Sunshine State Unveiled: Discover What’s New In Florida For Your 2024 Travel!

Sponsored by VISIT FLORIDA

It’s National Plan For Vacation Day, and we will always be the cheerleader telling you, “You can do it!”

Life is precious, memories are sacred, and after all your hard work each year, running your own ship, and taking care of so many other crew members, you deserve to dedicate time to travel.

family with snorkels on boat posing for camera
Scalloping in Steinhatchee, Florida

To help with your travel planning this year, we’re sharing what is new and hot for 2024 in Florida WITH a special discounted offer from Expedia.

Florida has always been a hotspot for tourists, and a favorite destination for our family, and with each passing year, the Sunshine State continues to offer new and exciting travel experiences.

Whether you’re a frequent visitor or planning your first trip to Florida, this blog post aims to highlight the best new thrilling attractions, luxurious accommodations and delectable dining options opening for you in 2024.

woman on hammock under palm trees

We have partnered with VISIT FLORIDA to promote a special booking offer for your trip to Florida.

What’s new in Orlando for 2024?

As the theme park capital of the USA, you can be sure, Orlando is hot on new thrill rides and simulated experiences in 2024.

ATTRACTION: Penguin Trek, SeaWorld  – Spring of 2024

sketching of people walking into penguin trek attraction

Buckle up for a snowmobile ride through Antarctica as part of a penguin research mission.

SeaWorld Orlando is ready to introduce its highly anticipated eighth coaster, known as “Penguin Trek, SeaWorld,” in the Spring of 2024.

As part of a penguin research mission, riders will embark on a thrilling journey that includes two launches and a winding track that extends across both indoor and outdoor sections. Covering an impressive 3,020 feet, this coaster reaches speeds of up to 43 miles per hour.

Sounds like your everyday roller coaster ride? Wrong.

The grand finale will bring you to a stop fully immersed in the heart of SeaWorld Orlando’s penguin habitat.

EXPERIENCE: DreamWorks Animation World, 2024

Shrek character turning a chainwheel of old hand water pump
Credit: Deposit Photos

We’re always ready for a brand-new world at Universal Orlando Resort. The new DreamWorks Animation World will feature four distinct themed lands with their own attractions and entertainment.

Expect vibrant colors, immersive sights, captivating sounds, and beloved animated figures such as Trolls, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. Aimed at families with younger children, DreamWorks will be a haven of limitless imagination.

ATTRACTION: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Magic Kingdom, Late 2024

animated picture of tiana's bayou adventure ride with characters in the boat

We’re going down to the Bayou in late 2024!

Walt Disney World will be taking us on a magical journey through the world of the Princess and the Frog, one of my favorite Disney movies.

Imagineers have done extensive research from New Orleans’ experts to bring to life the mesmerizing bayou, the French Market, and the enchanting life of a Princess and a Frog.

Guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen, and Louis, the jazz loving alligator friend on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration with original music inspired by songs from the film. You just know the spirit of this experience will only be jubilant!

HOTEL: Conrad Orlando, January 2024 

New to the hotel scene in Orlando in 2024 is the Conrad Orlando – now officially opened. This is Conrad Hotels & Resorts’ first property in Orlando. The luxurious hotel will have 433 rooms, consisting of 51 exquisitely crafted suites and 10 generous family suites.

 There’ll also be five distinct dining establishments, including a rooftop dining experience, a serene spa, and, at the heart of the resort, will be Evermore Bay, an expansive eight-acre crystalline lagoon and pool complex. A dedicated motor coach will take you to Walt Disney World® Resort, which is less than three miles away.

RESTAURANT: Plaza de Coco Onboard the Disney Treasure

family eating dinner on disney treasure while coco and family sing on stage

Here’s a fiesta you won’t want to miss in Florida this year. Get ready to join Miguel and his awesome familia as they spin their tale and whisk you away on some seriously lively, music-filled adventures at Mariachi Plaza onboard the Disney Treasure cruise.

The Plaza de Coco  dining experience is based on Disney and Pixar’s “Coco” and will include a menu filled with modern twists on traditional Mexican fare.

What makes this new restaurant special is it will tell the story over two nights through live entertainment featuring beloved characters and favorite songs from the film.

Did you know Orlando has a high-speed train?

brightline train at station in orlando

In September 2023, the Brightline train service opened within the Orlando International Airport, connecting South Florida and Orlando with high-speed rail!

