Upcoming Destinations

Upcoming Destinations

These are rides being considered for development for blogging and possible RTE for Moto 17 Jax.

FLORIDA DESTINATIONS

SHORT DISTANCE FLORIDA DESTINATIONS (1-150 Miles)

 
IBA Daytona Bike Week Party
Jacksonville, Florida
March
20 miles
The Iron Butt Association’s most beloved event – The Annual Bike Week Party will begin Wednesday, March 14, 2018 in Jacksonville, Florida, approximately 80 miles north of the Daytona race track.  Check-in begins at noon.  Those spending the week in the Daytona area, and who have a bit more time, also have the option of joining us Wednesday evening March 14th for socializing or getting ready for the two rides hosted on Thursday, March 15th: a special SaddleSore 1000 and Bun Burner GOLD.

 

St Augustine Lighthouse
St Augustine, Florida
June
26 miles
The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum, Inc. is a private, non-profit museum dedicated to its mission “to discover, preserve, present and keep alive the stories of the Nation’s Oldest Port as symbolized by our working St. Augustine Lighthouse.  The Museum today serves 225,000 visitors each year. The Interpretive Division provides docent-led guided tours that are free with the cost of admission, on the hour between 11 am and 4 pm each day. This includes a tour of artifact conservation areas featuring artifacts from historic shipwrecks. Ship modeling, Heritage Boat Building and interactive exhibitions use visual, audio, tactile, and kinesthetic learning to share information with everyone.  And – don’t forget the ghost tour.  It’s haunted, you know.

 

Castle Otttis
St Augustine, Florida
June
18 miles
Castle Otttis was created as an original landscape-sculpture…  ”Done in Remembrance of JESUS CHRIST.” A landscape-sculpture is defined as a structure built to adorn or to view the landscape. Castle Otttis is an impression of an Irish castle of 1,000 years ago. The interior was created under guidance of historians from the Catholic Diocese of Northeast Florida to evoke an atmosphere of an Abbey (or early Christian church) in Ireland during the same period.

 

Devil’s Millhopper State Park
Gainesville, Florida
June
82 miles
Welcome to Devil’s Millhopper Geological State Park. In the midst of north Florida’s sandy terrain and pine forests, a bowl-shaped cavity 120 feet deep leads down to a miniature rain forest. Small streams trickle down the steep slopes of the limestone sinkhole, disappearing through crevices in the ground. Lush vegetation thrives in the shade of the walls even in dry summers. A significant geological formation, Devil’s Millhopper is a National Natural Landmark that has been visited by the curious since the early 1880s. Researchers have learned a great deal about Florida’s natural history by studying fossil shark teeth, marine shells and the fossilized remains of extinct land animals found in the sink. Visitors can enjoy picnicking and learn more about this sinkhole through interpretive displays.

 

Gypsy Gold Horse Farm
Ocala, Florida
June
120 miles
Gypsy Gold welcomes visitors, and in fact is the #1 Thing to do in Ocala and a favorite in all of Central Florida on Trip Advisor! Join us on Wednesdays, Fridays or Saturdays at 10:00 am for a two-hour informative tour of our farm. Meet the Gypsy Vanner horses in person, hear the history of the breed from its discovery in Great Britain to its growth in the United States. Your Tour Guide is Dennis Thompson, who discovered this unique breed and brought it to American soil. Your tour will include —

  • An overview and introduction to the breed and its history, the unique British Gypsy culture and where the breed is today by Dennis Thompson.
  • A walking tour of the farm where you’ll meet the stallions, mares, foals and various other animals loved at Gypsy Gold. We have treats you may purchase, or you are welcome to bring your own carrots.

 

Ellaville Ghost Town
Lee, Florida
June
125 miles
Ellaville was a boom town of the 1800’s where approximately 1000 people lived at one time. The location was at the merging of the Withlacoochee and Suwannee rivers. George Drew and Louis Bucki had a number of business’s here including logging, sawmill, turpentine, and railroad car building. George Drew became the first Governor of Florida after the Reconstruction. His mansion was 1/2 mile northwest of the Ellaville site. Built in the 1860’s the two story mansion was surrounded by formal gardens. The mansion was destroyed by fire in 1970. The ruins are still there. The ruins of the sawmill can be seen on the west side of the Withlacoochee River. The town started to decline in the 1900’s and the post office finally sucumbed in 1942 sounding the final disappearance of Ellaville.

