On day 5 of our vacation, we drove back to Fort Walton Beach to check out the Gulfarium. First we stopped at the Donut Hole Bakery and Cafe in Destin to grab breakfast.
We had driven by this cafe several times earlier in the week and there was always a long line that extended out into the parking lot. We hoped that a mid-week visit would mean not having to wait.
This ended up being another excellent suggestion by my sister's mother-in-law. Our mid week choice allowed us to get right in (that and the fact that Jack no longer sits in a high chair!). Daniel ordered the chocolate chip pancakes and I ordered the western omelette (we like to share our plates, so everyone gets a taste of everything). It was all really good. My only regret was that we didn't try a donut!
Our biggest dislike of this eatery was the process for paying the bill... you have to wait in line with everyone who is there to purchase donuts from the counter. Which means it takes forever to leave. But it was great food and worth the stop.
Visiting Gulfarium in the off season was another good decision. There were no lines to see the animals and we had great seats for both the dolphin and sea lion shows.
General admission is $19.95 for adults and $11.95 for age 3-12. Jack was under age 3 so he got in FREE.
We stayed about 3 hours and really enjoyed the shows. I think it was worth the price.
They also offer additional packages that allow you to have more interaction with the animals – you can swim with dolphins among other things. But Jack is too young for this type of experience. I think it would be fun to do some day.
We really liked that Gulfarium was on the small side and didn't feel overly commercialized.
This probably has to do with the fact that it was built in the 1950s.
We had a great time seeing all of the animals and I even picked up our souvenir Christmas ornament* in the gift shop.
The rest of our day was pretty low key. Jack crashed in the car on the way home.
Thankfully we were able to transplant him directly to his pack-n-play... he must have been really worn out because he proceeded to sleep for over THREE hours!
After naps, we headed out to eat at Don Pedro's Cantina for supper.
It was located a few blocks from our condo and had good ratings as a local Mexican restaurant. It was pretty good. Daniel wasn't that hungry so he just had a burrito while I ordered the Fish Tacos and a fruity margarita. I thought it was all tasty, but we both thought the chips were a bit stale.
After we ate we wandered over to the outlet mall where we picked up a few things for Jack. Another fun day in the books for the Moore's Florida vacation.
*Harborwalk Village was the only other place in this area that we saw souvenir Christmas ornaments and they were pretty generic.