As 2022 comes to a close, there is so much to look forward to in the Sunshine State in 2023. Whether travelers will be looking for new places to stay, take a trip to one of the many thrilling theme parks or experience a part of the state they may not have known, Florida has so many new things to explore. Read on for just a small selection of the many exciting new things to experience in Florida in 2023:
PENSACOLA: There’s always something new and noteworthy happening in the destination and 2023 will be no exception. Pensacola will welcome new hotels, upgraded offerings and exciting new activities for the entire family and any adventure enthusiast. Slated to open in winter 2022/2023, historic downtown Pensacola will welcome a new boutique luxury property to the neighborhood: Lily Hall. Historically home to the Mount Olive Baptist Church (1928-1982), the property is being transformed into Lily Hall – a 15-room boutique luxury lodging experience.
Through 2023, Innisfree Hotels will unveil upgrades to several of its Pensacola properties, as well as new additions to Pensacola Beach. In addition, Pensacola will also offer world–class Broadway touring performances at the Saenger Theatre, including “Jesus Christ Superstar’s 50th Anniversary Tour,” “The Book of Mormon” and “CHICAGO The Musical.” Adventure enthusiasts can take their adventures to new heights with the Laguna’s Scenic Zip, Northwest Florida’s longest zip rail – a new, custom 389-foot zip rail that has guests feeling the wind in their hair as they zoom around the park from 40 feet above ground.
JACKSONVILLE: Jacksonville’s New Year’s resolution includes constructing more venues and events for fun activities in Northeast Florida. Visitors and residents alike can look forward to several new restaurants, events and venues coming to a variety of popular Jacksonville neighborhoods.
Jacksonville Beach Town Center will be the perfect location to grab delicious meals with friends, hunt for the picture-perfect outfit or sip some locally brewed beverages with an oceanfront view. The first-of-its-kind regional Mexican restaurant with rooftop dining, Oaxaca Club, will be located on the top of the building with stores on the bottom. Estimated to finish construction in early 2023, this shopping center will be located on Jacksonville Beach, one piece of the city’s 22 miles of coastline.
Newly approved plans for Shipyards Four Seasons include a 176-room luxury hotel with 25 high-end residences, a 157,000 square foot class-A office tower and city-owned modernized marina. The five-star hotel will include resort amenities, such as a spa, pool and meeting spaces. Plans include a $4 million investment in Metropolitan Park, creating a 10-acre destination riverfront park. Construction is expected to start by the end of 2022 and complete in 2025. An extension of the full project also includes Miller Electric Center, a new Jaguars sports performance center currently underway. The Shipyards will deliver a downtown experience that blends urban design with waterfront entertainment.
TAMPA: The award-winning Epicurean Hotel is serving up a $21 million expansion project, giving foodies, connoisseurs of life and culinary explorers even more to love in the stylish Hyde Park district of South Tampa ,Florida. Located directly across Howard Avenue from the 137-room main hotel, the expansion will include 51 new guest rooms and suites, a private lobby, meeting space and rooftop terrace. With a classic, crisp white exterior, historic façade and lush, green landscaping, the four-story structure will incorporate two restored historic apartment buildings and add two floors of parking with 91 spaces. The expansion is scheduled for completion in the summer of 2023.
DAYTONA BEACH: The 65th annual DAYTONA500, NASCAR’s biggest and most prestigious event, will kick off NASCAR’s 75th Anniversary season. The 6th annual DAYTONA 500, which has had tickets on sale since June, is set for Presidents’ Day Weekend, Sunday, February 19, 2023. It will mark the 42nd straight year (dating back to 1982) The Great American Race has started off NASCAR’s season. Tickets are selling fast for the DAYTONA 500 and fans are encouraged to make their plans now and can do so by visiting www.DAYTONA500.com.
ST.PETE: TradeWinds Island Resorts – the Island Grand and RumFish Beach Resort – has added 141 guest rooms to its portfolio, along with a new zip line on the beach and a new Mexican restaurant concept at the Island Grand. The 141 rooms were part of the property formerly known as the Alden Suites, which was acquired by TradeWinds last March and incorporated into the RumFish Beach Resort. The expansion brings the RumFish Beach Resort room count to 353, for a total of 899 guest rooms at TradeWinds Island Resorts.
Known for its many unique, family-friendly activities, TradeWinds has also added the new Zing Ray Zip, making them the first-ever St. Pete Beach resort with a three-story, dual-line zipline on the beach. Resort guests can enjoy unlimited rides, soaring through the bright blue Florida sky for a thrilling bird’s eye view of the award-winning beach. Many more fun-filled amenities will be hitting the beach this summer at TradeWinds, including the Aqua-Bana, a 10-person covered floating cabana complete with a table and a cooler of ice.
OCALA/MARION COUNTY: As Ocala/Marion County grows, new hotels are popping up to accommodate more guests. Recently opened, the Avid Hotel is only minutes from downtown Ocala. Keep an eye out for a new Towne Place Suites® by Marriott hotel, opening in fall 2022. The TownePlace Suites will be an extended stay hotel located conveniently near the new World Equestrian Center (WEC) and the Florida Aquatics Swimming & Training. In addition to The Equestrian Hotel, WEC is planning to open a new extended-stay hotel with 400 suite-like rooms and an adjacent restaurant in June 2024.
DAVENPORT: Featuring 20 bedrooms and many more bathrooms, the VIP Hollywood Experience home – the first opened in the Fantasy Island quad of vacation rentals – features everything from a bowling alley to a half-court basketball area, a pool with its own lazy river and a wall that’s a single, movie-theater style screen. The brainchild of real estate investor Emmanuel Mohammed, the vacation rental home quad in Central Florida’s Davenport – just minutes from Orlando’s theme parks or the LEGOLAND Florida Resort in Winter Haven – is a far cry from the village in West Ghana, Africa, where he grew up.
NORTHWEST FLORIDA: The St. Joe Company employs more than 900 people during peak season and currently owns or operates six hotels in Northwest Florida, with an additional five hotels under development or construction. Here are just some of the new and upcoming hospitality amenities coming in Fall/Winter 2022:
The Lodge 30A, located in Seagrove Beach, will be 30A’s newest boutique hotel when it opens in December 2022. The Lodge 30A will be adjacent to the Greenway Station development and about the 15,000-acre Point Washington State Forest, providing convenient access the state forest’s expansive network of hiking and biking trails as well as to Greenway Station’s collection of restaurants and shops.
There will soon be a Hotel Indigo in the Historic Waterfront District of downtown Panama City, Florida, directly overlooking the Panama City Marina and beautiful St. Andrews Bay. This more than $30 million boutique hotel is scheduled to open in May of 2023, and will feature 124 guest rooms, a sky bar to be named Steam and an in-hotel restaurant to be named Tarpon’s, as well as a promenade along the waterfront. Guest rooms will offer sweeping views of the St. Andrews Bay.
Embassy Suites by Hilton is another new property scheduled to open early 2023. The hotel will overlook the white sand beaches and beautiful Gulf of Mexico and will be located adjacent to the famed Pier Park lifestyle center in Panama City Beach. The Embassy Suites by Hilton will feature 255 guest suites, a pool, meeting space, a fitness center, an on-site restaurant and an upper-level, Gulf-view social, catering and event space. Guests staying at the Embassy Suites will be treated to complimentary cooked-to-order breakfasts and a daily evening reception.
The Sunshine State offers visitors an assortment of unparalleled culinary options. To learn more and plan your next trip, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.