Lakeland is a vibrant community with a population just over 100,000. The historic downtown area surrounds Munn Park Town Square and is filled with quaint shops, casual restaurants, pubs, craft breweries and fine-dining experiences. You will also find tree lined, brick streets in the historic neighborhoods. Lakeland has many beautiful swan filled lakes throughout the city that are well worth a visit.
A Brief History of Lakeland, Florida
Florida became a state in 1845, and Polk County was established in 1861. After the American Civil War, the county seat was established southeast of Lakeland in Bartow. While most of Polk County's early history centered on the two cities of Bartow and Fort Meade, eventually, people entered the areas in northern Polk County and began settling in the areas which became Lakeland.
European-American settlers arrived in Lakeland from Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia and South Carolina in the 1870s. The city expanded in the 1880s with the arrival of rail service, with the first freedmen railway workers settling here in 1883. They and European immigrants also came because of land development opportunities with farming, citrus, cattle and phosphate industry developing. Lakeland is home to the 1,267-acre Circle B Bar Reserve.
Lakeland is located along I-4 between Tampa and Orlando.