Now it makes it easy to combine more than one Florida destination in your 2024 travels.

So, with that, let’s head 3 hours and 30 minutes by train to South Florida.

What’s new in Miami for 2024?

Awesome view of South Beach Miami as Carnival Vista departs for a 6 day Western Caribbean Cruise to Jamaica, Grand Caymans and Cozumel.
South Beach, Miami

With its electric energy, sizzling nightlife, and a dash of Latin flair, Miami is a lively destination for all. It promises to do that in 2024 with the following new additions that blend relaxation, excitement, and sophistication.

ATTRACTION: Messi Experience

Get ready to kick off the Messi Experience on April 25, 2024, as it starts its world tour right from the sunny vibes of Miami!

Picture this: Interactive activities that’ll have you dodging defenders and bending it like Beckham (or should I say Messi?). It’s not just a stroll down memory lane; it’s a deep dive into the life and times of the legendary Lionel Messi. We’re talking childhood anecdotes, legendary status tales, and everything in between.

So, grab your cleats and get ready to score some memories because the Messi Experience is about to take you on a ride crazier than a last-minute goal in extra time!

HOTEL: Even Hotel, Summer 2024

No need to let your 2024 fitness goals slip out the window when you travel to Miami.

EVEN Hotel is making its grand entrance in the summer of 2024 with the aim of creating a haven for health-conscious travelers.

Check into your room and be greeted with your choice of Peloton bikes or yoga mats waiting for you. When your post workout cravings kick in, head over to the EVEN Kitchen & Bar for a scrumptious lineup of meals and beverages that’ll make your taste buds do a happy dance and pump that protein back in your body.

The hotel is located within 15 miles of both the Miami International Airport and downtown Miami and is a 30-minute drive to Miami Beach and South Beach.

HOTEL: Bvlgari Hotel Miami Beach

aerial view of bulgari hotel swimming pool area and building by the beach in miami
Credit: Bulgaria Hotels

Bvlgari Hotel Miami Beach is about to make waves this year as the very first Bulgari Hotel in the USA. Tucked snugly into the glamor-packed Miami Art Deco district, this posh haven is gearing up to spoil guests with around 100 rooms, predominantly luxurious suites.

With its South Beach location, you can expect breathtaking ocean views. And if you need a break from the beach or take a dip in the serene outdoor swimming pool or relax in the rejuvenating spa.

Get ready for a stay that’s not just a vacation; it’s a Bvlgari experience waiting to unfold!

RESTAURANT: RosaNegra, Spring 2024

Miami’s foodie realm is about to hit a whole new level of awesomeness in the Spring of 2024 with the opening of RosaNegra. This restaurant is known to be one of the best restaurants in Mexico. It’s the brainchild of the real estate guru Robert Rivani, President of Black Lion. RosaNegra’s. This will be its sixth global spot and the flagship in the United States!

RosaNegra will be located in the Brickell district, an avant-garde center of fashion, culture and gastronomy. Travelers can take a journey through authentic and daring flavors from countries such as Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Brazil and of course, Mexico.

Pair your dinner with high-end mixology that tells an artistic tale and enjoy the side entertainment and live shows designed to elevate your Miami dining experience.

RESTAURANT: Lucky Cat By Gordan Ramsay, Feb 2024

Miami is Miami because you can travel around the world in just a couple of blocks. At this new restaurant opening in Miami, we’re traveling to the drinking clubs of 1930s Tokyo and the Far East.

And you don’t have long to wait, because the Asian open kitchen and late-night bar Lucky Cat by Gordon Ramsey is opening Feb 2, 2024.

What kind of vibe can you expect? Well, the Tokyo’s 1930s kissas and Shanghai drinking dens became the hangout for those seeking all things edgy and extravagant: illegal jazz music, late night banned dancing, rare whiskeys, and indulgent street food, so you can expect this will be the trendsetters place to be and one of the most talked about dining experiences in Miami for 2024.

What’s new in Fort Myers for 2024?

Fort Myers beckons travelers with its idyllic blend of Gulf Coast charm, pristine beaches, and cultural allure. The beachside fun in 2024 only gets better.

EXPERIENCE: Island Hopper Songwriter Festival, September 2024

girl on stage with guitar laughing
Photo By Brian Tietz | Fort Myers – Islands, Beaches and Neighborhoods.

Now here’s a festival, I’d happily get down to Florida for in 2024 – the celebration of good singer songwriter music.

