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04-01-2019 09:42 PM
My father and his wife had a winter home there. There were lots of fields and land with horses. I wasn't there that long and he was in a nursing home for a short time so my memory was a main street filled with doctors and medical centers. I know John Travolta lives there. I'm curious what is drawing you there?
04-01-2019 10:57 PM
@chichimom: I moved to FL in 1996 for my job, in which I traveled a lot. I went to Ocala frequently.
I moved from Central FL to another state in 2006. When I left Florida, Ocala was rapidly growing and very congested.
However, overall, I thought Ocala was beautiful horse country and a friendly place. I'm sure it is still growing.
Good luck with your move and I hope you enjoy your new location/home.
04-01-2019 10:58 PM
@chichimom, I lived there for about 6 years. Where in Ocala? I’m not sure what you wanted to know about it. It’s horse country so it doesn’t look as “tropical” as further south. It can get chilly but not too bad. It’s far enough inland so you don’t get the worst effects from hurricanes. There’s most stores and restaurants in the area that you need but no Costco or Trader Joe’s. If you have any particular questions, I might be able to answer them.
04-01-2019 11:30 PM
I've known seniors who enjoyed The Villages, which aren't far from Ocala. I didn't know Florida had a "horse country - I'd have thought horses and alligators didn't mix.
04-02-2019 12:55 AM
@ValuSkr South Florida also has a very large horse community, Wellington in western Palm Beach County. It's well known internationally for it's polo matches during the winter season.
I've never heard of a horse being attacked in Florida in my many years here. Alligators prey on much smaller animals.
04-02-2019 02:00 AM - edited 04-02-2019 02:02 AM
DH and I moved from MI to SW Ocala about 15 years ago, mostly because of the "small town" and rural ambiance.
Yes, it is sometimes known as the Horse Capital of the World" (one of 5 cities in the world according to the US Dept. of Agriculture), not because of number of horses, but revenue generated by the numerous breeding and training farms in the area.
I used to love taking the "long way" home from work (a few extra miles) passing 3 or 4 horse farms to see workouts, mares and foals grazing.
However: the area has become comletely congested. Friends that moved about the same time and had considered The Villages chose Ocala because of the traffic there. Just this week she too mentioned the traffic situation here is now similar.
Another thing (which may sound trivial to some) is there are no decent meat or fruit/veggie markets around. Closest meat market is called Quality Discount Meats and they sell...chicken feet. Our 2 nearest Publix mainly suck in those two departments. Again, there are no Costco or Trader Joes. Closest Whole Market is in the Villages and we let our membership lapse at local Sam's because of dissatifaction.
Oh, just asked DH and he mentioned our homeowners insurance is much higher than Mi - even though we don't experience regular hurricanes, evidently we help those FL communities that do.
Hope this helps and sorry if my honest opinion dissappoints.
04-02-2019 08:16 AM
Ocala is horse country. You will see many thoroughbred farms and auctions with the rich and famous flying there new horses out of the airport. Even get some Saudis and major money folks. Campbel and Coke families have fabulous farms and hold many tours and events. Ocala is beautiful! With Silver Springs and rainbow rivers trailing into the ancient forests it is a real natural treasure. Hope you love it as much as we do after 40 years.
04-02-2019 08:23 AM - edited 04-02-2019 08:32 AM
I agree with @denisemb I’ve lived in SW FL for 20 years. Ocala is very congested, was there Friday. Where in Ocala are your plans to relocate? I have friends that moved to the Villages and were not happy with traffic, drs, restaurants, etc.
Please consider renting before you buy. Summers can be brutal with the humidity. Winters are very congested with snowbirds. During winter we forego our fave restaurants, only go out at night for groceries, and plan on NOT getting in to a dr, I waited two hours recently. Walk in clinics are highly suggested from my dr.
Vacationing here and living here are totally different! JMO.
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