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Carolyn’s guidebook

Carolyn

Carolyn’s guidebook

Road trips suitable for cars or motorcycles
If you want to see the area's sites, here are my recommendations. Although it isn't a driving/riding route, you might want to visit SILVER SPRINGS PARK, which offers rides in glass-bottom boats if you like seeing gators and wildlife.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recreation/scenicdrivinginfo/recarea/?recid=40311&actid=105
Ocala National Forest
https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/ocala/recreation/scenicdrivinginfo/recarea/?recid=40311&actid=105
CR-475 is a lovely drive with rolling hills and horse farms.
South Highway 475
CR-475 is a lovely drive with rolling hills and horse farms.
Highway 27 west of I-75 is a lovely drive with rolling hills and horse farms.
U.S. 27
Highway 27 west of I-75 is a lovely drive with rolling hills and horse farms.
Highway 326 is a lovely drive with rolling hills and horse farms.
Florida 326
Highway 326 is a lovely drive with rolling hills and horse farms.
If you like historic mansions, Ocala has a bunch -- Fort King Street and the two to five blocks south of it.
East Fort King Street
If you like historic mansions, Ocala has a bunch -- Fort King Street and the two to five blocks south of it.
If you take 441 North from Ocala, you'll pass through two charming towns: McIntosh and Micanopy. You might want to explore their streets and antiques shops. (But beware of speed traps on 441.)
North US Highway 441
If you take 441 North from Ocala, you'll pass through two charming towns: McIntosh and Micanopy. You might want to explore their streets and antiques shops. (But beware of speed traps on 441.)
Lake County was named "Lake" County for a reason! :-) Every back road you try will take you past a lake. It's pretty cool.
Lake County
Lake County was named "Lake" County for a reason! :-) Every back road you try will take you past a lake. It's pretty cool.
Speaking of lakes, the RIVER LAKES HERITAGE CORRIDOR is fairly close to Ormond: https://floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/central-region/river-lakes-heritage-corridor/
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Ormond Beach
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Speaking of lakes, the RIVER LAKES HERITAGE CORRIDOR is fairly close to Ormond: https://floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/central-region/river-lakes-heritage-corridor/
Ormond Scenic Loop: https://www.floridarambler.com/northeast-florida-getaways/ormond-scenic-loop-and-trail-rare-ride-through-old-florida/
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Ormond Scenic Loop & Trail
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Ormond Scenic Loop: https://www.floridarambler.com/northeast-florida-getaways/ormond-scenic-loop-and-trail-rare-ride-through-old-florida/
Heritage Crossroads is a little north of Ormond: http://www.heritagecrossroads.org/
Heritage Crossroads
2535 N State St
Heritage Crossroads is a little north of Ormond: http://www.heritagecrossroads.org/
The Ocean A1A Byway: https://floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/northern-region/a1a-scenic-historic-coastal-byway/ and it continues northward on the OCEAN ISLANDS TRAIL: https://floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/northern-region/a1a-ocean-islands-trail/
Highway A1A
The Ocean A1A Byway: https://floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/northern-region/a1a-scenic-historic-coastal-byway/ and it continues northward on the OCEAN ISLANDS TRAIL: https://floridascenichighways.com/our-byways/northern-region/a1a-ocean-islands-trail/
"Millionaire's Row." Just another pretty road through Ocala's horse country.
County Road 25A
"Millionaire's Row." Just another pretty road through Ocala's horse country.
Cedar Key is a tad less than an hour-and-a-half from my house. The drive there is lovely, through miles and miles of very quiet country roads running through Levy County and all the way to the Gulf. Cedar Key itself is a charming small town with lots of quaint shops and restaurants, bridges and views.
Cedar Keys
Cedar Key is a tad less than an hour-and-a-half from my house. The drive there is lovely, through miles and miles of very quiet country roads running through Levy County and all the way to the Gulf. Cedar Key itself is a charming small town with lots of quaint shops and restaurants, bridges and views.
Nearby restaurants
Here are some nearby restaurants that I recommend. Our town rolls up early and many restaurants close at 9pm or even before that, so if you're looking for a late meal, call the restaurant to determine its hours. Also, most restaurants are closed on Sunday, so call ahead to see if they're open. (Google has been wrong, lol)
Excellent food and a great wine list. Don't miss the (very filling) mushroom soup! Moderately expensive. 1.8 miles from my house.
Mesa de Notte
2436 E Silver Springs Blvd
Excellent food and a great wine list. Don't miss the (very filling) mushroom soup! Moderately expensive. 1.8 miles from my house.
French food. The Boeuf Bourguignon is excellent, but I've never had a bad meal there. Moderately expensive. 3.8 miles from my house.
