Lakeland, Florida – WorldAtlas

Situated between Tampa and Orlando is the quaint community of Lakeland, Florida. The scenic town is home to over 100,000 residents, spanning 74 square miles in the Sunshine State. True to its very name, the 38 lakes found in the community are a focal point of Lakeland’s foundation.

Geography And Climate Of Lakeland

Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Florida.
Lake Mirror in Lakeland, Florida.

Located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain, Lakeland’s terrain consists of flatland “interspersed with gently rolling hills.” The surrounding lakes dominate its geography and are used by its residents as reference points. Much like its neighboring vacation-hub cities, Lakeland shares the same inviting climate. Located south of Tampa but north of Miami, the Central Florida city’s average high temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit and low of 63 degrees Fahrenheit is comfortable for residents and visitors alike. According to TripSavvy, the weather is described as “often nearly perfect.” Naturally, its warmest month is in July, and the coldest is in January. Although July sees a peak in temperature, it is also met with Lakeland’s wettest conditions, experiencing an average precipitation fall of 7.5 inches accumulatively. For most of the calendar year, visitors are encouraged to pack swimsuits and sunscreen, as sunbathing is “hardly ever out of the question.” 

Brief History Of Lakeland

Abraham Munn founded Lakeland on January 1, 1885. He purchased 80 acres of land in what is now its modern-day downtown core. In its early days, the town faced a rival neighboring town of Acton, located just south of Lake Parker, known as the city’s largest lake. Faced with a decline after a fire crippled Acton’s infrastructure, Lakeland began to rise as modern structures developed. Now home to a railroad service and “progressive outlook,” the community began to thrive and make a name for itself. The Tremont Hotel, built by Munn in 1885, was known as the best hotel in Central Florida in its time, serving as Lakeland’s “finest hostelry” for years to come. The Florida land boom of the early 1900s enabled the town to continue to emerge as a hotspot for residents to build a life, now home to major municipal developments. 

Demographics Of Lakeland

According to the United States Census Bureau, the population of Lakeland is estimated at 112,641. Its demographic is made up primarily of caucasian residents at 70%, while 19% are African American, and 16% are of Hispanic or Latino origin. Of that population, 8,372 are veterans. The numbers are quite similar in terms of its gender makeup, with a female population of 51.8%. Only 11.1% are said to be foreign-born, with the overwhelming majority having been born in Lakeland itself. 

Economy Of Lakeland

Lakeland, Florida, USA downown cityscape at city hall during dusk.
Lakeland, Florida, USA downown cityscape at city hall during dusk.

The United States Census Bureau reported a median household income of $50,136, with a $29,398 income per capita. Of its residents, 15.5% are said to be living in poverty. The total percentage of the population aged 16 and above in the civilian labor force is reported to be 55.1%. The median value of owner-occupied housing units stands at $160,400, with a median gross rent of $1,056. 

Attractions In Lakeland

Fountain at public park in Lakeland, Florida
Fountain at public park in Lakeland, Florida.

Being the largest city in Polk County, Lakeland has no shortage of places to visit and things to do. Fans of Major League Baseball have the opportunity to watch Spring Training, home to the spring training facilities of the Detroit Tigers. Those who enjoy wildlife and the outdoors are invited to visit the Safari Wilderness, where you can experience wildlife by car or even by camelback. The town is also home to the historic Polk Theatre and Silver Moon Drive-In Theatre, where people can enjoy a night out with the stars at the cinema. Among the selection of museums in Lakeland are the Polk Museum of Art, Florida Air Museum, and Explorations V Children’s Museum, where youth and adults alike can enjoy an immersive learning experience. The Central Florida city is also home to the world’s largest on-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, known as one of the most decorated and renowned builders in American history.  

For those looking for a charming, scenic town that embodies American culture and history, Lakeland awaits. With its surrounding lakes and antique architecture, Lakeland is the perfect marriage and embodiment of America’s beauty and heritage. The community continues to prosper and withstand the test of time, pocketed in one of the country’s most visited and endearing states.

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