New Smyrna Beach is not only a getaway for art, aquatic adventures and dining, but it is also a place to get back to nature and see wildlife too! Dolphins are a common sight in New Smyrna Beach and surrounding waters, especially the bottlenose dolphin, one of the most common in our area and state. Ready to go find these flippered friends? We’ve rounded up some of our favorite places for dolphin spotting below.
The best chance to spot dolphins in New Smyrna Beach is on a guided boat tour through the Marine Discovery Center (MDC). The Marine Discovery Center offers daily boat eco-tours of the Indian River Lagoon, North America’s most biologically diverse estuary. Be on the lookout for dolphins in style in one of MDC’s 40-passenger pontoon boats as an expert guide teaches you about the variety of land and sea creatures that call our waterways home. In addition to dolphins, a variety of other wildlife such as manatees and shorebirds, can also be spotted during these tours. Choose from a variety of two to three-hour boat tours offered at different times of day for your best chance of spotting a dolphin during your visit!
For another opportunity to spot dolphins during your stay in New Smyrna Beach, start by visiting the Black Dolphin Inn. At this boutique bed and breakfast along the Indian River, dolphins can often be seen right from the hotel’s dock. Bottlenose dolphins and other dolphin species that are spotted here swim right by to the hotel’s dock, making it the perfect place to stay and get a glimpse of the creatures.
Many of our waterfront restaurants also offer great locations to spot dolphins, such as Outriggers Tiki Bar and Grill. This restaurant is also on the beautiful Indian River. Outriggers has a restaurant, marina, and fishing store all in one location. Dolphins can often be spotted in the marsh near the marina and restaurant on the water. Another waterfront eatery great for getting a glimpse of our flippered friends is the River Deck Tiki Bar and Restaurant. River Deck’s outdoor dining and uniquely constructed sandy white beach seating areas overlook the pristine Indian River. While enjoying your favorite cocktail or delicious seafood, be sure to keep your eye on the water to spot the wildlife and dolphins frequently seen swimming in this waterway.
Riverside Park is another scenic place to visit to view dolphins in their natural habitat. Riverside Park is a waterfront park located along the Indian River that has walking paths, restrooms, a playground, and a boardwalk and fishing pier. Dolphins can be spotted on the waterfront, get closer by walking along the boardwalk and fishing pier. In addition to a plethora of spots along the Indian River, dolphins can be seen in the saltwater waterways such as Indian Creek.
Now that you know all of our favorite places to find these aquatic mammals, it’s time to get out there and start your search! Learn more about our aquatic activities and wildlife that call our area home at https://visitnsbfl.com/.