352 Preview Magazine 04/22

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352

PREVIEW

OCALA’S GUIDE TO ENTERTAINMENT, NIGHTLIFE & FAMILY FUN

A PR 2022

OUR LOCAL

TREASURE

Thousands of acres in the Ocala National Forest are waiting to be explored


Considering Ocala?

New Construction! Summit – 3.81+/- Acres

Privacy & Tranquility on 23.21 +- Acres

Located in a prestigious gated neighborhood. 4-bedroom, 4.5-bath home with 5,900+-SF living area. Chef’s kitchen with walk-in pantry, large den and recreation room that opens onto lanai and pool area. 3-car garage plus portico and circular driveway. $2,494,000

Recently updated 4,000-SF estate with 4 bedrooms and 3.5 baths. Open floor plan with spacious great room plus stone fireplace. Pool. Zoned for horses or cattle. 9-stall barn with tack/feed room, office, and 2-bed, 2-bath guest apartment. Arena. Covered equipment bldg. 1,795,000

Equine Estates – 14 +/- Acres

14 +/- Acres of Privacy and Tranquility!

Located in a gated community close to the Florida Horse Park with access to the Florida Greenways and Trails. 4-bedroom, 3.5-bath home plus screen-enclosed pool, covered lanai, and summer kitchen. The equestrian will love the 4-stall, center-aisle barn. $2,175,000

One-of-a-kind family compound on HWY 475. Paddocks with green pastures and beautiful oaks. Driveway leads to the two architecturally designed homes. Main home features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths with office. Second home offers 2 bedrooms, 2 baths plus office. $1,199,000

Let Joan Pletcher, Realtor, list and/or sell your property.

2022 Sold Properties- $13,115,560 2022 Pending Properties - $8,500,100 For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.


Ocala Horse Country!

150+/- Acres - NW Ocala

29+ Acre Equestrian Farm

150+/- acres of beautiful rolling land in NW Ocala with road frontage on Highway 326. Property features lush green pastures plus two existing barns. Call today for additional information. Short distance to HITS and WEC. $4,000,000

This farm is located with frontage on Hwy 27 across from the HITS showgrounds and convenient to WEC. 4-bedroom, 3-bath home. Property features a 22-stall center aisle barn and various lush paddocks. 2-bed, 2-bath guest/staff housing. Two RV hook-ups. $1,897,000

35 +/- Acres - Crosswind Farm

Location! Location! Location!

Crosswind Farm Airport is registered as a private-use airport. Two hangars on the property are each 34’x1500’. The runway length is 3,900’ long and 75’ wide. Enjoy the convenience of your own grass FAA-approved airstrip. $1,050,000

Beautiful Equestrian farm located in the prestigious NW Ocala area with scattered live oaks and lush green pastures. Office, (3) 14-stall barns, and six-horse eurocizer. Perfect for any discipline. $2,495,000

If you’re considering buying or selling, give us a call today! List your property with Joan Pletcher... Our results speak for themselves.

For these and other properties, visit JoanPletcher.com for information, videos and more choices. Call or Text: 352.266.9100 | 352.804.8989 | joan@joanpletcher.com | joanpletcher.com Due to the privacy and at the discretion of my clients, there are additional training centers, estates and land available that are not advertised.


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APRIL 2022 | VOL. 3, ISSUE NO. 07 WORD GIRLS KARIN FABRY-CUSHENBERY karin@352preview.com

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to to death. death. With over 30 years With over 30 yearsCity experience, Brick experience, Pest ControlBrick servesCity Ocala Pest ControlCounty. serves Ocala and Marion and Marion County. Whether your problem Whether your problem is with termites, ants, is with termites, chinch bugs, bedants, bugs, or chinch bugs, bed bugs, just garden-variety bugs,or just garden-variety bugs,and we’ll protect your home we’ll protect your home and family… guaranteed. family… guaranteed. Call (352) 732-4244 for your Callinspection, (352) 732-4244 forlove youryour free and we’ll free inspection, bugs to death.and we’ll love your bugs to death. Rand Hollon Owner Rand Hollon Owner

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FOR ADVERTISING INQUIRIES CALL (352) 812-3672 Published monthly by 352 Preview, LLC. All contents © 2022 by 352 Preview, LLC. All rights reserved. Nothing may be reprinted in whole on in part without written permission from the owners. For back issues or advertising information, call (352) 812-3672. Return postage must accompany all unsolicited manuscripts and materials if they are to be returned to sender. “Promotional” and “Promotional Feature” denote a paid advertising feature. Owners are not responsible for claims and content of advertisements.

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CONTENTS // APR 2022 FEATURE Ocala National Forest photo by MAVEN photo + film @mavenphotoandfilm; The Doobie Brothers image courtesy of thedoobiebrothers.com; Sunflower image courtesy of Red, White & Blues Farm

20 // N AT IO N A L FO REST, LO CA L T RE ASURE

At roughly 384,000 acres, the Ocala National Forest features more than 530 miles of trails and almost 14,000 acres of wilderness recreation.

6 // TO P 10 T H IN GS TO DO IN T H E 3 52 A handy guide to get you going and keep you busy this month.

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WATCH 10 // S H OWCAS IN G H ISTO RIC O CA L A H.O.P.S. welcomes back its historic home tours—with an artsy twist.

12 // CO N C ERT S P OT LIG H T

Last-minute tickets and local shows you won’t want to miss.

EXPLORE 14 // REL A X & UN W IN D

Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a unique park offering visitors a combination of rich history, pop culture and an upscale lodge.

16 // JEEP ERS !

Jeep Beach Week is back in Daytona Beach. Mark your calendars for April 25-May 1.

18 // FUN AT T H E FA RM

Spring is in full bloom at the Red, White and Blues Farm in Williston.

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CRAVE 28 // A CULIN A RY CO MP ET IT IO N

Mark your calendars! Wiener Wars comes to the Ocala Downtown Market on April 20.

