Gulfarium: Marine Adventure Park

1010 Miracle Strip Parkway SE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
(850) 243-9046 • (800) 247-8575

Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park has entertained millions since its inception in 1955. Located just east of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, the Gulfarium is the oldest continuously operating show aquarium and marine park in the world.

The Gulfarium was incorporated by fifteen scientists at the University of Miami and fifty local residents. Today, Willis C. Merrill III serves as president of the company and many of the stakeholders at the Gulfarium are the same, or their heirs, as they were back then.

In the beginning, the main habitat contained multiple animal species including sharks, dolphins, rays, and sea turtles. The Gulfarium pioneered the techniques used in obtaining, filtering and maintaining crystal clarity of the Gulf of Mexico seawater. This technology was used to create the Living Seas exhibit in 1956. This exhibit is a panorama of sea life found in the local waters and is located in a 60,000-gallon aquarium of circulating water and includes sharks, moray eels, stingrays, sea turtles and various fish including grouper, tarpon and snapper. The Gulfarium also features a bottlenose dolphin show in the park’s 500,000-gallon filtered saltwater tank.

The Gulfarium’s extensive history of shows and demonstrations continues to this day. In 2011, the Gulfarium underwent an extensive remodel with the recent additions of close-up animal encounters, providing our visitors with a new dimension of discovering sea life.