Just a short distance from the hustle and bustle of Orlando’s attractions, hundreds of lakes dot the Central Florida countryside, providing some of the best bass fishing in the country as well as plenty of opportunity for boating and other watersports. Those who want to keep their feet firmly on the ground will find hundreds of exceptional golf courses in this region.
Charming villages dot Central Florida; in places such as LakeWaters, Winter Haven, Polk City, and Babson Park, visitors may explore small-town America and find interesting architecture and antiques.
Surrounded by Florida’s legendary attractions, Lakeland is conveniently located between Orlando and Tampa just off of Interstate 4.
In the heart of downtown, Lake Mirror Park offers a historic promenade, amphitheatre and pedestrian walkways. Hollis Garden, located around the walkway, is a breathtaking, formal garden overlooking Lake Mirror and showcasing more than 10,000 flowers and Florida-indigenous plants. A grand staircase connects the park and the garden.
History comes alive in Lakeland’s legendary downtown and revitalized Historic and Antiques district. More than 60 antiques dealers, specialty shops, art galleries, restaurants and pubs can be found in the heart of downtown.
The historic Polk Theatre, built in 1927, its interior designed like a Mediterranean village and restored to its original splendor, provides a venue for special events also located in the downtown area. Nearby is Exploration V Children’s Museum, a hands-on children’s museum. The Polk Museum of Art exhibits a collection of pre-Colombian artwork, a unique sculpture garden and other traveling collections. Also check out what’s happening at The Lakeland Center, a top-rated entertainment, sporting and convention complex.
Popular events throughout the year include Mayfaire-By-The-Lake, a juried outdoor art festival held Mother’s Day weekend; the springtime “Child of the Sun” Jazz Festival at Florida Southern College which offers the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture in the world; and the week-long Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The Florida Air Museum at Sun ‘n Fun displays a rich variety of aircraft and aviation artifacts year ‘round for lovers of flight. The Lake Mirror Auto Classic showcases unique vintage cars from across the United States and the world in Lakeland’s beautiful downtown setting each year in October.
Located in the middle of Central Florida, Lakeland’s sun-kissed climate and rolling landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for a variety of recreational activities, including championship golf courses, that appeal to everyone,.
Lakeland has 13 fresh water lakes to enhance its beauty. Several are actual bird sanctuaries; in fact, Lakeland even has its own Swan Department to care for more than 200 swans that grace many of its lakes. The Lake Mirror Promenade, designed in the 1920s, features magnificent columns and seawall with classical ornamentation. It is listed on the National Historic Registry. Stroll over to Barnett Park which has interactive fountains, themed play areas, and ornate Byzantine tile mosaics.
Lakeland is conveniently minutes away from all of Florida’s most popular tourist attractions such as Disney World, Sea World, and Universal Studios in Orlando, as well as Busch Gardens in Tampa, Cypress Gardens Adventure Park and Historic Bok Sanctuary. It’s just a short drive to Spaceport USA and the Kennedy Space Center, Florida’s Gulf and Atlantic beaches and Tampa and Orlando International Airports.