Lakeland is located just outside Tampa, in central Florida. With a population of roughly 100,000, it is the part of the Lakeland-Winterhaven Metropolitan area with a population of 625,000. The dominant feature in Lakeland is the city's thirty-eight lakes. Downtown Lake Mirror Park was named one of the Top 10 Public Places in America. It offers a historic promenade, amphitheater and pedestrian walkways. Hollis Garden, found along the walkway, is a breathtaking formal garden that showcases more than 10,000 flowers and indigenous plants.
Arts and Entertainment
Lakeland offers a variety of arts & cultural opportunities, including museums, theatres and public art displays. Lakeland also boasts the Nation’s largest single-campus collection of Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture at Florida Southern College. The Lakeland Center is a four-building, multi-purpose entertainment complex and is home to many diverse contemporary artist and performing arts programs, including the Lakeland Broadway and Entertainment Concert Series and Imperial Symphony Orchestra.
For outdoor pursuits, the many lakes offer a spectacular background for the more than 60 parks in Lakeland. Year-round golf is of course an option in Lakeland and the area offers varied and diverse courses, both public and private.
The 28 elementary schools, seven middle schools, five traditional high schools, and three magnet-choice high schools in the Lakeland area are run by the Polk County School Board. The district contains three schools that received gold, silver or bronze medals in the U.S. News Best High Schools rankings. There are over a dozen private schools located in Lakeland. A number of opportunities exist for higher education around the Lakeland area. Southeastern University is the largest university in the area, with an enrollment around 2800.