Located along I-4 between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland is a terrific city with a fun side. Once you’ve found an apartment in Lakeland, travel about 30 minutes on I-4 toward Kissimmee and visit the theme parks that include Walt Disney World, Epcot, and Universal Studios. Head west and visit the spectacular beaches along the Gulf Coast.
Living up to its name, Lakeland is dotted with lakes. Lake Parker is the largest lake in the area. It features the Bowling Greens Lake Parker Park and the Joker Marchant Stadium, the spring home of the Detroit Tigers. Lakeland boasts 38 named lakes and several more that are unnamed, and these lakes are often used as a reference point by residents. Once you’ve rented an apartment in Lakeland, you may find yourself doing this, as well – using the closest lake to your apartment when giving directions.
Lakeland was settled around 1875 when Abraham Munn moved to the area and purchased about 80 acres of land in Central Florida. The South Florida Railroad built the Lakeland train station in 1884, and Munn sold off plots of land in the area. The town incorporated in 1885, and the town’s town square (established in 1884) was named in its founder’s honor. Munn Park is a National Historic District that contains 48 historic buildings.
But what put Lakeland on the map was the Spanish-American War in 1898. This small war ended very quickly and was barely noticed by the rest of the US, but Lakeland played a crucial role in the conflict, housing more than 9,000 troops. This “boom” of sorts led to the building of many of Lakeland’s historic buildings.
Florida Southern College is a private, Methodist college located in Lakeland. This college has about 2,200 students and offers 50 undergraduate majors. But what makes FSC stand out is its architecture – this campus is home to the world’s largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. It is also considered one of the nation’s most beautiful college campuses. The FSC Moccasins participate in NCAA Division II in sports such as baseball, basketball, and golf.
Lakeland is still a very agricultural area and is dotted with farms and citrus orchards. The area’s largest employer, Publix Supermarkets, is headquartered in Lakeland. Publix employs more than 6,500 in its offices and its warehouse. Other employers include Saddle Creek Corporation, Lakeland Regional Medical Center, and GEICO.
As you look at apartments for rent in Lakeland, be sure to check out the historic districts. The Dixieland Historic District features more than 550 historic structures dating to the early 1900s. The South Lake Morton Historic District has 557 historic buildings, most built during the 1920s. These range from Arts and Crafts, bungalows, and Spanish Revival to elegant Queen Anne Victorians. Other historic districts include East Lake Morton Residential District, Munn Park Historic District, and Beacon Hill-Alta Vista Residential District.