Gulf World – Panama City Beach

One of the benefits of moving around so much is the ability to visit and explore a multitude of places that we may not have gone to otherwise. Panama City has been full of a lot of beach time, seafood, and sunshine. Once or twice a week I try to mix it up and take the my girls to a new place. The highlight of last was Gulf World <- Check it out here. Now, I’ve been to several similar places in my life, so I feel like my standards are fairly high. I’m not easily impressed with every dolphin that jumps or every sealion that dances. Gulf World knocked it out of the park. The facilities were well maintained, and the shows were more impressive than the last several i’ve experienced.

First, we walked right into the Kid’s corner. We unknowingly went on World Ocean Day which was such a fun suprise. Presley loves learning everywhere she goes (nerdy like her mama). We spent almost an hour going around to the tables that were set up, chatting with the volunteers, feeding mosiquitos, learning how to better care for our ocean, and of course, signing up for all the giveaways. Click HERE to learn more about World Ocean Day and their mission.

Sea turtle skull & turtle shell

fishing for misquito larva (the lady pointed out that it would make a great party game, but maybe make the pipecleaners into fish instead)

Bug eyes

Second, we headed through the bird and sting ray pavillion on our way to the Feathers and Friends show. Presley and Sailor attemped to chat with the multitude of parrots, and then they spent a significant amount of time touching the stingrays. My girls have ZERO fear. The show included parrot chats and performaces, some tricks with rats, and even a cat with some moves. My husband and I try to refrain from buying our girls so many things these days, but we are quick to spend money on experiences. Presley heard there was an opportunity to take pictures with four different animals, so we jumped at the chance even with the $30 price tag. Sailor immediately wanted to join in on the fun, so another credit card swipe later, and the fun could begin. The girls both got to have a parrot on their shoulder followed by a gekko.

We then proceeded to the sea lion and rough toothed dolphin show. The sea lions did the whip and nae nae along with several other tricks. I also greatly appreciated how much information they pack into their shows. The rough toothed dolphins were equally impressive and such beautiful creatures. This photo experience was the highlight for me to watch. Our day was sealed with a kiss…. from a sea lion.

Finally, we experienced the bottlenose dolphin show. To say this was impressive would be a great understatement. The trainers surfed on the dolphins, rode them straight up into the air, and worked with them so gently. After all the flips and tricks, we met with one of the dolphins for our final photo opportunity.

I wish I could speak on the food, but we packed lunch and snacks for the whole afternoon. All in all, we spent close to 5 hours exploring Gulf World, and we would certainly go back again. Next time, Presley has big plans to swim with the dolphins.

Until next time, thanks for following our adventures


The Gilmartin Girls

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