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The Beautiful Gardens of Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea in Islamorada

Written by Ron Ives

Have you always dreamed of swimming with the dolphins? Are you fascinated by playful sea lions or do you just enjoy learning about tropical sea life? If you answered yes, then be sure to include Theater of the Sea in your trip to Islamorada. Theater of the Sea offers visitors the chance to learn about and observe a spectacular variety of sea life including sea turtles, sharks, tropical fish, and of course dolphins. General admission includes dolphin and sea lion performances, a guided tour of the intriguing exhibits, Live Dolphin Performances in Islamorada and a ride on the bottomless boat. Those who would like a more up close and personal encounter with the friendly residents can choose from exciting swims with the dolphins, sea lions, or sting rays. The trainer for a day program even allows the public to experience how these amazing creatures are cared for and trained.

Respect for the Residents

Theater of the Sea is set in a beautiful environment of lush gardens and tropical lagoons. Established in 1946 by the P.F. McKenney family, it is the second oldest marine mammal facility in the world. The McKenny family still owns and operates Theater of the Sea and their continued success is in great part due to their dedication to the animals. The health and well being of the animals takes precedence over all other interests and their methods of training center around a profound respect for the animals. Many Sea Lion Love at Theater of the Sea of the residents are not capable of surviving in their natural environment and it is obvious that all of them are very comfortable in the spacious environment of the three-acre park.

Snorkel and Explore in Islamorada

Visitors should expect to spend a minimum of two hours to enjoy the continuous shows and guided tours included in general admission and those who wish to participate in the special attractions will probably want to dedicate the better part of their day at the park. Nicky's Grill features burgers, hot dogs, chicken, and pizza and makes for the perfect break in the park experience. Another exciting option is the four-hour adventure and snorkel cruise that covers thirteen miles on both the Atlantic Ocean and Florida Bay. Participants will explore the unspoiled vegetation of Lignum Vitai Key Playful Dolphins at Theater of the Sea and Indian Key, and snorkel Cheeca Rocks Reef while learning about the history and ecology of the area from the captain. These cruises depart daily at 8:30 am and 1:00 pm and are priced at $60 for adults and $35 for children ages 3-12.

Special Events at Theater of the Sea

Theater of the Sea is the perfect place to host a cocktail party, wedding reception, or charity event. All guests will enjoy the dolphin and sea lion shows before moving to the Starlight Terrace for food, fun and music. The staff will be happy to assist in the selection of local musicians and caterers that have proven to be professional in past events. Theater of the Sea is especially proud to offer younger patrons the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays at the park. All of the child's guests will enjoy the shows while the birthday child will enjoy the special privilege of participating in the dolphin and sea lion shows. Lunch is included in the birthday rate and a cake of your choice can be brought to the park but balloons, straws, and pi?atas are prohibited as they pose a danger to the animals.

Theater of the Sea is conveniently located at mile marker 84.5 in Islamorada. The ticket office is open daily from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. Reservations are recommended for all special attractions. For more information call (305) 664-2431

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