The Camper/rv At Enchanted Oaks Farm
If youve been reading our blog for a while you know we love RVing! Weve taken a southwest road trip, Nevada road trip, and Southern California road trip all in an RV. If youre not ready for a full on RV trip where youre driving around consider staying in the camper/RV here since its stationary but you still get to test out the experience. Afterwards if youre ready to hit the road in an RV read our tips for first time RVers and what its like vacationing in an RV to prepare yourself!
All of our family photos at Enchanted Oaks Farm were captured by photographer Rachel Laxton. I highly recommend booking her if youre looking for beautiful pictures of you or your family while in Ocala.
There are lots of amazing things to do in Ocala, Florida and Im sad it took me so long to discover it when I spent so many years just 45 minutes away. Hopefully this article shows you it is a great place to visit and can easily be a 2-3 day addition to a longer trip to Orlando or Tampa as both airports are where youd need to fly into anyway. If youre looking for other lesser known areas in Florida, check out my blog post on Fort White, FL here. Please share this article is you found it helpful!
Visit Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park is one of Floridas first tourist attractions and for good reason! The park, which has been featured in many Hollywood movies, offers kayak and canoe rentals, as well as rides on their world famous Glass-Bottom Boats, where you can gaze into the clear waters to see fish, turtles, manatees and more. There are easy hiking trails and lots of fun photo spots throughout the park, as well as a cute gift shop and sweet shop!
Did you know that there are dozens of beautiful parks around Ocala / Marion County? To learn more about our parks, please click here.
The Cade Museum For Creativity And Invention
Located on South Main Street in nearby Gainesville, The Cade Museum for Creativity and Invention is focused on providing a creative spark for visitors with unique ideas. Although its only been open for a year, its already got quite a reputation as being a unique and stimulating attraction.
One of its most popular offerings is its Early Entrepreneurs Program, which gives children skills that are highly regarded in the business world but often overlooked by most school curriculums.
For parents with budding business moguls and inventors at home, theres no better place to foster relevant learning than the Cade Museum.
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Kids Activities Near Me: Belleview
Central Florida is home to a variety of landscapes and ecosystems, including scrub pine forest and cypress swamps. The Belleview-Santos trail is a great place for visitors to view the Florida wilderness up close. This 4 ½ mile loop trail is located outside of Ocala.
There are restrooms, picnic tables, and a paved parking lot at the trailhead. Hikers, cyclists, and horseback riders are all allowed to use this trail. Visitors who may want to stay the night or explore longer hikes can take advantage of the Santos campsite located nearby.
“Best Things to Do in Ocala, Florida for Locals & Tourists – Restaurants, Hotels” Back to Top or Beautiful places near me, what to do, restaurants for breakfast, travel guide, nearest beach
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Enjoy The Canyons Zip Line & Canopy Tours
Weve zip-lined in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Pigeon Forge, and Orlando and have taken our kids as young as 2. If youre like our family and live for thrills you will enjoy The Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours. Home to the highest, longest and fastest zip-lines in Florida Canyons Zip Line will not disappoint. Offering four zip-line tours, 3 zip, 5 zip, 9 zip and a full moon night tour you have lots of options.
Besides being high in the sky the park offers kayaking, horseback riding and a wine and chocolate tour. You could really spend an entire day here!
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The Seven Sisters Inn
One of the best places to stay in Ocala is the Seven Sisters Inn, this Inn is situated in Ocalas Historic District and it is housed in a Gothic Victorian home which was built in 1890.
Though it is listed as a haunted place in Florida, it is every tourist choice.
Quite a beautiful Inn, you will be impressed by its historic touches.
Its rooms are identified using the names of places, hence, you can travel from Egypt to Beijing, Paris and Morocco by just changing rooms.
Every morning, the Inn serves a 3-course breakfast to visitors, you can spend the morning and afternoon lounging in the Inn for a fun time.
Where To Stay In Ocala Florida
My family has a thing for staying in unique accommodations and Ocala did not disappoint with the options available. We spent unforgettable nights at Enchanted Oaks Farms, sleeping in a different tiny home each night so we could experience most of the offerings. Each tiny home sleeps two so as a family of four we rented two places each night sleeping two and two and with low prices it was still a very affordable option.
