Seniors Enjoy A City Of Many Lakes

us-fllklAs a guide at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, AZ, this senior learned that Frank Lloyd Wright designed a campus for Florida Southern College. It is said to be the largest collection of buildings that he ever designed.

Lakeland is a city in Polk County, Florida located between Orlando and Tampa along Interstate 4 with population of just over 100,000. So why the name Lakeland? Easy. The dominant feature in Lakeland is the city’s many lakes. Thirty-eight lakes are named, with a number of other bodies of water unnamed. Lake Parker is the largest.

Much of the culture of Lakeland revolves around its many lakes which are used as reference points in much the same way that streets are used as reference points, such as “I live near Lake Beulah.” Beautiful white swans remain one of the most visible features of the lakes.


 Senior History Buffs Enjoy Lakeland

Lakeland was first settled in the 1870s and began to develop as the rail lines reached the area in 1884. The town was founded by Abraham Munn from Louisville, Kentucky. He purchased 80 acres of land in what is now downtown Lakeland in 1882 and  platted the land for the town in 1884. Among the names considered (and rejected) for the town by its residents were Munnville, Red Bug, and Rome City. I liked the “Red Bug” option, whatever a red bug is.

Large industries in the Lakeland area are citrus, cattle, and phosphate mining.The city remains an important transportation hub. The county nickname, Imperial Polk County, was coined because a large bond issue in 1914 enabled wide roads between the cities of Polk County.


Among the many sites suggested as must see attractions, senior visitors will enjoy Hollis Gardens, Florida Southern College and Common Ground Park. Senior history buffs and art lovers will enjoy the Polk Museum of Art, and flight enthusiasts can’t miss the annual SUN ‘n FUN Fly-in.

Seniors Stroll Through Gardens, Promenades and Historic District

In the heart of downtown, Lake Mirror Park features an historic promenade, amphitheater and pedestrian walkways. Hollis Garden, found around the walkway, is an awesome formal garden that is highlighted with more than 10,000 flowers and plants all indigenous to the state. And history comes alive in Lakeland’s legendary downtown Historic and Antiques district.


The local Chamber of Commerce notes that… “Everything you look for in a Central Florida vacation is right at your fingertips in Lakeland. The mild weather and warm sunny days attract visitors to the events and attractions that make Lakeland one of Florida’s most colorful and exciting vacation destinations.”

Events are ongoing all year long in Downtown Lakeland. including some great shopping, dining and nightlife. Senior travelers will enjoy a few days in sunny Lakeland.  Bring your golf clubs along as well as a healthy appetite.  It will be a memorable visit.  -jeb

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