Lakeland, the largest city in Polk County, is home to the largest one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world at Florida Southern College, Circle B Bar Reserve, Detroit Tigers Spring Training, and Safari Wilderness.
Located just off of Interstate 4, between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland offers visitors many things to do. Enjoy shopping at the many boutiques in the Dixieland Historic District as well as the Downtown area, and eat like a local at our numerous locally owned restaurants. If you prefer to stay, dine and shop in the same area, Lakeside Village may be the perfect spot for you. Numerous onsite hotels are within walking distance to restaurants and shops.
While you’re in town, be sure to feed the swans at Lake Morton and tour some of Lakeland’s most notable structures, including The Terrace Hotel, Polk Theatre, Polk Museum of Art, and Florida Polytechnic University - designed by world renowned Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
Here’s to hoping you get a few ideas for things to do in
Lakeland on your upcoming trip.
Our Top 20 Things To Do in Lakeland
- See a movie at the historic Polk Theatre.
- Visit the museums: Polk Museum of Art, Explorations V Children’s Museum and the Usonian House at Florida Southern College.
- Experience local culture, beauty, and architecture when you tour Lakeland on a bicycle from Swan City Cycles.
- Pile into the car and enjoy a first-run movie at the Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre. Be sure to visit the nostalgically decorated refreshment center where you’ll find photos of drive-in theatres from days gone by.
- Visit the Downtown Farmers Curb Market on Saturday.
- Explore the antique and vintage shops: Lloyds of Lakeland Antiques, Vintage Warehouse, Vern’s Antique Mall & Art Gallery, Dixieland Relics, Pumpernack’s, and Simple Vintage with Scout & Tag.
- Stroll down the Frances Langford Promenade and through Hollis Garden, a botanic garden set in a neo-classical architectural setting with patterned flower beds, public art and fountains.
- See a show at The Lakeland Center, Lakeland Community Theatre, or Imperial Symphony Orchestra.
- Eat breakfast, lunch or dinner at Reececliff Family Diner, Lakeland’s longest running restaurant.
- Sample food from 20+ food trucks during the Thursday Squared Food Truck Rally.
- Visit Florida Southern College and tour the world’s largest one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.
- Join a group fun run at Mitchell’s Coffee House, Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro, or The Chop Shop.
- People watch along Kentucky Avenue while dining at Fresco’s Bakery & Bistro, Harry’s Seafood Bar & Grill, Palace Pizza or The Chop Shop.
- Check out the craft beer breweries: Brew Hub, Lakeland Brewing Company and Red Door Wine Market.
- Go on a wildlife safari by vehicle or camelback at Safari Wilderness.
- Find out why USA Today Travel recognized Circle B Bar Reserve as one of the 51 Great Places to See Wildlife in 2011. Hint: lots, and lots, and LOTS of alligators, ducks, birds, bald eagles, and butterflies.
- Take in a baseball game during Detroit Tigers’ spring training season or Lakeland Flying Tigers’ minor league season. The Tigers have called Lakeland home every February-March since 1934.
- Eat at some of our Local Favorites: Café Zuppina, Gosh! Asian Bistro and Sushi, Fat Jack’s Deli, Scarpa’s Italian, Fat Maggie’s, Fresco’s Bakery and Bistro, Mister Fish, Texas Cattle Company, Jimbo’s Pit Bar B-Q, Purple Onion Deli and Grill, and Tapatios Restaurante Mexican.
- Hike through pine forests, cypress domes and open pastures in the Green Swamp Wilderness Area at Colt Creek State Park.
- Shop, eat, drink and enjoy live entertainment at 801 E. Main St., which plays host to The Poor Porker (fresh beignets), The Corner Store (healthy food options) and The Ruins Bar.
The Lakeland Area Chamber of Commerce can provide additional information about the area.