Dolphin Research Center
The wellbeing of animals comes first at the Dolphin Research Center, a non-profit dedicated to providing safety and sanctuary for its resident ensemble of bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. Founded in 1984 by Jayne Shannon-Rodriguez and Armando ‘Mandy’ Rodriguez, the facility focuses on rescuing and rehabilitating animals in need, and providing permanent homes for those deemed unsuitable for release back into the wild. A dolphin encounter here costs $199 for around 20 minutes in the lagoon (including a dorsal pull), and the price includes all-day admission to the park, where you can watch and learn about the dolphins. Alternatively, you could meet a dolphin from dry land and snap a photo for $30.