Are you looking for a relaxing getaway to soak up the sun and unwind by the water? Look no further than the beautiful beaches near Ocala, Florida (FL). With miles of white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, these stunning destinations offer the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re looking to swim, sunbathe, or simply take a relaxing stroll along the shore, there’s something for everyone at these top beach destinations.
From the popular tourist hotspots to the hidden gems off the beaten path, you’ll be sure to find the perfect spot to enjoy the beauty of Florida’s coastline. So get ready to discover the best beaches in Ocala, FL.
#1. St. Pete Beach
According to TripAdvisor, St. Pete Beach in Ocala, FL, which is renowned for its white sand beaches and clean water, is the top beach in the US in 2021. It provides a range of water activities, such as kiteboarding, windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and parasailing. It boasts a number of beach bars and rooftop lounges and is renowned for its vibrant social scene. Strolling is also welcome on St. Pete Beach’s two “main streets,” Corey Avenue and 8th Avenue in Pass-a-Grille.
Moreover, there are many affordable hotels, pubs, and restaurants, along with a big list of entertaining things to do in St. Pete Beach. Visit Rumfish on St. Pete Beach for an out-of-the-ordinary dining experience where you can snorkel with snook, tarpons, and stingrays in their 33,500-gallon aquarium.
- 126 miles separate Ocala from this location.
- Travel time: 1 hour and 53 minutes
- Activities on St. Pete Beach include boat tours, volleyball, paddleboarding, windsurfing, and more.
#2. Indian Rock Beach
Indian Rocks Beach must be included on your list if you’re seeking a serene beach environment with views of the Gulf of Mexico. It is located in Pinellas County and has quick access to Clearwater Beach, where there are bars, restaurants, and spectacular sunsets, as well as events at Pier 60.
More so, visitors from all over the world come to Indian Rocks Beach to experience the city’s excellent beaches and breathtaking sunsets, which is one of the city’s most notable features.
- The distance is 123 miles.
- Travel time is 1 hour and 56 minutes.
- Fishing, boating, swimming, and sunbathing are among the things you can enjoy at Indian Rocks Beach.
#3. Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area
Lake George’s Silver Glen Springs is a well-liked swimming location. In a brook that flows into Lake George, it exudes its essence. Boats are not permitted to disturb the water in a private bathing area. Kayaks can be rented at an extra cost. For public use, there are 30 outdoor grills and 58 picnic tables.
On weekdays, entrance is $8; on weekends, it is $11. A significant archaeological site, the Silver Glen Springs Recreation Area is encircled by ancient middens coated in fossilized snail shells.
- Ocala’s distance is 38.8 miles.
- Time spent traveling: 45 minutes
- Fishing, boating, scuba diving, kayaking, swimming, canoeing, and wilderness trekking are among the activities available in Silver Glen Springs.
#4. Clearwater Beach
The barrier island position and 2.5 miles (4 km) of white sand beaches that stretch along the Gulf of Mexico in Pinellas County make Clearwater Beach unique. This thriving beach community is well-known for its stunning sea, Pier 60 sunset entertainment, and laid-back holiday atmosphere. It is the most well-known tourist destination and a well-known beach close to Ocala.
You will be mesmerized by the white sand beaches and the crystal-clear, emerald water. According to TripAdvisor’s Best Beaches for 2019, Clearwater Beach was the best beach in the US. It features a complete marina on the Intracoastal Waterway side and is connected to Sand Key Park, another barrier island, near its southern end by a brief bridge.
- The distance is 121 miles.
- 1 hour and 54 minutes for the trip
- Pier 60, miniature golf, boat cruises, and more things to do in Clearwater Beach!
#5. Gamble Rogers State Park
Gamble Rogers State Park is bordered to the east and west by the Intracoastal Canal and the Atlantic Ocean, respectively. 145 acres off State Road A1A make up this modest half-mile beach. With the addition of a second campsite made from a coastal hammock, accessibility has been improved, and the amenities have received more attention. Three miles of stunning shoreline are offered by the adjoining North Peninsula State Park, although beach campsites are not appropriate for tents and cost $5 per vehicle. Open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to sunset.
- The distance is 81.6 miles.
- 1 hour, and 35 minutes for the trip
- Gamble Rodgers State Park offers a variety of activities, such as swimming, boating, camping, fishing, picnicking, hiking, and birdwatching.
