Historic Downtown Ocala
Small, walkable downtowns are seeing a revival in Florida, with Ocala acting as an excellent example. Downtown Ocala, three miles east of I-75, is a fantastic place to spend a few days touring Marion County.
The Historic Downtown Square sits in the heart of the historic district, near shopping, nightlife, and restaurants. The Square holds concerts and community events such as First Friday Art Walks. All of this, and more, can be found within a 10-minute walk from the parking lot.
Ocala has some of Central Florida’s most tempting possibilities for kayaking, horseback riding, hiking, or biking gorgeous trails and cooling down in crystal clear springs, among other things.
On the other hand, Downtown Ocala has all your needs covered in farm-to-table food, live music, craft beer, shopping, and culture. Everything you need is right here – and then more.
The walkability of Historic Ocala is maybe its most enticing feature. There are several things to see, do, taste, and drink within a few square blocks. An extensive paved octagon with a starburst design, surrounded by grass and trees, with a historical pavilion as a live entertainment stage, is found in downtown Ocala.
The Downtown Square is also a great area to go with friends and explore downtown Ocala, including the adjoining Downtown Market.
Mark’s Prime for steak and seafood, the Lodge Brick City Craft Pub & Eatery, Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille, and Brick City Southern Kitchen & Whiskey Bar for barbecue are just a few of the restaurants that encircle the Square.
From the Square, you can go almost anywhere and find exciting things. Tuscawilla Art Park, a great expanse of green sprinkled with enormous sculptures, is a little more than a half-mile north.
Tuscawilla Park has other lush grass, a children’s playground, tennis courts, and picturesque Lake Tuscawilla.
The 700-seat Reilly Arts Center, the city’s center for theater and live music center, is located near the park’s northern edge. The Discovery Center, a small children’s museum with educational seminars, courses, and changing exhibitions, is located in Tuscawilla Park.
Although you may plan a tour around Historic Downtown Ocala, strolling is more thrilling. It is the perfect size for free exploration, and the venue is seldom overcrowded. There are art galleries, shops, and restaurants galore.
On Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Ocala Downtown Market, a quarter-mile south of the Square, contains locally produced food, handcrafted crafts, plants, a children’s playground, and everything else that a weekly outdoor market should have.
Make a night or day trip to Ocala’s laid-back Historic Downtown – it is a must-see during your Marion County visit.