South Beach, Miami

Deco Drive

For most people, vacations only come around once a year. So it’s really important to choose a destination that offers the most fun and thrills possible. When we hear the words “fun” and “thrills” we can’t help but think of swimming with dolphins. If you and your family are thinking of spending your next vacation in Florida, then you’ll definitely want to read this entire article. We’ll cover the programs that let you swim with dolphins near South Beach, Miami, accommodations in the area and more!

For many people, South Beach, Miami brings to mind club hopping and sun worshipping of the rich and famous. And while South Beach is definitely a playground for the rich and famous, many other types of people are attracted to the area.

For instance, these days art enthusiasts and architecture aficionados flock to South Beach to enjoy the vibrant history of the Art Deco district.  Of course, there are plenty of other things to do in South Beach while you’re here.

There are a plethora of shops in Espanola Way to pop in and out of. You may also want to rent a DecoBike to see the sights. Golfer enthusiasts have plenty of green to tackle, and those in search of culture can enjoy The New World Center of Performing Arts and Miami City ballet.

While all of these activities (I’ll share even more later on in this article) are a great way to spend your vacation, there is one activity that is like no other. Of course, I am referring to swimming with dolphins near South Beach.

There is something for everyone here in South Beach Miami !

Dolphin Swim Programs near South Beach, Miami

I am an animal lover and have been my whole life. But I must admit, ever since I was a kid, I was always fascinated by dolphins the most. And I’m not alone. Over the years I have met plenty of people who share this love and fascination with dolphins. Which is why they all come to the Dolphin Swim Miami facility to experience the thrill of a lifetime.

Bottlenose dolphins are incredibly intelligent and playful animals. I have had the pleasure and good fortune to swim with them many times now and I can say they seem to be as interested to interact with us as we are to interact with them. If you’ve been dreaming of getting up close and personal to these amazing creatures, you are in luck.

Dolphin Swim Miami is an incredible place that offers a couple of different programs for individuals, families and large groups. You and your family and friends will have the opportunity to learn all about dolphins through interactive and educational programs and have a ton of fun at the same time.

Let’s take a look at the programs offered at Dolphin Swim Miami so you can choose the one that’s best for your needs.


The Dolphin Swim Program

The dolphin swim program is perfect for people of all ages who are good swimmers and comfortable in deeper water. The facility recommends children be at least 8 years of age. I suppose if you had a bigger 7-year-old who was a really solid swimmer, that would be fine as well.

Your time with this program begins with an interactive discussion where you will learn all about dolphin behavior and physiology, as well as how they communicate and hunt. Once the educational part of the program ends you will have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have.

Finally, when all of the questions have been asked and answered, it’s time to slip into the perfect temperature water and meet some dolphins up-close-and-personal! I dare you to meet these dolphins and not giggle your head off. No matter what your age, you will feel, quite possibly, the most joy you’ve felt in years!

You’ll have about a half hour to swim around with your new pals. During that time, you can pet, hug and kiss your dolphins, and watch in amazement as they perform some pretty incredible stunts and acrobatics.

But your fun is not over until you experience a thrill of a lifetime. That is when your new dolphin BFF gives you a dorsal fin ride. Hang on to the dolphin’s dorsal fin as they pull you around the water fast! You’ll feel like you are flying. So cool and so memorable.

Book Your Dolphin Swim

The Dolphin Encounter

What if someone in your group is very young or isn’t a strong swimmer? Then the perfect solution is the Dolphin Encounter program.

This program is perfect for families with very little ones, seniors, or anyone who isn’t a confident swimmer because it takes place in shallow water. But just because you won’t be swimming with dolphins doesn’t mean you won’t have the time of your life!

The Dolphin Encounter also starts with an interactive educational segment where you’ll learn all about dolphin behavior and their habitat, as well as their biology and methods of communication and hunting. You will also be able to ask questions and learn how trainers get dolphins to perform tricks.