#6. Daytona Beach
This is also one of the beaches near Ocala, FL. Due to its proximity to Ocala, Daytona Beach is a well-liked destination for family vacations. It serves as the “Global Center of Racing” and the NASCAR corporate office. Beyond the Daytona 500, there are numerous other events held at Daytona International Speedway throughout the year.
The 23-mile stretch of white sand beach is the main attraction, and every year, more than 500,000 people attend Daytona Bike Week. Other common activities include supercross and kart racing, and you can even drive on beaches. Daytona Beach should be on your radar, whether you’re looking for a spring break getaway or an adrenaline rush.
- Ocala is 78.2 miles away.
- 1 hour and 25 minutes for the trip
- Fishing, hiking, biking miles of trails, exploring parks, and other outdoor activities are among the things to do in Daytona Beach.
#7. Wilbur Beach
One of the nicest beaches near Ocala, Florida, is Wilbur Beach. We regarded it as a hidden gem because, in contrast to adjacent beaches, it is frequently empty. It is situated in Port Orange (Volusia County), not too far from Daytona Beach.
The best beach for unwinding, sunning, swimming, and avoiding crowds is Wilbur Beach. It contains a beach café, showers, restrooms, and changing rooms, all of which are free to use. A lifeguard is on duty annually to watch over the beach. The oceans are kind, and the beach is consistently lovely and white.
- Ocala is 85.4 miles away.
- 40 minutes for the journey
- Wilbur Beach offers a variety of enjoyable activities, such as water sports, swimming, surf breaks, and sunbathing.
#8. Hampton Beach
The nearest equivalent of the beaches in Ocala, FL, is Hampton Beach on Lake Weir. It is a calm beach area with a low $5 per vehicle entrance fee that was presented by the Hampton family to Marion County in 1981. There is a boardwalk there that is lined with arcades, ice cream parlors, pizzerias, and gift shops.
While the Discover the Ocean World Oceanarium features touch tanks and tours led by biologists, the Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom features high-profile touring performers and comedians. It’s a great place to host events for family and friends. Have a barbecue day by the lake with your own food.
- 19 miles separate Ocala.
- Journey time: 30 minutes
- Activities in Hampton Beach include paddleboarding, boating, swimming, fishing, and camping.
#9. Peacock Beach
Peacock Beach at Cape Canaveral, Florida, is another excellent choice because it’s close to the Kennedy Space Center. Besides, Peacock Beach is regarded as a hidden gem because it is rarely crowded, even at the busiest times. With wonderful sand and sparkling water, the beach is gorgeous and well-kept. Keep in mind that this beach is completely open to the public and has no facilities or restrooms.
Visitors to this location enjoy coming for some windsurfing and other water activities in addition to a beach day. It is more than just a fun moniker for the beach, though. Peacocks can be seen strolling about here, which enhances its beauty.
- The distance is 133 miles.
- 59 minutes for the journey
- Sunbathing, hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, swimming, surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, bodyboarding, skimboarding, paddleboarding, and parasailing are among the activities available in Cape Canaveral.
#10. Fort Island Gulf Beach
Lecanto, Florida’s Fort Island Gulf Beach, is situated just southwest of Ocala. With public facilities, barbecue grills, and chances to watch bottlenose dolphins, this beach is excellent for families. Both the boat ramp and the dock are accessible. You can feither take a stroll down the lovely boardwalk and see some of the local wildlife, or you can bring your fishing equipment with you and fish from the pier.
The park, which spans 15 acres, is open from 6 a.m. until 9:30 p.m. In comparison to St. Pete Beach or Clearwater Beach, the waters here are often calmer and less clear. Nonetheless, Ocala is closer by distance, and Crystal River’s manatees are nearby.
- Ocala is 50.6 miles away.
- 1 hour, and 9 minutes for the trip
- Boating, fishing, and hanging out by the boardwalk are all things you can do at Fort Island Gulf Beach.
What Is Special About Ocala Florida?
Marion County, recognized as the “World’s Horse Capitol,” contains Ocala. You’ll find lots of natural theme parks and adventures in Ocala among the lovely rolling hills and freshwater streams. Visitor attractions in Ocala include horse farms, museums, historic sites, and much more.
Is Ocala a Cheap Place to Live?
Downtown Ocala, Florida, came in at number ten on the list with a typical property price of $248,700 and a median rent of $1,289 per month.
Do Hurricanes Hit Ocala Florida?
June 1 to November 30 is considered the Atlantic hurricane season. When tropical storms and hurricanes move across the Atlantic Ocean, even though the City of Ocala lacks a coastline, we can still experience freshwater flooding. Try restarting your device if playback is not immediately initiated.