11 Communities in Lakeland
Lakeland is a centrally located community in Florida with plenty of activities for the active, outdoor-seeking retiree. Its abundant natural areas, quaint vintage shopping, and easy access to larger metropolitan areas, along with its warm and sunny weather, make it a popular destination.
Climate & Geography
Lakeland is located in the flatlands between Tampa and Orlando in Central Florida and experiences a typical Florida tropical climate. Hot, humid summers with afternoon thunderstorms lead to dry, mild winters with sunny skies. The landscape is generally level with a large mix of wooded areas and orchards.
There are 38 named lakes in Lakeland. Lakes Mirror, Morton, and Hollingsworth are among the largest and most popular.
Recreation, Culture, & Entertainment
As the name suggests, Lakeland’s main attraction is its 38 named lakes. Many of them offer bike trails and fishing, and those interested in birdwatching can enjoy the many acres of Circle Bar Preserve, a protected natural area. Hollis Garden is another popular destination with impressive landscape architecture and neoclassical art.
Lakeland also has a wide variety of antique shopping, from the Wildwood Antique Mall to numerous vintage boutiques downtown. There is also a downtown farmers market and the Polk Museum of Art.
Cost of Living & Taxes
Polk County has a lower cost of living compared to both Florida and the U.S., mainly because the average home cost is much lower. Other factors, like health care, utilities, and transportation are lower than average as well. Groceries tend to match the average U.S. cost.
Florida is a popular destination for retirees because there is no state income tax, which includes Social Security benefits and other forms of retirement income, allowing active adults to enjoy more travel and entertainment. The combined sales tax in Lakeland is 7 percent, and property taxes tend to dip below the U.S. average.
The Lakeland-Winter Haven metro area ranks within the top 100 communities in Gallup’s Well-Being Index.
The Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center is the only hospital in the city, and it is ranked by U.S. News as the No. 21 hospital in the state as well as high performing in four specialties. Two other high performing hospitals are located nearby, which are AdventHealth Heart of Florida in Davenport and Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven.