Outdoor Recreation Options Near Lakeland, Florida


Lakeland, Florida is centrally located along Interstate 4, between Tampa and Orlando. It’s more than a stopping point between two larger cities, Lakeland is home to over 600,000 people and there are plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities for active adults looking to take advantage of the area’s sunshine and warm weather. Get in touch with nature, commune with wildlife, and explore some points of interest that you might not know are here.

Visit the Queen’s Swans

 /><figcaption>Lake Morton and Mirror Lake provide outdoor enthusiasts with serenity and swans.</figcaption></figure>
<p>The city symbol of Lakeland is the swan and there’s a good reason for that. Swans have been present in Lakeland lakes for nearly 100 years, but the last one died in 1953. Residents were heartbroken because the swans were considered the “peoples’ pets.” The Queen of England sent over a pair of swans at the request of Mr. and Mrs. Pickhardt; Lakeland residents who briefly lived in the U.K. The beautiful birds repopulated, and descendants of Her Majesty’s gifts can be seen floating around<a href= Lake Morton and Mirror Lake. Take a walk around the lake, plan a picnic, and visit some of the shops and cafes that are nearby in downtown Lakeland.

Count the Gators with a Hike at Circle B Bar Reserve

 /><figcaption><em>Circle B Bar Reserve is known for its alligators, but there’s a huge variety of animals to be seen</em>.</figcaption></figure>
<p><a href=Circle B Bar Reserve is a former cattle ranch, and the 1,267 acres now make up a network of nature trails along Lake Hancock. It’s a great spot for biking, hiking, and birding. Stand at the boardwalk overlooking the lake and you’ll be astonished at the number of alligator eyes gazing back at you. The Alligator Alley trail is shaded and flat, and the other trails are more exposed, so bring your hat and sunscreen. In addition to alligators, you’re likely to see a large population of exotic birds and other wildlife, including the endangered gopher tortoise as well as armadillos, raccoons, and even wild hogs.

Camping at Colt Creek State Park

Fishing, hiking, biking, and horseback riding can all be enjoyed at Colt Creek State Park in Lakeland. Over 15 miles of multi-use trails are available at this state park where visitors are likely to encounter birds, otters, bobcats, deer, bald eagles, and butterflies. A Florida black bear or two has even been spotted by early morning hikers, which is why camping is such a desirable activity at this park. Primitive camping and trailer reservations are available and staying overnight will give you a unique opportunity to experience the wilderness after hours.

Explore Lake Hollingsworth on Foot or by Bike

Active adults who love to run might consider taking a jog along Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland. It’s so popular among runners that Under Armour took note and named it one of the Top 20 running routes in the U.S. Bikers favor the pleasant waterfront path as well, and the mornings and evenings are a good time to take a stroll and admire the bird sanctuary. If watersports are more your style, water skiing is always popular. This picturesque lake is easy to enjoy whether you’re a competitive runner or someone who likes to enjoy the outdoors at a slower pace. Outdoor yoga classes can also be found on the weekends.

Tour the Architecture at Florida Southern College

Active adults who like a little history and culture with their recreation will enjoy checking out the genius of Frank Lloyd Wright at Florida Southern College. It’s a designated National Historic Landmark, as you walk across the campus you’ll notice that the environment is not similar to other schools you may have visited. It’s the largest single collection of Wright’s unique architecture in the world. Grab a map at the tourist center if you want to take a look on your own, or meet up with one of the guided tours which will offer you a glimpse into the artist’s life and creative process.

If you’re looking for a home in Lakeland, the 55+ communities most popular with outdoor enthusiasts include Cypress Lakes, which has pools, tennis, and golf, and Lake James, which has a resort-style pool and lots of outdoor walking and biking trails. 

Can you spot the $207,744 difference between these identical homes?

Financing is the difference!

Get the details in The 62+ Loan Homebuyers Guide.

55places Mortgage is a joint venture between Mutual of Omaha Mortgage and 55places.com.
Details here.

Share this post:

We're here to help! (800) 928-2055

Call us to speak with a customer service representative.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Get Weekly Updates

I agree that 55places and its affiliates, partner providers or agents may call, text, or email me about my inquiry, which may be made with automated means. I understand that my consent is not a prerequisite for buying a property. I may revoke my consent at any time by contacting [email protected] Message/data rates may apply. I also agree to 55places.com’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

The Best Places to Snowbird in 2021

We’ve gathered 25 of the best places for snowbirds, including cities in Florida, Arizona, California, Texas, South Carolina, and Nevada. For each entry, we’ve also provided a list of recommended 55+ communities in the area. If you’re ready to find your own winter retreat this season, here are some of the best places to consider.

There are several 55+ communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for 55+ homebuyers to choose from

55+ Communities in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

There are over 120 active adult neighborhoods in the Philadelphia area. But if you want to be close to the best historic landmarks, museums, concert venues, shopping, and restaurants, you’ll want to settle near the heart of the city. There are four of 55+ communities in Philadelphia, and they are more affordable and offer more than you might think.

An older adult takes a continuing education course offered in his 55+ community.

Never Stop Learning: Continuing Education Programs in 55+ Communities

Many people look forward to retirement because they can finally stop focusing on work and start focusing on doing more of what they enjoy. Do you want to learn a new language, play an instrument, or try making a new craft? There are many benefits that learning something new can provide.

New 55+ Communities in the Philadelphia Area

The Philadelphia area is thriving with numerous 55+ communities offering new construction homes that are perfect for active adults. Check out 55places.com to see what’s new in the Philadelphia area.

55+ Communities Near the Philadelphia International Airport

Active adult homebuyers who seek homes for sale near an airport have options in several Pennsylvania and New Jersey suburbs, but real estate here is in high demand, so availability can be limited. The best advice? If you find something you like, grab it before someone else does!

55+ Communities With Condos for Sale Near Orlando

Condos are a great option for active adults who want to live in or near Orlando, Florida. Some condos are in communities on the water and others include golf courses, private restaurants, and recreation centers. Let’s look at some of the most popular 55+ communities with condos for sale near Orlando.

Is Greenville, South Carolina a Good Place to Retire?

If you’re considering retiring in the Southeast, Greenville in South Carolina should definitely be on your list of places to consider. This mid-sized city has quickly become one of the fastest-growing cities in the South. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re considering retiring in Greenville.

About 55places

We’re changing the way people 55 and older are searching for their perfect next place. With a national network of hand-selected real estate experts, plus comprehensive information, unbiased content, and on-the-go insight about thousands of communities across the country, we’re a trusted resource paving the way from here to home. Whether you’re interested in a low-maintenance single-level residence, an active lifestyle or age-qualified community, an intimate enclave, or anything in between, we can help you make your next move the best one yet.

Scroll to Top