Unforgettable Romantic Getaways in Ocala/Marion County
Planning an impromptu getaway with someone you love is a great way to escape the day-to-day routine. Fortunately, Ocala/Marion County offers couples of all ages countless ways to get their romance on. Experiences range from rugged and outdoorsy to refined and cultured, with plenty of good food and drink involved. Here is an array of can’t-miss recommendations.
A Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour
What better (or more romantic) way to experience the Horse Capital of the World™ than arm in arm on a comfortable carriage drawn by a beautiful animal? Horse Country Carriage Co. operates out of lush, 56-acre Kimberden Farm, 11 miles northwest of downtown Ocala. Enjoy a relaxing ride through canopies of moss-draped oaks and vast expanses of green at their location — or have Horse Country Carriage come to you for a truly private experience.
Sometimes you just want to get away from everything and everyone. If that’s what you and your special someone are looking for, Ocala/Marion County is dotted with a variety of rustic cabins that let you escape to fresh air sunshine and wide-open spaces. You’ll find these accommodations in stunning locations, like on the banks of spring-fed Rainbow River or on a lakefront near the Ocala National Forest. Click here to visit the Accommodations section of our website — it’s broken down into lodging categories.
A Night at the Drive-In
For a taste of vanishing Americana, try the Ocala Drive-in. First opened in 1948, it was completely refurbished and reopened in 2011. Long gone are the days of hanging tinny speakers on your windows. Now you’ll get theater-quality sound right through your car’s FM radio. The drive-in shows first-run double features nightly on a huge screen, starting when the sun goes down. You can bring your own lawn chairs or simply cozy up next to each other in your car. Older couples will love the nostalgia; younger couples the novelty. The Ocala Drive-in is only a 10-minute drive from Historic Downtown Ocala.
A Wine and Chocolate Tour
Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park, located just seven miles south of downtown Ocala, offers an array of adventurous pursuits — kayaking, horseback riding, gem mining, and of course, ziplining. One of their newest experiences for couples is a leisurely tour on a “mine-n-wine wagon,” featuring locally made wines and/or fine chocolates accompanied by the breathtaking views that only the Canyons can offer. Your guide will regale you with stories of the property’s background, along with other local history and lore.
Make Your Own Wine — 30 Bottles Worth
Outfitted in rustic wood, brick and leather, The Corkscrew, situated in the heart of Historic Downtown Ocala, invites couples to work with their experts to create their own wine in a varietal that suits their tastes. Amateur vintners then come back four to eight weeks later to pick up their custom batch of 30 bottles, which will remind you of your time in Ocala/Marion County with every tasty sip.
For twosomes who love adventure and the rugged outdoors
With 600 lakes, rivers and springs, Ocala/Marion County is widely hailed for its natural splendor. Couples can enjoy kayaking, tubing, hiking and lounging in such places as the Ocala National Forest, Rainbow Springs State Park, Silver Springs State Park, the Rainbow River, Juniper Run and Silver Glen Springs, among others. Click here for an overview. For couples who are all about the outdoors, the destination offers wide-ranging opportunities for camping. Click here to learn more.
A sumptuous dinner for two
In the last half-decade, Historic Downtown Ocala has earned a reputation as a small city with a big culinary scene. You can indulge in a delicious and romantic dinner at a variety of restaurants, all located within a few blocks of each other. They include Mark’s Prime for steak and seafood, La Cuisine for French, Katya Vineyards for its four-course Wine and Gourmet Food Pairings, Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grille for a touch of New Orleans, Ivy on the Square for Southern-inspired food and a 1920s speakeasy flavor, and others.
Add in Some Culture
Take in the Ocala Symphony Orchestra or a pop concert at the classy Reilly Arts Center in downtown Ocala. With a capacity of 700, there’s not a bad seat in the house. Mix in some outdoors with an unhurried stroll through Tuscawilla Art Park — it’s green and picturesque, dotted with large sculptures. Meander hand-in-hand through downtown’s First Friday Art Walk (from September to May), where you can view or buy art, take in live performances and browse local shops and boutiques.
For couples who love country music and old-time rock ’n’ roll, there’s the Orange Blossom Opry. This upscale roadhouse is located in Weir, 22 miles southeast of downtown Ocala. The reserved-seating venue presents first-rate regional and national talent, such as the Marshall Tucker Band, The Bellamy Brothers, Mark Chesnutt and Asleep at the Wheel. Country garb is encouraged but not mandatory. Feel free to dance in the aisles if you’re so inclined.