Once the Q&A is completed, you and your party will be able to slip into the water to meet your new friends. The water may not be as deep, but the fun will be just as, well, fun. You’ll get to hug and kiss your new pals, and just splash around with them. They’ll do everything in their power to make you laugh and ensure you have a wonderful time.

After your time with the dolphins, be sure to spend some time exploring the rest of the park because there are other amazing animals to see and interact with.

Book Your Dolphin Swim

What a Visit to the Dolphin World Miami Facility is Like

Visiting Dolphin World Miami is a memorable experience, not just because of your interactions with the dolphins, but because the facility itself is so nice and thoughtfully looked after. For starters, the location is like paradise. Set on Key Biscayne, the location is perfect and beautiful. If you’ve never been to Key Biscayne before, it is a set of islands that extends from downtown Miami. As soon as you drive up to the facility, you’ll know you’re in for an awesome day.

Another great thing about the facility are the people who run it. They truly care. And not just about the dolphins, but about the thousands of people who visit the facility each year.

The staff of Dolphin World are committed to teaching visitors about bottlenose dolphins and the dangers they currently face out in the wild. They dedicate their time and energy to share their knowledge so that we can all enjoy and do our part to care for the dolphins.

As a bonus, to help you remember your time at Dolphin World Miami, the staff provides a professionally taken photo of your visit with your dolphin pals.

Getting to Dolphin World Miami from South Beach

Yet another great thing about Dolphin World is that it is so easy to get to from South Beach. Here are some of your best options:

Rent a Car

Are you and your family flying into Miami? If so, you may want to think about renting a car at the airport. As of this writing, Miami International Airport offers many car rental agencies, including Advantage, Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, and more. Give them a call for pricing or check online.

My family and I have rented many cars over the years on holiday and I know firsthand there are pros and cons. Let’s start with the pros:

  • Having your own car at your disposal means you can come and go at your own pace instead of relying on public transportation.
  • If you are traveling with very little ones, having your own car will often save you the embarrassment of dealing with your child’s meltdown on a public bus because they are tired and cranky and you are out of apple juice.
  • You are sure to have air conditioning. I have had the displeasure of being in taxis and buses with no AC. It gets hot in Miami and having a car with working AC will feel like a luxury.

Okay, now let’s look at some of the cons of renting a car while on vacation:

  • It’s an added expense. When you add in gas and parking fees (and possible extra insurance coverage) renting a car can really bite into your trip’s budget.
  • Driving around in an unfamiliar and busy city like Miami can be stressful and even dangerous.
  • Parking, especially in a big city, can be an absolute nightmare. And expensive!


Since Miami is a major city, it offers metrobuses that get residents and visitors all over the place. The 119 and 102 buses all head to Key Biscayne, and the cost is reasonable at just $8 for adults. The trip to Dolphin World takes about an hour and a half from downtown.


Another option for you and your family is to hire a car and driver though an app like Lyft or Uber. Doing a quick check just now I saw that a Lyft car would charge roughly $20 to take you from South Beach to Key Biscayne. You should arrive at the facility in about a half an hour, depending on traffic. If you are traveling with a large group, this option may not work as well, however.


Accommodations in South Beach, Miami

South Beach, Miami is a tourist mecca and there are plenty of options when it comes to hotels. So many, in fact, that is can be a little overwhelming choosing one.

To help you narrow your options, we’ve chosen three hotels that are close to attractions and offer style and comfort. All three come at different price points, so you’re sure to find one that fits your personal budget.

Let’s start with the least expensive option, then move on to the mid-ranged option and finally end with the priciest of the three.

Hotels Miami

Nautilus by Arlo

Designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, who is affectionately called the father of Miami modern architecture, this 250-room beachfront hotel is a classic. In fact, it helped shape the city’s unique aesthetic and help put South Beach on the map.

As one of Miami’s original art deco icons, Nautilus is the perfect home base for any Miami adventure you have planned. The interior perfectly blends the rich history with contemporary touches. And you can’t help but love the fact that the hotel is right on the beach!

