Ocala, Florida

Located in central Florida in Marion County, Ocala, Florida is a small city with a population of roughly 50,000 people.  It is located near the town of Silver Springs and was named All-American City in 1995.

The city of Ocala only experiences two seasons in the year: the dry season and the wet season (the city has not seen a significant snowfall since 1989).  Since Ocala is landlocked from the coast it has the lowest winter temperatures and highest summer temperatures in Florida.    Winter temperatures never dip below forty degrees, and the average summer temperature is about ninety degrees.

Historically, Ocala was one of the sites of the Seminole Wars, and the Fort King military outpost was established here.   The town suffered a tragedy in 1883 when most of the place burned down on Thanksgiving Day.  But Ocala survived, and its people were resilient. The town rebuilt the buildings with brick giving Ocala its nickname of “The Brick City.”

Ocala prides itself on its historic residential district, preserving many Victorian houses, the Coca Cola Building and the Union Train Station.   There are also numerous cultural events in nearby Silver Springs.