Top 10 Places to Have Fun in Open Spaces
You don’t need to be an expert outdoor explorer to have an adventure in Ocala/Marion County nature. From biking to fishing, and everything in between, the area offers endless opportunities to have fun while also safely social distancing. We come by it naturally.
Whether you are looking for an easy paddle in one of Ocala/Marion County’s many natural springs or a challenging venture up a river, grabbing a kayak, canoe or paddle board is a fun way to explore with a group, all while staying six feet apart. Among the favorites for places to kayak include Rainbow Springs, Silver Springs and the Ocala National Forest.
Grab your family or a small group of friends and float all your worries away down Rainbow River on a tube. You can launch at KP Hole Park or Rainbow Springs State Park and enjoy a beautiful sunny day on the water. If you get hot, just hop in the cool water that stays a refreshing 72° all year! Make sure to check out our Tubing Guide before you go.
*Please note that tubing season for both parks run April – September.
Take the outdoors to new heights in Ocala/Marion County, where you can feel the open air whip around you as you fly through breath taking canyons. Home to Florida’s longest, fastest and highest zip lines over water, Ocala/Marion County is ready for adventurers of all types. The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park also offers horseback riding, gem mining, kayaking and a wine and chocolate tour.
Bring your own bike or rent one from the local bike shops and hit the diverse trails through the destination. Really immerse yourself into Florida’s nature, biking in the Ocala National Forest or take to our nationally recognized mountain bike trails at Santos Trails. Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or an easy rider, there are paths for all levels.
From the expansive Ocala National Forest to the Cross Florida Greenway, there are endless miles of beautiful hiking trails lined with the unique-to-Florida landscape of pine trees and palm trees on top of each other. Find tortoises and rabbits along the way that may lead you to a hidden spring where turtles and otters are splashing around.
Looking to enjoy art, but not quite ready for a museum or indoor gallery? Tuscawilla Art Park is situated just north of the Downtown Ocala Square and is a great spot to see larger than life outdoor sculptures! From painted bridges to a metal elephant sculpture, you can appreciate the work of accomplished artists any time of day in the fresh air.
Fishing in Florida is a rite of passage when you visit and a great way to get outdoors while keeping your distance from crowds. Whether you want to try to catch a trophy-sized bass in a boat or just love dropping a line from the bank with your friends, check out the top spots for fishing in the area to get you started.
With more than 20 golf courses, public and private, players of all levels can enjoy the greens, warm weather and first class service while not worrying about too many people around. The game is inherently socially distant, so help yourself to the courses!
With the expansive parks, trails and bodies of water throughout Ocala/Marion County, bird watchers can easily spend a weekend immersed in nature, spotting lots of feathered friends. What is more socially distant than that? Grab you binoculars, back a lunch and hit the trails.
Here is a fun idea for our geocachers out there! Our destination has plenty of places where you may find hidden items, so make sure to check your favorite geocache app or website when you are visiting and go on a local treasure hunt. Maybe there are items hidden in a Downtown or the Ocala National Forest.
*As a reminder you can experience unique tastes of Ocala/Marion County at the many places to eat outdoors!
For savings on some of the fun outdoor activities in Ocala/Marion County, check out our Outdoor Adventure Trail Passport!