Spacious accommodations include signature Oceanfront rooms, suites, and the Nautilus penthouse. All rooms are breezy, classy, and oh-so comfortable.

When it comes to food, Nautilus offers breakfast, lunch and dinner at Nautilus Cabana Club, where Chef Richard Fuentes focuses Mediterranean dishes made with fresh Floridian ingredients for a locally-inspired twist. If you and your family are looking for more casual fare, that can easily be found poolside, in the backyard, or even right on the beach.

1825 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 503-5700

Mondrian South Beach Hotel

If you want to stay in a hip location, this next hotel may be the one for you. Located in the very-fashionable West Avenue, Mondrian is a quiet enclave that is only minutes from the bustling center of South Beach. So, you get the best of both worlds: quiet relaxation but steps from every amenity you may need.

Another huge benefit of this particular hotel are the stunning views of the ocean and Biscayne Bay, as well as downtown Miami.

When you pull up to Mondrian, you will walk through a grand entryway appointed with custom-designed furniture, lighting and accent pieces. But the eye candy doesn’t stop there.

Step outside again and you will find the legendary pool, where guests can relax and be pampered. There is also a spa onsite and a world-class gym. Meals can be taken inside or dine al fresco at Mondrian Caffe.

All rooms and suites are well-appointed and thoughtfully decorated. Many rooms have spectacular views of the bay and you can enjoy these views from your own private balcony.

If your budget can afford a little more (around $200 a night) we highly recommend this hotel.

1100 West Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 514-1500

The Betsy South Beach

And now let’s end with one of only two hotels rated the absolute best by Travel + Leisure for 2017 & 2018 and winner of the 2017 Condé Nast Traveler Gold List Award. The Betsy – South Beach is an elegant, beach-side haven located on iconic Ocean Drive.

The inspired hotel offers 130 tastefully appointed rooms that will make you not want to leave. Hotel amenities include two Ocean Decks, a rooftop Spa, a Courtyard and Rooftop Pool, two award-winning Eateries, a Library, the Carlton Room Lounge and Café, Beach Access, Sunrise Yoga, a Fitness Center with Peloton Bikes, and a unique presence for Art and Culture including Live Jazz seven nights a week. Phew – that’s a lot!

This hotel runs about $300 a night, but if you can swing it, you will be incredibly happy.

1440 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(866) 792-3879

Things to Do in South Beach Miami

While we absolutely think swimming with dolphins should be at the top of your list, there are some other cool activities to do in South Beach.

things to do south beach

Visit Espanola Way

Take a stroll along Espanola Way to view fantastic Spanish colonial architecture and open-air European streets. Grab a tasty lunch or just sip a coffee while you people watch. At night, the streets are lined with twinkling strings of romantic lights.
447 Española Way, Miami Beach, Fl 33139

Grab a Snack at Big Pink

This is Miami’s classic diner that stay open until 5 a.m. on the weekends. If you’ve been out late hitting the clubs, this is the place to go to grab a late night bite.
157 Collins Ave, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(305) 531-0888

Yoga on the Beach

There’s no reason to skip your weekly yoga class. There is a group that meets throughout the week on the beach right before sundown. There is nothing quite like doing downward dog to one of the prettiest sunsets you’ll ever see.
3rd St &, Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139
(786) 529-6423

Local Information

Great Weather in Miami

Scooters on South Beach


Miami’s climate is tropical. Which basically means it’s great in the fall and winter, but can get pretty hot and sticky in late spring and summer. The best time to visit South Beach is during the spring, between March and May, with temperatures in the high 70’s and low 80’s during the day.


There’s ALWAYS something going on in South Beach. You may learn about upcoming scheduled events here.

Helpful Travel Links

Miami Chamber of Tourism

Miami Chamber of Commerce

Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau

Miami International Airport (MIA)

South Beach offers fantastic activities for couples and families to enjoy on their vacation. If you’re coming, don’t forget to book a trip to Dolphin World Miami and swim with dolphins near South Beach.

Hotel Suggetions


The Keys


St Augustine Beach

Panama City Beach

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