Ocala is central to almost everything in central Florida. Ocala is little less than an hour to the Gulf of Mexico and a little over an hour to the Atlantic Ocean. It is around 90 minutes north of Orlando and the theme parks and the international airport. Ocala is about 45 minutes south of Gainesville and the University of Florida. It’s around 2 hours to Tampa.
Marion County is quite large at 1663 square miles. That’s as big as the state of Rhode Island. Even though we have a population of over 250,000 that only works out to roughly 160 people per square mile, which is low for Florida.
In addition to Ocala, Marion County has 4 other incorporated cities. They are Dunnellon, Belleview, McIntosh and Reddick. There are several towns such as Anthony, Citra, Orange Lake and Oklawaha to just name a few. There are also sub divisions like Silver Springs and Marion Oaks that are larger than some towns.
The Ocala area enjoys a wonderful sub tropical climate. Winter temperatures average 69 for highs and 45 for lows. Marion County does get regular frosts and even an occasional freeze. Summers have highs of 93 and lows of 72. It is humid from June until October but it’s a small price to pay for no winter. Summer is the wet season with regular thunder storms. Winter is quite dry with little rain and low humidity.
Marion County has a number of lakes, rivers and natural springs. Silver Springs is the largest artesian spring in the world. If you remember old time Tarzan movies, they weren’t filmed in Africa. That was Silver Springs Florida
Three quarters of the 383,000 acre Ocala National Forest lies within Marion County. The Forest as it is known, offers hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, 100 miles of horse trails and trails for ATV riders. There are 600 springs, creeks, lakes and ponds. The largest is Lake George which is a 43,000 acre impoundment of the St. Johns River.
You can’t think of Florida without thinking of golf. Ocala has 15 public, private and semi private courses. The most notable is the Golden Ocala golf and Country Club which has 8 holes that were designed to duplicate holes at St. Andrews course in Scotland and The Masters course in Augusta Georgia.
The Ocala Marion County area currently has the lowest median home prices in the state of Florida. You won’t find a better value in real estate.
No discussion of a city in Florida would be complete without mentioning hurricanes. Ocala has never experienced a hurricane. We do get the remnants in the form of tropical storms, which can blow down trees and power lines and damage mobile homes. However we have never had a devastating hurricane.
Money Magazine has consistently rated Ocala as one of the best places to live in America. A visit to the links section of my web site will provide more in depth information as to why Ocala is such a great place to live.