If you’re looking for something fun and unique to do on your next Florida vacation, swim with dolphins near Ft. Lauderdale! This article will explain the wonderful dolphin swim programs available near Ft. Lauderdale, as well as accommodation options and other fun things to do in the area.

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When one thinks of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, visions of raucous spring breaks generally come to mind. There is no other place in the state, or even the country, that quite represents the idea of “fun in the sun.”

While many visitors to Ft. Lauderdale are happy to spend most of their time meandering the famous promenade or Las Olas Boulevard – sometimes called the Rodeo Drive of Ft. Lauderdale – there are other wonderful activities to do in and around the city.

For instance, there are some pretty spectacular 1920’s bungalows to view along Sailboat Bend. Talk about elegant design! And while you’re there, be sure to check out the tasty Jamaican and Brazilian restaurants.

Looking for something a bit more unique to experience? You can’t beat swimming with dolphins. If you’ve always dreamed of getting up close and personal to these amazing creatures, then this will make the perfect day trip for your next vacation!

Ft. Lauderdale Beach

Things to do in Ft Lauderdale

The Venice of America

Choose from Two Fantastic Dolphin Programs

Swimming with dolphins is on a lot of people’s bucket list and for good reason – being with dolphins in their natural habitat is surreal and awe inspiring. If you’ll be staying in Ft. Lauderdale for your next vacation or business trip, you’ll easily be able to take a day trip to Dolphin Swim Miami where you can meet these magical creatures and make your dream a reality.

Dolphin Swim Miami offers dolphin swim and dolphin encounter programs for individuals, families and large groups. These programs have been designed to be educational, interactive and an absolute blast! You’ll learn all about dolphin behavior as well as the importance of protecting the dolphin’s natural habitat.

Let’s take a look at the two programs to choose from:

Swim with Dolphins Near Ft Lauderdale

Dolphin Swim Program

Are you over 52 inches tall and a solid swimmer? If so, you won’t want to miss out on the Dolphin Swim Program offered by Dolphin Swim Miami. The program will start with the educational part I just mentioned. Depending on the trainer you work with, you may also get to learn about dolphin anatomy and physiology as well as their communication methods.

After this portion of the program has been completed, you’ll get to slip into the water. Now it will be kind of deep because you are actually going to swim around the tank with your new dolphin pals. So again, make sure everyone in your party is tall enough and a strong swimmer.

Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins are highly intelligent, curious and playful animals, and they get really excited when they get to meet new people and make new friends. After you get acquainted with these wonderful animals, you get to hug them and receive many dolphin kisses, and then swim around with them for a while.

But then the real fun begins…

You’ll get to experience the thrill of a lifetime when you go for a dorsal fin ride. This is when you hold onto the dolphin’s dorsal fin and he or she pulls you through the water fast. You will actually feel like you are a superhero flying!

After your encounter ends, be sure to take some time to explore the rest of the park. If you book early enough, you could get to swim with some adorable and playful seals on the very same day!

Book Your Dolphin Swim

Dolphin Encounter

You may be thinking you can’t experience the joy of interacting with dolphins if you aren’t a strong enough swimmer, but that’s not true! Dolphin Swim Miami also offers the Dolphin Encounter Program for youngsters, seniors, and those who aren’t the greatest swimmers.

This program takes place in shallow water, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have some deep fun, because you absolutely will! Your program will start by learning about dolphin behavior and habitat, as well as their biology and methods of communication.

Once you’ve completed the educational part of the program, it’s time to get into the water and meet your new friends. You’ll get to spend about a half hour hugging, kissing and splashing around with these playful creatures.

About Dolphin Swim Miami Facility

Dolphin Swim Miami is located on beautiful Key Biscayne, which is a set of islands that extend from downtown Miami. The setting is beautiful and peaceful and makes the perfect backdrop for your dolphin adventure.

The people behind Dolphin Swim Miami are very passionate and committed to the work they do. Their vision is to teach as many people as possible about how incredibly special Bottlenose Dolphins are and offer guidance on how we can all help these creatures thrive in the world.

The facility also puts a lot of effort into making sure all of their guests have the experience of a lifetime. And to help you remember your special day at Dolphin World, the team provides a professionally-taken photo of your time in the water with your dolphin pals.

You’ll also have access to free wetsuits, towels, changing rooms, showers and lockers, but you’ll be responsible for bringing your own bathing suit. And your sense of fun and adventure!

