West Palm Beach, Florida


Are you getting ready to take a much-needed vacation? Would you like to swim with dolphins near West Palm Beach? Well keep reading to learn how to make your next vacation a memorable one.

Located along Florida’s Atlantic Ocean coast, West Palm Beach is like the harder working (and harder playing) little brother of Palm Beach, Florida. For all of the attention Palm Beach gets, West Palm Beach offers a lot of amenities and attractions for visitors and locals alike.

For instance, there are gorgeous waterways that beg to be explored and soft-sand beaches perfect for strolling, walking or napping. There is also a diverse collection of shops and restaurants, Broadway-quality shows, and a world-renowned art museum. The locals also happen to be very warm and friendly and welcome everyone to share their eclectic community.

There is a fantastic zoo, performing arts center, entertainment districts boasting hip bars and nightclubs, and also Palm Beach Outlets nearby where you can find just about anything at a bargain price.

But for the biggest thrills, you’ll have to take a little road trip to Miami where you can swim with dolphins!

There is something for everyone here !

Dolphin Programs for Every Age

There is no denying that swimming with dolphins is something a lot of people dream of doing. There is just something so completely magical and mysterious about these beautiful creatures.

If you’ve shared this dream and you’re headed to the West Palm Beach area, you can easily make this dream come true by spending the day in Miami.

Dolphin Swim Miami offers different programs for individuals, families and large groups. Each is designed to be very fun and interactive. You will learn about dolphin behavior and the importance of protecting the dolphin’s natural habitat.


Dolphin Swim Program

The Dolphin Swim Program in Miami is for adults and kids alike, so long as everyone is a good swimmer and meets the height requirement of being at least 52 inches tall. Generally, this is for children 8 years of age and older.

Your day will start with an interactive discussion about dolphin anatomy, physiology, intelligence and communication methods of dolphins, as well as environmental issues and an overview of marine mammal training by a professional marine animal handler.

After you’ve learned all about dolphins, it’s time to get into the water and meet them face-to-face. This is truly an exhilarating experience. Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins are highly intelligent, curious and playful animals. And they LOVE making new friends.

Once you’ve gotten acquainted with your new pals, you will have time to interact with them. Learn how to train dolphins, get some kisses while rubbing their bellies, and then get ready for a real adventure as your new friend lets you grab onto their dorsal fin and pulls you around the pool. You will absolutely feel like you’re flying!

When your program ends, you will have plenty of time to spend at the park exploring the many other exhibits and presentations. If you have time, you may also want to swim with seals!

Book Your Dolphin Swim

Dolphin Encounter

Do you have a younger child in your group or is one of the adults not a confident swimmer? Then you will want to sign up for the Dolphin Encounter in Miami, which is also a fun, interactive program that takes place in shallow water, so no swimming is involved. Generally, children must be at least five years old to participate in this program.

This fun-filled shallow water program also begins with a comprehensive educational segment so you can also learn all about dolphins and dolphin behavior. Then, you’ll wade into the shallow water where you’ll be introduced to your new dolphin pals. You’ll get to learn how to train the dolphins and also play with them. Though this interaction takes place in shallow water, it is equally as enjoyable and memorable as the swim program.

Both programs happen at the Dolphin Facility on beautiful Key Biscayne, which is a set of Islands that extend from Downtown Miami. The setting is almost as spectacular as the interaction itself.

At the end of each program, you will receive a professional photo of you and your new dolphin friend, so you always have something to remember this very special day. While you will need to bring your own bathing suits, wet suits and towels will be provided, as will changing rooms, showers and free use of lockers for the day.

West Palm Beach is only an hour and a half away, so this adventure makes the PERFECT day trip activity for you and your family.

Book Your Dolphin Encounter

Transportation Options for the Swim with Dolphins near West Palm Beach

When it comes to traveling from West Palm Beach to Miami you have quite a few options, some of them better than others.

