Learn More About Lakeland, Florida
Located in Polk County in Central Florida, Lakeland is the biggest city of the region between Tampa and Orlando. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a population of 100,710 people and - due to its convenient location on Interstate 4 - it is also home to a number of large industries, like cattle, citrus, phosphate and tourism.
Lakeland was founded in 1885 and earned the name due to the large number of lakes near the area that today comprises Downtown Lakeland. The city has an incredibly rich history, with its original inhabitants being Native American tribes, who lived in the area for thousands of years, until the Spanish invaders conquered the land and wiped them out. Little is left of the Native American culture, unfortunately, with the exception of scant archaeological records, including a few personal artifacts and shell mounds.
Fast forward to the Spanish-American war in the late 1800s. That point in history was crucial to the development of Lakeland, as the town housed over 9,000 troops, which led to the construction of many significant structures, including the Terrace Hotel, New Florida Hotel (Regency Tower, currently Lake Mirror Tower), the Polk Theatre, Frances Langford Promenade, Polk Museum of Art. Lakeland has many historic districts and is also home to the largest on-site collection of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright.
Located in the humid subtropical zone, Lakeland has hot, rainy summers and dry, very mild winters with frequent sunny skies. Due to its strategic location, the city is an important transportation hub, connecting several cities in the State, and is also home to companies like FedEx Freight and FedEx Services.
Lakeland also has an extensive educational system, with 28 elementary schools, 7 middle schools, five high schools, and three magnet-choice high schools, including the Central Florida Aerospace Academy and the Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts. The city is also a higher education hub, with the presence of no less than 9 universities, including Southeastern University, Florida Technical College and Florida Polytechnic University, which the newest public technical universities within the state.
Even though it is a medium-sized city, the cost of living in Lakeland is actually 12.10% lower than the rest of the United States.
Lakeland is also home to the Joker Marchant Stadium, which hosts the Detroit Tigers, as well as their Lakeland Flying Tigers class-A Florida State League and the GCL Tigers rookie-league, as well as Gulf Coast minor league baseball teams. But it’s not all about baseball in Lakeland, as the city also hosts football, soccer and basketball teams.