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3 0 // BREWS FO R G O O D

The Brick City Beer and Wine Festival serves up much more than a good time.

ON THE COVER: Silver Glen Springs in the Ocala National Forest, photo by MAVEN photo + film @mavenphotoandfilm


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A HANDY GUIDE TO GET YOU GOING AND KEEP YOU BUSY THIS MONTH.

Park photo courtesy of Sholom Park

* TOP

THINGS TO DO IN THE 352 :

EASTER EXTRAVAGANZA // APRIL 9

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This year’s event will include two Easter egg hunts, plus breakfast or lunch with the Easter Bunny! The event will also include a variety of vendors, including from local artists and crafters, plus a swap meet. All proceeds from this fun event will support veterans first responders and their families through the Birdwell Foundation for PTSD and the VFW 4493. Event tickets are $5 per person, and the hunts will take place at 11am and 2pm. The event will take place at 11100 SE Maricamp Road in Candler. Find the event’s Facebook page for more details.

SHALOM PARK SPRING STRINGS CONCERT // APRIL 9

The world-renowned Harp Twins will be making their way to Sholom Park this month for a one-of-a-kind musical performance. Camille and Kennerly Kitt may be classically trained harpists, but they will show you the harp like you have never seen it before, performing rock, Celtic, soundtrack music, metal, Nordic-folk and more. Advance registration is required, and ticket information can be found at sholompark.org. Gates will open at 2:30pm, and the show begins at 4pm. Bring your own blankets or chairs for seating and pack some snacks to enjoy during the show. Food trucks will also be onsite. For details, visit sholompark.org.

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ROCK-N-ROLL EASTER TRAIN // APRIL 9-10

THREE

This 7th annual event at Kirby Family Farm in Williston will have kiddos climbing aboard the Easter train, a full-sized historical locomotive on Florida’s longest private railroad. The celebration also includes games and activities for the kids, live music and shows, an animal petting area and photos with the Easter Bunny! Every ticketed child will receive a prize egg, plus thousands of dollars in prizes will be given away, including more than a dozen bikes, plush animals, hundreds of toys, theme park tickets and more. Children under the age of 2 do not require a ticket. Learn more at kirbyfarm.com.

8TH ANNUAL BRICK CITY BEER AND WINE FESTIVAL // APRIL 16 Spend the day sampling some of the area’s best wine and beer while enjoying live music by R-Style, plus a battle of the bands. Food trucks will be on site as well. A VIP ticket entitles you to an early entry into the event, plus access to a VIP hospitality tent and seating. Tickets are available on Eventbrite for $35 in advance and are available at the door for $40. A non-alcohol pass with no sampling is available for $15. Kids ages 12 and under get in for free. The event will take place at Citizens’ Circle in downtown Ocala rain or shine. Learn more at brickcitybeerfest.com. CONTINUED ON PG 08


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PERUVIAN PASO HORSE WORLD SHOW // APR. 16-17

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LEESBURG BIKEFEST // APRIL 21-24

Head to the World Equestrian Center to experience Peruvian Paso horses compete in a worldclass competition. Competitions will include a variety of classes, including gait, confirmation, breeding, performance and others. Horses from across the United States will arrive in Ocala to compete, and the event will also include horse-related artisans and vendors. For detailed information, visit pph-worldshow.com.

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Once a year, historic downtown Leesburg transforms its streets and shops into a celebration of music and bikes. As the World’s Largest Motorcycle and Music Event, Leesburg Bikefest features 30 blocks and three days of over 60 concerts, 200 vendors, amazing bike shows and five hotbody contests. This year’s live entertainment features Joe Santana, Torn, Rel, Big Engine and more. Check out the Facebook page for specific event details, and visit leesburgbikefest.com for more information.

EARTHFEST: CELEBRATE ARBOR DAY // APRIL 23 This much-anticipated yearly celebration includes eco-friendly vendors, live butterfly feedings, tree climbing and archery. Wear comfy clothes to take part in yoga in the park, sign up for the youth fishing derby, enjoy live music, a rock wall and much more. Food trucks will be on-site, and the event will also include tree giveaways to take home and plant. The event takes place at Tuscawilla Park near downtown Ocala and will run from 10am-2pm. For more details on the event, visit ocalafl.org.

On Tuesday, April 26, the Harlem Globetrotters will once again roll into Ocala’s West Port High School gym to entertain basketball lovers with their zany antics and amazing moves. You can join the team on the court before the game to shoot hoops, take photos and get autographs. The 30-minute pre-show Magic Pass begins 90 minutes before tip-off from 5:30-6pm. Tip-off takes place at 7pm. Everyone over the age of 2 needs a ticket to enter the game, including Magic Pass holders. Tickets can be purchased and more info can be found at ticketweb.com.

HISTORIC HOME AND ART TOUR // APR. 23 This year’s spring tour features homes in two of Ocala’s downtown historic districts. Guests may explore the presenting homes at their own pace and learn about the history of each home and district. Local artists will also have work on display and be available to answer questions at the various homes in the Tuscawilla district. Hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be available along the tour route. The event will end at Union Station, the home of the Magnolia Art Xchange and The Depot on Magnolia. The event runs from 10am-4pm, and tickets are available on eventbrite.com. 8

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CAR, TRUCK & MOTORCYCLE FESTIVAL // APRIL 30 This family-friendly event will take place at WarHorse Harley Davidson and include everything from classic muscle cars and hot rods to clean stock cars and custom creations. Food trucks will be on hand, and a variety of raffles and auctions will take place. The event benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of Marion County in their mission to offer summer camps for local children. Face-painting will be available for the kiddos, and Jose the Barber will offer haircuts for donations only which will support the event’s good cause. The festival will take place from 8am to 1pm. Visit Ocala Car Audio’s Facebook page for event details.

