hiking trails in ocala national forest
Day Trips in Florida and the Best Places to Visit,  Florida Fun Outdoor Activities

3 Best Things to do in Ocala

Explore Ocala

With beautiful outdoor surroundings, stunning landscapes, and plenty of outdoor exploration experiences; Ocala is without a doubt a true gem for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. When we visit Ocala we get to discover Central Florida’s charm. Because yes, although it’s about a 1 hour and 30-minute drive from the Orlando area, Ocala is part of Central Florida.

One of the best things we love when traveling to Ocala is the outdoorsy, laid-back vibe. We gathered 3 best things to do in Ocala, but the options are endless! It’s also home to the second largest national forest in Florida. Ocala is definitely the place to be when you want to relax, recharge, and unwind!

silver river museum in silver springs state park

backpacking in Ocala National Forest

3 Best Things to do in Ocala

Places to Visit in Ocala

One of the places we still have on our bucket list from Ocala is Rainbow Springs State Park, which we plan to visit this year. And there’s also backpacking in the Forest, which we have yet to do! We go to Ocala more than five times a year, and we still have so much to see! But from what we’ve seen, these are some of the places that won 5-stars in our Ocala travel guide.

backpacking in Ocala National Forest

Silver River Museum

Located within the Silver Springs State Park, this museum is part of a program from the Marion County Public Schools. It’s a great museum! Very informative, with super cool fossils, and historical artifacts.

Plan your visit

Hours: Open on weekends and most holidays, from 10 am to 4 pm.

Admission: $2 per person. Children under 6 are admitted free.

Location: 1445 NE 58th Ave., Ocala

silver river museum in silver springs state park

silver river museum in silver springs state park

silver river museum in silver springs state park

silver river museum in silver springs state park

silver river museum in silver springs state park

Fort King Historic Site

This fort is a national historic landmark originally built in 1827. It was burned by the Seminoles in 1836 and re-built a year after. We visited the fort during one of their Annual Fight for Freedom events which included reenactments and demonstrations. It’s definitely something to keep an eye on for your next family day trip!

fort king historic site in ocala

fort king historic site in ocala

fort king historic site in ocala

fort king historic site in ocala

Plan your visit

Hours: Open 7 days a week, from Sunrise to Sunset (7 pm).

Admission: Free

Location: 3925 E. Fort King St., Ocala

Ocala National Forest

Although the Forest deserves an article just for itself, it’s still worth to mention it on this list just so you don’t forget to visit! The Ocala National Forest has more than 600 lakes, springs, and rivers. Three of the crystalline water springs are for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. There are also nearly 100 miles of hiking trails that are perfect for a backpacking adventure!

Being that it’s such a big forest, we decided to give you the location of the visitor’s center. You can grab trail maps, brochures, take a look around the museum, and take it from there!

backpacking in Ocala National Forest

Pittman visitor center ocala national forest

Pittman visitor center ocala national forest

museum in ocala national forest

Plan your visit

Hours: Open 7 days a week, 24 hours a day.

Admission: Free

Location: Pittman Visitor’s Center, 45621 State Road 19, Altoona

Gear up and explore these 3 best things to do in Ocala!

best things to do in ocala

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Hi there! I'm Yanitza Ninett. I'm the mom, the wife, the stepmom, and creator of Next Stop Adventures. This is a blog about our adventures and travels, as a blended family of six! I love nature, sunny days, and I love to travel and capture life with my lens.

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