2016 is coming to an end, which means most of us are dealing with the stresses of the holidays. Instead of overwhelming yourself during these last few months, give yourself something to look forward to. From festivals to hotels and restaurants, the Sunshine State will be boasting plenty of new thrills and attractions in 2017.
If you’re traveling as a family, look no further than Orlando. Walt Disney World will be featuring new rides and attractions. An all-new water theme park – Volcano Bay – will also be opening in Universal Orlando Resort.
There will be plenty of exciting things to do and see, but you must not forget the simplicity of Florida, and the year-round pleasures it has to offer. Soak up the sun at the state’s best beaches, go snorkeling among vibrant marine species in Key West, and go wildlife viewing in Everglades National Park.
Opening June 1, 2017 is an all-new water theme park. Enjoy canoeing with your family upward through dark twists and turns within the volcano on the Krakatau™ Aqua Coaster; face your fears on the Ko’okiri Body Plunge, a 70-degree fall through a drop door; and when you need to relax head to the Kopiko Wai Winding River.
Shutterstock/ Ken Durden
Orlando is hosting the NFL Pro Bowl – the National Football League’s all-star game – at the Camping World Stadium on January 29, 2017. ESPN will be televising the game.
Taking over the space of the former Doc’s restaurant will be Orlando’s newest boutique hotel, The Delaney Hotel. With 54 individually stylized guestrooms and suites, a state-of-the-art fitness center, private dining room and a New American Tavern, you’re going to want to book your room as soon as the hotel opens in late spring 2017.
Palm trees swaying in the wind, kids playing in the sand, surfers out in the ocean, and watching the sunset over the horizon are just some of the many things you have to look forward to at Florida’s best beaches. Some of their most spectacular shores include Amelia Island, South Beach, Clearwater Beach and Siesta Key Beach.
If you’re an avid marathon runner, you’re not going to want to miss the A1A Marathon and Half Marathon in Fort Lauderdale. The A1A Marathon will be held on Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. Enjoy a Post-Race Beach Party and on-course entertainment with live music. Some runner perks include receiving a technical race shirt, personalized bib (if you register before Jan. 1), a runner swag bag, and free shuttle service.
Prepare yourself for the adventure of a lifetime at the Gasparilla Pirate Fest. The Parade of the Pirates is a free event that will be held on Jan. 28, 2017. Join the lively, enthusiastic crowd, along the 3.8-mile parade route. Enjoy festive music and view more than 90 floats, 15 marching bands and colorful costumes.
Shutterstock/ Richard Cavalleri
Sports fans will want to head to Miami in 2017 because for the first time ever, the MLB All Star Game is coming to Marlins Park. The game will take place on July 11 and will be televised nationally on Fox.
Photo by Andi P. via Yelp
Orlando City will play its 2017 Major League Soccer season games at the Club’s new downtown soccer stadium. The stadium will have 25,500 seats, a 360 lower bowl, an all-natural grass playing surface, an expansive fan plaza which spans 10,000 square feet and a canopy to provide shelter from rain and sun.
Are you a college football fanatic? If so, you’re going to want to head to Tampa for the College Football Playoffs on Jan. 9, 2017. While you are there make sure that you take the opportunity to explore Tampa Bay. Visit the Tampa Museum of Art, go for a walk along spectacular beaches, visit Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, and grab a bite to eat in Ybor City.
With warm temperatures and sunny weather year-round, they Keys are the perfect destination. The new year brings exciting festivals and events. Go to the Florida Keys Seafood Festival Jan. 14-15, 2017; the Key West Food and Wine Festival Jan. 25-29, 2017; and the Marathon Seafood Festival March 11-12, 2017.
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Head to the world’s only motorsports stadium, Daytona International Speedway, on July 1, 2017 for one of NASCAR’s most anticipated events – Coke Zero 400. Watch as drivers battle for victory. While you are there make sure you head to The Fanzone for an exclusive look into the NASCAR garages and autograph sessions.