Historic Home & Art Tour photo courtesy of H.O.P.S; Car, Truck & Motorcycle Festival photo courtesy of Ocala Car Audio

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HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS // APRIL 26


“We do everything we can to get our patients through their exams.” Whether it’s a fear of small spaces, loud noises or medical exams in general, the team at Radiology Associates of Ocala understands when patients experience scan anxiety. That’s why, when radiologic technologist Jeanette had an Alzheimer’s patient come in scared, confused and crying, Jeanette stayed by her patient’s side and held her hand to comfort her through the entire exam.

Face your next imaging appointment without fear. Count on the highly experienced team at Radiology Associates of Ocala to make you feel comfortable and safe.

www.RAOcala.com 352-671-4300


Showcasing Historic Ocala H.O.P.S. welcomes back its historic home tours—with an artsy twist.

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cala’s historic districts are known for their charming homes and oak-lined streets. The Historic Ocala Preservation Society, or H.O.P.S. as it’s better known as, has made showcasing and preserving these areas its mission since 1980 and will continue its mission this month with the Historic Home & Art Tour. Formed as a result of a plan to widen Wenona Avenue, which would have resulted in the destruction of dozens of historic homes, the H.O.P.S. organization was created when a group of residents banded together to preserve the neighborhood. “The majority of homes in Ocala’s historic districts were built between 1880 and 1930,” says Andrew Grunther, chair for the Historic Home & Art Tour event. “The districts contain hundreds of homes, and no two are alike. Ocala is unique in that there are four historic districts in the city, and [they] have one of the largest concentration of homes in Florida.” To show off these historic districts, H.O.P.S. is known for its long history of conducting both spring and winter home tours, with some of Ocala’s most unique and interesting homes being featured since the events originated some 40 years ago. “Visiting the historic homes is a primary way for people to admire the beauty of the

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// B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N architecture and appreciate the early history of Ocala,” says Andrew. “Some of the homes on tour were built before electricity and indoor plumbing. This year’s tour, however, will be a huge departure from years past, as attendees will be treated to a multi-sensory experience.” With this spring’s Historic Home & Art Tour, not only is H.O.P.S. showcasing for the first time two of Ocala’s historic districts, but it’s also inviting local artists and musicians to add cultural color to the event. In addition to viewing residential homes, visitors will also have the opportunity to see how commercial and nonprofit interests are using historic spaces. Attendees are invited to explore the properties at their leisure, and each property on the tour features distinctive architecture, design and history. Local Plein Air artists will be on location painting aspects of the facades and landscaping of the featured homes. “Each of the homes on tour are magnificent in their own way,” Andrew says. “Visitors will learn the history of the early property owners and other interesting facts. One of the homes on tour was built for a gentleman whose grandson became the governor of the state of Florida.” The properties on the tour are centrally located on or around Fort King Street in the Ocala Historic District and NE 2nd Street in the Tuscawilla Historic District.

“The homes in the Tuscawilla Historic District, while smaller in scale, hold some very unique and vibrant history,” says Andrew. “The frame vernacular and bungalow styles of the homes represent the varying architectural tastes throughout the years. Visitors will leave this tour with a newfound appreciation for the history of these homes and an elevated eye for design.” H.O.P.S. has partnered with the Magnolia Art Xchange to feature works from local artists, such as Ryan Naumann, Mel Fiorentino and Justin Alsedek at select locations on the tour as well as at the MAX itself, located in the historic Ocala train depot in Tuscawilla Park. To top it off, there will be hors d’oeuvres and refreshments at select homes in both districts as well as food truck vendors. “We are blessed in Ocala to have not only a rich and vibrant history but a thriving art scene as well,” says Andrew. “It is truly a dream come true to curate an event of this scale featuring such unique homes and talented local artists.” H.O.P.S. Historic Home & Art Tour // April 23, 10am-4pm // Two starting locations: 712 E Fort King St. and 120 NE Sanchez Ave. // Advanced tickets available at springhometour.eventbrite.com or in person at Your Hearts Desire, $25 per person // Day-of tickets $30 per person

Artwork courtesy of H.O.P.S

WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE


2022 SUMMER

ART CAMP Fun, art-themed camps for ages 4 and up beginning June 6. Registration begins April 4 at AppletonMuseum.org.

Appleton Museum, Artspace and Store

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday, noon-5 p.m. 4333 E. Silver Springs Blvd. | AppletonMuseum.org

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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

LOCAL LISTENS

CONCERT SPOTLIGHT

HOUSTON KEEN Bank Street Patio Bar // April 5

MIRANDA MADISON Yellow Pony // April 7

GILLY & THE GIRL La Cuisine French Restaurant // April 8

SOUND THEORY First & Last Tab Food & Spirits // April 9

$ BUY NOW ADAM LAMBERT Hard Rock Live Orlando // May 1 St. Augustine Amphitheatre // May 4

TIM MCGRAW

PAUL MCCARTNEY Camping World Stadium, Orlando // May 28

CHVRCHES House of Blues Orlando // June 1

THE DOOBIE BROTHERS

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // May 6

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // June 3 Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // June 5

HAIM

BROOKS & DUNN

Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // May 8

THE LUMINEERS

VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, Jacksonville // June 4

Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // May 17

TEARS FOR FEARS

WELCOME TO ROCKVILLE

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // June 10

Daytona International Speedway // May 19-22

HALSEY MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // May 19

STING Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // May 20

PHOEBE BRIDGERS

KID ROCK WITH GRAND FUNK RAILROAD MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // June 11

COLDPLAY Raymond James Stadium, Tampa // June 14

St. Augustine Amphitheatre // May 25

KEITH URBAN

DAVE MATTHEWS BAND

MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre at the FL State Fairgrounds, Tampa // June 17

Daily’s Place, Jacksonville // June 6-7

JEFF JARRETT The Lodge // April 16

SANDRA & ALEX LEKID Infinite Ale Works // April 22

THE SOUNDS OF SUMMER – BEACH BOYS TRIBUTE Orange Blossom Opry // April 22 Sounds of Summer is a tribute show from Southern Indiana that includes over 30 familiar hits and tells the story of America’s band, the Beach Boys.