The annual 10-day Island Hopper Songwriter Fest is spread across four of Fort Myers coastal areas: Fort Myers Beach, Captiva, Downtown Fort Myers, and Cape Coral. There will be over a hundred free performances in intimate venues across the island.

Schedule and lineup have not yet been announced, but previous artists have included Chris Janson, Autumn Nicholas (who we recently saw in Raleigh), Aby Gutierrez and Adriana McDonald 

The festival is held September 20-29, 2024.

Important to note: Only travelers interested in a laid-back beachside music event need arrive.

In case you missed it… Margaritaville Resort

colorful units on lake at margaritaville fort myers

Close enough to 2024 that we can include it in our what’s new for Florida for this year post, the Margaritaville Resort Fort Myers Beach had its grand opening in December 2023.

With the resort’s Caribbean influence and location on the pristine shorelines of the Gulf of Mexico and Matanzas Bay, You’ve no choice but to slip into island time here.

254 guest rooms and suites seamlessly fuse coastal-inspired design with considerate amenities, and the resort has six restaurants, and the indulgent St Somewhere Spa.

New for 2024 is the exclusive Fins Up! Beach Club, opening its doors to the public January 29, 2024, onwards.

Grab a sun lounge, a frozen margarita, swim in the large, heated lagoon pool and kick back to the sound of live entertainment daily and beach views.

What’s new in Palm Beaches, Florida for 2024?

Palm Beach aerial coastline
Palm Beach coastline | Credit: Deposit Photos

The Palm Beaches area Florida offers pristine beaches, upscale shopping, and world-class cultural experiences.

2024 will see a few more coastal lux offerings added to the region.

ATTRACTION: PopStroke, Late 2024

When a golf experience is backed by Tiger Woods, you know it’s going to be a hot Florida attraction for 2024. Of course, there’s no better place for it than the Palm Beaches of East Coast Florida.

The mini-golf experience, PopStroke, will open three locations in Delray Beach (2023) West Palm Beach (2024) and Wellington (2024.)

The PopStroke mini-golf difference is they have 18-hole putting courses built entirely with synthetic turf, which incorporate fairways, bunkers, and rough. Unique amenities include multiple bars with various craft beers, cocktails and wine, on-course mobile app drink delivery, an ice cream parlor, a playground, and a full-service restaurant.

This is the kind of mini-golf course that would get me excited to play. I promise you’ve never seen anything like it before! 

HOTEL: Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront, January 2024

aerial view of hilton palm beach hotel swimming pool surrounded by palm trees

Prepare for a whole new level of opulence because the Hilton Singer Island Oceanfront Palm Beaches Resort is gearing up for a lavish makeover!

Come January 2024, it’s emerging as “The Singer Oceanfront Resort,” boasting refreshed guestrooms, cutting-edge dining experiences, upgraded meeting spaces, and a charming beachfront bar that’s practically a postcard come to life.

Get ready for a redefined luxury experience that’ll sweep you off your feet!

RESTAURANT: Tutto Mare, Fall 2024

Get ready for a taste of the Mediterranean with the new venture from the Tutto il Giorno restaurant group, making its debut at The Royal Poinciana Plaza. Brace yourself for Palm Beach’s first and only intracoastal waterfront hotspot!

A standout feature of the restaurant will be the coastal open-air eatery on the outdoor terrace overlooking the water. Expect a gathering place that is something comfortable, chic, and intimate with a focus on delicious cuisine and exceptional wine.

What’s new in Daytona Beach, Florida for 2024?

Daytona Beach Florida during a hot summer day
Daytona Beach Florida | Credit Deposit Photos

Daytona Beach draws in visitors for its gorgeous coastline, thrilling motorsports events, and a lively boardwalk scene. 2024 will see more family friendly attractions and laid-back coastal travel experiences.

ATTRACTION: Daytona Aquarium and RainForest Adventure, Early 2024

Daytona Beach is gearing up for the grand debut of the Daytona Aquarium and Rainforest Adventure in early 2024. This revolutionary aquarium promises an immersive and educational journey, showcasing a diverse array of creatures from both the land and sea.

This expansive 55,000-square foot facility features nearly 40 distinct tanks, including a colossal 110,000-gallon shark tank and a captivating 12,000-gallon stingray touch pool.

Dive into habitats for alligators, crocodiles, frogs, snakes, and venture into an indoor rainforest teeming with lush vegetation, sloths, armadillos, and a variety of bird species.

