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“What a pleasant surprise !”

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Delight in watching dolphins leap and sea lions play during our spectacular shows! Or participate and interact directly with these and other remarkable marine animals including stingrays, sharks, and otters in our new interactive programming (additional fee applies). Enjoy educational exhibits and beautiful ocean views. Open daily at 9am.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

It's been a very long time since we last visited the Gulfarium and I was not expecting much. Yes, it's a small park and is not Sea World but at a fraction of the cost, it is more than worth it. If you are in the Destin / Fort Walton area you should visit the Gulfarium. Be sure you go to both dolphin shows, they are different in many ways. Take your time, enjoy each animal show and talk and you will easily fill at least 5 hours. The on site food is affordable. Their touch tank was as good or better than most others. Spend plenty of time in the underwater dolphin viewing area.

1  Thank Got2BeTru
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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899 - 903 of 1,134 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2014

it was just such a cool experience! such sincere emotions when you see how smart and cute all these animals are. dolphins, and seals, and otters, just unbelievable.
makes you want to drop everything and go join the crew. btw, the guys that work there are really devoted to what they are doing. after a dolphin show the guy just came up to us and started talking about dolphins and some other stuff. and a girl we met later on was so excited about the otters. they are really knowledgeable, and it was really interesting to listen to them.
the park also has a little aquarium with sea horses, crabs and different fish, you can also see the sharks and stingrays, gators and turtles really close.

Thank roomoftunes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2014

It was probably the coldest that we've been in our visit to Destin, but it was also our happiest. Saw the dolphin and sea lion shows at Gulfaquarium and they were amazing. The trainers are fun and knowledgeable and really take an interest in both the animals and their audience. Can't wait to visit during warmer times when we can experience the hands-on animal adventures.

Thank Alice D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 25, 2013

The Gulfarium, though small, was just the right size for our group. Our son is autistic, and the sheer size of other zoos and aquariums can be overwhelming. The Gulfarium offered "up-close" views of many of its inhabitants that are not generally afforded at the multi-billion-dollar parks due to extensive setbacks and moats around the enclosures. Dolphins frequently swam by the windows only inches from your nose (much to everyone's delight). The dolphin show arena was small, and allowed everyone a close-up view.

Similarly, you can be separated from sea lions and seals by only the glass of the tank, or be separated from penquins by only the fence in the enclosure. There is a "touch tank" area for kids to feel various inhabitants, and a small shark moat, wherein you walk over a bridge and several sharks swim around you.

There was an aquarium area where you could view seahorses, an octopus, gulf-native species, etc. A nature path led you to an alligator area. All in all, there was an interesting array of animals to see, and all seemed well taken care of. There are rotating talks and "shows" that inform and entertain guests and occur frequently.

We had a good time, and appreciated the friendly, knowledgeable staff who interacted with the relatively small crowd present when we went on a cold but sunny day in December.

Thank Michiganders4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 18, 2013

I grew up in this area. The Gulfarium has gotten a little bigger than when I was in school, but it is still a very small operation. So anyone reading these reviews and planning on coming to the park, DO NOT expect Seaworld. I think if you go with the attitude that this is a small town marine park, you may have a better time. My most recent visit was in December. The weather was fantastic and the back drop of the Gulf was amazing. There were only a few visitors, so it seemed very quiet. The Gulfarium was known (many years ago) as a place that trained dolphins to sell to other, larger parks. You can observe the trainers working with some of the younger animals. If you go online, they will show you prices of animal encounters if you want to get up close and personal. For the most part, the prices are pretty reasonable.

Parking is pretty easy, and plentiful. There is food available no site. I suppose you can ask them if you can leave for lunch and come back. Right next door is the boardwalk with several restaurants. They also have a nice gift shop, and again, I thought the prices were very reasonable.

In some respects, the Gulfarium is sort of geared towards a younger set. I say that because I think the kids would be more thrilled, than perhaps the older people would. However, I think any age person can come here and enjoy seeing some marine animals up fairly close. I am middle aged and I enjoyed my time today. I came solo, and truthfully, my visit was not long. For the price I paid, I can come back at another time and see some more shows. And as another reviewer mentioned, 2 of the dolphins are pregnant and will be due this spring. Let's all hope there are 2 healthy births at that time. If in the area, make sure you visit and watch the calves swim with their mommies from the windows below. I believe it has been 10 years since they have had a birth at the park.

2  Thank maxona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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