HANDEL’S MESSIAH Reilly Arts Center // April 24 Choir master and conductor Joshua Mazur returns to lead the combined orchestra and choir through Handel’s Messiah and selection from Handel’s Water Music.

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY Marion Theatre // April 30 Celebrate Jazz Day 2022 in style with premiere performances by the Keith Caton Blues Band and the SeanTMusic Ocala Funktet.

REILLY NOIR PRESENTS THE GLOBAL JAZZ COLLECTIVE Reilly’s Black Box Theatre // May 27 This electrifying group showcases funk and bebop music in a high-energy, multicultural musical setting. *Editor’s Note: Tickets were available for all concerts as of date of publication. Dates are subject to change at the discretion of the venue.

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Photo courtesy of thedoobiebrothers.com

The Doobie Brothers


WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

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Photos courtesy of Ocala Car Audio

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A Quick Q&A with Parish Tanner of Ocala Car Audio

The Car, Truck & Motorcycle Festival, presented by the Bill Allen Law Firm and produced by Ocala Car Audio and Pals Ocala Auto Repair, will take place at War Horse Harley-Davidson this month. Learn all about it below.

What can festivalgoers expect? A family-friendly event that will have everything from muscle cars to old-school rat rods and everything in between, from clean stock cars to full on custom creations. The Claw Mamas will be there with breakfast items, and Chick-fil-A and BFE Food Truck will be there for lunch. Jose the Barber will be doing cuts by donation only with all proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Marion County, and there will also be airbrush face-painting for the kids by Karen’s Dragon’s Touch. Daniel Gray will be doing live auctions throughout the day, and there will also be silent auctions and raffles, again with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Clubs. We are still collecting auction and raffle items if there are community members who would like to help. Tell us why you’re passionate about the Boys and Girls Clubs of Marion County. Our kids need every little bit of help we can provide. The Boys and Girls Clubs provide three much-needed summer camps so kids can have a place to go when Mom or Dad aren’t home in the summer. These kids are our future leaders, veterans, employers and employees. The Boys and Girls Clubs give kids some positive influences and help build a strong foundation for them to grow off of. Car, Truck & Motorcycle Festival // April 30, 8am-1pm // Free for spectators // War Horse Harley Davidson, Ocala // Visit Ocala Car Audio’s Facebook page for more information APR ‘22

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Relax & Unwind Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park is a unique park offering visitors a combination of rich history, pop culture and an upscale lodge. // B Y K A R I N F A B R Y- C U S H E N B E R Y

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Photos courtesy of Florida State Park

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dward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park has a history that dates back thousands of years, and it’s easy to see why it’s one of Tim Linafelt’s, communications manager for the Division of Recreation and Parks, favorite parks. “We have an archaeological record of human activity around Wakulla Spring dating back to Paleo cultures who hunted Mastodon at the water’s edge 14,000 years ago,” says Tim. “Human occupation near the spring continued with many different groups of people, including the Apalachee and Seminole cultures, Spanish explorers, British settlers and early residents of the United States.” In the 1930s, the on-site lodge was built by financier and the park’s namesake Edward Ball, setting in motion a series of events that would draw the attention of not only recreational visitors but the film industry as well, especially in the 1940s and ‘50s. “Some of the most well-known movies filmed in the park are Tarzan’s Secret Treasure (1941) and Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954). There are natural features that are still visible today and are easy to spot in the films.” Tim mentions that “a hole in the water” is currently on display near the park’s administration building. “It is a metal cylinder with viewing windows that sat in the water,” he says. “The apparatus allowed the cameraman to film underwater without getting wet.” As you’re exploring the park and its entertaining history, pick up a ticket for one of the river boat tours. These 45-minute boat rides take passengers a mile down the Wakulla River where they may come across alligators, herons, egrets and other birds, and sometimes even manatees. Wakulla Springs may be best known for its refreshing swimming and hiking opportunities. “The biggest draw to the park, especially on a hot summer day is swimming in the constant 69-degree spring water,” says Tim.

For those who wish to make a weekend of it, Tim says the lodge is worth the visit. “Overnight stays are available in the lodge, as well as a full dining room and soda fountain with treats and snacks,” he says. “With 27 guest rooms, marble details at every turn and a handpainted ceiling in the lobby, it is often referred to as a North Florida castle. Be sure to look up at those ceilings before going into the dining room for dinner. And where else can you get a ginger yip? Think half-milkshake, half-root beer float… but with ginger ale. It’s delicious. It is still a fully operational hotel and is popular for weddings, family reunions and special celebrations, as well as quiet weekend getaways.” And although there are many reasons to fall in love with Wakulla Springs, for Tim, nostalgia may be the most prominent. “Wakulla Springs is a special place for people

who grew up in or around Tallahassee, as I did,” he says. “I have lots of fond memories of going there as a child and teenager—climbing up to the top of the high-dive over the spring is a nerve-racking experience, and jumping off is a true rite of passage, but it’s just as enjoyable to visit now as an adult. “These days, Wakulla Springs is top on my list to take friends and family who visit from out of town,” Tim adds. “They’re always blown away by the river boat tour. We Floridians sometimes take seeing an alligator for granted, but, if you’re from another part of the country, it’s a pretty amazing experience.” Edward Ball Wakulla Springs State Park // 465 Wakulla Park Dr., Wakulla Springs // For boat reservations, call (850) 421-2000 // floridastateparks.org


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Jeepers! Jeep Beach Week is back in Daytona Beach. Mark your calendars for April 25-May 1. // B Y K A R I N F A B R Y- C U S H E N B E R Y

