Situated in Marion County, the Ocala area boasts natural beauty and a tranquil, relaxed lifestyle. While there are plenty of recreational and cultural attractions, Ocala residents enjoy life at a comfortable pace, without the hustle and bustle of a big city or the seasonal crowds of a tourist town. This makes Ocala an ideal location for many active adult retirees.
Geography and Climate
The City of Ocala is located in the heart of Central Florida. It is less than 90 miles northwest of Orlando, and about an hour from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. Along the city’s east side, the Ocala National Forest covers approximately 383,000 acres of lush pines, lakes, rivers, and regional wildlife. With such close proximity to the Ocala National Forest, active adults who settle in the Ocala area can easily enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, boating, fishing, camping, biking, and much more.
The area’s natural beauty includes many scenic bodies of water, public parks, and recreational areas. Just outside of the city, the Silver Springs Nature Theme Park is a must-see attraction for both visitors and Ocala residents. This beautiful outdoor attraction is best known for its glass-bottomed boats which offer perfect views of fish, turtles, alligators, and other surprises under the clear spring waters. The park also has wildlife exhibits, rides, a petting zoo, concerts, and other attractions.
Active adults who love to golf will have no trouble finding an ideal course in the Ocala area. Public, private, and semi-private golf courses are dotted throughout Ocala and Marion County. Two popular courses are operated by the City of Ocala: Ocala Municipal Golf Course and Pine Oaks Golf course.
Many distinct shopping and dining districts can be found throughout the Ocala area. Antique shops and specialty boutiques are widely available in Ocala’s Historic Downtown Square. More familiar chain stores and restaurants are also easy to find at the nearby Paddock Mall.
When it comes to fine arts and live performances, Ocala offers several cultural attractions. While there are several regional museums in the area, the extensive collections at The Appleton Museum of Art are not to be missed. The Ocala Civic Center, the second-largest community theater in the state, offers live musical and dramatic performances year round.
55+ Communities in Ocala
Active adults who choose to settle in the Ocala area will have their pick of several impressive age-restricted communities. There are sprawling developments like On Top of the World, mid-sized communities such as Ocala Palms, and intimate neighborhoods like Spruce Creek Preserve. Del Webb's Stone Creek has been a hit with buyers looking for new construction homes and the latest high-end amenities. Those who prefer an active community without an age restriction may prefer a home in The Villages of Citrus Hills. Retirees who are looking for an active adult lifestyle in beautiful Central Florida should be sure to plan a visit to the Ocala area. With natural beauty, diverse shops and restaurants, outdoor recreations, cultural attractions and lovely communities, Ocala is a dream retirement destination.