I live north of Silver Springs near Gainesville but go there pretty often. It's generally a nice area. They have Wild Waters there as the main attraction.
Several years ago Ocala, which is right beside Silver Springs, was voted the best place to live in America. But these days they have unemployment at about 15%. You can purchase a nice home right now for a reasonable price and you will find the folks there are friendly.
You can also hop on State Road 40 and take it to the Atlantic Ocean in about an hour (give or take). There is canoeing, hiking and camping nearby in the Ocala National Forest.
Silver Springs does get some pretty nasty lightning and thunder storms in the summer, but that's typical Florida weather. Nearby Ocala National Forest is known for its black bears. There is so much wild life just east of Silver Springs.
I hope that helps.
Go Florida Gators!