Miami is only a half hour away from Ft. Lauderdale, so this adventure makes the PERFECT day trip activity for you and your family.

Getting there for the Swim with Dolphins

Getting from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami is not only quick, it’s also very easy because you have quite a few travel options available to you.

Car Rental

If you and your loved ones will be flying in to Ft. Lauderdale, you may decide you want to rent a car for the duration of your vacation. The Ft. Lauderdale airport has pretty much every rental car agency there is including Hertz, Enterprise, Dollar, Alamo, Budget and ones you’ve probably never even heard of, so you can shop around for the best price.

If you’ve ever rented a car while on vacation, you know it has its good points and bad points. First, the good points…

Renting a car gives you freedom to come and go when you please. You’re not tied down to someone else’s schedule as you are with trains and buses. This can be really convenient when traveling with a large group or with very small children, who can get fussy.

But, while renting a car can give you some freedom, it also has its drawbacks. For starters, it’s an added expense, and when you factor in daily insurance and gas, you can tack on quite a bit to your vacation budget.

There’s also dealing with unfamiliar streets and potentially heavy traffic in cities life Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. Oh, and do we even have to mention finding parking? That can be a real nightmare sometimes. Click to Find the Best Car Rental Rates!

Here is a local favorite..

Gold Coast Car Rental
3000 SE 6th Avenue,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316
(954) 522.0665

Train

If you are on a tight budget and don’t want to spend unnecessary money on renting a car, you could take the train to Miami and back. Florida’s Tri Rail offers convenient service from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami and a round trip ticket is $8.45 each way on weekdays. On weekends and holidays, that same ticket is $5.00. You will arrive at the Miami Airport and can get a taxi from there to the dolphin facility.

Fort Lauderdale Airport Tri Rail Station
500 Gulf Stream Way
Dania Beach, FL 33004

Buses

You may also want to consider taking a Greyhound bus to and from Miami. Bus fares are subject to change, but on most days, you can get a ticket from Ft. Lauderdale to Miami for just $10 each way via Greyhound. If you haven’t been on a Greyhound bus lately, you’ll be happy to learn they have updated their amenities. You now have access to WiFi, power outlets, movies (on some buses) and much more leg room.

Ft Lauderdale Greyhound Bus Station
515 NE 3rd St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 764-6551

Lyft/Uber

In-between a rental car and taking the bus I guess would be hiring an Uber or Lyft driver to take you to Miami and back. Since the distance is only a half hour drive, your fare should be $50 or less. Don’t quote me, but this seems about right.

These cars can be good, or they can be filthy and the drivers kind of weird. You never know what you’ll get!

Private Van Shuttle

Or you can come and go in one of Dolphin World’s own private shuttle vans, which, in our opinion, is the right way to go. These vans will pick you up at your hotel or residence, drop you off in Miami, Key Biscayne, then pick you up at the end of your dolphin adventure and drop you back off at your hotel or residence.

We are proud of our clean fleet of vans, and even provide drinks and snacks for the journey on the deluxe package. Our private shuttle vans are the perfect and economical way to get to your dolphin swim adventure in Miami.

If you have any questions about our van shuttle service, please get in touch with us. 800-667-5524.

Map

Accommodations in Ft Lauderdale, Florida

We’ve personally spent a lot of time in Ft. Lauderdale and have stayed at many of the area’s hotels. Here are three we recommend. We don’t get any kickbacks for recommending them, we actually think they are pretty great and affordable.

Plenty of Hotels and Sunshine!

Ft Lauderdale Hotels

B Ocean Resort
1140 Seabreeze Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 564-1000

At the end of a busy day of sight-seeing in the hot Florida sun, you want a little beachside bliss, am I right? But not every hotel can give it to you. B Ocean Resort can and does.

To start, the hotel is right by the airport, so it’s an incredibly convenient location. But what is really awesome about this hotel is its history. It was built in 1956 as the Yankee Clipper and was a hot spot for some major Hollywood A-listers such as Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio, and Robert De Niro, to name a few. While the place has been overhauled and offers modern amenities and finishes, it does give thoughtful nods to its storied past.

The hotel has a private beach as well as various dining options. You have to check out the world-famous Wreck Bar where they have one-of-a-kind mermaid show.

