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7 Places in the U.S. Where You Can Legally Swim with Dolphins

Swim with Dolphins
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Looking to travel to different parts of the United States and take part in an amazing underwater experience where you can swim with dolphins?

This article offers a combination of adventure and information as it examines seven special locations where these mystical experiences are approved by law.

Let’s learn about the habitats of these intelligent marine animals, where you can safely interact with them, and the rules that make sure these encounters are responsible and enjoyable for both people and dolphins.

1. Dolphin Quest, Hawaii

Beautiful aerial view of spectacular Na Pali coast, Kauai, Hawaii. Image by MNStudio via Depositphotos.

Located in the stunning setting of Oahu, Dolphin Quest offers an intimate and controlled environment where visitors can swim with dolphins. This facility focuses on conservation and education, ensuring a respectful and informative interaction for all participants.

2. Discovery Cove, Florida

Image by Daniel Torobekov via Pexels

In Orlando, Discovery Cove provides a unique experience where guests can swim with dolphins in a beautiful tropical atmosphere. The program includes educational talks, emphasizing the importance of marine conservation and animal care.

3. Sea Life Park Hawaii, Hawaii

Diving with a dolphin at the dolphin reef in eilat. Image via Israel_photo_gallery, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Just outside Honolulu, Sea Life Park Hawaii offers visitors the chance to swim with dolphins in a scenic marine park. The park ensures the safety and well-being of both dolphins and visitors with strict guidelines and professional oversight.

4. Dolphin Research Center, Florida

Dolphins swimming
Dolphins in the sea. Image via Depositphotos

Located in Grassy Key, this non-profit research center allows close interactions with dolphins under the supervision of knowledgeable staff dedicated to research and education about marine life.

5. Theater of the Sea, Florida

Dolphins React to Bizarre Bubbles
Ocean Life – Closeup of a curious dolphin watching my camera.

On Islamorada in the Florida Keys, Theater of the Sea offers dolphin swim experiences that include educational sessions about marine life conservation, highlighting the facility’s commitment to the environment.

6. Dolphins Plus Bayside, Florida

how dolphins use echolocation
Image by arielle allouche via Unsplash.

In Key Largo, Dolphins Plus Bayside provides natural swimming encounters with dolphins in their bayside habitat, offering both structured and unstructured swims that prioritize animal welfare and guest safety.

7. Gulf World Marine Park, Florida

little girl dolphin whisperer
Image by @Humankindvideos via YouTube

Located in Panama City Beach, this park not only offers swimming with dolphins but also educational programs that teach visitors about the biology and conservation of marine animals.

Dolphin Kisses Dog
Dolphin swims under the water and looking at the camera. Image via Pexels.

Swimming with dolphins is regulated due to concerns about the well-being of the dolphins and the potential for harm to both animals and humans. These regulations ensure interactions are safe and ethical.

dolphin near the coastline
A group of dolphins swimming in the ocean. Image via Unsplash

The locations listed are legal because they adhere to strict federal and state guidelines that govern wildlife interaction, focusing on conservation, education, and the safety of both dolphins and participants.

How do these places ensure the safety of the dolphin and human?

Marine wildlife background – three bottlenose dolphins jumping over sea waves. Image via Depositphotos

Facilities that offer legal dolphin swims operate under rigorous safety protocols, which include trained staff, limited interaction times, and health checks for all animals involved to ensure a safe environment.

What are the benefits of swimming with dolphins?

Image by Thomas Lipke via Unsplash

Swimming with dolphins can be a therapeutic experience for many, offering emotional relief and relaxation. Additionally, these programs often support conservation and research efforts that benefit marine life.

How do educational programs enhance the dolphin-swimming experience?


Educational programs enhance the experience by informing participants about dolphin behavior, the importance of conservation, and how humans can help protect marine environments, making the interaction not only enjoyable but also enlightening.

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