HOTEL: The Renaissance by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront, Spring 2024 

In May 2024, the  Renaissance by Marriott Daytona Beach Oceanfront will grace 640 North Atlantic Avenue.

The new hotel will have modern rooms with private balconies, a swanky seafood restaurant, cutting-edge design, a multi-floor parking garage with valet services, an infinity pool, an oceanfront ballroom boasting breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, and outdoor event spaces.

RESTAURANT: Billy’s Tap Room, 2024 

Billy’s Tap Room, situated beachside along Granada Blvd., is gearing up for a spectacular relaunch in 2024. Boasting a storied history dating back to 1922, this iconic Ormond Beach restaurant has changed hands and is poised to make a comeback with a revitalized atmosphere, all while preserving its historic charm.

Anticipate a menu brimming with delectable seafood and steaks, paired with a lineup of beers and wines on tap, plus live entertainment to add that extra spark.

What’s new in Tampa, Florida for 2024?

Tampa Bay is a dynamic travel destination, boasting a perfect blend of cultural richness, thrilling outdoor activities, and a vibrant waterfront scene which only looks to get better in 2024.

ATTRACTION: Phoenix Rising Busch Gardens, Spring 2024

drawing of phoenix rising roller coaster doing the loop

Get set for coaster magic in Bush Gardens, Tampa Bay with “Phoenix Rising,” the hottest addition to the Pantopia area of the adventure park.

Crafted by the genius minds at Bolliger & Mabillard, this family-friendly suspended roller coaster hits speeds of up to 44 miles per hour along its 1,831-foot thrill ride.

The fiery adventure will have you riding the wings of a phoenix as you soar above the Serengeti Plain, diving into a whirlwind of fun-filled twists and turns.

RESTAURANT: Ash, Spring 2024

Get ready for a culinary delight as Ash, Tampa is geared up to tantalize taste buds with its Italian-inspired cuisine.

This full-service restaurant with a spacious outdoor patio where diners can savor every bite is the brainchild of Proper House Group and Chef Ferrell Alvarez. This will be their third culinary venture in Tampa.

Joining the ranks of Gallito Taqueria and Dang Dude at Sparkman Wharf, Ash is all set to elevate the dining scene with its mouth watering offerings!

In case you missed it… Mello on the Beach, Anna Maria Island

An Aerial View of the Beautiful White Sand Beach on Anna Maria Island, Florida
Anna Maria Island | Credit” Deposit Photos

Only an hour from Tampa on Anna Maria Island, are Mello on the Beach vacation rentals, which opened during the summer of 2023.

Built as a portal to a mellow recharge, the rentals are designed with a retro vibe and are tastefully adorned in a palette inspired by the vibrant colors of the sun, sea, and sunset.

The 1–3-bedroom units include a colorful kitchen, terrace access and private patios. Amenities include a lounge and shady poolside garden, BBQ grills and firepit areas (coming soon), lawn games and bike rentals for easy riding to nearby restaurants and attractions.

This secluded getaway is only steps away from Manatee Beach on the stunning Gulf Coast of Florida.

What’s new in the Florida Keys, for 2024?

The Florida Keys, with their turquoise waters and coral reefs, offer a tropical haven where relaxation meets adventure. You can be sure care for the marine world is high on the agenda for 2024.

EXPERIENCE: The Project Center, Early 2024

A dolphin with eye above water

Who doesn’t love to learn about marine wildlife while supporting organizations and programs that take care of them?

New in Islamorada in the Florida Keys for 2024 will be the “Protect Center Whale & Dolphin Hospital,” set to be South Florida’s exclusive operational and instructional veterinary hospital dedicated to caring for injured whales, bottlenose dolphins, and various marine mammals.

The Dolphins Plus Marine Mammal Responder (DPMMR) rescue team is hard at work creating the program and groundbreaking establishment which will feature a roomy 40-foot-diameter pool for extended marine mammal rehabilitation, an educational classroom, and an interactive 3,000-square-foot museum focused on marine wildlife conservation themes.

We’ve visited animal hospitals on our family travels many times and it’s always a rewarding and educational experience the whole family enjoys and bonds over.

Let’s travel to Florida in 2024!

woman and child in airboat going down wacissa river

Now you have a list of what’s new and hot in Florida, you can start planning your vacation around some of these new openings or any of your bucket list Florida experiences.

Now is the best time – National Vacation Planning Day gives you permission to.

Comment: What Florida destination and attractions are on your list for 2024?

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