 

 MEDIUM DISTANCE FLORIDA DESTINATIONS (151 – 250 Miles)

 

Manatee Viewing Center
Tampa, Florida
June
222 miles
Big Bend Power Station in Apollo Beach delivered reliable electricity to the community for 16 years before the commercial operation of Big Bend Unit 4 in 1986. That year, people started seeing manatees in large numbers in the power station’s discharge canal, where saltwater – taken from Tampa Bay to cool Unit 4 – flowed, clean and warm, back to the bay. When Tampa Bay reached 68 degrees or colder, the mammals would seek out this new refuge. The Manatee Viewing Center was soon born. Today, Big Bend’s discharge canal is a state and federally designated manatee sanctuary that provides critical protection from the cold for these unique, gentle animals.

 

 Henry B Plant Museum
Tampa, Florida
June
214 miles
Since 1933, the Tampa Bay Hotel has been home to the Henry B. Plant Museum and The University of Tampa. The building, renamed Plant Hall, is a National Historic Landmark. The Henry B. Plant Museum holds the distinction of accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums. Its mission is to interpret the history and lifestyle of America’s Gilded Age and the life and significant contributions of Henry Bradley Plant to the development of Florida and Tampa Bay. Original furnishings and artifacts and a dynamic self-guided audio tour immerse visitors in the opulence of the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel and its rich history.

 

National High Magnetic Field Lab
Tampa, Florida
June
204 miles
The lab hosts free public tours of the facility on the third Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. No reservations are required for this standing tour; just show up wearing close-toed shoes!) and check in at the reception desk. These tours include a general overview of the Magnet Lab and the research conducted here as well as explanations of the different types of magnets used here, including resistive magnets, superconducting magnets, pulsed magnets and our world-record hybrid magnet. The lab is located in Tallahassee’s Innovation Park at 1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive.

Schedule a Private Group Tour

Group tours (a minimum of eight people) of the MagLab are available for free to the general public. Tours last about an hour and must be scheduled at least three weeks in advance through our Tour Request page.

 

Lichgate On High Road
Tallahassee, Florida
June
196 miles
Tucked away on three acres off High Road is a fascinating property hidden from view. A visitor walks down a wooded path and is greeted by a majestic live oak tree shading a soft lawn. This tree, a sapling in the time of Shakespeare, keeps company with something not seen in Florida, an English Tudor-style cottage, which looks as if it comes from the pages of a child’s book of fairy tales. With a steeply gabled roof, diamond-pattern leaded glass windows and stone foundation, the cottage continues its vigil over the gardens, labyrinth and tree surrounding it.

 

Solomon’s Castle
Ona, Florida
June
243 miles
Solomon’s Castle covers 12,000 square feet and stands (at the moment) three stories high. It’s impossible to photograph in the blinding Florida sun, as Solomon has covered every exterior surface with discarded aluminum printing plates.  Solomon began building his castle in 1972. He had moved back to the States from the Bahamas looking for a quiet place to work, and found it in a Central Florida swamp. But when he discovered that the land he’d bought didn’t have enough high ground to build the horizontal building he wanted, he decided to build vertical. “I never was a very good planner,” he admits. “I decided, ‘Well, if I’m gonna go up, I might as well pick a style’.”

 

Essentially, the castle serves as an exhibition gallery for several hundred pieces of Solomon sculpture; “The ones that didn’t sell,” he explains.

Solomon gives a scripted tour of his work, the most grueling aspect of an otherwise enjoyable visit (“I wanted to be a comedy writer,” he admits). A gun that shoots toilet plungers is used “for flushing out perpetrators.” The “Car With a V-8 Engine” has a power plant made out of you-know-what cans. We’ll leave it to you to visualize what “Gnome on the Range” and “Holy Mackerel” look like.

Solomon keeps busy adding on to his grand creation. One recent project, the “Boat in the Moat,” is a 60-foot replica of a 16th century Portuguese Galleon that serves as the castle’s restaurant. “We don’t want it to be a huge success,” he explains. “I don’t want to get stuck in the kitchen.”  Solomon finished the boat and then built a lighthouse to handle the overflow from the restaurant.

 

LONG DISTANCE FLORIDA DESTINATIONS (>= 251 Miles)

 
Wall South Vietnam Memorial
Pensacola, Florida
June
387 miles
The black marble slash of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. is an iconic and nuanced symbol of the human cost of war, known and beloved across the United States. Less well known are a handful of permanent and mobile replica walls, like the half-scale installation in Pensacola, Florida called “Wall South.”  The idea for “Wall South” was born in 1987 when the “Moving Wall” temporary memorial installation passed through town and drew an emotional impact on the local community. 

 

Fort Pickens
Pensacola, Florida
June
400 miles
In 1821, the Third System of coastal forts was extended to include protecting Pensacola Bay and the communities that lined the mainland shore.