With clean, spacious rooms with chic touches, superior service and two swimming pools on site, this hotel most likely has everything you and your loved ones are looking for.

Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale
2301 SW 12th Ave
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
(954) 524-9900

Also located close to the airport for your convenience, the Hampton Inn Ft. Lauderdale offers clean and modern guest rooms with work desks and free Wifi. There is also a business center and a fitness center as well.

Families will appreciate the free hot breakfast (continental breakfasts are so yesterday’s news). Plus, if you’re in a rush to get to Dolphin World Miami or some other sightseeing destination, the hotel offers a healthy “Hampton On the Run® Breakfast Bag”, available Monday through Friday.

At the end of your busy day you and your family can relax by the pool. And if the kids are hungry but it’s not quite time for dinner yet, there is also the 24 hr. Pavilion Pantry market to grab tasty snacks and beverages.

All-in-all this hotel is comfortable, clean, convenient and comes at an affordable price. Especially if you book early (hint – hint).

Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Beach Resort
505 N Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
(954) 414-2222

If you’re going to Ft. Lauderdale, you might as well stay in a hotel that is right on the famed North Beach. This resort offers stunning panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway. You’ll enjoy waking up to them each morning you’re here.

The Hilton offers one to three-bedroom accommodations, making it an excellent option for large groups who are traveling together. They also have three, count ‘em THREE featured restaurants along with a full-service spa and a 24-hour fitness center. And you’ll no doubt enjoy the sun deck with an ocean view and gorgeous outdoor pool and hot tubs surrounded by private cabanas.

Things to Do in Ft Lauderdale

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

Things to do in Ft Lauderdale

Jungle Queen River Boat Tour
801 Seabreeze Blvd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
(954) 462-5596

If you’ve never been on a riverboat you have to experience it. The Jungle Queen offers different cruises that will appeal to different groups. Their “Dinner Cruise” will take you sailing down Ft. Lauderdale’s Millionaire’s Row where you can see mansions of the rich and famous.

You’ll dock on a tropical isle where you’ll be treated to an all-you-can-eat BBQ dinner. And of course, you’ll get to enjoy live entertainment during dinner.

There’s also the “Afternoon Sightseeing Cruise”, which is a narrated cruise down the “Venice of America” New River. You’ll also see an alligator show, exotic birds, lemurs and monkeys. You can also grab some lunch and visit the gift shop.

River cruises are the absolute best way to relax and see the sights!

Tour the Florida Everglades on an Airboat
Holiday Park
21940 Griffin Rd
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33332
(954) 434-8111

You and your family can travel by airboat to a remote, swampy landscape where you’ll spot alligators in their natural habitat. You’ll also get to watch an alligator show where people actually, you guessed it, wrestle alligators.

If you’ve never been on an airboat, you’re in for a real treat. You skim the top of the water, it’s like you’re airborne most of the time, I highly recommend this activity while in Ft. Lauderdale.

Riverwalk Ft. Lauderdale

The Riverwalk in Ft. Lauderdale is the heart and soul of the city. In one area you have access to Broadway-worthy theater and classical opera and ballet. There are also world-class museums and sensational dining opportunities. And there are plenty of bars and clubs right along the river. Oh, and if you want to shop ‘til you drop, just head North to Olas Boulevard, the Rodeo Drive of Ft. Lauderdale.

Local Information

Great Beaches in Ft Lauderdale

Ft Lauderdale Local Info

Weather

When you go on vacation, do you find yourself checking the weather every day to see how things are looking? Of course you do, everyone does it. We all want the weather to be ideal when we’ve waited all year for those two glorious weeks.

Well, Florida isn’t called The Sunshine State for nothing. The weather in most of Florida, including Ft. Lauderdale, is great year-round. Sure, summers can get a little hot and muggy, so if you are starting to plan your trip right now, plan it for spring or the first couple of weeks of summer.

Festivals

Day or night, weekdays or weekends, there is always something fun going on in Ft. Lauderdale. From concerts right on the beach to multicultural events and arts and crafts fairs, there is something for everyone in Ft. Lauderdale.

You can find out scheduled events here.

Helpful Travel Links

Ft. Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce

Ft. Lauderdale area information

Vacations usually only come around once a year, so you’ve got to make the absolute best of them. If you and your family are headed to Ft. Lauderdale, make your vacation memorable by swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Swim Miami.

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