The Gulfarium is a must-do for locals and visitors alike!
The marine adventure park is located on Okaloosa Island, which is a stretch of land between Destin and Fort Walton Beach.
The Gulfarium has been entertaining thousands of visitors since it opened in 1955. The park’s mission is to educate and entertain guests to respect and preserve wildlife by providing unique and memorable experiences for all ages.
My kids absolutely LOVE the Gulfarium. We’ve been countless times and they never seem to tire of seeing the dolphins, otters, penguins, rays, sharks, sea lions, and more.
When you first enter, you are able to peek inside the dolphin tank. It’s amazing to be face-to-face with dolphins!
The dolphin show is not to be missed. Grab a brochure as you pay for your ticket- it will outline the daily show times. The Gulfarium prides itself on its incredible dolphin shows and was the first to record a dolphin jumping 21 feet!
The show isn’t all frills and tricks- the team does a great job explaining how they train the mammals and educate the crowd to respect and understand the nature of dolphins.
There are many other animal exhibits, most of which are outside, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.
The touch pool is always a big hit, but remember to be mindful of the animals and their habitat.
Birds, snakes, lizards, alligators, and turtles are also part of the Gulfarium family.
Here’s a tip: you can bring your own snacks and drinks into the park. There is a concession stand with the usual suspects like soda and popcorn, but we prefer to save a few bucks and pack our own.
When the kids need a break, Seal Beach is the perfect spot to play and relax.
The Gulfarium is hard to beat on a gorgeous day. The scenery is just incredible!
The Gulfarium might not be as impressive as aquariums in larger cities, but I think it does a wonderful job of showcasing and preserving our local marine life. It’s the perfect place to go on a rainy day or if you just need a break from the beach.
The Gulfarium also offers animal encounters and birthday parties. Be sure to check with the park, as certain age restrictions apply to some of the encounters. My five-year-old had her heart set on swimming with the dolphins for her birthday, but it’s for ages 8 and up. Something to look forward to, I suppose.
Don’t forget- the Gulfarium is having its FREE kids weekend January 28 and 29. It’s the perfect time to visit the park!