Do you normally think of horse racing when you think of Florida? Well, if you stay in a budget hotel in Ocala, Florida, you will be staying in the Horse Capital of the world. In fact, Marion County and its county seat, Ocala, experienced a huge economic surge in the late 20th century because of the growth in the horse racing and breeding industry in this region of Florida. Today the city has a population of about 55,000, though over 325,000 live in the metropolitan area.
Along with the growth in horse racing, tourism started to thrive in Ocala in the late 20th century. Today’s tourists stay in some of the cheap hotels in Ocala in order to be near the major theme parks in the area. The Silver Springs Nature Theme Park is found at the head of the Silver River and contains over 350 acres of nature-themed attractions. The Wild Waters theme park is nearby in Silver Springs as well. If you still need some theme park fun, Disney World is just a short 70 mile drive down I-75.