The horse industry has "foaled" its paradise in Ocala.
The hotel at The Equestrian Center is an elegant and welcoming haven.
Juniper Springs offers crystal clear water and shady retreats.
Food selections are fresh and glorious.
Kayak through the beautiful waterways.
Enjoy dinner while watching the best of international riders and horses compete.
Ziplining at The Canyons
Time to leave work and worries behind, and just have fun in Ocala/Marion County! Cool off in crystal clear springs, zip line through the trees, explore endless trails at your own pace, and treat yourself to meals, nights, and memories you’ll be talking about for years. So if you’re looking for a place that delivers everything you need for your best vacation ever, it’s safe to say that fun starts here.
Farmer’s Market (Thursdays)
Shop a fabulous selection of fresh, seasonal produce from local growers, baked goods, plants, handmade products and more. Free. 9am-1pm.
8405 SW 80th St.
Marion County Market (Fridays)
Make this your Friday lunch or dinner stop for fresh produce, seafood or mouthwatering pastries, several varieties of olive oils and vinaigrettes, beef jerky or freeze-dried candies and fruit snacks, just perfect for the weekend. Free. 9am-2pm.
610 SE 25th Ave.
Levitt AMP Ocala Music Series (Fridays)
Enjoy a weekly concert series featuring live music from national, regional and local artists in various genres, cultural arts displays and public art in an outdoor green space. Free. 7-9pm.
1501 Silver Springs.
Yoga in the Park (Saturdays)
Renew your spirit and find your center for the week ahead with an invigorating outdoor yoga class taught by certified instructors. Free. 9am. 7110 SW 80th Ave.
Ocala Downtown Market (Saturdays)
Kick off your weekend with a variety of vendors and local farmers featuring produce, goat and dairy products, meats, honey, seafood, soaps and so much more. Free. 9am-2pm.
SE 3rd St. and SE 3rd Ave.
Free First Saturday
Appleton Museum of Art
Practice the art of the staycation and visit the permanent collection and special exhibitions, get creative in the Artspace, enjoy a selfie or two in the sculpture garden, and grab a bite from visiting food trucks. Free. 10am-5pm. 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd.
OTHER FLORIDA HAPPENINGS
Fort Myers: Every first Friday of the month the Historic River District in downtown Fort Myers comes alive with art shows, live artists, dining and shopping. Takes place from 6pm to 10pm.
March 3 - 12
Daytona: This 10 day high octane party is considered to be the “World’s Largest Motorcycle Event” and attracts over 500,000 motorcyclists and enthusiasts who make the annual pilgrimage. Celebrations take place all over
town and include street festivals, concerts, motorcycle races at Daytona International Speedway, bike shows, rallies, manufacturer
showcases and much more.
April 21 - 30
Annual Conch Republic Independence Celebration
Key West: This raucous annual event commemorates the founding of our
Conch Republic. The celebration includes a ton of fun events including a big Kick-Off Party, Conch Republic Music Party, Boat Parade, Art & Craft Fair, Pirate’s Ball, Red Ribbon Bed Races, a wacky “Drag Queen” Race and much more. Info: 305-296-0213;
Habitat Ocala Strawberry Festival
Ocala: Savor the sweetness of the berry du jour with pie eating and pet contests, a car show, live entertainment, kids’ zones, the Strawberry Jam 5k, food vendors and more. Takes place from 9am - 5pm at the
McPherson Complex, 601 SE 25th Ave.
Ocala: Browse over 200 exotic, classic and American muscle cars while you enjoy
craft cocktails, scotch and bourbon tastings, culinary delights, and live music followed by a live broadcast of the Kentucky Derby and Arabian Horse Show. Takes place from 11am - 3pm at the World Equestrian Center, 1390 New 80th Ave.
Ocala has a wealth of other notable attractions including Silver Springs State Park, known for the famous glass-bottom boats allowing visitors to see the crystal clear waters from the actual Silver Spring.
The park was also the filming location for many of the Tarzan movies. The natural setting served as the perfect background for jungle scenes. Silver Springs was also the backdrop for The Creature from the Black Lagoon and Sea Hunt films, to name a few.
Silver Springs State Park is located on the western edge of the Ocala National Forest and attracts tourists to explore the many hiking trails, first magnitude springs like Juniper Springs, and other pursuits of ecotourism. Spend time at the Lake George Ranger District office learning more about what the forest has to offer visitors
History buffs will be drawn to the Fort King National Historic Landmark which was the site used by the Army during the Seminole War. In 2004, the site was designated as a national historic landmark. The site includes a replica of the original fort from the 1830’s, an interpretive walking trail and a visitor’s center.
Reilly Arts Center showcases a variety of live entertainment including a comedy show, a symphony concert, or a national dance tour. Tickets are definitely in high demand to attend an event at this versatile venue.
In addition, other entertainment options include laughing the night away at Bonkerz Comedy Club. The venue showcases a full lineup of comics from around the country. Bonkerz is located at the Ocala Breeders Sales and Racebook. And don’t forget that Ocala is located north of Disney, Universal Studios and SeaWorld theme parks, to name a few. We’re sure you will find lots of things to do in Ocala, Florida and the surrounding area.
If you are looking for things to do in Ocala, Florida, discover the Brick and the local art scene.
A must-visit for art lovers is the Appleton Museum of Art operated by the College of Central Florida. The museum is considered a preeminent institution in the southeast U.S. The Appleton, which opened to the public in 1987, was a gift to the Ocala community from Arthur I. Appleton who operated Bridlewood Farm where he bred and trained thoroughbred horses.
