The Timucuan Indians were the first inhabitants of Marion County; they called it "Ocali". Hernando de Soto, thought to be the first European to visit, claimed the land for Spain in 1539. It became part of the United States when the entire state of Florida as ceded in 1819. By 1844, settlers began to occupy and
Marion is Florida's 5th largest county in square miles. The Atlantic Ocean is a 90-minute drive to the east through citrus groves and the beautiful Oak and pine forests of the Ocala National Forest. To the west, it's a 45-minute drive to the Gulf of Mexico through world-renowned thoroughbred horse country.
Marion's central location and excellent transportation systems to nearby major cities are two reasons it's one of the fastest growing counties in the nation. Adding to its attractiveness are a mild climate, excellent water supply, beautiful countryside and proximity to major tourist and recreational facilities. According to the Economic Development Council figures, the count seat, Ocala, is ranked 23rd in comparison with other Florida cities. Ocala is listed as #1 national in the "2007 Best Performing Cities Index" (Milken Institute), up from number 13 the previous year, reflecting an excellent growth ratio and Real Estate potential.
Ocala, the county seat, is the largest city in Marion County and the hub of local economic and cultural activity. Service and light manufacturing industries provide the majority of employment opportunities, although agriculture is also important to the area. Tourism, anchored by the famous Silver Springs Attraction, contributes to the local economic base.
Belleview City Hall
Belleview/South Marion Chamber of Commerce
Ocala is the "Horse Capitol of the World™". Florida is home to more than 600 thoroughbred breeding and training facilities, with over 75 percent of these located near Ocala in Marion County. In fact, Ocala/Marion County is one of only four major thoroughbred centers in the world.
Ocala has 17 parks and playgrounds and two municipal swimming pools. Instruction in swimming, tennis and crafts is offered. Softball, baseball, basketball, football and volleyball leagues are also available. Fore more information contact:
City of Ocala Recreation and Parks Department
(Ocala also offers organized activities for Senior Citizens)
Ocala City Hall
Ocala/Marion County Visitors and Convention Bureau
Ocala/Marion County Chamber of Commerce
Located in south Marion County, 11 miles south of Ocala on US 441, Belleview, a French word meaning "beautiful view," was originally called Long Swamp. During the Seminole Indian Wars, Chief Osceola camped here several times. In 1885, a group of developers subdivided the area, named it "Belleview", and applied for a city charter. Today, Belleview is a small but growing commercial hub.
Located in south Marion County on US 41 near the Citrus County border. Dunnellon sits astride the Withlacoochee and Rainbow Rivers. The community offers a small-town atmosphere and excellent fishing, hunting, and other recreational opportunities. It is governed by a city council.
Dunnellon City Hall
Dunnellon Area Chamber of Commerce
Albiol & Associates Realty, Inc.
National Association of Realtors
Florida Association of Realtors
Ocala/Marion County Multiple Listing Service, Inc
(a subsidiary of the Ocala/Marion County Association of Realtors)