1. Sunny days
This one might seem obvious because Ocala is in the Sunshine State, but its location in central Florida makes Marion County particularly sunny. Here, you can expect to soak up that sweet vitamin D an average of 233 days out of the year. That means more times for the sunsoaked activities you love like swimming, riding, hiking, and kayaking. Speaking of…
There are plenty of opportunities in and around Ocala to enjoy the great outdoors. You can enjoy canoeing and kayaking at Silver Springs and the Rainbow River, hiking at the Ocala National Forest and Paynes Prairie, and swimming at the numerous springs in the area. The National Forest is also a popular destination for campers.
3. Rural and urban: the best of both worlds
The Ocala area is a unique and convenient mix of both rural farmland and bustling city life. Getting away from it all or going where the actions is takes only an average of about 20 minutes from any direction, and there’s something for everyone. Head out toward Citra to pick berries and attend an Island Grove wine tasting on a sunny afternoon, or head downtown for a night out full of good music and good food!
4. Southern hospitality
A popular saying about Florida goes “the further south you go, the more Northern it gets.” We may be close to the gateway of south Florida, but here in central Florida we’re as Southern as sweet potato pie, and it shows! The people of Ocala are big believers in politeness and hospitality. Don’t be surprised if the person behind you at Publix starts talking to you like you’ve been friends for years, or your hairdresser asks for your life story and seems genuinely interested. That’s just how we roll down here!
5. Central to literally everything
Want to get out of town for a day? The options are endless! Ocala is centrally located to both the Gulf and East Coasts, and popular attractions in Daytona and Orlando. Hit the beaches of Cedar Key or St. Augustine, or head south for a day of adventure at Disney or Universal.
6. Endless culinary options
Date nights are never bland with Ocala’s wide variety of culinary experiences to choose from. Maybe you’re feeling some good French wine and a sophisticated atmosphere? La Cuisine has you covered. Or maybe you’re down for a tour of the Greek islands–Lakis and Feta have what you’re craving. Ocala cuisine includes everything from Indian to Japanese to Italian and everything in between. Bon apetit!
7. Horse country prestige
Ocala has a well-earned reputation as Horse Capital of the World, and we’re pretty proud of it. Marion County is a place rich with thoroughbred history and has the distinction of being the birthplace of numerous farms that launched the thoroughbred industry in Florida. Whether we’re personally involved with the industry or not, it’s pretty exciting as a local to see big names like American Pharoah and Zenyatta smash records and win Derbies, knowing they got their start right here.