If you’re flying into West Palm Beach, you might consider renting a car at the airport. As of this writing, the airport offered Hertz, Enterprise, Budget rental options.

Renting a car has some good points and some bad points. Let’s start with the good.

You have more freedom than if you were using public transportation. Sometimes, when traveling as a group, it can be hard to coordinate everyone’s schedule so they show up to the bus station on time. Also, if you have little ones, it might also be easier transporting them around in your own vehicle than on a bus or train.

Now for the not-so-great things about renting a car on vacation. There’s the extra cost. When you factor in the initial cost with added daily insurance and the price of gas, you could wind up spending hundreds of dollars more than you had intended. That’s money that can go toward food and souvenirs. There’s also the hassle of driving somewhere that is unfamiliar to you. It can feel overwhelming when driving on new streets, and you also can’t enjoy sightseeing.


Trains depart West Palm beach every hour and arrive in Miami in just one hour. Once you arrive at the train station, you can easily catch a taxi to the dolphin facility to begin your adventure. Fares are as low as $10 per ticket, though if you’d like extras such as full bar service and food, you’ll pay up to $40 per ticket. Sticking to economy, the train is a great way to get to the dolphins on a budget.


If you’d like to ride on wheels instead of rails, buses are another economical way to get to Miami from West Palm Beach. Total drive time is an hour and a half, and fares start as low as $11 per ticket.


Of course, you can always use the services of a company like Uber or Lyft. We’re not sure what the fare would be round trip, or how many cars you would need if you are traveling with a large group, but you can certainly connect with the drivers and find out.


Accommodations in West Palm Beach

Whether your vacation is as fun-filled and perfect as you hoped has much to do with where you stay. We travel a lot around Florida and know the absolute best accommodations for families, couples, and large groups. Here are our top three recommendations:


Hilton West Palm Beach

600 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Located smack-dab in the middle of the city, the Hilton West Palm Beach puts you close to all of the best shopping, dining and entertainment destinations. You can walk to Clematis Street, which is where some of the best nightlife is located; walk to CityPlace for shopping and dining, and have easy access to the convention center. Plus, the hotel is only 3 short miles from the airport – because who wants to be stuck in a taxi for an hour after they’ve just been stuck in a plane for even longer!

The hotel is large and impressive. With over 24,000 sq. ft. of space, you will never feel cramped, that’s for sure. There is a wonderful restaurant right on site called Manor, which specializes in classic recipes with bold flavors. Manor is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and we personally recommend the Manor burger. You’re welcome!

When it comes time to burn off all of that delicious food, head outside to the resort-style pool. Just be sure to wait an hour so you don’t get a dreaded cramp. When you’re done doing laps, relax in one of the many impressive pool cabanas for the rest of the afternoon.

And, when you stay at the Hilton West Palm beach, you are incredibly close to the beach, so you can also spend the day swimming, working on your tan, or reading the latest spy novel.

You can’t go wrong with this hotel so if you’re interested, start planning now so you can find the best nightly deals.

West Palm Hilton Garden Inn

1611 Worthington Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33409

Another hotel that is located just miles from the West Palm Beach airport, the Hilton Garden Inn combines comfort and convenience, making it a great choice for families. Having gone through a recent renovation, the hotel offers clean, bright and spacious rooms as well as thoughtfully-decorated common areas.

There is a complimentary shuttle service that will bring you back and forth to the biggest downtown attractions, like the theater, restaurants, the Performing Arts center and the exclusive Worth Avenue.

The Hilton Garden Inn has its own luxury pool surrounded by tropical landscaping. There is also a complimentary fitness center and 24-hour business center. And the Garden Grille & Bar is an on-site restaurant and full-service bar. And yes, they have room service – one of the best things about going on vacation is room service!

Guestrooms include the latest technology, which includes flatscreen TVs and free WiFi access. There is also secure remote printing through PrinterOn at the spacious work desk with ergonomic chair.

