Where Can You See Dolphins in Florida?

Looking for the best place for watching dolphins in Florida? Here’s our list of the best places to see dolphins to make the most out of your dolphin-watching adventure in the Sunshine State.

Florida is synonymous with beautiful beaches, warm weather, and, of course, friendly dolphins.These intelligent creatures have captivated the hearts of both locals and tourists for years. If you’re planning a trip to Florida, you can’t miss the chance to watch dolphins in their natural habitat. But with so many coastal areas to choose from, where are the best places to see dolphins in the state?

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll take you on a virtual tour to the best dolphin-watching spots in Florida. From the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, get ready for some exciting dolphin encounters!


1. St. Pete Beach

Starting off our list is the vibrant and lively St. Pete Beach. Located on the Gulf Coast, this popular tourist destination offers not just pristine white sands and clear blue waters but also a high chance of spotting our favorite marine friends.

St. Pete Beach is known for its dolphin-friendly environment, making it a haven for these playful creatures. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins frolicking near the shore while sunbathing or taking a dip in the sea.

To increase your chances of seeing dolphins, consider taking a St. Pete Beach dolphin tour. These guided tours are led by experienced captains who know the best spots for dolphin sightings. They’ll take you on an unforgettable adventure, offering not just dolphin-watching but also a chance to explore the beauty of the Gulf Coast.

2. Sanibel Island

Next on our list is the enchanting Sanibel Island, situated on Florida’s southwest Gulf Coast. Known for its shell-filled beaches and picturesque views, this island paradise also holds a special treat for dolphin enthusiasts.

When visiting Sanibel Island, head to the dolphin hotspots near the Sanibel Causeway and the Tarpon Bay area. These locations are frequented by dolphins, thanks to the abundant food supply and calm waters. So, keep your eyes peeled and your camera ready as you explore the island’s natural beauty.

3. Key West

No list of dolphin-watching destinations in Florida would be complete without mentioning the vibrant and colorful Key West. Positioned at the southernmost tip of the state, Key West offers not just a laid-back island atmosphere but also some exciting opportunities for dolphin encounters.

When in Key West, take a dolphin-watching cruise that will bring you to the famous friendly dolphin hangouts, such as the Key West Harbor and the Gulf of Mexico. These cruises often include knowledgeable guides who will share interesting facts about dolphins and other marine life.

4. Clearwater Beach

If you’re seeking a combination of beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and fantastic dolphin sightings, then Clearwater Beach is the place to be. Located on the Gulf of Mexico, this pristine stretch of coastline has gained a well-deserved reputation as one of the best dolphin-watching destinations in Florida.

When you’re at Clearwater Beach, you can spot dolphins from the shore, especially in the early morning or late afternoon. For a closer look, you can also hop on a dolphin-watching boat tour that will take you to the deep waters where these majestic creatures love to play.

5. Marineland Dolphin Adventure

For a unique and interactive dolphin experience, our next destination, Marineland Dolphin Adventure, is the perfect choice. Located in Marineland, Florida, this marine park has been a pioneer in dolphin conservation and research for decades.

At Marineland Dolphin Adventure, you can do more than just watch dolphins from a distance. This facility offers various programs that allow visitors to get up close and personal with these incredible creatures. You can swim with dolphins, participate in educational presentations, and even become a dolphin trainer for a day!

6. Cocoa Beach

Surfing capital Cocoa Beach is not just famous for its impressive waves but also for its resident dolphin population. If you’re a fan of both surfing and dolphins, this destination is your dream come true.

While you’re waiting for that perfect wave, keep an eye out for dolphins, as they often enjoy riding the swells alongside surfers. It’s a sight that perfectly captures the beauty and harmony of these intelligent marine creatures and the ocean they call home.

7. Palm Beach

Palm Beach, known for its upscale resorts and stunning waterfront, has secured a spot on our list for its frequent dolphin visitors. Grab a beach chair, find a good spot along the coast, and get ready for a delightful show.

Dolphins love to put on a show for the beachgoers in Palm Beach. You can often see them leaping and playing in the waves, creating a spectacle that will surely bring a smile to your face. So, don’t forget to pack your binoculars and have a keen eye for these graceful swimmers.

8. Daytona Beach

Aside from being a famous hub for motor sports, Daytona Beach is also a prime location for dolphin lovers. Known as the “World’s Most Famous Beach,” this stretch of shoreline offers not just thrilling racing action but also some memorable dolphin-watching opportunities.
When you visit Daytona Beach, head to the Sunglow Pier and the Ponce de Leon Inlet, as these are the favorite haunts of dolphins in the area. You can enjoy the sight of these majestic creatures from the beach, or if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a dolphin-watching boat tour for a closer look.

9. Everglades National Park

It’s time to venture away from the beaches and dive into the unique ecosystem of the Everglades. This vast wetland, known for its rich biodiversity and thrilling airboat rides, also offers a chance to spot a different kind of dolphin – the friendly dolphin’s cousin, the bottlenose dolphin.
When exploring the Everglades, make your way to the coastal areas, including the dolphin-frequented spots like Florida Bay and the Ten Thousand Islands. These brackish water havens serve as hunting grounds for the bottlenose dolphins, so keep your eyes peeled for their playful antics as you embark on this one-of-a-kind adventure.

10. Biscayne Bay

Completing our list is the stunning Biscayne Bay, a boater’s paradise located within the Biscayne National Park. This bay, known for its turquoise waters, coral reefs, and diverse marine life, offers a unique dolphin-watching experience.

When you’re in Biscayne Bay, you can spot dolphins from the comfort of your boat as they love to swim and play in the park’s clear waters. But here’s a pro tip: combine your dolphin-watching adventure with a snorkeling or diving trip to explore the vibrant underwater world. That way, you can enjoy the beauty of the dolphins both above and below the surface.

The Bottom Line

Florida is a haven for dolphin enthusiasts, and each of the featured destinations offers a unique experience. If you want to maximize your chances of watching dolphins, consider taking a dolphin tour in St. Pete Beach for a specialized experience. Remember, dolphins are wild animals, and their appearances can’t be guaranteed. So, pack your patience, bring your camera, and get ready to create unforgettable memories in the Sunshine State!

Experience the Best Dolphin-Watching Adventure in St. Pete Beach!

Capture the excitement with St. Pete Beach dolphin tours and make your vacation one for the books. When you’re ready to embark on a dolphin-watching adventure, send us a message at Sunshine Scenic Tours! We offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see these majestic creatures up close while exploring the stunning Gulf Coast. Book your tour today and get ready for an incredible dolphin-filled experience!

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