TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 5, 2021): As we all finally embrace 2021 with open arms, destinations across Florida are preparing to showcase what’s new and exciting.
With cultural programing, new hospitality additions, and an ever-changing culinary scene, Florida is primed to offer visitors a breath of fresh air throughout 2021.
Arts and Cultural Experiences
Designed to resemble an old Ford plant that once stood in Jacksonville, the newly opened Brumos Collection Museum features 35,000 square-feet dedicated to more than three dozen rare and historically acclaimed race and collector cars. It also offers meeting spaces a 22-seat movie theater, research archive and working car shop.
Paul Teutul Sr. of Orange County Chopper fame and area hospitality executive Keith Overton recently announced plans to open the OCC Road House & Museum, a new restaurant and attraction featuring custom choppers from the hit Discovery Network series “American Chopper,” along with hundreds of rare items from a vast collection of biker memorabilia.
NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale will present a major retrospective exhibition of fashion designer Anna Sui from February 27 - September 19, 2021. The World of Anna Sui explores the glamorous and eclectic world of one of New York’s most beloved and accomplished designers.
Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus will showcase the legendary pop artist Roy Lichtenstein’s screen prints based on Monet’s world-famous paintings of waterlilies and haystacks. Roy Lichtenstein: Monet’s Garden Goes Pop! will occur February 14 through June 27, 2021. The gardens are also home to a new butterfly house.
In partnership with the City of Port St. Lucie and Treasure Coast Sports Commission, the Florida Sports Hall of Fame Foundation is moving its Hall of Fame to the MIDFLORIDA Event Center in Port St. Lucie. The Florida Sports Hall of Fame includes 55 memorabilia exhibits from some of the biggest sports stars ever known in racing, golf, and football among others.
Naples Zoo will be taking families to new heights with an elevated giraffe feeding experience and exhibit for face-to-face encounters with the world’s tallest animal. The new design features an elevated viewing and feeding platform to allow more interaction between guests and the giraffes.
For more fun, SkyViews Miami, the city’s newest attraction, offers a Ferris Wheel ride with views over Biscayne Bay in private gondolas. Then, sail under the Bridge of Lions at sunset or look for dolphins along the Intracoastal with Sabrage Charters, which recently made its debut in St. Augustine. Owned and operated by Captain Glen Davis, Jonathan Cordero, and Ian Bartlett, Sabrage is a 63-foot Custom Cooper Catamaran equipped with high-end finishes, spacious decks, and comfortable seating for up to 110 guests.
In other attraction news, Universal Orlando has a new roller coaster inspired by the Jurassic World film franchise, called the VelociCoaster. Nearby, the Museum of Illusions Orlando, a mind-bending “edutainment” experience exploring the fascinating world of mental deception, will open with 50 intriguing exhibits on January 9, 2021.
Lodging and Hospitality Updates
The AC Hotels by Marriott Fort Lauderdale Beach opens January 2021 just steps away from Sebastian Street Beach. The 171-room hotel will boast ocean views, an open kitchen for European-style breakfast and specialty culinary events, a library, an expansive resort-style pool with cabanas and dining services, and 1,000 square feet of meeting space.
Hotel Effie will also open its doors in 2021. Situated on Florida’s Emerald Coast, the property features 250 guest rooms and suites, four culinary concepts by acclaimed chef Hugh Acheson, a luxury spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, and the only rooftop pool on Florida’s Emerald Coast. The White Elephant brand from Nantucket recently opened its sister property in Palm Beach, featuring 13 deluxe rooms and 19 suites which includes two penthouse suites located on the fourth floor, the Park & Palm Suites.
Book a stay at the Ponte Vedra Inn & Club and enjoy 41 new luxurious beachfront rooms and suites and a significantly revamped golf course. The new rooms recently debuted at Ocean House and Peyton House represent two new landmark complements and a modern-day interpretation of this iconic property, which has welcomed visitors to its idyllic shores since 1928.
In Ocala/Marion County, the “Horse Capital of the World,” the largest equestrian and multi-purpose event complex in the United States moves towards a grand opening in 2021. The centerpiece of the state-of-the-art World Equestrian Center is the 248 room 5-story luxury hotel complete with retail shopping, bakery, spa, unique food and beverage options, and much more.
The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel are becoming more accessible with 14 new direct flight routes launching before the end of 2020 to Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) in Fort Myers. In addition to Alaska Airlines’ new direct service from West Coast markets Los Angeles (LAX) and Seattle (SEA), airlines including JetBlue, Southwest and United have also announced new flights. American Airlines is also offering new daily nonstop flights to Daytona Beach from Dallas and Philadelphia.
In Tallahassee, The Cascades Project is a $132 million-dollar investment in a mixed-use development overlooking Cascades Park. The Project will include residential, retail, office, restaurant and hotel space as well as a satellite Visitor Information Center. Capital improvements in the city also include Market Street District redevelopment on the northside of Tallahassee, introducing 110,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, entertainment, hotel, office space as well as a bike park for cycling enthusiasts.
Food and Beverage Shout-outs
In Fort Lauderdale, the highly anticipated Cuba Libra Restaurant & Rum Bar is expected to open in early 2021. Chef-partner Guillermo Pernot promises a modern take on Havana-inspired dishes. Also in town, Florida House restaurant and bar will open in a building reminiscent of an Ernest Hemingway-like house with outdoor seating.
The Old Sistrunk Distillery is forecast to open in 2021 in Historic Sistrunk, Fort Lauderdale’s oldest African American community. A partnership between rapper, singer and songwriter Flo Rida and businessman and ex-rapper Victor G. Harvey, the distillery will produce the duo’s new Victor George Vodka, along with gin, whiskey, tequila and other specialty liqueurs. The public will have access with a tasting room, cigar bar, a wine lounge, and meeting and event space.
In Martin County, Stuart Brewery & Distillery is slated to open by 2021. The upcoming brewery-distillery combination introduces visitors to creative beers like Mango Milkshake IPA (with notes of vanilla and organic mango); Salted Caramel Russian Imperial (with a hint of coconut); and Raspberry Berliner (made using fermented organic raspberries).
The Delray Beach Market opens in spring 2021 inside a 4-story building, creating Florida’s largest food hall at roughly 60,000 square feet with 35 individually curated, best-in-class vendors serving local seafood, artisanal coffee, hand roll sushi, hand crafted burgers and more.
For more information on what’s new and upcoming in the Sunshine State or to plan a 2021 vacation to Florida, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.
About VISIT FLORIDA
As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 131.4 million visitors in 2019. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $91.3 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2018. According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research, for every $1 the state invests in VISIT FLORIDA, the official tourism marketing corporation for the State of Florida, $2.15 in tax revenue is generated. VISIT FLORIDA promotes tourism to Florida through sales, advertising, promotions, public relations and visitor services programs. As a public/private partnership, VISIT FLORIDA serves more than 13,000 tourism industry businesses, including major strategic alliance partnerships with Busch Gardens Tampa, Disney Destinations, The Hertz Corporation, Hilton, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, SeaWorld Parks & Resorts Orlando, Simon Shopping Destinations and Universal Orlando Resort.
Symeria Palmer, Publicist