Hey, Lakeland. City Editor Rilee here. Earlier this month, I asked you to choose your own adventure and design my workday in Lakeland.
You submitted your answers to our poll — here’s how it shook out.
You’re the boss, Lakeland (at least for today). Let’s get into it.
9 a.m. — Wake up and smell the coffee
Because how else could I start my day? As much as I love breakfast, I have to thank our readers for making sure I was good and caffeinated before starting a full day.
Voters selected Lakeland’s oldest coffee shop, Mitchell’s Coffee, for my morning brew. I ordered the “I Dream of Jeanie” latte, which features hazelnut, coconut, and white chocolate mocha. No wonder it’s been on the menu since 1998.
11 a.m. — Visit a Lakeland coworking space
You may have noticed that a majority of our readers wanted me to work outside today, but it just so happens that this was one of Lakeland’s few winter weather days. With a high of 67°, I opted to visit Catapult instead.
12 p.m. — Grab lunch downtown at Black & Brew
I met City Editor Connor downtown for a quick bite. With weather like this, we were both feeling the need for a steamy bowl of soup. She added a half strawberry praline salad, and I opted for a half turkey + brie sandwich.
Between bites, Connor and I chatted about our January content calendar, and we have a question — what’s on your 2024 bucket list? (Think: Attend the hot air balloon festival, run the Lake to Lake 10K, etc.)
1 p.m. — Sculpture walk around Lake Mirror
Talk about a great post-lunch activity. This was the second-closest vote between two options — 52% of you voted for me to walk Lake Mirror’s sculptures and 48% wanted me to visit Polk Museum of Art. Follow along on my sculpture walk. Bonus: Check out my October visit to the museum.
2 p.m. — Sweat it out at Bonnet Springs Park
Once lunch settled, it was time for some afternoon activity. A whopping 59% of readers wanted me to sweat it out at a public park, and while the morning’s chill had me working indoors, it was perfect for a walk. Any of Lakeland’s public parks or hiking trails would have been great choices, but I had to stop by Bonnet Springs Park to see it decorated for the holidays.
After my walk, I finished my work day from the rooftop patio overlooking the Allen & Company Family Lawn. A vast majority (68%) of readers wanted me to write about businesses coming to Swan City in 2024 — keep your eyes peeled for that article, coming soon.
5 p.m. — Happy hour at Revival
It’s no secret that Lakeland has tons of happy hour options, but our readers were almost perfectly split between two leading choices with 35% voting for Revival and 35% voting for Swan Brewing. While I love both options, I’m a sucker for a date night at Revival. Pro tip: Not sure what you want, exactly? Ask for the “Bartender’s Choice” — just tell them your preferred spirit and a description or flavor profile. My favorites are fruity, sweet, and herbal.
Thanks for designing my perfect day, Lakeland. Until next time.