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That’s a wrap: LALtoday’s top stories of 2023

We’ve brought you Lakeland’s top stories all year long, but which articles were you most interested in? See what took the top spot in categories like development, food + drink, real estate, and more.

A sunset over Lake Mirror with the downtown Lakeland skyline in the background

As the sun sets on 2023, we’re taking a look back on your favorite stories.

Photo by LALtoday

91,000+. That’s how many people followed along with us as we shared Lakeland’s need-to-know news + events this year. Which topics came out on top? Here are our most popular stories from 2023.

Renderings of the Prospect Lake Wire mixed-use development

We’re watching developments like Prospect Lake Wire in 2024.

Renderings provided by Carter USA

Development: What’s new and coming soon to Lakeland

If you feel like a new business or development pops up every day, you’re not alone. We’d bet that you can expect even more news like this coming in 2024.

An exterior shot of a Publix Super Market entrance

Did you know that Publix is the largest employer in Lakeland?

Photo by LALtoday

City: The who’s who and what’s what of Lakeland’s economy

All eyes were on the economy this year. You were curious to see where business was booming, from the top local industries to employers like Publix and Lakeland Regional Health.

An exterior shot of a historic cottage.

This home has only changed hands twice since 1925.

Photo via Michael Walker with Raw Compositions

Real Estate: Edgewood Drive’s first residence is up for sale

Nothing gets Lakeland going like historic houses. If you’re looking for a new home for the holidays, you’re in luck — this nearly 100-year-old home is still on the market.

The sun is setting over treetops in the distance

You read that right — you can actually hike in Lakeland.

Travel + Outdoors: Lakeland hiking guide

With picturesque trails like Circle B Bar Reserve and Se7en Wetlands, it’s no wonder that you were ready to take a hike this year.

Two slices of pizza and garlic knots from Palace Pizza

We celebrated Palace’s win with two slices + garlic knots.

Photo by @thelaltoday

Food: LALtoday pizza bracket

Eyes on the pies. We got in on the March Madness action with a bracket of our own, and readers voted Palace Pizza the best in Lakeland.


Actors like Johnny Depp, Bryan Cranston, and more have filmed on location in Lakeland.

Photo via @silver_moon_drive_in

Culture: Movies filmed in and around Lakeland

Add these movies to your winter watchlist for a glimpse of Swan City settings like the Southgate Shopping Center and Silver Moon Drive-In.

An exterior shot of the Wonder House mansion.

Tours of the Wonder House help support its ongoing restorations.

Photo by @merineitsi

History: The Wonder House — Polk County’s historic castle

Everyone’s wondering about the Wonder House, a mysterious Bartow home built in the 1920s. You loved learning about its interesting past, as well as its current owners.

Don’t miss out on next year’s news. Subscribe to LALtoday for free to get stories like these delivered to your inbox each morning at 6 a.m.

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