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Indulge In Water Sports In Ocala National Forest
Ocala National Forest itself is home to some 600 bodies of water, so you have the chance to take on any number of watersports.
Try slower sports like kayaking, or more heart-pounding options like jet skiing depending on your comfort level.
Some activities, like boating or swimming, are great for family bonding, while others, such as water skiing, you can enjoy on your own or in a group. The forest is a terrific place to explore which watersports suit your family best.
Union Street Downtown Farmers Market
Union Street Downtown Farmers Market is a market in Florida that holds every Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
This market began more than twenty years ago, today, it has grown into an impressive group of farmers, entrepreneurs and artisans who offer the community unique products.
The venue for the market is the Bo Diddley Community Plaza in downtown Gainesville, which is close to Ocala.
If you cant find an item in the Ocala market, you will most likely get it here.
Items you can purchase from this market include a fantastic selection of fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables, jewelry, arts, crafts, along with prepared food items and tasty homemade goods.
Based on your capacity, take to buying lots of items from this market to help these small businesses grow.
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Camp Or Stay In A Cabin
While there are some great lodging options available in the area, I think it’s fun to go camping with kids. If you’re the camping kind, there are plenty of places to camp in Ocala/Marion County!
If you’re not quite ready to go all out camping, you can stay in a cabin. Silver Springs State Park offers cabin rentals that accommodate up to six guests. Each cabin includes a full dining area, two bedrooms, one bath, a stove, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, a large screened porch, and a kitchen stocked with dishes, pots and pans, and silverware. Outside you’ll find picnic tables and a campfire ring with seating.
Best Things To Do In Ocala Florida
Every year, the state of Florida is a top vacation destination for travelers in the United States. They flock to the beautiful beaches that surround three sides of the state. Though it is located away from the coastline, central Florida is a destination that should not be overlooked. The city of Ocala in Marion County contains many interesting sights and offers a number of experiences for those visiting the Sunshine State, including lakes, wedding venues, and great restaurants. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
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Family Fun In Ocala Florida
First of all, where is Ocala? If youre like many families visiting central Florida, you might bypass Ocala on the way to see everyones favorite Mouse. Located in has a lot to offer families, especially in these odd times we are living in. Its easy to practice social distancing and enjoy all the fun things to do in Ocala.
Plan Your Trip To Ocala
Ocala is a perfect illustration of the saying Never judge a book by its cover,
A casual look at the city, and the feel of calmness here, one might assume Ocala as a boring city, hence, missing all the fun it offers.
This list of things to do in Ocala which cut across its parks for picnics, festivals, horse riding, and other fun stuff, are all in place to give you a fun time in this city.
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Additional Things To Do In Ocala
Even though weve spent a lot of time in town, there are still more Ocala attractions that we would like to visit the next time were there. We dont have personal experience with these, but weve heard good things about them so well list them here for you:
- Go horse back riding in Ocala after all it is the Horse Capital of the World.
- Visit the Florida Carriage & Car Museum. The last time we checked it was undergoing renovations.
- Visit the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association Museum and Gallery.
- Visit the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing.
Spend Some Time With Horses
Ocala is the horse capital of the world. There are literally more horses than people here! So naturally one of the things youll want to do when in town is to spend some time with these magnificent creatures.
Feeding, petting and spending time with the horses at nearby farms and stables is a very popular activity at Ocalas horse farms. Hop on a horse, explore one of the trails here, or take a lesson or two to see if youre a rider!
Book a tour and visit the rare Gypsy Vanner horses at the Gypsy Gold Horse Farm.
Horseback riding is definitely one of the top things to do while in Ocala. Hop on a horse, explore one of the trails here, or take a lesson or two to see if youre a rider!
Youll also want to keep an eye out for any of the painted horses that are on display throughout town.
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A visit to Florida doesnt always have to mean Disney World and Key West you dont have to be partying it up in Panama City Beach or departing a cruise from Tampa to have a good time . Instead, I would suggest a relaxing yet adventure-filled vacation in Ocala, Florida. In Ocala, you can enjoy the arts by catching a show at the local theater or learn about the rich ~natural history~ of the area through a glass-bottom tour in Silver Springs. If you are more of an adrenaline seeker, you can pursue this rush by gliding over the canyons or racing through the meadows. Whatever you desire, the charming city of Ocala has it for you – but be sure to check out these fun things to do in Ocala, Florida, so you can have a trip with no regrets.
