Ocala is a medium-sized city centrally located in Florida and is part of Marion County.
Although not a beach town, Ocala, Florida, is relatively close to popular attractions in Daytona Beach, Orlando, and Jacksonville. Read on to discover the best places to live in Ocala and find out what the lifestyle is like.
Where Is Ocala, Florida?
Ocala is the county seat of Marion County, an area of Florida that is located inland of the state. That means that, unlike much of Florida, it is relatively protected from hurricanes.
It’s not far from Gainesville, Miami, and Tampa, making it a perfect starting point to take a day trip and go exploring.
What Is It Like Living in Ocala, Florida?
Known as the “horse capital of the world,” Ocala, FL, offers a slower way of life perfect for families and retirees.
Housing costs are lower than the national average, and crime rates are fairly low. Best of all, there are no state taxes, and the weather is pleasant in Florida.
There are several Ocala zip codes to choose from, whether you’re in search of a place to raise your horses, a cozy townhome, or an award-winning gated community. The historic downtown is filled with shops, restaurants, and small-town charm.
Whether you want to avoid schools near your home or live near your job, there is something for everyone. Let’s take a closer look at a few of the best places to live in Ocala, Florida.
Where Are the Best Places to Live in Ocala?
Several factors contribute to people moving to Ocala, like the cost of living and home prices (compared to the national average), healthcare, and the quality of life in the metro area.
Some of the best places to live with Ocala zip codes offer a quiet, relaxing way of life, while others provide several amenities like golfing, tennis, and outdoor activities.
Homes in Ocala range in sizes and styles and can fit any budget, whether looking for a small condo, townhome, or luxury estate.
These are some of the top places to live in Ocala FL for retirees.
Historic Downtown Ocala
The Ocala Historic District was developed as a residential neighborhood in Florida between 1880 and 1930. It encompasses many notable historic buildings, plenty of which were built in the town before 1910.
The community is in a prime location in Ocala, close to a local market, and in the heart of the city.
Through the years, the area adopted several architectural trends reflecting the growth of the middle class, the wealthy, and the influential.
Today, the historic downtown area remains one of the most popular neighborhoods in Ocala Florida, offering moderately priced homes, nearby farm-to-table dining, craft beer, and a culture like no other.
Meadow Wood Farms
Meadow Wood Farms is a friendly, down-home community located in Ocala, FL.
Established in 1971, it has small estates and modest horse farms surrounded by paved roads and lush green rolling hills.
The area is a deed-restricted community that offers affordable housing in Ocala at the median home price, complimentary parks, and live oak nature trails that boost comfortable living. Most homes are large with plenty of acreages, yet reasonably priced with a decent cost of living.
Fore Ranch is an Ocala community located in a prime location on the west side of the city.
It was built in Ocala in the mid-2000s and today consists of several neighborhoods with single-family homes, condos, and townhomes that range in cost from $80,000 to $200,000, which is lower than the national average.
The community offers several real estate options for sale, rent, or lease.
The Fore Ranch community is one of the best places for retirees in Ocala featuring several great things to do, has an excellent cost of living, and is close to the Heathbrook Shopping Center. That provides plenty of shops, dining, entertainment, and premier healthcare facilities.
Westbury is an upscale, gated community with luxury homes that are quite affordable for Ocala. A new home will vary in size, style, and cost, ranging from 2,700 sq ft to over 11,500 sq ft.
While homes in Westbury may not fit every budget, one of the benefits of living in the community is that it does not require a homeowners association fee and is close to the best shopping, dining, and entertainment in Marion County.
Trilogy at the Ocala Preserve
The Ocala Preserve is one of the newest 55+ gated communities in the city, located on the west side of Ocala. It provides premier central Florida living, complete with over 1,600 homes of varying sizes and styles, an 18-hole golf course, and resort-style amenities.
Housing costs are moderate, and the community and its population have great reviews throughout Ocala.
The community has numerous local activities and amenities, including two clubhouses with a fitness center, a day spa, and a restaurant.
On Top of The World
On Top of The World is a premier 55+ adult retirement community. It was founded in 1947 and has become one of the most popular places to live in Ocala, FL, for retirees.
The homes in the community vary in size, feature different floor plans, and are energy efficient and move-in ready.
Today, it is the oldest, privately-owned land developer in the city and state, offering several amenities and one-of-a-kind recreational activities.
Woodland Villages is another gated community in Ocala, FL, that provides diverse housing, from cozy condos and patio homes to luxury estate homes. Residents pay a homeowners association (HOA) fee that maintains the neighborhood’s playground, clubhouse, tennis courts, and other amenities.
The community is conveniently situated compared to other neighborhoods, providing residents easy access to grocery stores, shopping centers, healthcare, parks, and golf courses.
Silver Meadows is a 55+ gated community located on the east side of Ocala. Situated near the Ocala National Forest, the neighborhood offers a site free of disturbances. That ensures a quiet, relaxing day-to-day experience.
The homes are mid-sized and have a rustic, farm-like style that resembles the historic tranquility of the nearby Silver Springs State Park.
Oak Run Country Club
Oak Run is an award-winning 55+ community in Ocala, FL, that offers top-notch living, complete with nightly social events and an 18-hole golf course. Homes are built with convenience and luxury that fit all styles. The median home price in the community ranges from $100,000 to $300,000.
When residents aren’t practicing their golf swing, they can visit with friends at the Royal Oaks Golf Club, participate in the nightly entertainment, or enjoy a day at some of the finest spa facilities in Ocala.
Living in Ocala Final Thoughts
Ocala FL is one of the fastest-growing cities in central Florida and Marion County. While relatively close to the metro area of Orlando, Daytona Beach, and Tampa, Ocala offers a lower cost of living and better quality of life with exceptional weather most of the year.
Ocala as a city features several top neighborhoods from vast farms full of horses to luxury gated communities. Many Ocala neighborhoods are premier 55+ communities that provide well-built, moderately priced homes and boast amenities like community centers, parks, pools, and golf courses.
Marion County, or more specifically Ocala, might be the right place if you’re considering moving to Florida. With this list of the best places to live in Ocala, Florida, you’re sure to find a quiet place that offers homes for any size, style, or budget.