Delight to Dolphins

By: Lauren Tjaden

Enjoy dolphins from a boat or even share the water with them.

Who doesn’t adore dolphins? Here in Florida, you can touch them, watch them play and swim with them. You can even meet Winter the Dolphin, star of the hit movie "Dolphin Tale," in Clearwater.

Winter the Dolphin – Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

Close Encounters

Imagine the thrill of touching a dolphin: feeling its rubbery skin, gazing into its intelligent eyes or even sharing a kiss with it. Imagine speeding through the water being pulled by one. You don’t have to imagine. You can enjoy this mind-boggling adventure at Discovery Cove in Orlando, a private, all-inclusive, full-day resort.

A limited number of people are admitted per day to play on the beach, snorkel in the fish-filled waterways and experience a 30-minute dolphin swim. The resort also offers underwater walking tours, up-close encounters with lionfish and sharks, and one-on-one interaction with diverse animals including schools of fish and gentle rays.

 A unique meet and greet – Discovery Cove/SeaWorld Orlando

Wild and Free

Dolphins leap in the boat’s wake, spontaneous, graceful and powerful. They toss fish to each other. Sometimes, they seem to be laughing. They even respond to the encouraging claps and cheers of their admiring audiences. You can experience these clever animals in all of their wild, natural glory aboard the Southern Star, an 80-foot, double-decker, glass-bottom boat. The expedition explores Destin Harbor and the shimmering waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Make Waves

Your 90-minute dolphin adventure tour via WaveRunner with Holiday Water Sports of Fort Myers Beach takes off with a rip-roaring, water-spraying ride through the Gulf of Mexico, led by a knowledgeable guide. The pace will slow and you’ll putter into Estero Bay to explore its pristine islands. Before heading home, you’ll turn off your engines and bob quietly aboard your WaveRunner, taking in the antics of dozens of dolphins in their natural environment – often, only a few feet away.

 Get ready to explore – image courtesy of Holiday Water Sports

Create a Work of Art

Team up with a dolphin at the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon to create your own dolphin masterpiece. You choose the colors; the dolphins paint! You’ll kneel on the dock and stretch a T-shirt over the water while the dolphin dabs, smears and brushes. The shirt is yours forever, to wear or display. The DRC also offers a full range of interactive dolphin experiences, from being a trainer for a day to dolphin swims and meets. Some of their dolphins are descendants of the 1963 "Flipper" movie cast.

Meet a Movie Star

The true story of Winter, star of the movie Dolphin Tale, inspires people worldwide. She’s a symbol of courage, perseverance and hope – and Clearwater Marine Aquarium is the only place on the planet you can see her. The aquarium also offers three animal interaction programs, dolphin photo opportunities and stingray feedings.

Sponsored listings by VISIT FLORIDA Partners

More From Beaches & Adventure


You are signed in as:null
1 comment
Joannie Suarez
Joannie Suarez October 20, 2012 12:00 AM
Just moved from MA been living in Palm Bay for a month now trying to find new and exciting things to do with my 4yr old. We just finished watching Dolphin Tale and he wants to meet Winter. Thanks to this site we realize that we can one day.