A fun day out on the water! There are many Dolphin and Snorkeling boat tours in the area. There are shorter rides that only include the dolphin watching but others are several hours and include island hopping and shelling. A half-day tour runs about $40/adult. My personal favorite experience was out of the Gulfport Marina: https://dolphinsnorkelingcruise.com
Don’t Miss The Boat! Make a reservation and arrive early. Tour operators will want you to board on time so everyone in the group gets to enjoy the full experience. Bring sunscreen, sunglasses, a light jacket, and a hat. The tour might include water, but I’d bring some anyway. Wear your bathing suit! Tours that include snorkeling normally supply the equipment, but feel free to bring your own. You’ll also want a mesh bag to bring home the wonderful shells you find.
The boat will leave from port and very shortly thereafter, start watching behind and beside the boat. Your captian will normally shout out where the dolphins begin jumping out of the water to play in the wake of the boat.
You’ll likely be taken to one or two of the area islands: Egmont Key, Shell Key Island, and Ft. De Soto are often on the itinerary.
If you are lucky enough to stop at Egmont Key, go exploring! This place is loaded with lots of history and old forts, jails, and a lighthouse that was built to ‘withstand any storm.’ This is a fantastic place for snorkeling too, so your captain should give you plenty of time to do both.