2.jpgOcala/Marion County won national distinction when Ocala was named an "All-America City" by the National Civic League, and the nation's fifth most desirable place to live by Money Magazine in 1995.

With our nearly perfect weather year-round, the outdoors offers an endless panorama of natural beauty, historic landmarks, and man-made diversity which are a constant source of pleasure and recreation for resident and visitor alike.

Why else would John Travolta, the lateĀ George Steinbrenner, Don Garlits, Mel Tillis and Bobby Goldsborough put down roots here?

3.jpgFrom Silver Springs with it's Glass Bottom boats floating over 99.8 percent of pure artesian spring waters, to our beautiful horse farms there is so much to offer us here.

Speaking of horses, we are the horse capital of the United States and have between 45 and 50 different breeds represented in the area. Florida Thoroughbreds are counted among Triple Crown, Breeders' Cup, Belmont Stakes, Preakness and Kentucky Derby winners. Carry Back, Affirmed and Foolish Pleasure, among many other horses, enjoyed the region's pure air, good water, great grass, and limestone-enriched soil.
Three generations all born and raised in Ocala,visiting Silver Springs at one of the scenic photo spots there. Conville and Vaccaro families.

Gazebo on the square in the center of Ocala.
Marion County is home to more than 270,000 people. Ocala is the county seat and has a population of approximately 50,000 making it the largest city in the county. There is so much to offer us here. If you drive down Fort King Street through our historic district you can see many restored homes. On the downtown square you can walk around and look at each of the horses that are stationed there or you can sit on one of the benches and enjoy the sites and sounds. There are a variety of eating establishments and shops to visit!

Horse Fever is part of the public art craze sweeping the country and is known as "Animal's On Parade". It was started here by the Marion Cultural Alliance (MCA) and was co-sponsored by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association (FTBOA). 51 horses we painted by artists and displayed around Ocala for everyone to enjoy. Then they were auctioned off by MCA and the proceeds went to local charities. The auction raised $845,000. We still have many of the horses around town and it's always a pleasure to see them!

Extensive information about schools in Florida and in Marion County is online at the state's Department of Education. Ocala's local school site is packed with information too! We have the International Baccalaureate Program at Vanguard High School which offers students an advanced curriculum. Forest High School's engineering program (EMIT) and Belleview High School's Performing Arts Academy provide students with a variety of programs to suite their career goals. The Business Partnership program in conjunction with the Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce promotes greater business and community involvement in the public schools. A number of area businesses have formed partnerships with schools to acquaint students with possible careers and to provide students with internship opportunities.

Younger students benefit from programs such as that at the Madison Street School of Basics Plus, and the Dr. N. H. Jones Academy, the county's two magnet elementary schools. At the middle school level, Howard Middle School's magnet program offers students and exceptional education opportunity in the arts and technology. Personalized instruction stresses excellence in math, science, language arts, and social studies as well as fine arts, communications and technology.

College of Central Florida offers a wide range of pre-professional, or Associate in Arts degree programs. It also awards Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degrees. Through CFCC's affiliation with Saint Leo University, Webster University and the University of Central Florida, local students can complete upper-level course work without leaving the area.

There are a numerous churches here with many of them offering schools.

If you visit my Community Links you will find a wealth of information on Ocala and Florida, everything from the Ocala Chamber of Commerce, Hospitals, Drivers License, Bus Service, Colleges, Golf, and much more.

Diane McCombs
Diane McCombs
7668 SW 60th Ave #200 Ocala FL 34476