Where to Swim with Dolphins in Sarasota, Florida

Where to Swim with Dolphins in Sarasota, Florida
Where to Swim with Dolphins in Sarasota, Florida
Dolphins are complex, intelligent and social creatures but in the wild they are not the friendly and lovable character that people remember from the old Flipper TV show. While dolphins can frequently be seen frolicking off the coast of Sarasota, swimming with these wild creatures is inadvisable and feeding them is illegal. Visitors to Sarasota who wish to swim with dolphins will need to travel a bit to participate in nearby programs that are designed for such activity.

While most people think of amusement parks such as Walt Disney World and Universal Studios when they think of Orlando, this central Florida city is also home to Discovery Cove. This in-demand park offers a premier dolphin swim program, but to participate guests must make reservations far in advance. The park limits visitors to 1,000 per day, and adheres to a strict reservations-only admission policy. The all-inclusive dolphin swim program at Discovery Cove includes a 30-minute reserved dolphin swim experience, along with unlimited access to all of the park's other attractions. Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida, is a little over two hours by car from Sarasota.

Discovery Cove

(877) 557-7404



The Dolphin Odyssey program at Miami Seaquarium's Dolphin Harbor offers guests the opportunity to learn firsthand about dolphins through the classroom presentation. Participants get to don a wetsuit and climb into the water for some interactive fun with these magnificent mammals. Deep-water experiences include hugging, rubbing and even dancing with the dolphins. The highlight of the experience is the opportunity for a dolphin ride across the pool. The Miami Seaquarium is located in Key Biscayne, Florida, not quite four hours by car from Sarasota.

Miami Seaquarium

4400 Rickenbacker Causeway

Key Biscayne, FL 33149

(305) 361-5705


St. Augustine

Marineland in St. Augustine offers one of the most intimate dolphin swim programs in the country with only four guests, divided into groups of two, in the water with the dolphins. The Quest program gives guests access to the dolphins that is typically reserved for trainers. The program allows an introductory period with the dolphins in the shallow water of the parks private beach, then continues into deep water for some quality time with the dolphins. Wild swim time with the dolphins extends up to 45 minutes. Marineland in St. Augustine, Florida, is just under four hours by car from Sarasota.


9600 Oceanshore Blvd.

St. Augustine, FL 32080

(904) 471-1111


Mike Parker is a full-time writer, publisher and independent businessman. His background includes a career as an investments broker with such NYSE member firms as Edward Jones & Company, AG Edwards & Sons and Dean Witter. He helped launch DiscoverCard as one of the company's first merchant sales reps.
dolphins image by SdoubleU from Fotolia.com