Pensacola Bay had long been considered important by European powers that sought to colonize North America. With depths ranging between twenty and sixty-five feet and twelve-and-a-half miles long, the bay could afford excellent anchorage and protection for ships. Through the Adams-Onís Treaty of 1819 Spain ceded East and West Florida to the United States and Pensacola Bay became U.S. territory. By 1825, legislation was passed to establish a navy yard and depot on the bay. Fortifications were needed to protect the new territory, its resources, and assets.

Fort Pickens was designed and constructed to defend Pensacola Bay and the Pensacola Navy Yard and Depot from foreign attack. The fort stood with its sister forts throughout the country safeguarding the democratic institutions of the young republic, and today it is an enduring symbol of the United States.

 

Florida Caverns
Marianna, Florida
June
258 miles
This is one of the few state parks with dry (air-filled) caves and is the only state park in Florida to offer cave tours to the public. The Florida Cavern has dazzling formations of limestone stalactites, stalagmites, soda straws, flowstones and draperies. The Chipola River and Blue Hole spring provide areas for fishing, canoeing and boating. Florida Caverns State Park is popular for camping, picnicking, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding. The park does not rent horses, however stables are available for equestrian enthusiast. The park also features a nine-hole, New Deal-era golf course set in beautiful rolling terrain.

 

Southernmost Point USA
Key West, Florida
June
494 miles
The Southernmost Point Buoy is an anchored concrete buoy in Key West, Florida, marking the southernmost point in the continental United States, the lowest latitude land of contiguous North American States. It is 18 feet above sea level. The large painted buoy was established as a tourist attraction in 1983 by the city at the corner of South Street and Whitehead Street. Today it is one of the most visited and photographed attractions in the United States.

The southernmost point was originally marked with a small sign, before the City of Key West erected the now famous concrete buoy in 1983. The concrete buoy has overall withstood several hurricanes and is a gathering place for photographs and tourists.  The paint job was damaged by Hurricane Irma in September 2017, but it was refurbished later that year by the original artist supported by the City of Key West which values the landmark as a tourist attraction.Cuba is roughly 90 miles south of this point in Key West, although this was not originally on the marker, but rather on a smaller sign next to marker.[

 

Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum
Key West, Florida
June
494 miles
This was Hemingway’s home from 1931 to 1939, although he retained title to the home until he died.  It is a private, for-profit landmark and tourist attraction now populated by six- and seven-toed cats that are descendants of Hemingway’s cats.  It was in this house that Hemingway wrote some of his best work, including the short story classics “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”, his novel “To Have And Have Not”, and the non-fiction work “Green Hills of Africa”.

 

Birthplace of Pan Am
Key West, Florida
June
492 miles
For those aviation buffs out there, visit Kelly’s Bar & Restaurant (started by the actress Kelly McGillis), the original home to Pan Am airlines.

Pan Am, originally named Pan American, was the largest airline in the United States from 1927 to 1991.  And it all started in little Key West when the small airline began regular passenger and mail service to Havana, Cuba.

Today the building houses a bar in the shape of an airplane wing. Continuing with the aviation theme, the ceiling fans look like the rotary engines of an aiplane.

No museum or tour. Small case diplays Pan Am artifacts.

Enjoy the inflight beverages.

 

Edison & Ford Winter Estate
Fort Meyers, Florida
June
326 miles
The present site dates from 1885, when Edison first visited southwest Florida and purchased the property to build a vacation home. His home, completed in 1886 and later dubbed “Seminole Lodge”, served as a winter retreat and place of relaxation until Edison’s death in 1931. Edison’s good friend Henry Ford purchased the adjoining property, “The Mangoes” from Robert Smith of New York in 1916. Ford’s craftsman style bungalow was built in 1911 by Smith. In 1947, Mrs. Mina Edison deeded the Edison property to the City of Fort Myers in memory of her husband for the enjoyment of the public. It was opened for public tours soon after.

In 1988, the adjacent Henry Ford winter estate was purchased and opened for public tours in 1990

 

Morikami Museum & Japanese Garden
Delray Beach, Florida
June
289 miles
The Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens is a center for Japanese arts and culture located west of Delray Beach in Palm Beach County, Florida, United States. The campus includes two museum buildings, the Roji-en Japanese Gardens: Garden of the Drops of Dew, a bonsai garden, library, gift shop, and a Japanese restaurant, called the Cornell Cafe, which has been featured on the Food Network. Rotating exhibits are displayed in both buildings, and demonstrations, including tea ceremonies and classes, are held in the main building. Traditional Japanese festivals are celebrated several times a year.

 

NATIONAL DESTINATIONS

 
Pikes Peak Hill Climb
Pueblo, Colorado
June
1790 miles
Pikes Peak is where the big boys compete.  Running a 12.5 mile course with 156 turns, which climbs from 6,000 to over 14,000 feet, and doing it in something slightly under 10 minutes.  Back in 2011-2013 Carlin Dunne won in motorcycles 3 straight years.  First as a privateer, then on a Ducati factory bike on which he was the first motorcycle ever to beat the 10 minute mark, then on an all electric bike becoming the first ever all electric motorcycle to beat all comers, gas and electric, and doing it by over 20 seconds.  