For a place to stay in town, spice it up with our selection of the top RV rentals in Ocala!
Ocala Tuscawilla Park, located east of downtown, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. The venue features hiking and biking around a duck-filled lake, social activities for all ages, and more. This Ocala attraction is home to the Discovery Science Art Center, offering summer camps and weekly science lessons for kids ages 2 to 12. Thereâs also an Art Park on-site where youâll see myriads of eye-catching sculptures amidst natural scenery. The spot also comes with a playground, pavilions for relaxing, restrooms, and an amphitheater.
Day Trip To Ocala: What To Do With Kids
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If youre looking for things to do in Ocala on a Day trip with kids, youre in luck. The area is not only family-friendly and full of activities for the kids, but so many of them make it a perfect day trip destination.
The great thing about day trips is that you can pack up a lunch and make it a fun outing that is simple and easy to do. Coordinate it as a learning field trip for homeschooling or just make it an outing for you and the kids to enjoy.
All of these simple day trip options for kids and families take minimal planning and effort. Youll just have to get the directions, load up the car, and get everyone out of the house to get started!
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Appreciate Native Plants At Fort King National Historic Park
Fort King National Historic Park is rich in history and features many facilities to grace your day. The venue, named after Colonel William King, an infantry commander, was initially established in 1827 and was used as a military headquarters during the Second Seminole War. You can admire the many native trees and plants from the on-siteâs Heritage Teaching Garden. There are also grassy areas to enjoy picnicking. Aside from outdoor activities, the park features a library and an archeological center, highlighting artifacts discovered in the area.
Fort King National Historic Park
Address: 3925 E Fort King St, Ocala, FL 34470, United States
Enjoy Nature At The State Parks
Another benefit to visiting Ocala instead of a bustling, popular city is the ability to spread out. There are several popular state parks to choose from.
Silver Springs State Park
Silver Springs State Park is a stunning park to visit. The crystal clear water is incredible to see. Several famous movies were shot in the park including the original Tarzan movies and Creature from the Black Lagoon. The real draw is the famous glass bottom boat tour that allows you to see the springs in a way you couldnt on land.
While there is no swimming in the springs, you can kayak or canoe with your own equipment or by renting one. On a hot summer day, it would be worth the extra effort to get a little wet on your visit!
KP Hole State Park
Additionally, we visited KP Hole State Park near the Rainbow Springs State Park. Theyre both connected by the Rainbow River. Swimming is allowed on Rainbow River, and KP Hole has a great area for swimming.
If you want to tube, kayak, or canoe, equipment can be rented at the park. They also have large restroom facilities for changing, which we took full advantage of since we had a bit of a car ride back to our lodging.
Sarahs Tip: Disposable containers are not permitted on Rainbow River. If you want to eat or drink while floating down river, make sure you have reusable containers!
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La Cuisine French Restaurant
Located in Ocala, Florida, La Cuisine French Restaurant makes some of the best traditional French cuisine in Florida.
Their menu includes escargot, duck a lorange, ratatouille, French onion soup and lots more. They are all prepared in a traditional style using the freshest locally sourced ingredient available.
The name of the house chef and owner of the La Cuisine French Restaurant is Chef Patrice Parron, a native of Lyon, France.
Chef Parron was trained in some of the best restaurants in the country before opening La Cuisine French Restaurant in 2009.
This restaurant has won four Golden Spoon awards and also has been featured on The Travel.
It is truly a place which should not be left out of your checklist on things to do in Ocala.
Address: 48 SW 1st Ave Ocala, FL 34471.
Fort King National Historic Park
Located in Ocala, Howard Johnson is situated at about four miles to the center of the city and it is one of the best places to stay in Ocala.
This hotel contains a swimming pool, golf courses, cabanas and lots of other recreational facilities. Every room is equipped with cable TV and free Wi-Fi connection.
Howard Johnson is situated close to fun attraction spots such as the Silver River State Park which is 20 minutes drive away.
It is also close to the Thunderbird Care which is an on-site restaurant, they serves waffles, pastries, and fruits as dessert.
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