2020 will usher in the opening of new hotels, attractions & festivals in the Sunshine State

Tallahassee, FL – (November 5, 2019) – It is the dawn of a new decade and with it comes new opportunities to explore the state known for sunshine, beaches, and days and nights filled with fun and excitement: Florida! A destination that is constantly evolving – with festivals, attractions, hotels & resorts, theme parks, wildlife, adventures and more for every type of traveller – 2020 is no different, with a variety of new offerings set to open.

In West Palm Beach, The Ben – Marriott’s new 208-room hotel – will open in January 2020 and offer guests a bit of Old Florida charm with a modern twist. Expect a blend of hotel styles, including exposed concrete floors and late 19th-century period furniture. Additionally, there will be a state-of-the-art fitness centre, a rooftop pool with private cabanas, and downtown West Palm Beach’s only waterfront ballroom with spectacular Intracoastal views.

In the Destin-Fort Walton region, the festival season will be in full swing in 2020! If celebrations of local food, beer and bourbon are up your alley, mixed in with live music, kid-friendly activities and more, Destin’s Shrimp ‘N Grit Festival will be held on February 29, 2020, while the Bourbon, Burgers, & Beer festival will take place on September 19, 2020.

For kids and kids-at-heart, LEGOLAND® Pirate Island Hotel, the first LEGO® Pirate themed hotel in North America, is set to open April 17, 2020. Located in Central Florida’s Winter Haven, just 45 minutes from both Orlando and Tampa, the newest on-site accommodation at LEGOLAND® Florida Resort will feature 150 fun-filled rooms (including four suites), a heated pool, hundreds of LEGO models, in-room LEGO treasure hunts, and exclusive character experiences… and all just steps from the entrance to the 150-acre theme park with its 50+ rides, shows and attractions.

In other theme park news, earlier this year SeaWorld Orlando announced that it had been designated as a Certified Autism Center by The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), joining Aquatica Orlando and Discovery Cove to become the first family of parks, in the world’s leading theme park destination, to be certified. DoubleTree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld has now joined these ranks, completing the programming required to earn the designation and ensuring its staff has the best training to provide its guests with autism, or other sensory needs, an inclusive experience tailored to specifically to them.

Known the world-over for its NASCAR races, Daytona Beach is also home to over 60 renowned art, music and one-of-a-kind pop culture festivals, making it the ‘Festival Capital of Florida’. In 2020, the Daytona International Speedway will welcome Florida’s biggest rock music festival experience. Running from May 8-10, 2020, the 10th anniversary celebration of ‘Welcome to Rockville’ will feature a star-studded line-up with the “World Center of Racing” at the backdrop.

Over on the Gulf side, for any Canadians cravings a little taste of home while in Florida this winter, The Sports Coast will open the doors on the first-ever Florida Snow Park, which will provide a never-before-seen winter wonderland in the Sunshine State, including a snow play area complete with a 300-ft. tubing slalom. And then, coming July 10, 2020, Wiregrass Ranch Sport Complex, a brand new, 98,000 sq. ft. indoor sport event centre, will open. This state-of-the-art facility will include eight basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, dance studios, a fitness centre, and event space for large banquets. Adjacent to the sports complex, for those looking to stay close to all the action, the Residence Inn by Marriott is slated to open in 2021.

Just a little further south on Anna Maria Sound in Bradenton, Margaritaville will come to life at the first-ever, Jimmy Buffett-themed Compass Hotel, slated to open in 2020. The six-storey, 123-room hotels will feature a free-standing Floridays Restaurant and Grill; modern, nature-inspired room designs with Margaritaville’s signature bedding; oversized bathrooms with rainfall showers, smart television and luxury onsite amenities.

In Ocala, the highly anticipated international destination located in the “Horse Capital of the World” is becoming reality, as the largest equestrian and multi-purpose event complex in the United States moves toward its Fall 2020 completion and January 2021 grand opening.  The centerpiece of the state-of-the-art World Equestrian Center is the 248-room, 5-storey luxury hotel complete with retail shopping, bakery, spa, unique food and beverage options, and much more.  The hotel’s 350-seat outdoor VIP terrace overlooks the immense Grand Center Court arena and plaza. On-site event venues include more than 700,000 sq. ft. of climate controlled indoor arenas, climate-controlled stabling for 2,200 horses, 17 outdoor arenas, and the 7,500-seat outdoor Derby Field.  When complete, this world-class facility will accommodate multiple equestrian disciplines as well as high-calibre expo & trade shows, canine, youth sports, social gatherings, weddings and other events.

The Sunshine State offers visitors access to unique, year-round events regardless of the season. To plan your next holiday getaway or to experience a unique Florida event, visit www.VISITFLORIDA.com.




As the Sunshine State’s No. 1 industry, tourism was responsible for welcoming 124.7 million visitors in 2018. Based on the latest economic impact study, Florida visitors contributed $85.9 billion to Florida's economy and supported 1.5 million Florida jobs in 2017.  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. To learn more about VISIT FLORIDA, please go to VISITFLORIDA.org or follow us on our industry social media channels: Facebook and Twitter @FloridaTourism.