Tucked among the rolling hills of Marion County, Ocala is a little / big city with old Florida charm, with a historic downtown square unique specialty shops, restaurants, parks and trails. Visit Ocala, the largest village settled in Marion County. Enjoy modern amenities and a distinctive charm in the county seat and home to many of the area’s most popular pursuits, enjoy a walk in the historic district and Downtown Square, browse antique shops and savor delicious dishes from an impressive collection of eateries. From the town center, it’s just a short journey to see some of the most beautiful farms in the world. Established in 1849 Ocala is the county seat for Marion County and also serves as a commercial center. In 1956 the thoroughbred industry gains prominence when Needles became the first Florida-bred to win the Kentucky Derby. In 1978 Marion County bred-and-raised Affirmed won the Triple Crown. Today Marion County is a major thoroughbred center with over 1,200 horse farms including about 900 thoroughbred farms, totaling some 77,000 acres. Ocala is known as the “horse capital of the world”