Take in dinner and a movie while visiting downtown Ocala. The historic Marion Theatre, showing first-run films, is within close walking distance to many of the restaurants in the downtown area. Also, catch the latest movies at Regal Hollywood Stadium 16 & IMAX.
When making your arrangements to visit the area, check out the schedule for the Ocala Civic Theatre to take in a live-stage production. The community theatre, located in the Appleton Cultural Center, features approximately 12 local productions each year.
The Ocala National Golf Club at Golden Hills is a short drive away so visitors can get a game in and still be close to the action at World Equestrian Center. As you can see, there is plenty to keep you busy during a show.
MORE THINGS TO DO IN OCALA, FLORIDA
Don’t pass up the chance to get close-up to a collection of fast rides at the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing. Garlits, known as “Big Daddy,” holds 17 world championship titles during more than 40 years of racing. He has won the NHRA National event an impressive eight times in his career.
Golf enthusiasts can take a break from the show ring and tee off on the 18-hole championship course at Ocala National Golf Club at Golden Hills which is just a short drive away. As you can see, there is plenty to keep you busy during a show.
4610 SW 49th Rd, Ocala, FL 34474
3530 SW 36th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
3610 SW 38th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
4100 SW 40th St, Ocala, FL 34474
3530 Sw 36th Avenue
Ocala Fl 34474
3580 SW 38th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
At the heart of World Equestrian Center – Ocala, we invite you to the latest paragon in luxury accommodations. The Equestrian Hotel is a prestigious venue that assures guests an unforgettable stay.
The grand lobby has 20-foot ceilings, crystal chandeliers and a floor-to-ceiling stone fireplace, Mahogany and Italian porcelain throughout the entire first floor. Worldly inspirations are found beyond the lobby, adorning each of the hotel’s five stories. Each floor has a large, elevator lobby featuring an art gallery which showcases the work of local artists.
Guests can enjoy the luxurious rooms and suites while immersing themselves in the equestrian lifestyle. Watch world-class equestrian sport, relax in the spa or by the pool, or explore the variety of shopping and dining options available on-site. Please view our hotel policy on pets before planning your visit.
The Equestrian Hotel
8510 NW 17th Lane,
Ocala, Fl 3448
3720 SW College Rd, Ocala, FL 34474
3712 SW 38th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
4101 SW 38th Ct, Ocala, FL 34474
3601 SW 38th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
3600 SW 36th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
3600 SW 38th Ave, Ocala, FL 34474
Ivy On The Square
Ocala at 53 S Magnolia (352-622-5550);
Williston at 106 NW Mail St (352-528-5410). | Ivy On The Square
Southern food is synonymous with comfort food so it’s not surprising that great Southern recipes, passed down from one generation to the next, are cherished and protected. And that brings us to Marjorie ”Mimi” Hale - the matriarch of the award-
winning “Ivy House Restaurant & Catering” in Williston as well as the new, hip “Ivy On The Square” in downtown Ocala.
Two restaurants, two different vibes but both share the same authentic Southern specialties created from Mimi’s cherished family recipes. You’ll find perennial favorites like homemade Pimento Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes, Shrimp & Grits and Mimi’s signature Baked Krispy Chicken. Everything here is outrageously good!
48 SW 1st Ave in Ocala. (352-433-2570) | lacuisineocala.com
Located in historic downtown Ocala, this charming French restaurant is like taking a trip to Paris without having to pack.
Owners Patrice and Elodie Perron source super fresh, high quality ingredients for their sensational European creations.
Specialities include Organic Half Roast Chicken with fresh herbs, black truffle and black truffle au jus; Pan-Seared Sea Scallops with celery root au poivre and a cognac cream sauce; and Herb & Dijon Mustard Crusted Rack of Lamb with demi glace sauce. Save room for dessert because the sweet endings here are the “piece de resistance!”
World Equestrian Center
Ocala Equestrian Operations: 352.414.7900
Hotel Reservations: 866.478.9267
1390 NW 80th Ave, Ocala, FL 34482
There is no other horse destination like the World Equestrian Center anywhere in the United States. World Equestrian Center – Ocala offers exhibitors, trainers, owners and guests an endless list of Florida horse show amenities for the ultimate Ocala, Florida equestrian resort experience.
PLACE CAPTION HERE
Two Different Vibes - Same Terrific Food
Two highly acclaimed restaurants.
Two different vibes.
One thing in common: great southern-inspired food and gracious hospitality.
In Williston, you’ll feel like you stepped back in time when you settle down for lunch or supper at the original award-winning “Ivy House Restaurant & Catering” which is situated in a charming, turn of the century Victorian home furnished with gorgeous period pieces.
In downtown Ocala, the new “Ivy On The Square,” exudes hip, urban sophistication with a lavish dessert bar, massive chandeliered cocktail bar and a posh new boutique just across the street.
In both locations, owner Marjorie ”Mimi” Hale, along with her two daughters and granddaughters, set the stage for a gracioius southern style meal to remember. The dishes, many of which are created from cherished family recipes, are simply prepared but absolutely outstanding.
Mimi’s signature Baked Krispy Chicken, BBQ Shrimp & Grits and
Fried Green Tomatoes are some of the most popular picks on the restaurants’ big menus which also include lots of fresh seafood and hand-cut steaks, as well as an extensive selection of glutenfree items.
3600 SW 36th Ave | Ocala Fl 34474
Arthur's is Ocala's favorite spot for Sunday Brunch and breakfast. We offer a hearty daily breakfast buffet. On Sundays, the tradition of gathering together for brunch is celebrated with a vast selection of entrees, seafood stations and fresh, local items. Join us for Sunday Brunch and see why the locals choose Arthur's.