Sea-Arama Marine Animal Park
Unusual Real Estate Listing # 187

1153 The main building at Sea-Arama. CLUI photo by Igor Vamos

SEA-ARAMA, AN ABANDONED AND CRUMBLING ocean theme park in Galveston, Texas, is for sale. Opened in 1966 as one of the first ocean theme parks in the nation, the Sea-Arama property features more than 25 acres with a four acre lake, and a 50 foot long, 200,000 gallon aquarium. The main building, called the Oceanarium, is a good example of 1960's resort-moderne architecture, and contains vintage receipt books and brochures from the original Sea-Arama resort, scattered all over the floor.

In 1988 it was the number one tourist attraction in Galveston, and the property was valued at around $6 million. Visitors came from all over to watch trained dolphins, sea lions, and whales perform, and fish the four acre man-made lake. In the late 1980's, the larger and more flashy Sea World Park opened up in San Antonio, leading to the demise of Sea-Arama. New owners will have to find a new use for the dolphin show tank, housed in the main building, as animal rights groups have made dolphin shows a thing of the past. Sea-Arama's dolphins were auctioned off to other marine parks when the resort shut down in 1990.

The property has been abandoned since that time, despite several attempts to reopen it as an RV park. Recent prospective buyers have had to hack their way through the overgrowth to get to the front door.

Asking price: About a million dollars, give or take. Listing agent: William Payne, Re/Max Galveston. Phone 409-737-3777.