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eople who have Jeeps love their Jeeps. They also love gathering and hanging out with other Jeep owners. And this month, Daytona Beach will host its annual Jeep Beach, one of the largest Jeeponly events in the country. The event attracts more than 200,000 visitors to Volusia County’s coast each year—and upward of 20,000 Jeeps. Jeep Beach features the latest and greatest in all things Jeep, from industry products and accessories to the newest models. More than 200 vendors gather for the event, and raffle prizes are given away throughout the week. Jeep enthusiasts can expect a packed event this year. Each year, all Jeep Beach proceeds are donated to local charities in Central Florida counties, with more than $2 million in donations raised since 2012. So you have a Jeep and you want to show it off during Jeep Beach 2022? Participant preregistration is $80, and more information can be found on the event’s website. For the very dedicated, a VIP/Booster lanyard is available with premium registration, which covers admission to a variety of events, including the Jeep Beach Gives Back Charity Softball Game on April 25; the Jeep Beach at the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America and Jeep Beach in Boots, both on April 26; the Jeep Beach Offroad Experience at Cracker Ranch and Tiki Island Tailgate Party on April 27; Jeep Beach Main at the Daytona International Speedway on April 29-30; and Rocking Out

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JB22 at the Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach on April 30. If it sounds like a lot of events take place during this week-long Jeep celebration, you’re correct. And this is just the tip of the iceberg so to speak. New events this year include the Jeep Beach 5K Fun Run on the first Sunday, April 24 and the World’s Most Famous Beach Parade the following Sunday, May 1. There are literally dozens more events taking place, most of which don’t require the VIP lanyard. A popular favorite is the Jeep Beach Scavenger Hunt using the Goose Chase Scavenger Hunt app. Another, the Jeep Beach Food Truck Festival, will take place at the Tanger Outlets and will include 20 food trucks, vendors, bounce houses, kid-friendly activities and more. And speaking of the youngsters, the Jeep

Beach Kids Club membership will include a special letter, sticker, lanyard with Kids Club pass and a T-shirt. Membership is good through December. There are also a variety of kid-friendly events throughout the week, including some with mascot meet and greets, some with obstacle courses and crafts, and more. For a complete list of all Jeep Beachrelated events and registration information, visit jeepbeach.com. There you’ll find the ins and outs of the event, including which events require advance registration. Jeep Beach // April 24-May 1, 2022 // Various locations throughout Daytona Beach, Florida // Be sure to download the Beach Jeep app and turn on notifications to stay up-to-date on event happenings, news and alerts.


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

Fun At The Farm Spring is in full bloom at the Red, White and Blues Farm in Williston. // B Y E R I N G A L L A G H E R

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Photos courtesy of Red, White & Blues Farm

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hether you’re looking to pick blueberries, giant sunflowers or peaches, this spring is the perfect time to visit the Red, White and Blues Farm. Having changed ownership in the fall of 2021, the farm offers an abundance of family-centered fun throughout the year, and a day at the newly transformed 100-acre farm is a welcome change of pace. This month marks the kickoff of blueberry season, and Red, White and Blues Farm has six varieties of blueberries to choose from situated on 30 acres. After filling your buckets with berries, make sure to stop by the adorable cilo-turnedcafé for a homemade blueberry slushie or visit the outdoor eatery to enjoy a full lunch menu. The pulled barbecue pork is a definite fan favorite! If you’re looking for a full experience of all the farm has to offer, mark your calendars for Blues Fest. The event is planned for two weekends this year: April 30-May 1 and again May 7-May 8, a perfect way to spend Mother’s Day weekend. In addition to the farm’s usual amenities, this year’s festival is set to include live music, craft vendors, homemade baked goods and more.

We bet you didn’t know Red, White and Blues Farm grows peaches, too. And you can take some home with you. This year’s U-pick peach season is expected to begin in late May or early June. Visitors can choose from four different varieties, three of which were developed by the University of Florida. A festival dedicated to peach season will take place at the farm later during the season, so stay tuned. From small benches parked in the shade of great oaks to a gemstone mining attraction, there truly is something for everyone at the farm. This destination is like a step back in time when the simple joys of sunshine and laughter

were all it took to have a great day. Rolling green acres set the perfect backdrop to watch the kids play on a fairytale treehouse village, expend energy jumping on giant jump pillows, slide down a massive eight-lane slide or play on a platform obstacle course. A sand pit with shovels is a great spot for even the tiniest of visitors at the farm. And if that isn’t enough, check out the boutique-style gift shop to satisfy your inner Joanna Gaines. The Red, White and Blues Farm embraces what many of us loved most about childhood: fresh air, the outdoors and simple Florida living. No matter what season you choose to visit the farm, we promise you’ll find something sweet. Red, White and Blues Farm // 3250 NE 140th Avenue, Williston // (352) 638-7849 // redwhiteandbluesfarm.com


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A D Na onal F t local Treasure

At roughly 384,000 acres, the Ocala National Forest features more than 530 miles of trails and almost 14,000 acres of wilderness recreation. The next time you are planning a much needed getaway, you may not have to go very far to find what you are looking for.

