|Located just to the south of Gainesville Florida, Ocala is situated in West Central Florida within Marion County. Ocala is an equestrian area also known for shopping, fine dining, festivals, arts and entertainment, with destinations such as the World Equestrian Center, Paddock Mall, the historic downtown square, the Appleton Museum and Cultural Center, Central Florida College, and the Central Florida Symphony.|
|Ocala also offers attractions such as Silver Springs Nature Park. A 350 acre natural theme park, Silver Springs surrounds the headwaters of the pristine Silver River, which is the largest artesian spring formation in the world. At Silver Springs Nature Park you can view the underground springs from the many glass-bottom boat rides and see fish, shellfish, turtles and alligators in waters that are up to 80 feet deep and 99.8% pure.|
|The Ocala area is also home to 27 area golf courses, two airports, three regional hospitals and many medical diagnostic facilities, doctor offices and medical professionals. But it is the horse farms and equestrian lifestyle that Ocala is most well known for.
The World Equestrian Center hosts a wide variety of equestrian events. The over 300-acre facility boasts 15 outdoor rings, as well as five climate-controlled indoor arenas and a 248-room hotel with stunning views of the property. In addition to the oversized accommodations, the hotel has a state-of-the art fitness center, day spa and a salon.
|Ocala has a rich history built around horses. The first horse farm in the Ocala area belonged to Carl G. Rose, but is now occupied by the Paddock Mall and Central Florida Community College. In the 1950's, a horse bred at the farm named “Needles” became the first Triple Crown winner ever from Florida.
This win and the critical acclaim that accompanied it allowed the credibility of local horse farms to grow, and more horse farms such as the famous Ocala Stud were established. Ocala Stud quickly became the nation’s leading commercial breeding farm. Ocala Florida is now considered the equestrian capitols of the United States and has over 1,200 horse farms within Marion County.
|Other equestrian highlights in the Ocala Florida region are the Horse Shows in the Sun (HITS) Ocala Winter Circuit. Founded in 1981 HITS has become a fixture within the eastern United States horse show jumping circuit. Every winter, the Ocala Circuit includes national and international participants from the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe.
There are many desirable residential neighborhoods and communities within Marion County that continue to grow as the rest of the world discovers what a wonderful place Ocala and Marion County is to live and play.
Contact Karen Kirkland today for a list of homes for sale in Ocala and Marian County.