Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information and Resources for Travelers
Bartow

Bartow

Bartow is known for its small city heritage and distinctive Southern culture, and is appropriately nicknamed, “City of Oaks and Azaleas.”

Top Things To Do in Bartow

Polk County History Center

Bartow is Polk County’s second oldest city and is most notable for both the Polk County History Center and Historic L.B. Brown House and Museum.

If you’re a history buff, the Polk County History Center is a great place to begin your journey through Polk County. Located in the Old Polk County Courthouse in downtown Bartow, the History Center has been preserving its past since 1998.

Bartow Activities

  1. One of our favorite things to do in Bartow is drive south on Broadway and tour the many historic homes of the city. My Girl was filmed at 555 East Stanford Street, and the Benjamin Franklin Holland House, home to the father of Spressard Holland, a former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator, is across the street at 590.
  2. Grab a latte or London Fog and a pastry at Unfiltered Coffee.
  3. Make an appointment to tour the Historic L.B. Brown House and Museum, a museum and architectural masterpiece. Built by self-taught master carpenter Lawrence B. Brown, the nine-room, 1,700 square foot home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is a museum honoring the contributions of African Americans to Florida history.
  4. Shop for locally-made soaps, lotions and facial care products at Rafa Natural.
  5. Another beautiful home, the John J. Swearingen House, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. You can see it at 690 East Church Street, and take your time meandering through the Church Street Historic District.
  6. We’re not done talking about historic homes. In the Northeast Bartow Historic Residential District you can find 27 historical buildings built between 1886 and 1925. The district includes Jackson Avenue, First Avenue, Main Street and Vine Street.
  7. Enjoy breakfast or lunch at one of our Local Favorites: Cookie Jar Bakeshop & Eatery. Once you make it through the front door, you’ll realize you’ll also be purchasing a few (or dozen) cookies, cupcakes and/or brownies. We’ve been buying sweet treats from Cookie Jar Bakeshop & Eatery for over a decade, and each bite has exceeded our expectations.
  8. Celebrate all things science fiction during Bartow’s annual SyFy Saturday. You see life-sized replicas of Doctor Who’s time machine and the TARDIS. Come dressed up in themed attire, or have one of the festival’s makeup artists add some science fiction flair to your already pretty face.
  9. Go antiquing at Antiques on Main and Smith & Jones Antiques. If you’re in town on the second Saturday of the month, stop by Main Street’s Antique Fair which is set up along the sidewalks of downtown. Find unique and one-of-a-kind items that you won’t want to leave without.
  10. Art blooms every March in Bartow during the Bloomin’ Arts Festival, Bartow’s annual spring arts celebration. From antique cars and paintings to restored violins, art of all kinds is celebrated, appreciated, purchased and even raffled at this two-day festival.
  11. Explore the Polk County History Center during a family friendly architectural tour and learn more about Neo-Classical architecture, the construction of the building and the stories behind the iconic Old Polk County Courthouse. These tours take place on the third Saturday of each month.
  12. Bartow’s Municipal Airport and Bartow Air Base Museum is between Bartow and Eagle Lake. Inside the museum you will find memorabilia from World War II, when this complex was in service as the Bartow Army Air Field. After World War II, it was used to run a flight school training cadets for military service.
  13. If you’re here in February, join us at the L.B. Brown Festival to celebrate the life and achievements of Lawrence B. Brown with jazz, gospel and contemporary music, dancers and storytellers.

The Bartow Chamber of Commerce can provide additional information about the area.

LEARN & DISCOVER

Family taking selfie in front of LEGO Movie World

Spend a Weekend in Winter Haven

We just published a video on YouTube showing how much fun a weekend in Winter Haven, FL can be for...

See Details
Spend a Weekend in Lakeland

Spend a Weekend in Lakeland

We just published a video on YouTube showing how much fun a weekend in Lakeland, FL can be for you...

See Details
2 kids on roller coaster during LEGOLAND Florida Piratefest Weekend

Top 10 Reasons to Visit LEGOLAND Florida in 2021

In honor of LEGOLAND Florida Resort celebrating it’s 10th birthday in 2021, we’re giving you the top 10 reasons to...

See Details
Santa at photo spot during Holidays at LEGOLAND

Holidays at LEGOLAND

Cheerful holiday spirit is on its way to LEGOLAND® Florida Resort this season with Holidays at LEGOLAND. Holidays at LEGOLAND...

See Details
Bromeliad Christmas tree with oak tree in background at Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, FL

Holidays at Bok Tower Gardens

Holidays at Bok Tower Gardens is an annual celebration and features over a month of special activities and events for...

See Details
Santa and 2 kids with Christmas tree in background during Holidays at LEGOLAND

Holiday Happenings in Central Florida

Holiday Happenings in Central Florida is our annual blog post listing local Christmas events and activities happening in Central Florida....

See Details
Soft serve ice cream, orange and tangerine juice, pecans, oranges and strawberries at Ridge Island Groves. Florida Citrus Makes a Great Christmas Gift

Florida Citrus Makes a Great Christmas Gift

If you enjoy giving friends and family unique presents throughout the holiday season, Florida citrus makes a great Christmas gift. ...

See Details
water ripples used as email signup background

Subscribe to

EMAIL LIST

Join our email list and stay up to date with all the great things happening in Florida’s Sweetest Spot.