Florida is a massive state with countless attractions, beaches, and cities to explore. It is one of the most geographically diverse places in the United States always offering a fresh experience for even the most seasoned traveler. My Florida adventure started in Ocala/Marion County County of Central Florida and ended in Martin County on the east coast. These were top things to do in Ocala and Martin County, Florida.
Exploring Ocala/Marion County
Ocala/Marion County is in the heart of Central Florida and there is no shortage of outdoor activities. I flew into Orlando and made my way north to Silver Springs, FL, which was my home base in Ocala/Marion. Silver Springs in near downtown Ocala, the Ocala National Forest, and many of the best attractions in the area.
Rainbow Springs State Park
Rainbow Springs State Park is home to the Rainbow River and springs. The water is amazingly clear and a great way to cool off in the Florida summer. Kayaks, paddleboards, rafts, and glass-bottom boats are available for rent and offer the best method to explore the park. The glass-bottom boat is a relaxing way to get an up-close view of the springs if you prefer not to dive into the springs.
Canyons Zip Lines and Adventure Park
If you’re up for an adventure head to the Canyons Zip Lines and Adventure Park in Ocala/Marion next. These zip-lines are some of the longest most exciting I’ve seen. They will take you high above the trees, over water, and all around the canyons of Central Florida. The terrain of the adventure park was one of the last things I expected to see in Central Florida but it made for an exciting day before heading east to the coast through the Ocala National Forest.
Ocala/Marion to Martin County
Florida landscapes can change quickly as you head from one region to the next. The drive east through the Ocala National Forest isn’t complete without a stop at the Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area. It is a short drive off the main highway and a little oasis in the middle of the forest. These crystal clear springs make for an ideal location for a picnic with the family and cool off in the Florida summer.
Exploring Martin County Beaches
Martin County beaches are absolutely beautiful. I called the Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort in Stuart, FL home during my time there. This location made catching the sunrise simple due to it’s proximity to the Bathtub Reef Beach and the House of Refuge that offer a stunning location to watch the sun come up without the crowds.
The House of Refuge is one of Martin County’s most historic landmarks and worth stopping at the museum to learn more about the history of the site. It served as a haven for shipwrecked sailors and travelers and a nice way to learn about the history of Martin County’s coastline.
Paddle Boarding in Martin County
The Liquid Aloha Paddle Co. in Stuart, FL is the perfect way to get out on the water. Paddleboarders meet weekly for meet-ups and BBQs but they also rent the gear you need to SUP, Kayak, and make the most of your time in Martin County. I highly recommend stopping in to chat with the Liquid Aloha Paddle Co. team no matter your skill level. Not only are they friendly but it is a fun chance to get some exercise while on vacation in Florida.
Exploring Ocala and Martin County, Florida
Ocala/Marion and Martin County are completely different Florida experiences but that’s what makes them the perfect combination for your next trip to Florida. The drive from Central Florida is short and full of great stop throughout the drive to maximize your adventure. Check out VisitFlorida.com to plan your trip and more information and more of the top things to do in Ocala/Marion and Martin County, Florida.
This article was sponsored by Visit Florida but all opinions are my own.