Florida has an abundance of places where you could go to experience swimming with dolphins in person: from Orlando to Miami, from every Cove to every Key, but one of the most overlooked places is Panama City Beach. Since many people looking to vacation to Florida want to know which spot has the best dolphin experience, we’re going to compare the most popular places to PCB below!
Compared to: Orlando
Since Orlando is landlocked, the only real way to see dolphins is to go to SeaWorld or Discovery Cove. This results in a different experience than what you get in Panama City Beach, since in PCB each dolphin is free in its natural environment. In Orlando, you have a 100% guarantee of seeing and even swimming with dolphins, but it’s the same experience in the same places as everyone else. In PCB, you can have a truly personalized and unique vacation swimming with dolphins, unlike with Discovery Cove or SeaWorld.
Compared to: Miami
Despite being along the coast, if you want to get close to any dolphin you’ll be going to an aquarium. Your day there will likely be almost indistinguishable to that at Discovery Cove or SeaWorld, since they’re structured the same. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since you can still swim with them, but it is something to consider when choosing whether to spend more per day in one place or another. It is also a Florida Must to go swimming in the Atlantic there.
Compared to: The Keys
The Keys are more similar to PCB in that you can directly interact with any dolphin in their natural environment. So you can go out and swim with them, watch them follow you on a boat, and even touch them! Key Largo in Southern Miami is a great choice if you want to do other things than swim with dolphin. However, it is one of the more expensive places in Florida. Other spots like Key West have ways of being up close with a swimming dolphin, as well as being able to see and go swimming near the beautiful coral only possible in the keys. However, it’s generally way more expensive than Key Largo near Miami, and much more expensive than anywhere else in Florida.
To sum up, all of these locations provide great opportunities for a day trip out to swim with the dolphins. However, Panama City Beach has the benefits of all of them. This is because PCB is way more affordable, allows for a unique and personalized vacation where you can easily swim with any dolphin, and isn’t manufactured like the experiences at Discovery Cove and SeaWorld. Plus, you can afford to spend more time doing other things like swimming in the beautiful Emerald Gulf. This is why if you’re looking to swim with dolphins in Florida, Panama City Beach is the best choice.