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It’s no wonder that Florida is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the United States. The fact is that a lot of people want to vacation in places that are different from where they live regularly — but at the same time, they don’t have the funds or sometimes the desire to travel out of the country. Luckily, Florida has all the advantages of an exotic destination, without the money or hassle of international travel. Florida is actually fairly diverse, with a number of different areas considered “prime” vacation destinations. A lot of people don’t want to go the typical tourist destination in Florida, like Palm Beach or Orlando. Whether it’s because you’re afraid of the crowds or because they just aren’t right for you, you may want to consider Ocala. Ocala is still a tourist destination for Florida; but it’s perhaps better for those who want to go somewhere with more natural attractions. There are plenty of activities to take part in Ocala, making it a great place for families. At the same time, it’s become a popular place for wedding venues as well. Whether you want to go to Ocala for a few weeks or a few days — whether you want a summer vacation locale or a wedding venue — here are a few different activities that you can take part in while visiting Ocala.
1. Horseback Riding
Horseback riding is extremely popular in Ocala, for a number of reasons. Right now, Ocala/Marion County is one of just four major thoroughbred centers in the world. There are 600 thoroughbred farms there, and they’ve produced 45 national champions, six Kentucky Derby winners, 20 Breeders Cup champions, and six Horses of the Year. Even if you just want to look at the horses, there’s a lot to see. Each year, about 7 million Americans ride horses, however, making it a popular pastime. You don’t have to be an experienced rider to ride horses in Ocala. There are horseback riding lessons available if your vacation is a bit on the longer side, or pleasure riding day trips available for those who want to explore Ocala on horseback. You can expect to be accompanied by an experienced guide on such trips, and matched with a horse that will work with your level of ability. There are also regular horse shows occurring in Ocala, if you’re a more advanced enthusiast or simply someone who wants to try something new.
2. Zip Lining
Did you know that 48 different states — including Florida, of course — offer commercial zip lines? Zip lining was once considered something hard to do, and perhaps even dangerous. But as it’s become one of the more popular activities in tourist destinations like Ocala, zip lining is now more mainstream, and safer than ever. Children and adults alike can go zip lining, and get a look at natural views in a manner different from many other. Zip lining is one of those activities that combine exercise with fun and daring, all without actually risking any harm. Zip lining in Ocala can be particularly fun because the natural beauty of Florida is quite unlike any other type that can be found in the United States. With that being said, if zip lining is a bit too rich for your blood, there are plenty of activities available that are a bit on the quiet side.
3. Visiting Museums
Ocala is more historic than you might realize — in fact, the McIntosh Historic District has 68 different sites listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are a number of different types of museums in Ocala, from historic homes to places like the Appleton Museum of Art, the Discovery Center, and the Marion County Museum of History and Archeology. There’s something for everyone in Ocala — it’s just up to you to check it out!