Photo by MAVEN photo + film @mavenphotoandfilm

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Photo by Rox Oxford courtesy of USDA Forest Service

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ntoinette Davis, a natural resource specialist, has been with the Forest Service for 21 years, 15 of those in Ocala. “The city of Ocala is a very fast-growing community,” she says. “Different parts of our county are being developed quickly, and we need our designated natural areas, such as the forest, to be able to find balance in our lives and reconnect with nature. “Our forest has a lot of value,” Antoinette adds. “We can access the forest and disconnect from the crowds and the stress of everyday life. It’s a wonderful, costeffective place to spend time with family and friends. And one of the best things about Ocala is the opportunity for year-round outdoor recreation.” Officially proclaimed a national forest in 1908 by President Theodore Roosevelt, the Ocala National Forest is the southernmost forest in the continental United States and features a variety of ecological habitats, including the world’s largest contiguous sand pine scrub forest. As a matter of fact, the Ocala National Forest is home to nearly one quarter of the world’s threatened Florida scrub-jay population. From swimming in the crystal-clear spring waters or hiking the backwoods trails to experiencing four-wheeled fun or canoeing any of the hundreds of waterways, the Ocala National Forest has something for just about every recreational desire. Cool Fact? It’s the only forest that has a live bombing range for military practice. There are also a variety of groups, from hiking to birdwatching, that meet in the forest regularly to share in like interests and explore the area. Antoinette has traveled much of the forest but says her favorite locations are the springs. “Our springs are community gems,” she says. “Each one offers different opportunities and is worth exploring.” No matter where your mood takes you in the forest, Antoinette encourages you to leave the area just as you found it. With roughly 1 million visitors enjoying the forest each year, that’s more important than ever. The Ocala National Forest has recently partnered with Tread Lightly!, an

A Junip Springs

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organization that promotes responsible outdoor recreation and use of natural resources, and educates the public on the importance of keeping our precious forest land sustainable for future generations. “We have two cleanups every year, one in April and one usually in September. For Project Spring Clean we will work with the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission, as well as Marion County and Lake County Waste Management, to help get trash off the ground and clean the areas. User groups, volunteer organizations and families are always welcome to come help.” The recreational opportunities in the Ocala National Forest are too vast to list all in one story, but we wanted to share a few of our favorites on the following pages. In the meantime, you can check out the Forest Service’s website for plenty of detailed information at fs.usda.gov.

V The Springs

The constantly cool water is especially refreshing, once you get past the initial shock,

on a hot summer day. The springs tend to fill up, especially on the weekends, so plan your trip accordingly and head out early.

Juniper Springs Located on SR 40 halfway between Ocala and Ormond Beach, Juniper Springs is a natural oasis that’s waiting to be explored. Constructed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, Juniper Springs is home to one of the forests most beloved swimming holes. The shallow end is perfect for splashing around with the little ones, and the deep end is the perfect spot to snorkel while trying to catch a glimpse of a harmless American eel. If you’re feeling adventurous, the Juniper Run canoe and kayak run is for you. As of press time, canoe and kayak rentals were unavailable, but call ahead to verify. The famed Florida Trail runs through Juniper Springs, so bring your hiking shoes and set out to explore the area. If you are looking for an easy walk, the 0.8-mile Juniper Run Trail loop includes picturesque viewing areas overlooking bubbling springs. Camping is available at the springs, which


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Photo by Jason Lawor courtesy of USDA Forest Service

houses a variety of tent, RV and primitive sites. Hot showers and flush toilets make for a comfortable stay.

Salt Springs More than 52 million gallons of water rush through Salt Springs on a daily basis. The 74-degree water is crystal clear and provides an abundance of recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, snorkeling and more. For nature watchers, the native trees and shrubs, including Chapman oak, myrtle oak, sand live oak and Southern magnolia provide home to a variety of birds and wildlife. The nearby Salt Springs Hiking Trail is just under two miles and winds through several native habitats, including the Big Scrub. There’s even an observation deck for birdwatching. The Salt Springs campground is the largest in the Ocala National Forest and offers spacious sites for tents as well as full RV hookups.

Alexander Springs This first-magnitude spring is the only place in the Ocala National Forest where scuba diving 24

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is allowed. The open water diving enables divers an up-close view of the beautiful springs. Swimming is also a popular pastime at Alexander Springs, and the 300-foot swimming hole offers a lot of sunshine giving the waters a beautiful turquoise hue. For history buffs, it’s interesting to note that the Timucua Indians once called the area home. Much information can be found online about the tribe, and you can explore through the brush and foliage where one of Florida’s earliest tribes lived. Like the other springs, camping is available on Alexander Spring’s 67-unit campground, which offers both tent and RV (up to 35 feet) camping sites. There’s no electric or water hookups, but hot showers and a dump station are available. A convenient concession stand sells snacks and groceries, personal items, firewood and more.

Silver Glen Springs A first-magnitude spring, Silver Glen is popular amongst snorkelers, kayakers and swimmers. A constant 72 degrees, the water is chilly but refreshing. For history buffs, Silver Glen holds a

Silv Glen

treasure trove of historical significance. One of the most interesting aspects of Silver Glen Springs are the enormous middens. These ancient “trash heaps” house relics and items that were once part of everyday life for the Native Americans that called the springs area home. A walk around the interpretive trails brings this history to life. The area features the three-mile Lake George Trail and an easy 0.75mile round-trip hike on the Spring Boils Trail of Jody Spring.

Spring Hopping For $70 plus tax per person, purchase an Ocala National Forest Springs Hopper Pass. The day-use pass is good for a year from the date of purchase and gets the passholder admission into recreation areas managed by Adventure Ocala. These areas include Wildcat and Clearwater Lakes, Alexander Springs, Silver Glen Springs and Juniper Springs. The pass is available for purchase at Juniper, Silver Glen or Alexander Springs.


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or OHVs in the forest, so make sure to visit recreation.gov to check it out and purchase a pass. A three-day pass is $10 per person, seven-day pass is $25 per person and an annual pass is $75 per person. Riders who are 16 and under are required to pass an online OHV safety course before taking to the trails and must carry their pass certificate with them while riding. A complete list of off-roading sites is available on the Ocala National Forest website.

Tread Lightly!

The Ocala National Forest is home to 14 developed campgrounds, some appropriate for tents only, some tents and RVs. There is also primitive, or dispersed, camping opportunities available for those who really want to get away from it all. For those who like to camp while keeping a roof over their head, the forest is home to a handful of great cabins.