La Cuisine Restaurant
48 SW 1st Ave
French food. The Boeuf Bourguignon is excellent, but I've never had a bad meal there. Moderately expensive. 3.8 miles from my house.
2.2 miles from my house. CAVEAT: This location was sold in September but still operates as Blue Highway. I haven't been there since the restaurant changed hands. Under the previous management, they offered great food at reasonable prices (especially their fungi pizza), and a decent wine list. Inexpensive to moderate.
Blue Highway, a pizzeria
2130 East Silver Springs Boulevard
2.2 miles from my house. CAVEAT: This location was sold in September but still operates as Blue Highway. I haven't been there since the restaurant changed hands. Under the previous management, they offered great food at reasonable prices (especially their fungi pizza), and a decent wine list. Inexpensive to moderate.
American cuisine including comfort food. Good wine list. Moderately expensive. 2.3 miles from my house.
Braised Onion
754 NE 25th Ave
American cuisine including comfort food. Good wine list. Moderately expensive. 2.3 miles from my house.
Fairly good, reasonably priced Mexican food; inexpensive drinks. I recommend the queso sauce as an appetizer. 1.6 miles from my house.
El Toreo
3790 E Silver Springs Blvd
Fairly good, reasonably priced Mexican food; inexpensive drinks. I recommend the queso sauce as an appetizer. 1.6 miles from my house.
The best Chinese food I've found in Ocala. Inexpensive. Carryout only (no dine-in, no delivery). 2.2 miles from my house.
China 1
2703 E Silver Springs Blvd
The best Chinese food I've found in Ocala. Inexpensive. Carryout only (no dine-in, no delivery). 2.2 miles from my house.
Spectacular food and spectacular wines. The menu changes just about daily. I always order a soup and/or appetizer, which are always magnificent. The flights of wine are wonderful -- you get to try several different wines. 3.7 miles from my house.
Katya Vineyards
101 E Silver Springs Blvd
Spectacular food and spectacular wines. The menu changes just about daily. I always order a soup and/or appetizer, which are always magnificent. The flights of wine are wonderful -- you get to try several different wines. 3.7 miles from my house.
Chicken wings and sandwiches. 1.1 miles from my house.
Crunchies & Munchies, Inc.
529 NE 36th Ave
Chicken wings and sandwiches. 1.1 miles from my house.
Sports bar with good food and lots of games/events always playing on the TV monitors. 1.4 miles from my house.
Beef 'O' Brady's
3434 E Silver Springs Blvd
Sports bar with good food and lots of games/events always playing on the TV monitors. 1.4 miles from my house.
Fairly good fast food, 1.6 miles from my house.
Wendy's
3001 E Silver Springs Blvd
Fairly good fast food, 1.6 miles from my house.
1.6 miles from my house.
McDonald's
3215 E Silver Springs Blvd
1.6 miles from my house.
Good BBQ, inexpensive to moderate. 2 miles from my house.
Sonny's BBQ
4102 E Silver Springs Blvd
Good BBQ, inexpensive to moderate. 2 miles from my house.
Excellent Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Spanakopeta is my favorite! Moderate. 4 miles from my house.
Feta Mediterranean Cuisine
306 SW Broadway St
Excellent Greek and Mediterranean cuisine. Spanakopeta is my favorite! Moderate. 4 miles from my house.
Excellent food, very good wine list. Moderately expensive. 5.7 miles from my house (near Regal 16 movie theatre).
Craft Cuisine Ocala
2237 SW 19th Avenue Rd
Excellent food, very good wine list. Moderately expensive. 5.7 miles from my house (near Regal 16 movie theatre).
1.6 miles from my house.
Burger King
2900 SE 36th Ave
1.6 miles from my house.
2.1 miles from my house.
Zaxby's Chicken Fingers & Buffalo Wings
2175 E Silver Springs Blvd
2.1 miles from my house.
A great selection of craft beers as well as food. Ping pong on Mondays, live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. www.InfiniteAleWorks.com
Infinite Ale Works
304 SE Magnolia Exd
A great selection of craft beers as well as food. Ping pong on Mondays, live entertainment on Fridays and Saturdays. www.InfiniteAleWorks.com
Craft wine and beer, limited but great menu. Live entertainment Fridays and Saturdays. Wine-making classes. https://thecorkscrewwinery.com/
The Corkscrew Winery and Brewery
16 SW Broadway St
Craft wine and beer, limited but great menu. Live entertainment Fridays and Saturdays. Wine-making classes. https://thecorkscrewwinery.com/
Things to do in the Ocala area
Tours of the distillery are available -- call for a reservation.
If you're up for seeing gators, birds, and the underwater remains of the Tarzan films that were produced here, go to the Silver Springs State Park and enjoy a ride in a glass-bottom boat. The park also offers enjoyable and well-maintained walking trails.
