Top Things to do in Ocala, FL

We are so excited to call Ocala, FL home now. We love all of the beautiful moss covered trees and historic downtown area. We wanted to share some of our favorite local highlights. Be on the lookout for a part two as we get to know our area better.

World Equestrian center

This is a must see in Ocala, FL and you can’t visit Ocala without seeing WEC. It looks like a building you would see in Europe. This is one of our favorite places to visit, take pictures, and walk around. They have five different restaurants on site, tons of shops, a lot of horse shows going on throughout the year, a five star hotel with a pool, special events throughout the year including the Christmas Winter Wonderland event in December, and a beautiful chapel. All of the decor in their hotel is regal animal themed and absolutely gorgeous. You can visit WEC anytime of the year for free besides special ticketed events. Here are some pictures of WEC below.

Trails for Biking

One of our favorite things to do in Ocala is go biking or hiking and they have so many beautiful trails that are a part of the FL National Forest. Our favorite trail is the Greenway Trailhead at Baseline. It’s surrounded by beautiful pine trees and moss covered trees. We love biking through this trail and it’s a great trail for many activities. We also have enjoyed Santos Trail as well for biking.

Downtown Ocala

Downtown Ocala has so much to offer between their Market days, to art walks, to lots of shops and restaurants. We absolutely loved the light up Ocala event this year where we got to see the whole town square light up in Christmas lights and they had several local businesses and vendors there as well. Symmetry Coffee is a little coffee shop downtown that is a really cute place for coffee and pictures. We also love Harry’s Seafood, Salyulita’s, Ivy House, and Merevino downtown. The square has a really cute gazebo and lots of moss covered trees. It’s the perfect spot for strolling downtown or taking pictures. We haven’t checked out Market day but are planning on doing that soon.

Kayaking at Rainbow Springs or Silver Springs

There are a couple of local springs around Ocala including Rainbow and Silver Springs. If you want to go on a glass bottom boat tour then Silver Springs is your go to. That is on our list of things to try soon. Rainbow Springs is perfect for Kayaking and Tubing. We just went kayaking and what an amazing experience it was. The views are gorgeous and don’t forget to check out kayak tours with Get up and go kayak at Rainbow Springs. Plus you get to see a lot of FL wildlife while on the water. It’s also such a peaceful experience! Be prepared to get wet!

Ocala Civic Theatre

If you enjoy entertainment and seeing shows then this is the place for you. I got to see It’s a Wonderful Life with my husband recently and it was such a great experience. It was a very professional show. They have a lot of shows happening throughout the year.

These are just some of our top favorite things right now to enjoy. We can’t wait to explore more of Ocala and share more spots with you all in part two of our blog post. More FL travel guides and places to visit in FL coming soon!

Travel Guide to Cocoa Beach, FL

Cocoa Beach, FL is one of my favorite places to visit. Growing up in high school and college, we would visit there every spring break with my family and it was always a blast. My parents now live 20 minutes from there and I get to visit often. I wanted to share some of my top favorite spots to visit there including my favorite restaurants, places to stay and things to do in the area.

Restaurants

There are so many different restaurants in the Cocoa Beach area, but here are some of my favorites.

Sunset Grille-has great views and good food

Squid Lips-this is my favorite one, has great views, live music, great cocktails and amazing food! My favorite dish is the grilled shrimp with green beans and fries.

Coconuts on the beach-if you’re looking for a fried seafood place and great lunch spot with beach views this is your place. They also have a large selection of cocktails.

Frigate’s-technically this restaurant is not in Cocoa Beach but it’s only about 20 minutes from Cocoa Beach and you don’t want to miss this place. It sits on the river with a beautiful view and amazing seafood! I love the mahi and the hog fish with the sweet potato fries.

Long Doggers-another great place for lunch or more of a casual dinner. They have a lot of delicious sandwiches and fried seafood as well here. My favorite is the grilled mahi on a gluten free bun with fries.

Pineapples-is a new place that just opened up and although I haven’t tried it yet. My parents said it’s got amazing food and they also have live music and dancing.

Tiny Turtle-I haven’t eaten here before, but it’s listed as one of the best restaurants in Cocoa Beach and they have a great breakfast.

Fat Donkey-this is a must have stop for dessert. They have some of the best ice cream and they have a bunch of non dairy ice cream and it is the best I’ve ever had anywhere.

There are so many more places, but these are just a few of my favorites!

Things to Do

There are so many different things to do in Cocoa Beach since it’s a vacation spot. I listed some of my favorites.

Mini Golf at either the Lighthouse Cove Golf or Gator Golf

The Pier/Beach

The Space Center

Ron Jon Surf Shop and Downtown Cocoa

Surfing

Disney is only a short hour drive

Places to stay

I have not stayed in many of the resorts or condos as my family always went to one resort. But I’m going to share the top ones along with our favorite resort growing up.

Cocoa Beach Resort-this is the resort we always stayed at and loved! It has a great pool with a waterfall and volleyball net. They also have basketball courts, tennis courts, and beach access. The rooms are beautiful as you can get an ocean view room. Also, we loved that they had a ton of activities as well including movie nights.

Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront

Discovery Beach Resort

Crowne Plaza in Melbourne

Beachside Hotel and Suites

Holiday Inn Club Vacation

Cocoa Beach, FL is definitely a fun and great family destination with a lot to do there. I hope this helps in planning your next trip to Cocoa Beach. Let me know in the comments if I missed any great places. I will be sharing more travel guides with you all in the next couple of weeks.