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Silver Springs is a small town located in Marion County, approximately 90 miles north of Orlando and a few minutes east of the city of Ocala. It is located at the site of one of the largest artesian spring formations in the world. This limestone spring forms the headwaters of the Silver River, which empties into the Ocklawaha River, which is part of the St. Johns River system. Spanish explorer Hernando De Soto was most likely the first European to see the spring in the early part of the 16th century. The water in the spring is 72 degrees F year round and it has a basin 80 feet deep and 300 feet wide. The springs support a large variety of aquatic life that can be viewed through glass bottomed boats at a theme park that is listed on the National Register of Historic Landmarks.

The town of Silver Springs offers many opportunities for those who love the slow pace of country life. Although the area is one of the fastest growing in the nation, it still retains a quiet, rural atmosphere with picturesque horse farms, shady forests of huge oaks covered in Spanish moss. Known for its thoroughbred racing and training, this area of Florida is called “The Horse Capital of the World.” The region's rolling green hills, white fences and weathered farmhouses remind many visitors of Kentucky's horse country. Marion County is an official U.S. Equestrian Federation training site, and horse farm tours are offered, along with Olympic-level equestrian sports, international competitions, show jumping, polo and other special events. The Ocala National Forest is another major attraction located near the town of Silver Springs. Established in 1908, it is the oldest national forest east of the Mississippi and the southernmost one situated in the continental United States. A total of 600 lakes are inside the forest, along with 23 spring-fed streams and two major rivers. Visitors enjoy swimming, canoing, horseback riding, picnicking, camping and woodland hikes all year long. Fall through spring is the best time to visit the National Forest to avoid thunderstorms and mosquitoes.

Silver Springs is just minutes to Ocala's beautiful, historic downtown district, with its' renovated Victorian homes and buildings, boutiques, antique shops, fine restaurants and cafes. Many festivals and special events are held in the area year round and the arts are flourishing, including the Marion Performing Ballet and the Ocala Dance Theater, which feature performances throughout the year. In addition, one of the largest art museums in Florida is located in Marion County, housed in a regional landmark, neo-classical-style building. Accommodations in Silver Springs are diverse, everything from cozy bed and breakfasts to large chains and there is a restaurant to suit everyone's taste and budget. Silver Springs is situated at almost equal distance to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, with easy access to the area's excellent highway system, making it convenient for traveling to all of central Florida's major attractions.


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