Looking Ahead to 2017 in the Sunshine State of Florida

New attractions, hotels, activities, and natural wonders for Florida in 2017 http://www.offbeattravel.com/tji-florida-new-for-2017.html

New hotels, restaurants, activities and attractions in Florida

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For the first time in over twenty years, the World Rowing Championships will return to the United States and, more specifically, to the Bradenton Area's own Nathan Benderson Park from September 23 through October 1, 2017. The World Rowing Championship regatta is the biggest annual World Rowing event and the most important of the season, held over the course of eight days from September 23 to October 1, 2017.

Brightline Trains Link Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach

Due to open in summer 2017, Brightline trains will provide a new express intercity passenger rail service connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach initially, with the service being extended to Orlando in 2018. The trains will come equipped with all the expected mod-cons like Wi-Fi and power outlets for each seat, a food and beverage selection and bike and luggage storage. The 235-mile trip between Miami and Orlando will take approximately three hours, traveling at 125 miles per hour. It will take less than 30 minutes to get to Fort Lauderdale from Miami and under 60 minutes to get to West Palm Beach from Miami.

The Florida Keys & Key West

On Stock Island, the 20-acre Oceans Edge Key West Hotel & Marina is due to open in December with 175 spacious suites and rooms and six pools. In Key West, the new 22-room boutique H2O Suites Hotel is also due to open in December with luxury one-bedroom suites, a rooftop deck and pool, and 11 plunge pools.

The 14-acre, 144-room Playa Largo Resort & Spa at mile marker 97.5 in Key Largo has opened as the first new-build resort in the Upper Keys in 21 years. Also in Key Largo, Largo, a private sanctuary at mile marker 101.7 is open, welcoming guests to its indigenous mahogany, palm, buttonwood tree and orchid surrounded retreat. Little Basin Villas opened this summer in Islamorada's Arts District at mile marker 81.8, offering nine three-bedroom, 3.5-bath waterfront holiday rentals. The 36-room "Play Naughty, Sleep Saintly" themed The Saint Hotel Key West has been named an Autograph Collection Hotels member.

Greater Miami

Centrally located in Downtown Miami's waterfront Museum Park, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science is due to open in 2017. The museum will incorporate a state-of-the-art planetarium, dazzling exhibitions on living ecosystems, the miraculous human body, outer space, frontiers of technology and a vast aquarium complex.

The 10th Annual Life In Color (LIC) Festival Miami will take place at Mana and RC Cola Plant in Wynwood on January 16. The festival is a magnet for rambunctious paint partiers, drawing some of dance music's most colourful characters.

The City of Miami will become a first-time host of the Midsummer Classic when the 88th All-Star Game is played at Marlins Park on July 17, 2017.

Ocala/Marion County

Silver Springs State Park is home to one of Ocala/Marion Counties most treasured landscapes. The newly constructed Ross Allen Trail, named in honour of the long-time Silver Springs reptile performer, offers a 1,600-foot boardwalk that leads to Ross Allen Island.

Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach

Peace River Botanical & Sculpture Gardens will be the first botanical and sculpture garden in Punta Gorda when it opens in September 2017. Seven large-scale sculptures will adorn the landscape of the 27-acre property, which will also feature boardwalks and docks.


In late spring of 2017, two 75-foot, double-decker, 150-passenger catamaran ferries will begin services around Pensacola Bay, travelling between Downtown Pensacola, Pensacola Beach and Fort Pickens located at the Gulf Islands National Seashore on Santa Rosa Island. Each passage will last between 35 to 45 minutes.

St. Augustine

The hugely popular Downton Abbey TV series will be brought to life at the St. Augustine's Lightner Museum which will host Dressing Downton, Changing Fashion for Changing Times, an exquisite exhibition of 36 authentic Victorian Era costumes and accessories from the drama series. The exhibition runs October 4, 2017 to January 7, 2018, and presents a costume history of the period surrounding World War I -- a fine selection from the series' wardrobe reflects on the changing times through fashion from 1912 to the mid-1920s.


The Centre of Tallahassee redevelopments are underway and will include cobblestone streets, three murals curated by Street Art Tallahassee, a 10,000-seat amphitheatre, the campus of Tallahassee's School of Arts and Sciences (a top ranked charter school), Dreamland BBQ, Barnes and Noble, Urban Food Market, a local brewery and movie theatre as well as a wide variety of restaurants and retail shops.

The "Capital City to the Sea Trail" weaves together more than 600 miles of trails allowing pedestrians and cyclists to explore the natural beauty of the destination. Within the city, the trail will link to the Tallahassee -- St. Marks Historic Railroad State Trail, an existing 20-mile-long, rails-to-trails route that runs from the Tallahassee to St. Marks on the Gulf Coast. The trail network will eventually extend into other neighbouring counties, along the abandoned Georgia, Florida & Alabama Railroad corridor, the U.S. 98 coastal highway and Ochlockonee Bay Trail.

Based on information provided by VISITFLORIDA.org

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February 17, 2017

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