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Silver Springs State Park
5656 E Silver Springs Blvd
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If you're up for seeing gators, birds, and the underwater remains of the Tarzan films that were produced here, go to the Silver Springs State Park and enjoy a ride in a glass-bottom boat. The park also offers enjoyable and well-maintained walking trails.
The Appleton is a distinguished Florida cultural center that offers a permanent collection of American and European art, temporary exhibits of Florida and national artists, educational sessions, lectures, and receptions.
Appleton Museum of Art
4333 E Silver Springs Blvd
The Appleton is a distinguished Florida cultural center that offers a permanent collection of American and European art, temporary exhibits of Florida and national artists, educational sessions, lectures, and receptions.
Click on this link to find the movies showing at Regal 16 and other area movie theatres: https://www.google.com/search?q=movies+Ocala&oq=movies+Ocala&aqs
Regal Hollywood & IMAX - Ocala
2801 SW 27th Ave
Click on this link to find the movies showing at Regal 16 and other area movie theatres: https://www.google.com/search?q=movies+Ocala&oq=movies+Ocala&aqs
Go to the symphony, a play, or a tribute band concert!
Reilly Arts Center
598 NE 9th St
Go to the symphony, a play, or a tribute band concert!
Go to a play at the area's leading community theatre.
Ocala Civic Theatre
4337 E Silver Springs Blvd
Go to a play at the area's leading community theatre.
This company offers zip-lining, horseback trail riding, and other activities.
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The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park
8045 Northwest Gainesville Road
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This company offers zip-lining, horseback trail riding, and other activities.
It takes about an hour and a half to get there, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have a friendly and loving manatee silently appear in front of you to look you in the face.
Manatee Tour and Dive
36 Northeast 4th Street
It takes about an hour and a half to get there, but it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience to have a friendly and loving manatee silently appear in front of you to look you in the face.
Many springs are in the area. This is just one of them.
Alexander Springs
Many springs are in the area. This is just one of them.
Lots of biking and hiking trails in the area including Santos and the Greenway.
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Santos Trailhead and Campground
3080 Southeast 80th Street
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Lots of biking and hiking trails in the area including Santos and the Greenway.
Fun for kids from two to 82!
Petting Zoo Ocala
Fun for kids from two to 82!
Take a winemaking class (call for their class schedule) or go and enjoy live music Friday/Saturday nights.
The Corkscrew Winery and Brewery
16 SW Broadway St
Take a winemaking class (call for their class schedule) or go and enjoy live music Friday/Saturday nights.
Fish Hawk Spirits Distillery
16350 SW 20th Ln
The Market features organic and local food, crafts, and more. Saturdays 9-2 rain or shine.
Ocala Downtown Market
310 SE 3rd St
The Market features organic and local food, crafts, and more. Saturdays 9-2 rain or shine.
Go golfing! Several golf courses are in the area. This one is closest to my house.
Ocala Golf Club
3130 E Silver Springs Blvd
Go golfing! Several golf courses are in the area. This one is closest to my house.
Several kayak/canoe outfitters are in the area. The Rainbow River is a favorite. Some people even tube it, although I'd be terrified because of the alligators!
Rainbow River
Several kayak/canoe outfitters are in the area. The Rainbow River is a favorite. Some people even tube it, although I'd be terrified because of the alligators!
A narrated pontoon-boat tour of the Withlacoochee River. $15/1 hour, $20/2. Afterward, have a meal at Stumpknockers!
Captain Mike's Lazy River cruises
13821 SW State Rd 200
A narrated pontoon-boat tour of the Withlacoochee River. $15/1 hour, $20/2. Afterward, have a meal at Stumpknockers!
Tour includes three stops at important farms to meet horses up-close and personal. Meet at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeder’s Association at 8:30 a.m. This tour travels in a 10-passenger van from farm to farm. Dress comfortably; water is provided. Learn why Ocala is the Horse Capital of the World!
Farm Tours of Ocala
801 SW 60th Ave
Tour includes three stops at important farms to meet horses up-close and personal. Meet at the Florida Thoroughbred Breeder’s Association at 8:30 a.m. This tour travels in a 10-passenger van from farm to farm. Dress comfortably; water is provided. Learn why Ocala is the Horse Capital of the World!
Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing
13700 Southwest 16th Avenue
Miniature golf, rock-climbing wall, laser maze, batting cages, go-karts, water balloon battles, a toddler Kid Zone, and an indoor arcade.
Easy Street by Funworks
2727 SW 27th Ave
Miniature golf, rock-climbing wall, laser maze, batting cages, go-karts, water balloon battles, a toddler Kid Zone, and an indoor arcade.