 

Nitro Circus
TBD
TBD (June – Oct)
???? miles
Travis Pastrana, one of the biggest names in dirt bikes, competing in multiple disciplines from Motocross to Free Style, has combine those passions to create what he has dubbed, Nitro Circus.  Nitro Circus is a 2 hour extravaganza.  And all-out assault on the senses with all manner of things flying through the air.  Including Travis’ wife, Lindsey, a pro skateboarder.  Who, like Travis, is an X-Games Gold Medalist.  This is Free-Style on steroids, where Travis makes himself the ball, rather than the golfer, in a bit that delivers immediate punishment if he doesn’t get in the hole.   

 

IBA Big As Texas Party
Allen, Texas
October
1036 miles
The Iron Butt Association will once again be holding its annual event and rides centered around the Memorial 1000 season held each Fall. The rides and party will be held on October 18-October 20, which is also the final weekend available for completing a Memorial Ride in 2018.  This year’s event will have some great additions.  We will be holding a series of seminars and information sessions on Thursday, October 18, given by riders with particular expertise in their subjects.  Topics will be as diverse as BaseCamp, to rally mgmt., to lights, to european touring.

 

Hangtown Motocross Classic
Sacramento, California
October
2837 miles
In the world of motorcycling, there is one form of riding that attracts more competitors, fans, and everyday riders than all the rest.  Men and women, sons and daughters, families and friends, you’ll find them on motocross tracks all across America.  46 years ago you would have often found me there as well.  If you’ve never been to a local motocross track you can be forgiven for not understanding that motocross is one of the most family friendly activities in existence.  When you see the kids, helmets nearly as big as themselves, getting air for the first time while being cheered on by the entire family.  Then seeing their excitement after the moto, and watching their confidence grow over the weeks and months – well – you’d have to be blind not to realize the powerful and positive effect it has on their lives.  Those serious about their hobby gather just outside of Sacramento, at Hangtown, California, for an EMA Motocross Series hosted event.  The first 2 days at Hangtown are reserved for the amateurs.  Young and old, they come to test themselves against each other.  Spectators often wonder to themselves if possibly they are watching a future national champion as the youngsters hone their skills.  The final day is for the pros.  This includes both professional women’s and mens’s motocross, both of which draw many of the biggest names in the sport.

 

Grand Prix of the Americas
Austin, Texas
April
1053 miles
Circuit of Americas, Austin, Texas.  Newest stop on the MotoGP Tour.  The top tier of motorcycle racing – MotoGP is a one-hundred-million dollar tour taking place in 11 countries across 4 continents.  It’s a traveling carnival, with 48 racers and hundreds of mechanics and technicians, all followed along the way by countless fans and members of the media.  These multi-million-dollar machines and their riders represent the absolute pinnacle of 2 wheeled performance. 

 

AMA Pro Grand National Championship
Springfield, Illinois
September
1000 miles
One of the oldest and most revered forms of motorcycle racing, the AMA Pro Grand National Championship.  A series of 19 events that take place at fair grounds and dirt tracks across the United States.  In the world of flat track, no event holds more prestige than the Springfield Mile.  Despite being over 60 years old, the Grand National Championship still draws a crop of talented young riders.  And – while there racing action alone provides more than enough excitement for anyone – the true brand loyalists are also aware that flat track racing is the front lines of the Harley-Davidson vs Indian battle for hearts, minds and market share. 

 

Costa Mesa Speedway
Costa Mesa, California
June
2436 miles
Speedway is motorcycle racing in possibly it’s purest form.  Run on small, horse arena sized, dirt tracks – the racing is rowdy and rapid and participated in by what might be considered the cowboys of 2 wheeled competition.  It’s 4 laps on a motorcycle with – no suspension – no transmission – and no brakes.  New races start every 3-4 minutes.  While Motocross and MotoGP bikes have evolved radically over the past few decades, Speedway Motorcycles have changed little from their beginnings in the 1920s.  For the past 4 decades there has been no place better for Speedway Racing than Costa Mesa Speedway. 

 

Bonneville Speed Week
Bonneville, Colorado
August
2366 miles
The Bonneville Salt Flats is like being in a snowy parking lot.  It looks like snow.  It’s the consistency of snow.  But it’s blazing hot.  The event is Bonneville Speed Week.  Where over 100 participants attempt land speed records on everything from mopeds to rocket cars.  It’s a happening.  Attracting riders from all over the world.  There are no practice runs at Bonneville.  You get in line and when you turn comes – off you go.