Every year, the state of Florida is a top vacation destination for travelers in the United States.
Written by Stephanie Patterson. But this city located just over an hour from Orlando has so much to offer day trippers, from the sprawling Ocala National Forest to scenic clear springs, adrenaline-pumping zip lining and romantic horseback trail rides did you know Ocala is the Horse Capital of the World?
Hop in the car and explore with our list of ideas for a memorable date day trip.
The park features 9 zip lines, including one whopping 1,foot zip line across a lake, plus rappelling and sky bridges. Choose your level of adventure from the Big Cliff Canyon 9 zip lines, 2 sky bridges and rappelTreetop Express 5 zip lines and 2 sky bridgesSky High 3 zip lines or the nighttime full moon version of the Treetop Express tour.
Besides adventurous zip lining amongst amazing scenery, the park also offers kayaking, plus land-based activities like horseback riding more on that later! Plan to spend several hours here depending on your chosen activity.
Go zip lining
The latter requires advance reservations and is only available on weekends, so plan accordingly. Continue your state park adventure on a hike or keep exploring the waterways with a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard rental. Need another reason to visit Silver Springs State Park?
Visit on the 4th Friday of each month for River Rhythms, a live music event from 4pm-sundown. River Rhythms is included with your state park admission. Check the park's event calendar for details. My personal favorite day trip destinations tend to have one thing in common: charming historic downtown areas.
Ocala fits the bill with its walkable downtown district oozing with cute wine bars, boutiques, eateries, and fun events like a First Friday art walk and a weekend market on Saturdays. Park the car and go for an aimless stroll to see what you can find along the way!
Yes please. Infinite Ale Works is a longstanding favorite with live music Friday and Saturday nights and beer specials throughout the week.
Great date night ideas in ocala, fl
Take your pick of 34 beers on tap, many of them in-house brews, including a nice selection of sours and seven core brews available year round. Nature lovers will want to make plans to rent a canoe or kayak, unplug, and revel in the stunning scenery for a while.
Within the Ocala National Forest, experienced paddlers can rent a canoe or tandem kayak to explore the curvy, narrow, beautiful Juniper Run. Plan for a shaded yet more challenging 7-mile journey, which includes a shuttle to take you back to your car.
Alternatively, check out Alexander Springs where you can rent a canoe for a leisurely paddle out and back. Read the post for more options near Ocala, and find even more ideas and rental options here.
Are you more of a land lover? Find info on day hikes within Ocala National Forest here. The fort, originally built inwas subsequently burned down. A new fort was erected in and used throughout the Second Seminole War. Today, you can visit to explore the fort and interpretive trail as well as the Visitor Center, which includes detailed historical facts and artifacts. Save the date for October when the trail transforms into a haunted attraction around Halloween. Park admission is free.
For something uber romantic, book a fireside horseback tour at The Canyons. Advance registration by phone is required. The park also offers regular daytime trail rides.
Another option is to book a horse-drawn carriage ride. Tours are available by reservation only; call to book. What great ideas!!! I have lived here for 6 years now and I am always looking for special things to do.
12 best things to do in ocala, florida
Now I have an Ocala bucket list…awesome! The only thing I wonder about now are possible fun putt-putt venues around Ocala for fun-loving adults and children alike. Thank you so much for this great article.
These are some good ideas. Glow ball or glow in the dark frisbee would be great fun too!
Three Perfect Days in Indian Shores. Share This Article Twitter. Stroll the Historic Downtown My personal favorite day trip destinations tend to have one thing in common: charming historic downtown areas.