Rooms also include microwaves and mini fridges, so when your little ones get hungry, you can fix them a quick snack. And after a busy day of sightseeing and swimming with dolphins, you get some much-needed rest on the adjustable Garden Sleep System bed, providing the perfect balance between comfort and support. We’ve slept on these and we can tell you firsthand, you’ll want to take the bed home with you. Good luck fitting it into your suitcase though. To see rates…

Embassy Suites

1601 Belvedere Rd, West Palm Beach, FL 33406

Our final hotel we think is worth considering for your West Palm beach vacation is Embassy Suites. This hotel is the closest to the airport, being only a little over a mile away. The hotel has a complimentary shuttle that will pick you up from the airport.

Embassy Suites is also very close to CityPlace, the well-appointed shopping and entertainment district in downtown. This puts you within walking distance to some of the top restaurants, bars and other nightlife in the city.

The hotel offers one- and two-bedroom suites that feature a sofa bed, dining/work table, microwave, mini-fridge, two flat-screen TVs, and WiFi. The suites are very comfortable for families who require extra space when they travel.

The on-site restaurant offers a complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast each morning and, in the evenings, the hotel offers cocktails and snacks at the complimentary Evening Reception. We think this is a really nice touch and a great way to meet other travelers from around the country and world. When you’re ready for dinner, you have the option of heading into the restaurant for some very tasty American cuisine and at reasonable prices.

Not to be outdone by other hotels in the area, and because, this is Florida after all, the Embassy Suites offers a fantastic pool and spacious sundeck. There is also a whirlpool and sauna in which to relax your tired muscles. A 24-hour fitness center will help you burn off the extra calories you’ve been eating, and the business center will help you stay in touch with clients and colleagues. To see the best rates here…

Things to Do in West Palm Beach

While we think the absolute best thing you can do on your vacation is swim with dolphins (hint hint), we would be remiss if we didn’t mention some of the fantastic activities there are to do right in the West Palm Beach area.


Clematis Street & Downtown West Palm Beach

We chose the hotels we did because they are in close proximity to the downtown area and all of its amenities. Clematis is the historical heart of downtown and is home to the many colorful boutiques, nightclubs, live music, restaurants and historical landmarks.

If you happen to be in town on a Thursday night, you’ve got to head downtown for the Clematis by Night event, which features live music by the area’s best bands between 6 and 9pm. There are also food and drink specials. It’s just a great people-watching experience.


700 S Rosemary Ave, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

This isn’t your typical shopping and dining destination. You can enjoy Old World architecture, beautiful fountains and lovely landscaping along with charming sidewalk cafes. The striking atmosphere is reminiscent of a quaint European town center.

Norton Museum of Art

1450 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33401

What better time to experience a bit of history and culture than while on vacation? If you have time, check out the Norton Museum of Art. Internationally-renowned for its distinguished collection, the museum boasts masterpieces of 19th- and 20th-century paintings and sculptures by European and American artists, as well as Chinese jade and bronze artifacts that are considered among the best in the world. Not too shabby.

Antique Row Art & Design District

If you love antiques, head to the antique row where you’ll find more than 50 antique and specialty shops on one single street. Even if you don’t care one way or another about antiques, it’s still a nice way to spend an afternoon, strolling through the lovely shops.

Local Information



Weather is always a concern when going on vacation. Well you’re in luck, because West Palm Beach has great weather pretty much all year-round. Of course, the summers do tend to get a bit hot and sometimes muggy, but the winters are very comfortable. Typical temperatures throughout the year range from 60 degrees to 88 degrees. Generally speaking though, the best time to visit West Palm Beach is from late October to early May.


There’s always something fun going on in West Palm Beach. From state fairs to national golf tournaments, there’s something for everyone. Take a look and see what’s going on when you’ll be there.

Helpful Travel Links



All vacations are special, but when you head to South Florida, you can have the time of your life. If you go, don’t forget to make a day trip to swim with dolphins near West Palm Beach. Talk about memorable!

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