Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park, located on Okaloosa Island in Destin-Fort Walton Beach, Florida, is excited to announce that their resident Atlantic bottlenose dolphins are making themselves at home in the long-awaited Dolphin Oasis. 

Located on the north side of the park, Dolphin Oasis truly lives up to its name, boasting 2.2 acres of sandy dunes, palms, and the stunning emerald waters of the Florida Gulf Coast. After giving the dolphins time to acclimate to their new surroundings, Dolphin Oasis will debut just in time for the Spring and Summer 2024 seasons.

A staple within the local community, the Gulfarium is proud to have welcomed guests from the region, country, and all over the world since 1955. From the moment guests walk through the doors, they are immersed in an underwater world where they can view and interact not only with dolphins, but also a plethora of aquatic animals they may not otherwise have the opportunity to encounter.

With the animals moving to Dolphin Oasis, this means that for the first time since the Gulfarium opened, dolphins no longer reside in the original dolphin habitat.

“Our main dolphin habitat was one of the first of its kind and has stood proud for over 68 years,” states Will Merrill, president of the Gulfarium. “What was once a pioneering habitat for dolphins back in the 1950s provided dolphins the top-notch animal welfare that we offer our resident animals.”

The new Dolphin Oasis is an immersive, natural-themed experience reflecting the Emerald Coast and consists of three large, interconnected habitats, totaling over one million gallons of Gulf salt water designed with animal welfare, the guest experience, and conservation education in mind.

Dolphin Oasis was designed around the desire to continue to provide education and inspiration, as well as fun and relaxation for Gulfarium guests. The new presentation habitat provides grandstand seating for 480 guests, while still catering to the intimate, up-close dolphin presentation that visitors have come to know and love. The exhibit habitat, which will serve as a nursery for the birth of new calves, features a 27-foot acrylic split-level viewing area, where guests will be able to observe the dolphins from above and below the water’s surface. The encounter habitat will provide new and improved opportunities for guests of all ages to play and learn through interactive, in-water and out-of-water experiences with the resident dolphins.

This beautiful new addition to Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park now also provides an extraordinary and unique venue for events such as weddings, cocktail parties, and any special occasion worth celebrating.

Gulfarium Senior Vice President, Patrick Berry, says, “Our staff and longtime supporters are thrilled to see Dolphin Oasis come to fruition. We have been working on this expansion for many years, and witnessing our dolphins acclimate in their new home is better than we ever could have imagined. We cannot wait to welcome guests to Dolphin Oasis soon.”

Dolphin Oasis will be open to the public periodically throughout the winter months beginning December 26th. There will be limited viewing times as the dolphins acclimate to their new habitat, and the expansion will be fully accessible to guests beginning Spring 2024. Access to Dolphin Oasis is included with a general admission ticket to the Gulfarium.