Point Your RV Toward Ocala/Marion County, Where Fun Awaits at the End of the Ride
Ocala/Marion County is a must-stop destination for RVers, whether you’re just roaming your way around Florida or looking for a place to set up camp for a longer stretch. You’ve chosen a travel life largely free of key cards, breakfast buffets and elevators, so it only makes sense to choose a destination that rewards your adventurous spirit.
Here you can find a variety of different adventures: hiking through vibrant forests; paddling crisp, freshwater springs; fishing endless winding waterways; exploring classic Florida attractions and more. And if you’re a horse lover, get ready—there’s simply no better place to visit than the place known as the Horse Capital of the World®.
Here’s a quick primer on how you can make the most of your stay in Ocala/Marion County.
We Got the Hookup
Ocala/Marion County offers a wide range of RV accommodations. Several privately owned RV parks are clustered around Ocala, most within 10 miles of the city’s historic downtown. All of these offer full hookups and a host of amenities, including swimming pools, clubhouses, shuffleboard, and of course, all the bathroom and laundry facilities you could ask for. Best of all, you’ll be among fellow RV enthusiasts, so you’re sure to make a lot of new friends!
If you prefer your RV camping woodsier, head to the vast Ocala National Forest for its two sanctioned camping areas. The Salt Springs Recreation Area is the largest campground in the forest and the only one with full RV hookups. The 60 spaces are larger than those in commercial RV parks, and they put you much closer to nature. You’ll be in the heart of a huge protected forest, with countless outdoor adventures a short distance away. But you won’t be totally off-the-grid, either. If you need to restock supplies, you’ll find a small grocery store in a nearby village.
Another option is located in the southwest corner of Marion County. Stunningly beautiful Rainbow Springs State Park has a 60-site camping area with hookups, a rec center, laundry and bathroom/shower facilities. You’ll be close to Dunnellon, where there are plenty of supermarkets and restaurants. Best of all, the park is just 20 miles from the Gulf of Mexico -- a must-see experience for any Florida traveler.
Cut Loose in an Outdoor Paradise
Wherever you set up your RV, you’ll be within convenient distance of the many real-Florida adventures that await you in Ocala/Marion County.
Let’s start with outdoor activities. Top billing goes to the Ocala National Forest, 650 square miles of woods, trails, springs, and spring-fed rivers that bubble with fun. The water temperature stays in the low 70s year-round and is so clear that you can usually see the bottom wherever you are. Here’s an overview of the springs within the forest:
Juniper Springs has a recreation area with a glorious swimming hole and rustic paths, wooden fences and a picnic area shaded by live oaks. Kayak/canoe rentals are available, and we suggest you embark on the renowned Juniper Run, a seven-mile trek named one of the Top 25 kayak runs in the country by ReserveAmerica. Silver Glen Springs has a recreation area with a kayak concession, and is at the headwaters ofSilver Glen Run. Wider than the others, it's a short paddle to Lake George.
Those of you who camp at Salt Springs will find a bevy of activities and amenities. You can rent a canoe or kayak at the marina and embark on the Salt Spring Run, which ends up in Lake George. Slow-moving water makes for an easy paddle back.
Once you’ve had your fill of water fun, the Ocala National Forest features miles and miles of hiking and biking trails. It’s the best way to experience Florida in its most unspoiled state!
Outside the forest, just six miles from Historic Downtown Ocala, you’ll find one of Florida’s most famous classic attractions. The 4,000-acre Silver Springs State Park is famous for its Glass Bottom Boat rides. You can also wander among historic sites and serene gardens surrounding the main spring, and paddle the five-mile Silver River.
Rainbow Springs State Park comprises 1,000 scenic acres, and offers plenty to do. Rent a kayak or canoe in Dunnellon and paddle down to the headwaters, where you can take a refreshing dip in a cordoned-off swimming area. Lounge around the small beach and grab a snack at the concession stand. Rent a tube, float lazily downriver, and enjoy the convenience of having the rental company pick you up and bring you back. Or simply stroll through the wooded areas and check out mossy hammocks, ornamental gardens and man-made waterfalls.
Spend a Little Time in Town
You may want to mix things up a little, so take the short drive into charming Historic Downtown Ocala. Several RV parks are within easy biking distance as well. It’s the perfect place to take a break and have someone else prepare your food for a change! The quaint downtown square is surrounded by independently owned eateries, all within easy walking distance of each other. Take a stroll and check out the variety, which includes a splurge-worthy steakhouse, BBQ joint, taqueria, wine bar, pizzerias, sports bars and more.
Downtown Ocala’s safe, uncrowded streets are lined with beautiful historic buildings. Stop into an award-winning craft brewery for a sip of local flavor. Take a short walk and wander through Tuscawilla Art Park, with its large sculptures, or embark on the Ocala Public Art Tour, full of delight and whimsy.
RVers, point your GPS to Ocala/Marion County. It’s easy to get here, and we guarantee you’ll have a whole lot of fun. So much, in fact, that you just might want to stay awhile.
For savings on some of the fun outdoor activities in Ocala/Marion County, check out our Outdoor Adventure Trail Passport!