Tourism in Ocala is being boosted by a hidden gem.
Cities that rely heavily on tourism dollars are eager to rebound after a roughly two-year period of reduced travel due to the COVID-19 outbreak. County officials are focusing on reestablishing their cities as go-to locations as more locals begin to plan cross-country travel, and this strategy is succeeding in Ocala, Florida. Ocala announced record-breaking tourism statistics in 2021, thanks in large part to the construction of the World Equestrian Center.
The new billion-dollar resort, described as a paradise for riders, horses, and spectators, celebrated its grand inauguration earlier this year. The World Equestrian Center has luxurious lodgings, seven restaurants, 18,000 square feet of retail space, 22 outdoor arenas, and four climate-controlled indoor arenas, making it the largest equestrian facility in the United States. The Golden Ocala Golf and Equestrian Club, which offers championship golf and tennis, as well as fitness, spa, and exquisite dining, is right across the street from the center.
The World's Horse Capital
Ocala was declared the world's horse capital more than a decade ago, making it an ideal location for the World Equestrian Center. A large number of thoroughbred farms, training facilities, and competition arenas can be found in the city. Those who follow important horse races, such as the Kentucky Derby, are likely to have witnessed a winner who was born and reared in Marion County.
The city also hosts a variety of training sessions and competitions for the US Eventing Team.
The World Equestrian Center encourages horse tourism by providing a large space for tourists to learn about, enjoy, and support equestrian activities. As the property continues to draw crowds, Ocala is under pressure to make sure there are enough rooms available throughout the city.
During the day, guests are likely to partake in outdoor activities such as golf, horseback riding, and hiking, but when night falls, many aren't searching for a conventional Florida camping experience. Glamping, on the other hand, is a more appealing choice.
Glamping in Florida combines resort-style facilities with the natural beauty of the state. Enchanted Oaks Camp and Farm is a fantastic alternative in Ocala. Air-conditioned tiny homes, lakefront tiny homes, and full-size apartments in an air-conditioned barn are available on the property. Guests may enjoy fishing just outside their door or go to nearby golf courses and equestrian centers.
The World Equestrian Center offers on-site housing with direct views of equestrian competitions from balconies for those seeking a bit extra luxury. A shopping pavilion, as well as informal and gourmet eating restaurants, are positioned on the ground level of the 248-room hotel. For those who prefer to go to the center by car, the property also has an RV park.
Ocala is a must-see place if you're eager for a holiday and enjoy the notion of spending your days with horses. The World Equestrian Center presents events for the whole family every year, including a "Winter Wonderland" celebration this holiday season. Visit www.worldequestriancenter.com for additional details.
A notable mention and new to Ocala is a European wedding venue called Andalusian Oaks.