Lakeland in Polk County has the distinction of being on the “Best Place to Live in America” list of Money Magazine. Centrally located between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland offers residents and visitors a wide variety of sports, entertainment, cultural and educational opportunities. Lakeland’s charm lies in its beautiful blend of a small town feel with the convenience and amenities of a large metropolis.
About The Community
Founded by Abraham Munn, Lakeland was incorporated January1, 1885. Thanks to an excellent railroad service in the mid-1890s, Lakeland quickly became one of the premier cities of Florida. Today nearly 108,000 people live in Lakeland and enjoy its diverse neighborhoods, numerous lakes, and public spaces. There are 38 named lakes and numerous smaller lakes. The city sponsors over 500 separate programs at 45 parks, playgrounds and other recreation venues.
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Lakeland has always been a hub of innovation and progressive thinkers. It grew the first winter strawberry crops in the mid-1890s and was the third city in Florida to have electric lights. Lakeland is the winter and spring home of the Detroit Tigers who have been training in Lakeland since 1934. The Joker Marchant Stadium underwent recent renovation by the City of Lakeland.
Vicinity of Lakeland
The Lakeland Center is Central Florida’s major entertainment, sports and convention complex and hosts conventions, Broadway shows, concerts, sporting events and consumer shows. The Lakeland Public Library offers various services, programming and materials to check out and is a member in the Polk County Library Cooperative since its inception in October of 1997.
The University of South Florida located in Lakeland has 3500 students with 20 undergraduate and graduate programs. The Florida Southern College has a superb liberal arts core, as well as outstanding pre-professional programs. Founded in 1885, the college, affiliated with the United Methodist Church is proud of its academic excellence, exceptional student life programs, and championship athletics and welcomes students from all faith backgrounds and cultures. Florida Southern College hosts the largest one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture.
The Club at Eaglebrooke Golf Course is a leading attraction of Lakeland, for its golfing on a scenic course, fabulous food, and atmosphere. The Golf-Cleveland Heights Course is a popular Municipal Golf Course in the city. Lemon Street Celebration in April combines the Florida Outdoor Sculpture Competition is celebrated with a street party, food, and entertainment. October is a busy month with Sidewalk arts and crafts at the Fall Festival in Munn Park and the Lake Mirror Classic Auto Festival that attracts over 500 show vehicles and 25,000 spectators.
December brings the “Holiday Walk-About,” an event coordinated by the Downtown Lakeland Partnership that enables viewers enjoy the downtown area’s holiday decorations and the annual Christmas Parade and Snowfest at Lake Mirror. Each April, aviation enthusiasts travel from around the nation and the world to Lakeland to participate in one of the world’s largest aviation events, the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland Linder Regional Airport. The weeklong event features the latest high-tech aircraft displays, daily air shows, educational forums, seminars, and workshops, contributing to Lakeland’s economic development.