Ocala trip planner
Create a fully customized
day-by-day itinerary for free
Ocala is a city located in Northern Florida. As of the 2013 census, its population, estimated by the United States Census Bureau, was 57,468, making it the 45th most populated city in Florida.It is the seat of Marion County and the principal city of the Ocala, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated 2013 population of 337,362.HistoryArcheological investigation has revealed that the area was inhabited by varying cultures of indigenous peoples from as early as 6500 B.C., and there were two lengthy periods of occupation. The second lasted through 500 A.D. In early historic times, the Timucua inhabited the area.Ocala is located near what is thought to have been the site of Ocale or Ocali, a major Timucua village and chiefdom recorded in the 16th century. The modern city takes its name from the historical village, the name of which is believed to mean "Big Hammock" in the Timucua language. The Spaniard Hernando de Soto's expedition recorded Ocale in 1539 during his exploration through what is today the southeastern United States. Ocale is not mentioned in later Spanish accounts; it appears to have been abandoned in the wake of de Soto's attack.In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Creek people and other Native Americans, and free and fugitive African Americans sought refuge in Florida. The Seminole people formed. After foreign colonial rule shifted between Spain and Great Britain and back again, in 1821 the United States acquired the territory of Florida. After warfare to the north, in 1827 the U.S. Army built Fort King near the present site of Ocala as a buffer between the Seminole, who had long occupied the area, and white settlers moving into the region. The fort was an important base during the Second Seminole War and later served in 1844 as the first courthouse for Marion County.Ocala is in Central Florida. Put Ocala at the heart of your travel plans by using our United States online trip maker .
Create a full itinerary — for free!
Plan your trip to Ocala
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
View all >
Side trips from Ocala
Hidden gems in Ocala
Golf in Ocala
Nature in Ocala
Trails in Ocala
Places to visit with Ocala
Recently planned trips to Ocala
3 days in Ocala BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife, slow & easy, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, teens, kids, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in Ocala & Tampa BY A USER FROM BRAZIL June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 8 days in Ocala BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 2 days in Ocala BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular sights PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 5 days in Central Florida BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Ocala BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, kids, popular sights PREFERENCES: April, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium