9 Amazing Things To Do In Ocala Worth The Money

Ocala is a stunning destination found in North Central Florida, and if you’re planning an upcoming trip to this wonderful city you can expect the fun to never stop. There are so many interesting things to get up to, it’s actually difficult to know exactly where to start.

9 Amazing Things To Do In Ocala Worth The Money

One of the first things you should be aware of is that Ocala is part of Marion County which is actually known as the world’s horse capital. So, you can be sure that horseback riding will be an easy activity to tick off your list.

Along with this, there are a variety of scenic views with all manner of adventures waiting for you.

But which ones are really worth the money (see also “Amazing Things To Do In Marco Island“)? Out of the plethora of options available, which ones are the best? Find out in this article. Below you will find a list of our favorite things to get up to while in Ocala.

So, grab a pen and a piece of paper, and start building your holiday itinerary with us today!

1. Silver Springs State Park

Starting off strong, we’ve got the stunning Silver Springs State Park. Honestly, the views are just unmatched here which is probably why it has been a popular destination for sets of blockbuster movies such as James Bond and Tarzan.

But there’s so much more to it than just this. It also has a rich history being the very first tourist attraction in the Sunshine State which was established way back in the 1870s. Not only that but it is also the oldest artesian spring across the globe!

And you can enjoy this amazingly scenic state park for a minimal price – you only have to pay for parking. You can then adventure around the amazing hiking trails or go for a bike ride.

If you’d like to splash the cash a little further, you can also opt to take part in some kayaking, visit the museum, or our personal favorite, take a cruise on the glass bottom boat tour.

2. Silver Springs River

If you’re already visiting the Silver Springs that run into this river, you may as well see where that water leads to. It’s such a stunning place to visit and you’ll literally only have to splash the cash on parking. What more could you ask for?

This 7-mile-long river is the perfect place for both relaxation and adventure so it’s perfect for the whole family.

You can simply take in the views, go for a wander, sit by a picnic table or you can decide to get down and dirty and go for a canoe or kayak ride down the river.

If you do opt to float away down this river, keep your eyes peeled for the plentiful wildlife.

Sea turtles often swim beneath you and snapping alligators rest on the river banks, all manner of birds fly and chirp in the sky above you too. There’s no better place to appreciate nature than at Silver Springs River.

3. Appleton Museum Of Art

For the culture vultures amongst us, there’s no better place to soak up a selection of European and contemporary art as well as observe several ancient African artifacts.

You can be sure that you’ll never get bored while taking your time to look around at the whopping 24,000 artifacts that the museum showcases.

Be sure to check the museum’s calendar too, as they often host several really interesting and entertaining events throughout the year. These can vary from conversations with new artists to workshop events, to live music performances.

All of which are phenomenal, so rest assured that no matter what is on during your visit it is sure to blow you away.

Admission to this museum is more than reasonable and they have a variety of different discounts too. It’s a great way to spend very little while still ensuring a great day out for the whole family.

4. The Canyons Zip Line And Adventure Park

If you’re looking for a thrill-seeking day out that will get the hairs on your arms raising, then you’ll want to make a bee-line for The Canyons Zip Line And Adventure Park. There are endless adventures to get up to while you’re here.

The park sits on two huge canyons and four astounding lakes, so you’ll also have the most wonderful view while you get up to all kinds of mischief.

The very first thing we recommend that you do is glide from new heights on any of the five zip-lining courses available. For an experience unlike any other, we also advise you to opt for the full-moon zipline where you’ll glide beneath the twinkling stars in the sky.

And don’t worry, if zip-lining is a little too hardcore for you, there are plenty of other adventures that aren’t quite as nauseating. Why not opt for a horseback riding tour and appreciate nature or kayak through the peaceful lakes?

There are even wine, chocolate, and gem mining tours and more available too.

5. Gypsy Gold Horse Farm

Could you possibly visit the World’s Horse Capital without visiting a horse farm? We think not. And there’s no better horse farm to visit than Gypsy Gold Horse Farm.

At this phenomenally pretty 40-acre farm, you’ll have the privilege of viewing some of the most beautiful, majestic, and colorful Gypsy Vanner Horses.

You can expect the tour to take around 2-3 hours, and while you’re there you will start with a talk that teaches you all there is to know about the horses, then you’ll be granted a fun and interactive walking tour of the farm that is fun for the whole family.

Finally, you’ll get the chance to pose for photos with the stunning horses too.

6. Kanapaha Botanical Gardens

Traveling to Gainesville from Ocala is a quick and easy jaunt that is so worthwhile. Located on Lake Kanapaha, you will find these astoundingly gorgeous gardens.

Wander around the 68 acres and 24 gardens to really find a new appreciation for the beauty of nature.

You’ll find a whole host of blooming flowers and stunning plants while visiting. Be sure to check out the bamboo display too which is actually the largest display in the whole of Florida. It’s also home to the state’s largest herb garden too.

The 1.5-mile paved walkway is wheelchair-accessible and dog friendly too. Just make sure that all four-legged friends are on a leash!

Once you’ve finished observing the flora and fauna you can also make the most of the gazebos and picnic tables scattered around the gardens and enjoy a bite to eat with some of the best views you can imagine.

7. Ocala Civic Theatre

You can never beat a trip to the theatre, and we must say, Ocala’s Civic Theatre puts on some of the very best productions you can imagine.

Don’t believe us? Well, here’s a fact for you – it is one of the largest community theatres not only in the state but across the entire country!

The theatre opened its doors more than 70 years ago and has been entertaining and enthralling its guests ever since, so you can rest assured that you’ll be in very good hands while here.

8. Don Garlits Museum Of Drag Racing And International Drag Racing Hall Of Fame

For motor enthusiasts, there is no better place to spend the day than at the Don Garlits Museum Of Drag Racing.

Any drag racing fan is probably well aware of the name Don Garlits, but for those who may be unaware, he is often considered the Father of the sport and is pretty much a race car driver legend.

This museum has opened its doors to visitors since 1984, and it only continues to grow in popularity. While here, you’ll get the chance to learn so much about the sport and even get to take a stroll through the Hall of Fame which is an amazing experience.

And of course, the bit everyone is looking forward to – you can also view close to 100 different drag racing cars!

9. Withlacoochee State Forest

For those who adore the outdoors, the 40-minute drive out of Ocala to visit the second-largest forest in Florida is an absolute must. Trust us, it’s worth the effort.

Admission into the forest park is inexpensive yet you’ll still have one of the best trips out that you’ve ever experienced.

You’ll definitely want to dedicate a large portion of your time to this wonderful forest if you’re hoping to explore all 155,000 acres of land. It’s the perfect option for camping, biking, and hiking.

But the stunning Withlacoochee River also allows for fun activities such as kayaking and canoeing too.

While you are this way, it’s also worth stopping off in Brooksville too where you will find some of the best breweries and distilleries in the state!

Final Thoughts

As you can see, there is no end to the opportunities for fun and entertainment while in Ocala. We recommend visiting each and every one of these attractions to make the most out of your vacation away.

But regardless of which options you choose, we assure you that you will have the absolute best time!

Julia Wright
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