Fun Things to Do in Ocala

Ocala is a city for history buffs, nature lovers, and everyone in between. There are fun things to do here for all interests and tastes! Go hiking, catch an art exhibit, stroll through historic neighborhoods, or take horseback riding lessons.

The Gypsy Gold Farm

The Gypsy Gold Farm is a beloved spot in Ocala. It is home to the Gypsy Vanner Horse, a breed that was discovered in England and introduced to North America in 1996 by Dennis and Cindy Thompson. The Thompsons’ farm in Ocala is now home to a thriving family of Gypsy Vanners.

Touring the farm is the #1 Thing to Do in Ocala according to TripAdvisor! Tours last two hours and include a history of the Gypsy Vanner breed, a walk around the farm to meet (and feed!) the horses, and photo opps.

Ocala National Forest

The second largest national forest in Florida, Ocala National Forest is 607 square miles of sand pine scrub forest. You may see black bears, alligators, white-tailed deer, wild boar, bobcats, gopher tortoises, otters, and more!

Visitors enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, biking, horseback riding, off-roading, and camping. The many springs, rivers, and lakes allow you to canoe, fish, snorkel, scuba dive, and marvel at the cool, clear waters.

Silver Springs State Park

In 2013, the former Silver Springs Nature Theme Park was combined with the Silver River State Park to create Silver Springs State Park. The park features the largest artesian spring in the world.

Visitors come here for the glass-bottom boat tours on the Silver River, museum and environmental center, and various outdoor activities. You can hike or bike the 15 miles of trails, canoe, kayak, camp, and look for local wildlife.

Historic Downtown Ocala

Urbanites will love the blend of big-city-meets-small-town feel of downtown Ocala. Here you’ll find a diverse offering of restaurants, art exhibits, boutiques, and theaters. Visitors should definitely stop by downtown to take in the history and surviving architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Appleton Museum of Art

The Appleton Museum of Art is home to 18,000 displays from all over the world, from various eras. Since its opening in 1987, the museum has been recognized as one of the premier art museums in the South. Visitors can take a tour, listen to guest artist talks, and discover new themed exhibits on a regular basis.