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Known as the Horse Capital of the World, Ocala is the Marion County seat in north-central Florida. An All-America City Award winner, Ocala presents opportunities to enjoy both city and country life. Its residents are welcoming and share an appreciation of the beauty of nature that surrounds them. Marion County Public Schools lead the state in raising student performance; the county's educational institutions are among the finest in Florida. A variety of affordable housing ensures the availability of homes to suit every taste, lifestyle and budget. Numerous festivals celebrate Ocala's cultural diversity, and residents also enjoy civic theatre, music and dance, and the Appleton Museum of Art, a regional landmark. The Ocala National Forest provides abundant recreational opportunities, as do the area's scenic countryside and crystal-clear waterways. The high quality of life enjoyed is a big draw for families that want big city amenities and the charm of a smaller community, and Orlando's numerous family amenities are just a short drive away.