Lake Dorr Cabin Lake Dorr Cabin is located on the shores of Lake Dorr in Altoona. Modern amenities include a fully equipped kitchen, complete with eating and cooking utensils, polished hardwood floors and a fully accessible bathroom. The cabin sleeps 10 and features one bedroom with a queen bed, two sets of bunk beds and two sleeper sofas in the living area. The surrounding Lake Dorr Recreation Area is ideal for boating, kayaking and canoeing. The 26

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Sweetwater Cabin One of the best kept secrets in the Ocala National Forest, Sweetwater Cabin is surrounded by the Juniper Prairie Wilderness. This 1930s Civilian Conservation Corps cabin is situated next to Sweetwater Spring, a picturesque blue spring that creates a stream that eventually feeds into Juniper Spring. For those lucky enough to secure a spot in the cabin, a private spring is available for exploring and splashing in just off the back deck. Because of the high demand of the cabin, reservations are created through a computerized lottery selection process. The lottery is available between January 1 and May 31 each year.

Off-Road Advent

There are approximately 300 miles of trails dedicated to ATV and other off-highway vehicle (OHV) use in the Ocala National Forest. The trails are designed for slow-moving travel, encouraging drivers to enjoy and respect the scenery. Passes are required to use ATVs

On T get

Operated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the Ocala Shooting Range is an unsupervised shooting range in the Ocala National Forest that is open to the public. Backboards are provided, but shooters must provide their own targets with a way to secure them to the board. A rifle and handgun range are provided, as is a single-station, self-throw shotgun pad. For those using the shotgun range, bring your own clay targets and thrower. Keeping in mind that the site isn’t supervised, shooter and visitor safety is a must. Be conscientious and respectful of others on site. Because the facility is located on a wildlife management area, firearms must be transported to and from the range on county and state roads, not forest service roads. When classes are not in session (check the myfwc.com website), the range is open from sunrise to sunset daily, except Wednesdays, when it opens at 2pm. Check out the helpful Ocala National Forest recreation guide at the following website: fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/ stelprdb5192726.pdf.

Photo by Jason Lawor courtesy of USDA Forest Service

Camp In Style

large lake is great for water skiing and is home to plenty of fish, so pack the fishing poles and tacklebox.

Sources: fs.usda.gov, recreation.gov, visitflorida.com, adventureocala.com

A Tread Lightly

The Ocala National Forest is the only forest in the country that has a trail named for Tread Lightly! The Tread Lightly! Four Wheel Drive Way trail is an 81-mile trail dedicated for licensed off-road, four-wheel-drive vehicles, including Jeeps, trucks and high-clearance SUVs only. “You can access the trail off Hwy. 40 in the forest, and the trail travels north and south from there,” says Antoinette. “The coolest part is heading south where it goes close to the bombing range." Adventurers can earn a national medallion to put on the back of your vehicle by completing the trail circuit. There is no fee to drive on the trail. According to the forest service website, the purpose of the trail is to “prevent resource damage, to encourage study and enjoyment of nature, highlight the importance of conservation, provide scenic and visual enjoyment and instill appreciation of the nation’s history, cultural resources and traditional values.”


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE Hammock and Mutiny, of course, as well as The Lodge, O’Malley’s Alley, The Keep, Black Sheep on Broadway, Cantina, Sayulita, Bank Street, Katya Vineyards, District Bar & Kitchen and Morevino—all vying for the crown. Each restaurant will compete on

IT STARTED AS TRASH TALK BETWEEN JASON AND I AFTER MUTINY OPENED, ‘CAUSE THAT’S WHAT WE DO. NOW HERE WE ARE BUILDING A LARGE CULINARY COMPETITION FOR CHARITY, ALL FOCUSED ON WIENERS. -SAM BETTY, MUTINY BAR

A Culinary Competition Mark your calendars! Wiener Wars comes to the Ocala Downtown Market on April 20.

T

// B Y J E S S E J A M E S

his month, some of our favorite downtown Ocala restaurants will go head-to-head to see who has the best wieners in town. What started as trash talk between Jason Delaney of Big Hammock and Sam Betty of Mutiny over who served up the best hot dogs has morphed into something much more. “It started as trash talk between Jason and I after Mutiny opened, ‘cause that’s what

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we do,” says Sam. “Now here we are building a large culinary competition for charity, all focused on wieners.” “Our friend Jimmy Lent had the cool idea that we should compete to see who had the best wiener,” says Jason. “Well, Sam and I have always liked to plan events to raise money for charity, and Wiener Wars was born!” The event will include the likes of Big

cooking technique, creativity, presentation and taste. The cooking method, bun, toppings, condiments and presentation will be entirely up to the competing teams, so expect the unexpected. Patrons will be presented with a passport and have the option to sample each wiener. They can then cast their vote for the People’s Choice Champion. There will also be a trio of local celebrity judges who will judge each wiener’s presentation, creativity and taste to determine the Judge’s Choice Champion. Oh, and plenty of beer and wine will be available in exchange for tickets purchased at the event. Tri-Eagle Sales will also be on hand for the event so patrons can sample some of their fine products, while theBitters and Glizzy Gillespie will supply the music. All proceeds will benefit the Ocala Outreach Foundation, Inc. and the Marion County Literacy Council. “This type of event lifts up our mission while allowing us to focus on our promise to our students,” says R.J. Jenkins, board president of the Marion County Literacy Council. “Every nonprofit prays for support like this.” Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on Eventbrite now. Get your tickets before they sell out! Wiener Wars // April 20, 6-9pm // Ocala Downtown Market pavilion // Find the event on Facebook at https://fb.me/e/1xX3G435v to learn more, and visit https://bit.ly/3ueM6OP to purchase tickets.


