Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A Day At DRC

If you were to pass Dolphin Research Center on U.S. 1 (also known as the Overseas Highway), you wouldn’t realize how large of a facility we are. People who are on vacation or are driving down towards Key West often stop and are curious about our little building that stands next to a huge dolphin statue and logo sign on the side of the road. They’ll come in, see our gift shop, purchase a general admission ticket to come inside, get stamped for admittance, then walk through our front doors and be transported to a place that our own employees refer to as “the happiest place in the world”.

Follow a walkway full of dedications, memorials, and memories that have been purchased by members, staff, volunteers, and anyone who has been touched by the DRC initiative. Pass by our Sprayground that was built for kids of all ages and our birds that love to converse. Be greeted with smiles and hellos from our staff members and volunteers as you make your way to the main attraction.

The end of the walkway, which twists and turns through our Veterans Garden and a statue in memory of Mitzi, also known as the original Flipper dolphin, leads to our front lagoon where our maternity pod lives. The front lagoon is home to our moms and babies, our baby sitter dolphins, and a youngster who was adopted into the DRC family and now has a forever home. Often times a dolphin or two looks at you waiting to be entertained, so make sure you smile, wave, blow raspberries, and talk to these adorable creatures who are as curious about you as you are about them!

Turn and follow the pathway marked with sea lions and dolphins and you can see an educational program in the Dolphin Theater. Pass by and say hello to our sea lions, and see the rest of our beautiful dolphin family. The females are on the left of the causeway, and our bachelor pods are on the right. You can often see our boys rough housing with each other while our girls tease you with noises to intrigue you to spend more time watching them in their lagoons.

Your general admission allows you to watch every session and theater presentation we offer at Dolphin Research Center. In one day, we can promise you that you will not see the same show twice. Every session offers an abundance of information about our dolphins, our mission, and ocean conservation. We not only take questions, but invite you to ask anything that is on your mind. DRC’s mission is to educate everyone who walks through our doors so that they can tell others what they’ve learned.

If you decide after being here and seeing the magic that is DRC that you want to take part in one of our many interactive programs, walk up to the Gift Shop and ask about the current availability. Dolphin Explorer, Play with a Dolphin, Paint with a Dolphin, Meet a Dolphin, Sea Lion Splash and Hug a Sea Lion are all offered on a walk-in basis. Dolphin Encounter and Dolphin Dip usually require advance reservations, but there are sometimes walk-in spots available, too. We can promise you, it’ll be the icing on top of an already magnificent day!


Max said...

DRC being tucked away in the middle of the Keys is part of the magic of it. It must be cool to one day stumble upon such a wonderful place you never knew was there!

Liah said...

DRC is the best place on earth- hands down. <3

I can't wait to fly down this Saturday, two weeks in Grassy Key, aka heaven :)