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  • Writer's pictureAcadia Acres

15 Can’t Miss Attractions within 25 Miles of Ocala International Airport

Considering a trip to Ocala, Florida? You’re going to love it—the area offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich equestrian heritage, and diverse cultural offerings. You’ll have a fair bit of adventure in store too, if you want it. 


Nestled in the heart of the Sunshine State, Ocala boasts the stunning landscapes of Silver Springs State Park and the Ocala National Forest, providing outdoor enthusiasts with opportunities for hiking, wildlife viewing, and water adventures. 


Renowned as the "Horse Capital of the World," Ocala invites visitors to explore its sprawling horse farms, witness the majesty of thoroughbred horses, and immerse themselves in equestrian culture. 


The city's historic districts and museums, such as the Appleton Museum of Art, offer a glimpse into its vibrant past and artistic present. With charming downtown areas, delectable local cuisine, and a welcoming community, Ocala stands as a hidden gem, inviting tourists to discover the allure of Central Florida beyond its more widely recognized destinations.


Ocala International Airport


Image of an plane at the Ocala International Airport

Fun fact: The Ocala International Airport is actually not a public airport. 


People traveling to and from Ocala tend to use Orlando International Airport, Tampa International Airport, or Gainesville Regional Airport. But there is a strong and growing interest in the city to broaden Ocala International’s use. 


In fact, in the fall of 2023, the city accepted a grant of more than $300,000 from the Florida Department of Transportation. It’ll be used to conduct an environmental study for the Ocala International Airport taxiway project. The ultimate plan is to expand the airport’s runways and taxiways to better handle the area’s increasing popularity.


Even if you’re not flying into Ocala International Airport directly, the landmark still serves as a primary community hub. So if you’re planning a visit, it pays to orient your trip with the locale in mind. 


There’s a lot to do and see in the area. Let’s explore some of your options!


Can’t-Miss Destinations Near Ocala International Airport

  1. Ocala Downtown Market

Visiting on a weekend? Explore fresh produce, handmade crafts, and local goods at the Ocala Downtown Market.


DISTANCE: 5 miles from Ocala International Airport.


  1. Silver Springs State Park

Explore the natural beauty of Silver Springs with its glass-bottom boat tours, wildlife viewing, and picturesque landscapes.

DISTANCE: Approximately 5 miles southeast of Ocala International Airport


  1. Ocala Historic District 

A charming small town with antique shops, historic homes, and a laid-back atmosphere, this is the perfect destination if you’re in the mood for leisurely exploration.


DISTANCE: Approximately 5 miles from Ocala International Airport.


  1. Ocala Ghost Walks

Embark on a guided ghost tour through Ocala's historic sites, hearing tales of the city's haunted past.


DISTANCE: Tours typically start about 5 miles away from the airport.


  1. Appleton Museum of Art

Located on the College of Central Florida campus, this museum houses a diverse collection of European, American, Asian, and contemporary art.


DISTANCE: Approximately 5 miles south of Ocala International Airport.


  1. Yummy House Ocala

Hungry? Indulge in authentic Chinese cuisine at Yummy House, a local favorite known for its delicious and diverse menu.


DISTANCE: About 5 miles south of Ocala International Airport.


  1. Brick City Adventure Park

Perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, this park offers mountain biking trails, a disc golf course, and a dog park.


DISTANCE: Approximately 6 miles southwest of Ocala International Airport.


  1. Sholom Park

A beautifully landscaped park with walking trails, gardens, and peaceful lakes, this park provides a relaxing outdoor experience.

DISTANCE: About 6 miles southwest of Ocala International Airport.


  1. Ocala Civic Theater

If you’re interested in live performances and plays, the Ocala Civic Theater provides a cultural and entertaining experience. 


DISTANCE: Situated about 6 miles south of Ocala International Airport.


  1. The Mojo Grill & Catering Co.

Enjoy a meal at this popular local eatery known for its eclectic menu and vibrant atmosphere.


DISTANCE: Roughly 6 miles south of Ocala International Airport.


  1. Horse Country Carriage Company and Tours

Horses are part of the genetic makeup of this city. Celebrate that fact with a horse-drawn carriage tour through Ocala’s horse country as you learn about the area’s rich equestrian history. 


DISTANCE: Roughly 8 miles southwest of the airport.


  1. Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing

A must-visit for automotive enthusiasts, this museum showcases the history of drag racing with a vast collection of racing cars and memorabilia.


DISTANCE: Roughly 10 miles south of Ocala International Airport.


  1. The Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours

Looking for a bit of adventure? Experience the thrill of zip-lining through treetops in this unique outdoor adventure park.


DISTANCE: 15 miles southwest of the airport.


  1. Gypsy Gold Horse Farm

Visit this farm to see and learn about the rare and beautiful Gypsy Vanner horses, known for their distinctive markings and gentle nature.


DISTANCE: 15 miles southwest of Ocala International Airport.


  1. Ocala National Forest

Discover hidden gems like Juniper Springs and Alexander Springs in the Ocala National Forest, offering swimming, hiking, and canoeing.


DISTANCE: The entrance to Juniper Springs is roughly 25 miles northeast of Ocala International Airport.


Whatever your inspiration for the visit may be, or flavor of the trip you’re about to embark on, Ocala Florida promises an unforgettable experience for every type of traveler. 


Looking for accommodations for your stay? Be sure to visit Acadia Acres for house rentals and horse boarding. We’d love to have you.

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