About Ocala, Florida
Ocala is known as the “Horse Capital of the World.” With 1,200+ horse farms and more than 50 known breeds of horses throughout Marion County, it is staggering to consider the impact these stately animals have had on the Ocala community.
Nowhere else in the world will you find this combination of superior natural footing, beautiful weather year-round, countless numbers of equine competitions and a seemingly unlimited number of retail services that focus solely on horses.
Ocala is home to a vast number of competitions that will keep you busy every weekend of the year. Ocala is proud to be home to the winter circuit hunter/jumper show, HITS; the brand new Florida Horse Park, which hosts a number of eventing, dressage, and driving competitions; and the 70,000-acre, 110-mile corridor Greenway Trail System, where you can hack your horses out for long beautiful trail rides. For the horse lover, there’s no better place in the United States to maintain a ranch: The horse farms in Ocala have everything you could want.
While the population of Marion County is currently 250,000, some estimates anticipate population growth of 50% by 2015, with some estimates calculating that the population may swell to more than 1,000,000 by 2025. Marion County has seen 20% increases in real-estate values each year from 2000 through 2005. Values continued to increase by 6% in 2006, which is remarkable given the dramatic slowdown in the national real-estate market during the same time frame. The market is still extremely strong in Ocala; and purchasing a horse ranch or horse farm in Ocala is great for your horses as well as your bottom line.
So what’s there to do after you’ve ridden your horses in Ocala? Plenty! Route 200, in the center of Ocala, is unlike most major cities’ “strips.” On Route 200, you will find every imaginable restaurant and retail outlet that you could find in your own hometown. In addition, Ocala’s downtown and historic district is experiencing a renaissance, with a restaurants, cafes and specialty boutiques catering to the growing, more sophisticated population. And when you want to get out of town, there is plenty to do that is still close by. With Orlando only 76 miles away, an hour’s drive to the south gets you to Walt Disney World and all the other major theme parks in the area. An hour’s drive to the west takes you to the Gulf of Mexico, and just 64 miles to the east is the Atlantic Ocean!
What’s more, Gainesville, home to the University of Florida and its infamous Gators, is only 35 miles to the north; so, if you want to enjoy the ambience of life in a college town, nothing could be easier.