A Day with the Dolphins: Marineland Dolphin Adventure

Marineland Dolphin Adventure, St. Augustine, FL

Genesis 1:21: So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it.

In 2008, my sister and her family visited us in Florida and declared, “We should visit Marineland!” And so, we hopped in the car and captured super special memories with the dolphins there, realizing that a gem of an oceanarium was under an hour away from our home. Her kids, who are now teenagers and pre-teens, still remember this special dolphin experience.

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Ten years later, we decided it was our family’s turn to experience what Marineland had to offer. So following along as we tour Marineland and share about one of their special dolphin adventures, Discover Dolphins.

General admission tickets to Marineland includes access to their outdoor facilities and Neptune Park where you can view sea turtles and sand tiger sharks. But our favorite part of Marineland that was included with admission was views of their 1.3 million-gallon tank offering a full dolphin habitat!

We were ready for a day full of dolphin-family fun!

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Marineland’s back drop provides stunning views of the ocean which may be enough of a reason to visit in general! In fact, it is the world’s first oceanarium, a marine mammal park, located right on the ocean.

Our boys loved checking out the sea turtles and sand tiger sharks!

To enhance your experience, you can add on a Behind the Seas Tour, where you can learn more about the impressive history of Marineland. The tour also includes an up-close-and-personal look at several exhibits of marine life that are found in the Southeast region of the U.S. such as lion fish, jellyfish and eels.

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If the tour isn’t on your agenda, head over to the dolphin habitat where you can watch the dolphins train and interact with one another! This was our favorite part of Marineland is included with general admission.

We watched one of the Marineland trainers guide a dolphin to doing jumps, spins, flips and even splashing the crowd to help everyone cool off! Our three-year old could not get enough of the dolphins.

Discover Dolphins: An Extra Special Encounter

We had an extra special guest with us at Marineland, Eliza, who was visiting with us from Kazakhstan through a wonderful program called The Greatest Exchange. When I mentioned to Eliza that we would be visiting dolphins at Marineland her eyes lit up: she was thrilled about the possibility to get up close to dolphins.

And so we just had to had to add to the Marineland experience by selecting the Discover Dolphins experience: a 40-minute, shallow-water encounter of dolphin interaction alongside a Marineland trainer.

Landon (being that he was older than five, the minimum age requirement), got to join Eliza for this once-in-a-lifetime experience!

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Trek Difficulty Level: (1): From Nocatee, FL, Marineland is less than a forty-minute drive and easily accessible. Parking is free and easy to find with their own dedicated parking lot.

Trek Budget: $60 for a family of four will gain entry into Marineland to view sea turtles, sand tiger sharks and watch the dolphins interact during live shows. For an additional experience, consider purchasing the Behind the Seas Tour package. Our special experience, Discover Dolphins, is worth checking out and there are many more supplements to add to your visit!

3 Trek Must-Dos: 

  • Wear your swimsuits! The dolphins splash, the sun shines and you’re right on the beach. Make it the perfect day with a combined trip to Marineland and a visit to the ocean.
  • Consider a birthday party at Marineland!
  • We absolutely loved hanging around the dolphin habitat, watching the trainers practice with them and lead them into spins, twirls and flips. I highly recommend a visit to Marineland for at least this amazing sight!

Landon’s Trek Tip: “Swim with the dolphins!” – age 5.5

Griffin’s Trek Tip: “See the dolphins” – age 3

Go JU Dolphins!, The Jameses

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