Discovering Ocala: Top Things to Do in Ocala, Florida

Nestled in the heart of Marion County, Ocala is a gem waiting to be explored. Often dubbed the “Horse Capital of the World”, Ocala is more than just a haven for equestrians. With its rich history, sprawling nature, and vibrant cultural scene, there’s something for everyone in this sun-soaked Florida city. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or just someone seeking an escape from the urban hustle, Ocala promises a myriad of experiences. Let’s dive deep into the plethora of things to do in Ocala, Florida.


1. Equestrian Adventures: The Horse Capital

  • Ocala Horse Farms: These sprawling estates are the backbone of Ocala’s identity. Tour the farms, watch majestic horses in action, and if you’re lucky, even catch a live equestrian event!
  • The Florida Horse Park: A premier venue for national equestrian competitions. Whether you’re a horse lover or not, the sheer athleticism on display is bound to impress.

2. Natural Wonders: Ocala’s Green Escapes

  • Silver Springs State Park: One of the world’s largest artesian springs, it’s perfect for kayaking, glass-bottom boat tours, and spotting wildlife.
  • Ocala National Forest: Spread across 673 square miles, it’s a sanctuary for hikers, campers, and nature lovers. Dive into its freshwater springs or simply enjoy the tranquility.

3. Historical Quest: Time-traveling in Ocala

  • Historic Downtown Ocala: Cobbled streets, historic buildings, and charming boutiques – a stroll here is like stepping back in time.
  • The Appleton Museum of Art: Boasting a vast collection of art, artifacts, and interactive exhibits, it offers a cultural feast.

4. Adrenaline Junkies: Thrills & Spills

  • The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park: Zipline across canyons, navigate obstacle courses, and get that adrenaline pumping!
  • Ocala Drive-In Theatre: Experience nostalgia and modern blockbusters at one of Florida’s oldest drive-in theaters.

5. Culinary Delights: Taste Ocala

From gourmet restaurants to quirky cafes, Ocala’s food scene is evolving. Don’t miss out on local specialties and fresh seafood.

6. Shop Till You Drop

  • Market Street at Heath Brook: A shopping haven with top brands, boutiques, and delightful eateries.
  • Ocala Downtown Market: Local artisans, fresh produce, and handmade crafts make this a must-visit.

7. Festivals and Events

From the annual Ocala Culinary Festival to the vibrant First Friday Art Walk, Ocala’s calendar is packed with events celebrating its diverse culture.

8. Golfing Paradises

  • Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club: Tee off amidst rolling greens and pristine courses.

9. Relax and Unwind

  • Sholom Park: A peaceful retreat with themed gardens, winding trails, and meditative spaces.

10. Nightlife and Entertainment

Ocala’s nightlife is burgeoning with trendy bars, live music venues, and theaters offering a slice of Ocala’s vibrant arts scene.


Ocala, Florida isn’t just a city; it’s an experience. It beautifully marries its equestrian legacy with modern attractions, promising a blend of nature, culture, and adventure. Whether you’re exploring its historic districts, soaking in its natural beauty, or indulging in its cultural offerings, Ocala ensures a rich and diverse experience. It’s a place where memories are made, stories are woven, and adventures await at every corner. So, pack your bags and set off on an unforgettable journey through the heart of Florida. Ocala is calling, are you ready to answer?