top of page
  • Writer's pictureAcadia Acres

Top 10 Non-Horse Show Attractions for HITS Ocala Competitors and Spectators

What Is HITS in Ocala?  

HITS Ocala at Post Time farm is a premier winter hunter/jumper show circuit. Each winter, they feature 10 weeks of National and Premier shows, and a schedule packed with weekly Classics, Derbies, and Grands Prix with great prize money. From January - March each year, Ocala Florida is the place to be for equestrian events. 

The acronym stands for “Horse Shows in the Sun,” an apt name for a series of horse shows organized by HITS, Inc., which puts on hunter/jumper horse shows year round across the United States. 

Whether you’re a competitor, an enthusiastic spectator, or just someone looking for an excuse to find some wintertime warmth in Ocala FL, we’ve got a list of can’t-miss local attractions you can enjoy when you want to take a break from the HITS horse show.

Ocala National Forest - Silver Glen Springs

Things to Do in Ocala During the HITS Horse Shows

  1. Silver Springs State Park LOCATION: Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL 34470 COST: $2 per person (for Silver Spring State Park tickets) WHY GO? At Silver Springs State Park you can explore the crystal-clear springs by way of the iconic Silver Springs glass bottom boat tour (which costs an additional $12-25 depending on the duration selected). It’s an incredible—and educational—way to get an up-close view of Ocala FL’s unique underwater wonders, especially the manatees! Go early in the morning and head for the hot springs for the best chance to see these amazing creatures up close. The park also offers hiking trails, wildlife viewing, and a glimpse into Florida's natural beauty. If you want to extend the visit to include an overnight, the Silver Springs Campground is an especially well loved attraction.

  2. Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours LOCATION: 8045 NW Gainesville Rd, Ocala, FL 34475 COST: Starting from $69 per person WHY GO? If you’re in the mood for some adventure, soaring through the treetops on a zip line at Canyons Zip Line and Canopy Tours is an exhilarating way to take in the breathtaking views of the one-of-a-kind lush landscape that only Silver Spring Florida can bring.

  3. Ocala Downtown Market LOCATION: 310 SE 3rd St, Ocala, FL 34471 COST: Free to browse, bring cash for shopping WHY GO?  The Ocala Downtown Market, held on Saturdays 9am - 2pm, is a great way to discover local arts, crafts, fresh produce, and unique finds from various vendors. We recommend comfortable walking shoes and packing an appetite. The market frequently features food trucks and other vendors, and a huge variety of downtown Ocala restaurants are right nearby.

  4. The Ocala National Forest LOCATION: Ocala, FL 32179 COST: Free WHY GO? Nobody does national forests quite like Florida. Ocala National Forest is a renowned outdoor paradise, offering visitors access to hiking trails, natural springs, and opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife spotting. We recommend stopping by one of the Ocala National Forest visitor centers for maps, information, and recommendations from local rangers. Lake George Ranger District Office and the Seminole Ranger District Office are great places to start your trip.

  5. Wild Waters Water Park LOCATION:  5656 E Silver Springs Blvd, Silver Springs, FL 34488 COST: Starting from $22.99 for adults WHY GO? If you find yourself in Ocala on a particularly hot winter day, you might be looking for ways to beat the heat. Luckily, Florida swimming is a year round event. Make the most of the unique recreational opportunity by spending a day at Wild Waters Water Park, featuring water slides, wave pools, and family-friendly attractions.

  6. Horse Country Carriage Company and Tours LOCATION: 221 SE Broadway St, Ocala, FL 34471 COST: Varies based on the selected tour WHY GO? Experience a different side of the equestrian passion Ocala Fl is known for. Take a guided carriage tour through the historic downtown Ocala district, where you’ll learn all about the city's rich equestrian history while admiring the charming architecture. We recommend taking one of the evening-hour tours. They provide a unique perspective on the historical charm with the historic sites wistfully illuminated.

  7. Mossman Hall LOCATION: 301 SE 26th St, Ocala, FL 34471 COST: Free admission, with tickets available for specific events WHY GO? Experience local artistic vibrancy by visiting this historic downtown Ocala venue for cultural events, art exhibitions, and live performances. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the Ocala community, experience a diverse range of cultural events, and even support local artists by purchasing a piece of art to take home as a memento of your time in Ocala. 

  8. Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing LOCATION: 13700 SW 16th Ave, Ocala, FL 34473 COST: $20 for adults WHY GO? For a change of pace! Experience the thrill of drag racing history with a visit to the Don Garlits Museum, showcasing iconic dragsters and memorabilia from Florida’s own top drag contender. Don’t miss the hands-on immersive exhibits, educational guided tours, outdoor collection of cars, or the gift shop.

  9. Gypsy Gold Horse Farm LOCATION: 12501 SW 8th Ave, Ocala, FL 34473 COST: Tours starting from $20 per person WHY GO? The Gypsy Vanner is a breed known for its unique appearance, characterized by a compact, powerful build, abundant feathering on the lower legs, a luxurious mane and tail, and a distinctive, gentle disposition. The farm was founded by Dennis and Cindy Thompson, who are credited with introducing the Gypsy Vanner breed to the United States. The farm offers guided tours, educational programs, plentiful opportunities for photography, and a gift shop with Gypsy Vanner-themed merchandise.

  10. Cactus Jack's Trail Ride LOCATION: 10844 S Hwy 475, Ocala, FL 34480 COST: Trail rides starting from $35 per person WHY GO? Get up close and personal with the scenic and beautiful riding experience in Ocala by visiting with guided trail rides from Cactus Jack's. Trail rides here are suitable for riders of all skill levels, so this is a great chance to involve any children or equestrian-inexperienced family members who may be traveling with you. For those not interested in getting on a horse, Cactus Jacks now also offers EBike rentals by the hour or day!

Whether the HITs horse shows have you visiting Ocala Fl for a long weekend, several weeks, multiple months, we’re sure you’re going to enjoy your stay. If you’re looking for an alternative to the typical Ocala Florida hotels experience, I hope you’ll look into our available rentals at Acadia Acres. We’d love to have you.


bottom of page