The inland coastal waters of Georgia have an abundance of dolphins. They are often visible from the ocean beaches, but a much closer look can be had by embarking on a dolphin tour or, better yet, heading out on a personally owned boat. Watching dolphins in their natural environment instead of in an aquarium is a fun experience for the whole family. Just how do you spot dolphins when boating in Georgia.

What type of dolphin is found in the ocean water’s along Georgias coastline

The bottlenose dolphin is found in the coastal waters of Georgia. They are easy to spot because of their size. The bottlenose dolphin ranges between six and thirteen feet, weighing up to nearly 1,500 pounds. When you catch a glimpse of a bottlenose breaking the surface, you will see its gray coloration. 

Why you should use your own boat

No matter if you live in Georgia, South Carolina, or North Carolina, if you own a boat, no need to book a dolphin tour. Dolphin tours are expensive, and the boats are typically overcrowded. The boat’s overcrowding may make it challenging to see the dolphins playing in the water around you. Also, you are restricted by schedule. You must board and disembark when the tour company says.  


If you own a boat, it is the most cost-effective way to head out on the water and see dolphins. A family of four can pay upwards of a hundred dollars for a little over an hour-long trip. With a personally owned boat, you can see dolphins, cruise the beach, and go tubing for less than a hundred dollars for the entire day. 


The comfort of your own boat far exceeds that of a tour boat. Onboard, you have all of your favorite amenities like food, drinks, music, shade, and cushions to lounge back on. When you’re on a dolphin tour, expect a hardback chair that you will be glued for its duration. 


Make your schedule. With a personal craft, you can go at a time that best suits you and the family. With a boat, you won’t need to show up when the tour is scheduled. Head out whenever you want to catch a glimpse of dolphins. 

How do you find dolphin

Families of dolphin ranging from baby dolphin to adults are easier to come by than you think. As you cruise along at a fast or slow pace, gaze at the waters ahead. When dolphins are in the area, you will see them breaking the surface as they move along.

Dolphins can be found in both open waters and in shallow backwaters that you would not expect to find them. 

Once they are spotted, keep a sharp lookout to approach them for a closer look. 

What is the best way to see dolphins up close

After dolphins have been spotted, which is usually straight ahead of the direction you are going, slow the boat down and steer towards them. With the craft in idle forward, continue in the direction of the dolphins. More times than not, they will swim directly up to the boat.

Have your camera ready, and ask the kids to move to the sides of the boat where they can get a close-up look. It is not uncommon for dolphins to come within feet and stay with you while you keep the boat moving along. It is a fantastic sight to see.

Tips for staying safe with close dolphin encounters

First and foremost, make sure the kids are not in danger of falling over the side of the boat when they are watching the dolphins. Secondly, do not attempt to touch the dolphins. Remember, they are wild animals. Lastly, never feed dolphins. It is against the law. 

Should you use your own boat for dolphin spotting

The answer is yes. Nothing beats the comfort and convenience of a personal boat; however, dolphin tours are a great choice if boat ownership is not an option. Dolphins are playful and intelligent creatures who will interact with you when in close proximity. Don’t be afraid to get splashed when they slap their tail just feet from the boat. The next time you’re traveling to the Georgia coast, consider bringing a personal craft for an up-close and personal experience with dolphins.