• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Beginning November 2022 - February 2023, the West Building Balconies will be under construction. Click the link for more details
*****Construction Notice*****
Whale Watching in Florida

Dolphin and Whale Watching in Florida

One of the most fantastic pastimes you can enjoy during your time in Fort Walton Beach is seeing the majestic sight of dolphins and whales on a sightseeing cruise. Because of the popularity of this activity, Fort Walton Beach and the surrounding area are home to a variety of dolphin and whale watching cruise companies that are happy to show you and your guests where these marine critters dwell! Read on below for more information on where to go and what to know when dolphin and whale watching in Florida!

How and Where to Find Whales and Dolphins in Fort Walton Beach

To begin, you’ll want to purchase a ticket for a whale or dolphin watching Florida cruise excursion from one of the many local companies in Fort Walton Beach who specialize in these types of outings. As residents of the area and masters of the trade, these tour companies are experienced in when and where to find whales and dolphins along the Gulf of Mexico.

Narrow down your selection of a dolphin or whale watching company based on their proximity to your vacation rental and the types of cruises they offer. Fort Walton Beach and Destin are the two hotspots when it comes to areas where you’re more likely to find a dolphin or whale watching Florida cruise, meaning you shouldn’t have to travel far from your vacation rental to find a company.

Many visitors love taking a sunset dolphin watching cruise for the brilliant tropical sunsets over the gulf and the magical, romantic atmosphere of being out on the water during this picturesque time. Other visitors may prefer a daytime excursion, when they can see the whales and dolphins the clearest and when your guests have the most energy. Some tour providers include complimentary snacks and drinks, while others charge for such services. Ultimately, your experience will depend on which company you choose.

Examples of well-known whale and dolphin watching Florida cruise providers in the area include Cattywampus Aquatic Adventures, Destin Excursions, Olin Marler’s Dolphin Cruises & Fishing Charters, and Destin Dolphin Cruise.

A Variety of Dolphins to Keep Your Eye On

Whether you book a dolphin-watching tour with Destin Excursion or Cattywampus Aquatic Adventures, the variety of dolphins found in the Gulf is bound to impress. While many first-time visitors to Fort Walton Beach and the Destin area are under the impression that a dolphin is just a dolphin, there are in fact a variety of species within the dolphin family that can be spotted in the waters off this pristine coastline!

You don’t have to be a marine expert to get a thrill out of spotting different types of dolphins on your spotting tour. Small details can make all the difference when it comes to pointing out many types of dolphins that call these waters home. In fact, there are over nine different types of dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico alone and many get mistaken for whales or other sea creatures. Understanding the differences can make your dolphin spotting tour that much richer and more meaningful!

The Bottlenose Dolphin

At anywhere from 6 to 12 feet in length, the bottlenose dolphin is likely what you think of when you imagine a traditional dolphin. This is one of the most commonly spotted dolphins in the waters that surround Fort Walton Beach and Destin and likely one of the most playful as well! The bottlenose dolphin is blue and gray in coloration and when they’re in the mood, they’re likely to put on a jumping display around boats and on-the-water revelers.

Pantropical Spotted Dolphin

Frequently spotted in the Gulf of Mexico is the pantropical spotted dolphin. This variety is easy to distinguish from its bottlenose counterpart thanks to its black cape and white-tipped beak! The pantropical spotted dolphin tends to hang out in shallower waters and is often found mixing and mingling with pilot whales and spinner dolphins.

Risso’s Dolphin

When it comes to dolphins in the Gulf that have a knack for confusing dolphin spotters, the Risso’s dolphin takes first prize. This unique variety of dolphin is frequently mistaken for a small whale thanks to its bulbous head and shorter fins. Unlike bottlenose dolphins who love the deep waters of the Gulf, Risso’s dolphins have a tendency to hang out near shore, making them a bit more elusive to tour groups. If you do happen to see one, don’t be surprised if someone nearby shouts whale or orca…just be ready with your Risso’s knowledge to set the record straight!

Give Us a Call and Escape to Fort Walton Beach Today

Contact us today to find the perfect vacation condo for your next adventure and to find  out more details about dolphin and whale watching!