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WATCH // EXPLORE // CRAVE

Brews For Good The Brick City Beer and Wine Festival serves up much more than a good time. // B Y M E L I S S A P E T E R S O N

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Photos courtesy of Brick City Beer and Wine Festival

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hen craft beer and locally made wine combine with a day dedicated to supporting local charities, it’s sure to be an event you won’t want to miss. And the Brick City Beer and Wine Festival, coming to downtown Ocala’s Citizens’ Circle on April 16, checks all those boxes. Now in its eighth year, the Brick City Beer and Wine Festival, presented by the World Equestrian Center, is hosted by Ocala-Silver Springs Rotary Club and the Ocala-Sunset Rotary and features everything from national beer and wine vendors to local home brew clubs. The event was the brain child of Rotary members Tarn Thompson and James Clardy. “They were looking to create a signature charity event that would give back to our community, providing funds for local organizations to support their cause,” says Leighandra Gibbons, director of internal operations and committee member for the event. “Attendees can expect a vast variety of brews and wines to sample from, as well as a soda saloon for the kids. Local food trucks will be selling an array of cuisine, and local craft vendors will be dispersed throughout the event.” With Covid canceling the event for the last two years, the Rotary clubs are anxious to get back to being able to support their chosen nonprofit organizations. “Without this event, we could not provide donations to our local nonprofits like years before—during a time when they could stand to benefit the most from outside donors,” says Leighandra. “We are very excited to get back into the swing of things this year. It feels like a great

way to mark the arrival of spring—like we’re throwing a party for the community.” The festival will offer something for all tastes, including popular Florida breweries, such as Green Bench Brewing Company and First Magnitude Brewing Company, as well as local names like Hiatus Brewing Co. and Infinite Ale Works. Local home brew clubs will also be offering samples. Tri-Eagle and Cone Distributing will bring in various vendors under their brands. Ocala’s Morevino will bring a vast selection of wines that are sold in house, and Island Grove Wine Company and other local wineries will also showcase their wines. The event will also feature a Battle of the Bands competition, which is hosted by Wind-FM. Beginning in February, bands around Central Florida were able to submit their recordings to

the station to be voted on, and the three bands with the most votes will be facing off at the festival. The winner will be invited to open for the Wind-FM Rocks the Reilly concert on August 20 at the Reilly Arts Center. This year’s charity beneficiaries are Interfaith Emergency Services, Kimberly’s Center for Child Protection and Marion County Literacy Council. “These charities provide services that are absolutely essential,” says Leighandra, “especially to some of the most vulnerable members of our community, and deserve support from us as they continue to extend necessary support to others. This event provides the donations these charities need to continue operating as necessary—it’s worth attending just for that.” Brick City Beer and Wine Festival // April 16, 2-6pm // Citizens’ Circle, 151 SE Osceola Ave., Ocala // VIP tickets $50, presale tickets $35, day-of tickets $40, non-alcohol pass $15, kids under 12 free // Visit brickcitybeerfest.com to learn more and purchase tickets.


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LA CUISINE FRENCH RESTAURANT

Two Locations: 3790 E Silver Springs Blvd., Ocala // (352) 694-1401 // Mon-Sun 11am-10pm // 3510 SW 36th Ave. (SR 200), Ocala // (352) 291-2121 // Mon-Sun 11am-11pm

48 SW 1st Ave Ocala // (352) 433 2570 // lacuisineocala.com Tue-Sun 5-9pm // Sun 11am-2pm // Closed Monday

Head to El Toreo for the best Mexican food this side of the border! Enjoy all of your favorite traditional Mexican dishes in a friendly and festive atmosphere. Beyond the outstanding Mexican food, El Toreo simply offers a warm, fun place to be— whether you’re dressed up or casual. Any day is a good day for one of El Toreo’s tasty margaritas: Mondays and Wednesdays $2 margaritas, Saturdays 2-for-1 margaritas and 2-for-1 happy hour every day from 4-7pm (excluding margaritas).

Treat yourself to a memorable dining experience at La Cuisine. Only the highest quality ingredients and produce are used to create traditional French fare in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere. Reminiscent of a quaint Paris bistro, La Cuisine offers an ambiance that is ideal for a family brunch, a business dinner or a romantic evening out. With award-winning dishes that are prepared fresh, in-house, each meal includes personal touches that only La Cuisine can provide. Indoor and outdoor patio dining is available in the heart of beautiful downtown, and you’ll enjoy live music on Fridays and some Saturdays. Open for Easter.

MILANO ITALIAN GRILLE

OFF-DUTY TAVERN

5400 SW College Rd., Ocala // (352) 304-8549 // milanotogo.com // Sun-Mon 11am-9pm

1011 NE 14th St., Ocala // (352) 499-1089 // offdutytavern.com // Wed-Thurs 11am-9pm // Fri 11am-11pm // Sat 10am-11pm // Sun 10am-8pm // Mon 11am-9pm // Tue Closed

At Milano Italian Grille you’ll find authentic Italian food in a peaceful, cozy atmosphere. Dine-in for dinner while enjoying chef’s specials, wine and live entertainment, or join them for lunch during the day. Planning an event or party? The large private room can easily accommodate up to 50 people. Also don’t forget to try Ocala’s best handcrafted brick-oven pizza! Milano Italian Grille offers catering, delivery and takeout through the mobile app Milano Ocala, as well as through DoorDash, Grubhub and Bite Squad. Follow Milano on social media for current deals and offers.

Offering a welcoming environment for all guests and a special place for first responders, Off-Duty Tavern is the place to go when your shift is over—no matter what time of the day you clock out. Start your meal with the Gunners’ Guinness Fondue before enjoying the Rescue Reuben Sandwich, featuring tavernmade slow roasted corned beef. And while Off-Duty Tavern is a full-service restaurant for the whole family, make sure to check out the separate lounge, where you can unwind after your shift or on your day off.

APR ‘22

31


3035 SE MARICAMP RD STE 104, UNIT 168 OCALA, FL 34471

ER expertise that revolves around you

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10/29/21 3:28 PM