7.3 out of 10


Ranked 4th best city in Florida
28.0575838067355 -81.9606616263164
Great for
  • Shopping Options
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Clean & Green
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
Not great for
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  • Neighborly Spirit
  • Pest Free
  • Resale or Rental Value
Who lives here?
  • Singles
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees


4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 4/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 5/5

"Small Town Life in the Center of Everything"

Lakeland is a comfortable, southern town of a little under 190,000 people located 45 minutes east of Tampa, Florida. It lays in the heart of Florida, almost equal distance from the northern and southern state lines as it is almost centered from each coast. Because of it's location, Lakeland is an ideal spot for raising a family or retiring and it's population is steadily growing. A few hours from the rolling hills of northern Florida or Miami, and less than an hour from some of the most popular beaches in the world.

The heart of Lakeland is it's downtown. Built around a series of lakes, the downtown area is comprised of many red brick streets lined with great moss covered oaks, serving as a great backdrop to the many shops and restaurants which peak at Munn Park, Lakeland's historic downtown gathering spot. There are several historic districts created to protect the charming homes, most of which were built almost a hundred years ago. The most popular historic district is Lake Morton.

The restaurants are varied and some are great. Since we are a growing city we are getting more and more restaurants almost weekly, it seems. We now four Starbucks - so we really are not that small of a town!

The lack of nightlife is the only disappointed we have with Lakeland. It has many bars, but they tend to be filled with the college crowd, so most of us entertain at home. There is talk of a club aimed at the 'older' crowd being opened downtown soon, though.

The medical community is great! We have one of the best rate hospitals in Florida, especially known for their cancer center and heart center. There are two major clinics in town, each with over a hundred doctors practicing, along with many many private specialists. Our pride is also our "Volunteers In Medicine" center, which is where doctors and nurses donate their time to treat the indigent and it has a great success rate.

Lakeland is home to many high schools, but we are best known for our Lakeland Dreadnaughts High School football team. They have been national champions several times and many of the players have played or are still playing in the NFL.

Employment is GREAT here. My husband and I work for a Fortune 500 company, which has a manufacturing facility here, of which there are several. And since it is growing and growing, the construction industry and service industries are thriving!!! Many professionals from Tampa and Orlando are choosing to raise their families here, causing new communities to pop up almost monthly.

My favorite place is Lake Morton, which sits in the heart of Lakeland and is a popular destination for families, visitors and picnickers. The lake is home to over a hundred swans, including rare black swans and 'tuxedo' swans, thus called because they have a white body with an elegant black neck. When a local says "Let's go feed the ducks," they mean they are going to Lake Morton to feed the swans and the thousands of other birds that call the lake home. Ice cream trucks often circle the area, and the convenient store near the library sells lots and lots of bread for everyone to feed the ducks with.

Another popular lake is Lake Hollingsworth. It is surrounded by a 3 mile sidewalk which is popular for walking, biking and roller blading. Lake Hollingsworth also hosts Lakeland's historic college Florida Southern, home to the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings. I happen to live near the college and absolutely love the neighborhood. A great mixture of students, professors and professionals. We restored our home as are others in the neighborhood. It's slowly and quietly become an area of great charm.

The south and north sides of Lakeland have spawned great gated communities. There is fantastic shopping at the new Lakeside Village, which has many designer stores. Lakeland's downtown is filled with galleries, antiques and restaurants. Shane's has the best BBQ ribs, while Palace Pizza is THE BEST pizza in town, creating a New York style that will melt in your mouth. I recommend the pepperoni, onion and mushroom combo with some crushed garlic sprinkled on top. Yummy!

Lakeland is home to the biggest air festival in the nation, Sun N' Fun, as well as our renowned Mayfaire-On-The-Lake - our annual art festival which draws artists from all over the world as well as visitors from across the nation.

We settled here 20 years ago and raised our children and have never regretted it. Now the grandchildren are growing up here and we couldn't be more pleased. We take them to 'feed the ducks' a lot, but then we also get to treat them to Disney World - which is only about 35 minutes away. We get to stroll with them under the large oaks in Munn Park or fish in Lake Bonny, then take them to the Family Fun Center for putt-putt.

My favorite new feature of Lakeland is our 98.3 radio station, The Mix. They play everything! They do not limit themselves to the charts or to a genre. It's become so popular they have built a bigger tower so they can now be heard as far away as Orlando and Tampa.

When you want to be in the center of things....Lakeland is the place to be.
Recommended for
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees

Unranked Neighborhoods in Lakeland

"The beach and so much more."
28.0565660521552 -81.9419657817738


"College campus on site."
28.0307654253698 -81.9473151281744

John Cox

"Mostly a couples home."
28.0571830201582 -81.9504100961084


"Gets you to Lake Parker."
28.0642014450681 -81.9500519604858

Paul A Diggs

"Quiet and Relaxing."
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