Masks and life vests are provided to maintain safety, and an educational presentation is provided prior to getting in the water.
Other programs include Discover Dolphins, a 20 minute hands-on dolphin experience and Dolphin Designs, an interactive program that starts with guests choosing three colors and then holding a canvas over the water for a dolphin to paint on. After this you’ll get to engage with your dolphin artist some more.
There you have it, some great places to swim with Dolphins in Florida, know of any more good ones?