Whether planning a getaway to the Panhandle, North, Central, or South, there is always something new happening in this welcoming state. Here are just a few ideas.

Northern Region


The sign on the entrance of the Daytona Aquarium Daytona Aquarium & Rainforest Adventure – Daytona Beach – Early 2024: The Daytona Aquarium & Rainforest Adventure will be opening in Daytona Beach in early 2024 and will be the destination’s first aquarium offering an interactive educational experience featuring animals from both land and sea. The 55,000-square foot facility will be located on the northwest corner of International Speedway Blvd. and Nova Road in the heart of Daytona Beach. Plans for the aquarium include close to 40 separate tanks including a 110,000 gallon shark tank and a stingray touch pool. There will also be habitats for alligators and crocodiles, frogs and snakes and an indoor rainforest with bushes, trees, rocks, sloths, armadillos and various types of birds.

Greenery at St. johns botanical gardenSt. Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve – Hastings – NOW OPEN: The St. Johns Botanical Garden & Nature Preserve is all about conservation of rare and endangered species of plants from around the world, as well as natural resources and native plants and animals. This beautiful preserve located along Deep Creek in the rural Hastings, Florida opened to the public in October 2023 providing guided tours and programs, as well as classes on plant identification, xeriscaping, landscaping, native plants, water conservation, and so much more.

Central Region


a view showing Clermont National Golf Course

Clermont National Golf Course – Clermont – Clermont National has their driving range and golf course. The course now features a new modernized irrigation system, bunker repairs, re-grassed fairways with Bimini Bermuda and resurfacing of the greens with Sunday Bermuda grass. The course is now open to the public.

Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana – EPCOT- Walt Disney World – Orlando – NOW OPEN: Journey of Water, inspired by Moana, will open at EPCOT in October of 2023. Guests will take a self-guided stroll along an outdoor trail where they can play and interact with water as it travels from the sky to the oceans and back again. Along the way, learn about the importance of water and discover its playful personality – just as Moana did on her heroic voyage. Journey of Water will open within World Nature, the EPCOT neighborhood dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty and balance of the natural world.

LEGO Ferrari Build and Race Experience – LEGOLAND Florida Resort – Winter Haven – Spring 2024:  From your imagination to the racetrack… It’s race time at the new LEGO® Ferrari Build & Race Experience opening Spring 2024 at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort! See a life-sized LEGO Ferrari and create your own Ferrari race car in interactive play zones before you test drive it through three extreme test tracks. Then digitally build and race on a virtual track to the finish line! Plus, the youngest drivers will design their own Ferrari with bigger bricks in the LEGO DUPLO® build zone.

Penguin Trek – SeaWorld – Orlando – Spring 2024: “Penguin Trek” – the eagerly awaited eighth coaster to join the park’s ever-expanding ride portfolio, will be coming to SeaWorld in the Spring of 2024. Designed as THE ultimate family launch coaster experience, “Penguin Trek” features a unique snowmobile styled ride car where once aboard, riders will embark on an exhilarating journey through the breathtaking vastness of Antarctica as they join a penguin research mission unlike any other. Featuring two exhilarating launches and a maze of twists and turns, this unforgettable coaster moves at speeds of up to 43 mph across a 3,020-foot track that traverses both indoors and outside. Yet, what sets this experience apart as truly extraordinary is its unparalleled finale: as the coaster comes to a halt, guests find themselves not in a simulated penguin colony, but in the very heart of SeaWorld Orlando’s own penguin habitat.  An experience for the whole family, the ride accommodates rider heights from 42-inches to 77-inches.

Image showing what the Phoenix Rising coaster will look like at Busch GardensPhoenix Rising – Busch Gardens – Tampa – Spring 2024: There’s nothing more exhilarating than a ride on the wings of the phoenix. Experience a fiery blaze of immersive, family-friendly excitement as you soar above the Serengeti Plain and drop into fun-filled twists and turns on the new Phoenix Rising. Inspired by legend, this suspended roller coaster in vibrant Pantopia is packed with surprises and speeds up to 44 miles per hour. But with a height requirement of just 42”, it’s the perfect adventure for families to embark on together! Let your imagination—and your adrenaline—soar as you feel the rush of the wind and thrill of the flight.

Southern Region

Marathon Wild Bird Center – Marathon – In Marathon, the 63.5-acre Crane Point Museum & Nature Trails has unveiled its all-new home for the Marathon Wild Bird Center, with educational bird enclosures, a shaded outdoor seating area, and a hospital and rehabilitation facility for treatment of sick and injured rescued wild birds. The facility can shelter more than 40 nonreleasable birds and continues to treat about 750 birds annually. Since 1995 the hospital has rehabilitated more than 25,000 wild birds of different species and released them back into their natural habitat. Crane Point, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is located at 5550 Overseas Highway (mile marker 50.5). Visit cranepoint.net or call 305-743-9100 or 305-743-3900.

MEGA MAYHEM, Dueling Water Coaster.Mega Mayhem: Dueling Water Coaster –Rapids Waterpark – Riviera Beach – March 2024: Rapids Waterpark, South Florida’s largest water park, announced the new ride– MEGA MAYHEM, Dueling Water Coaster. The new attraction is designed and manufactured by ProSlide Technology Inc. and is its Dueling PIPELine Blast/Flying SAUCER20 model. Mega Mayhem will be the first dueling water coaster ride in the state of Florida and is one of six installed in the world. Thrill seekers will compete to reach the finishing plunge first while experiencing drop and dive sensations along the way. (See our article in the May issue.)

The Messi Experience – Miami – April 2024: The Messi Experience is scheduled to debut in April 2024, commencing its global tour in Miami. This captivating attraction will immerse visitors in an exhilarating adventure, allowing them to discover the extraordinary life of Lionel Messi through interactive activities. Guests will have the opportunity to delve into the remarkable journey of Messi’s
transformation from childhood to legendary status.

The Protect Center Whale & Dolphin Hospital – Islamorada – 2024:  The Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder rescue group is targeting a spring 2024 opening of The Protect Center Whale & Dolphin Hospital as South Florida’s only teaching veterinary hospital treating injured whales, bottlenose dolphins and other marine mammals. Located at 82748 Overseas Highway bayside, the new facility is to include a 40-foot-diameter pool for long-term marine mammal rehabilitation, an educational classroom and a 3,000-square-foot marine wildlife conservation–themed museum. Its on-site Sustain Gift Shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. An affiliated experiential learning facility, The Connect Center, is located at 31 Corrine Place in Key Largo. Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder has cared for more than 700 injured, sick and stranded marine mammals in the Keys. Visit connecttoprotect.org/hospital or call 305-453-4321.

Places in Florida

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