We love Ocala. And we want to share it with you!
Ocala is known as the "Horse Capital of the World" and has extensive equestrian offerings. But we're not a one trick pony town! We are diverse. Ocala offers a thriving arts and culture scene, award winning restaurants, festivals, a world class aquatic center (FAST), eco-tourism adventures, parks and trail systems of all sizes, and scenic rivers fed by fresh water springs. We don't just raise Kentucky Derby winners. We also are home to Olympic medal winning speed skaters.
We are passionate about our community. We believe once you experience it, you will be too! The links on this page are only a sampling of our favorite things - just to get you started on your adventure. If you are seeking something not found here, please don't hesitate to ask us and we'll help you find it!
Arts and Culture
Appleton Museum of Art - Home to an extraordinary collection of over 24,000 objects, plus an outdoor sculpture walk and garden, and a wide variety of temporary exhibitions and special events throughout the year.
Magnolia Art Xchange - an art incubator housed in the historic Ocala Union Station. MAX is a collaborative resource hub for artists, educators, and art enthusiasts. In addition to hosting special events, the artist studios are open to the public.
Reilly Arts Center - Located just 5 blocks from Ocala's Historic Downtown Square in Tuscawilla Park, the Reilly Arts Center is Ocala's home for the arts and live entertainment. The venue hosts an eclectic assortment of events, concerts, meetings, and parties.
Silver River Museum - Located within Silver River State Park, the museum's exhibits focus on the cultural and natural history of Florida, and the importance of protecting and conserving our cultural and natural resources
The Marion - Offering a wide variety of programming from your favorite classic movies to intimate shows to speaking engagements. Don't miss an opportunity to experience one of the few art deco theaters still in operation.
Ocala Outdoor Sculpture Competition - This bi-annual outdoor sculpture exhibit is found at Tuscawilla Park and is sure to please! The online virtual tour includes a map to help you find the sculptures. You can start at the Tuscawilla Art Park located at 213 NE 5th ST, Ocala, FL 34470 and then circle the main lake at Tuscawilla Park to find the sculptures.
Equines and Canines
Florida Horseback Riding - Offering guided horseback trail riding and horseback riding lessons for individuals, families, and large groups! 365 days a year, 7 days a week even holidays from three different horseback riding locations in Central Florida: Ocala, Orlando and Lakeland.
Southeastern Livestock Pavilion - A landmark since 1945, the main pavilion has the largest clear-span roof south of Atlanta. It features grandstand seating for more than 4,200 spectators, an indoor, air-conditioned sales auditorium with theater-style seating for 800 people, and 226 stalls with iron gates — all under one roof! This venue hosts everything from horse shows to rodeos including the Southeastern Youth Fair. SEYF is the largest all-youth fair in the state of Florida.
World Equestrian Center - The largest equestrian center in the world, encompassing over 378 acres and offering great sport in a family friendly environment. In addition to equestrian events, the venue hosts a variety of sports competitions, trade expos, dog shows, and more! Don't miss the many retail offerings and five outstanding dining options.
Manatee Tours with Bird's Underwater - Swim with the manatees in nearby Crystal River. Bird's Underwater offers family friendly manatee snorkel tours, and scuba diving instruction in Citrus County for over 29 years, and gained a worldwide reputation for safety, integrity, customer service and just plain fun! Scalloping trips, dive tours, and kayak rentals are also available.
Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park - Guests have the opportunity to view herds of bison and cracker horses. Nearly 300 species of birds also frequent the park along with alligators, deer and many other animals. The park’s eight trails, including the 16-mile paved Gainesville-Hawthorne State Trail, allow one to explore the park’s interior and observe wildlife, while a 50-foot high observation tower provides for panoramic views.
Rainbow Springs State Park - One of Florida’s largest springs, the headsprings of the Rainbow River originates in this beautiful 1,472-acre park. Rich in natural beauty and cultural history, it is also a popular spot for swimmers, kayakers, tubers, and campers. Kayak, canoe, and tube rentals available.
Silver Springs State Park - Florida's first bona fide "attraction", Silver Springs has enthralled guests and residents since the mid-1800s. Experiences include taking a Silver Springs Glass Bottom Boat tour (#1 on our list if your time in Ocala is limited) or kayak, canoe, or paddle board the five-mile Silver River (rentals available).