Fort Walton Beach Dolphin Spotting: I Spy with My Dolphin Eye

Fort Walton Beach Dolphin Spotting: I Spy with My Dolphin Eye

What adorable sea creature likes to blow bubbles? You might be thinking, “My kid, of course!” While that may be true, we’re actually talking about dolphins. These creatures are not only cute but also exhibit behavior patterns similar to humans. They form social groups, socialize, play, and communicate with each other in various ways. Dolphins recognize social group partners and communicate using different methods. Now that we’ve captured your interest in dolphins, you might wonder about the best way to see them. Take our dolphin tour, and look out for these signs…

Best Ways to Spot a Dolphin in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida


Weather can affect not only your vacation but also “whether” or not you get to see dolphins. Dolphins have a preference for seasons, and they particularly enjoy being out and about from May to October when the weather is warm and sunny, just like us humans. In terms of visibility, dolphins are easier to spot when the weather is nice. So, if you spot rainy clouds, weather the storm and wait until the dolphins are ready to come out and play.


While many of us have decent eyesight, we’re only human. Dolphins may not always be as close as we’d like, but luckily, we have the tools to see things from a distance. Yes, we’re talking about binoculars! You may have associated binoculars mainly with birdwatchers, but they’re useful for spotting all things far away. If you’re concerned about capturing a good shot of the dolphins due to their distance, you can use binoculars as an additional lens for your camera. Get that money shot for the gram!


Another effective way to spot dolphins is by looking out for splashes, of course! You might think the splashes are solely caused by the dolphins’ movements in the water, which is partially true. Dolphins are known to slap their tails. Although there isn’t a particular reason for this behavior, researchers have found that tail slapping helps stun fish by creating waves. Dolphins are also highly intelligent creatures as mentioned earlier and use tail slapping as a means of communication with each other. Whatever their reasons for tail slapping may be, it’s great news for us humans because it serves as a good indicator of the dolphins’ presence.

Go at a Moderate Speed While In The Water

Surprisingly, the speed at which you travel also affects your chances of spotting dolphins. Dolphins love playing in the ocean and, like us, they enjoy a good time. They take every opportunity to catch a free ride rather than having to ride those pesky waves on their own. If you go too fast, the waves will be too much for the dolphins, and they likely won’t hitch a ride. However, going at a speed of about four to six miles per hour ensures that all the dolphins come to the yard—or rather, to your boat. For dolphins, riding in the wake of a boat is akin to catching a train; all they have to do is hop on.

Time of Day

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Everyone has their preferences, and dolphins are no exception. They love to play and hunt when the tide is low, which means when there’s less water. Surprisingly, although dolphins are sea creatures, more water means fewer dolphins. The exact times may vary by area, so it’s advisable to check your local weather authorities for tide times.

See Them from Above

If you want additional ways to see dolphins in the area, consider a different perspective—a view from the top. How? Take a parasailing ride and soar right above them! By being in the sky, not only do you avoid disturbing our mammal friends, but you also have a wider range of the ocean to spot them from.

Easy Last Tips for Spotting Dolphins

Lastly, there are a few simple ways to spot dolphins that are easily accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be an expert or a dolphin whisperer. A major indicator that dolphins are nearby is the presence of a flock of circling birds. Another sign, although disheartening for the environment, is oily slicks. And finally, if you notice waves moving in the wrong direction, it’s another clue that dolphins may be present.

With all these amazing tips we know you’ll have unlimited access to our dolphin friends, dolphin on.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Dolphin Tours

Why not go on a guided jet ski dolphin tour with us? Our experienced tour guides know exactly how to find dolphins! Let us do all the work for you. Our dolphin tours include a one hour guided tour, then 30 minutes of free roaming time on your jet ski rental.

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