Find your ideal Lakeland neighborhood

While you really can’t go wrong in Lakeland, this quiz will guide you to the perfect neighborhood just for you.

A duck crossing sign backdropped by a lake and palm trees.

Lakeland made U.S. News & World Report’s list of “Best Places to Live” | Photo via @catapultlkld

Table of Contents

Looking to find your ideal neighborhood in Lakeland? Of course you are — Lakeland is amazing.

This quick two-minute quiz will help you discover where you should put down roots. Or, if you’d rather browse to see your options — and pick up a few restaurant recommendations while you’re at it — you can read about Lakeland’s key neighborhoods below.

Crystal Lake

lake-bonny-boardwalk.png

Enjoy picturesque walks along the Lake Bonny Boardwalk.

Photo by @_annarie

Anchored by none other than a crystal clear lake (hence the name), this neighborhood offers a dense suburban feel and is rated as one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the city. Close to local universities such as Southeastern University, which offers 100+ degree programs, this area is a prime spot for those furthering their education.

Try This:

  • Eat: West Caribbean Cuban Restaurant. Inspired by home-style Cuban food, this restaurant’s menu features items such as Pan Con Lechon (a shredded pork sandwich with onions) and Rabo (oxtail).
  • Drink: Pho Tan. Don’t sleep on the Trà Thái Trân Châu (iced Thai tea with boba) and pick from an assortment of boba flavors like lychee, jackfruit, and mango.
  • Outdoors: Holloway Park. Eight parks surround the area, including Holloway Park — which is home to an 18-hole disc golf course.
  • Nightlife: Isle of Capri. This long-standing family-owned bar serves up more than beverages — karaoke and pool tournaments are also on the menu.
  • Explore: Victory Field. Catch a Friday night game at Southeastern University’s Victory Field and cheer on the Fire.

Live here:

Dixieland

dixieland.png

Beautiful houses line the streets of this historic Lakeland neighborhood.

Photo via VRBO

A historic home lover’s dream, this dense suburban neighborhood is a tight-knit community. Residents often have families, which accounts for Dixieland’s proximity to several schools. It’s also in walking distance of many nearby small businesses.

Try This:

  • Eat: Born & Bread Bakehouse. Only open on Wednesday and Saturday mornings, this bakery is a crowd favorite — try its signature cruffin once and you’ll be back again and again.
  • Drink: Concord Coffee. Start your day off with a fresh latte or pour-over at this coffee shop where beans are roasted in-house.
  • Outdoors: Dobbins Park. Take advantage of 10 acres of open park, with two playgrounds and a covered picnic area.
  • Nightlife: Union Hall. Cut a rug, grab a drink, and enjoy live music at this event venue.
  • Explore: Dixieland Relics. Shop for the perfect antique pieces to add to your new home, along with plants from Austin’s Backyard Garden, located on-site.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in Dixieland is $277,315.
  • Walkability: Considered somewhat bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 7 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 59.
  • Schools: Dixieland Elementary School, Southwest Middle School, Kathleen Senior High School
  • Nearby: Camphor and Beacon Hill

Lake Morton

lakemorton.png

The Lake Morton neighborhood is charming and full of history.

Photo via Airbnb

Lakelanders looking to connect with culture will find a home around Lake Morton, which has an urban-suburban mix. With an art museum, library, and several fine dining options, it’s easy to fall in love with this neighborhood’s historic charm — and its royal swans.

Try This:

  • Eat: Patio 850. Dine outside in the Florida sunshine with chef-inspired fare made with seasonal ingredients, like the mocha-rubbed pork tenderloin.
  • Drink: Black & Brew Coffee House & Bistro. Order a seasonal specialty coffee before browsing the stacks — this coffee shop makes its home inside the Lakeland Public Library, along with the Lakeland History and Culture Center.
  • Outdoors: Lake Morton. Meet the swans that give Lakeland its “Swan City” moniker on a walk around this picturesque lakefront.
  • Nightlife: Red Door Lakeland. Treat yourself to creative cuisine and cocktails at this date-night destination.
  • Explore: Polk Museum of Art. See works from world-famous and local artists on display at this free art museum.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in Lake Morton is $361,947.
  • Walkability: Considered somewhat bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 8 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 59.
  • Schools: Phillip O’Brien Elementary School, Sleepy Hill Middle School, Lakeland Senior High School
  • Nearby: Downtown Lakeland and Lake Horney

Lake Hollingsworth

lakehollingsworth.png

Stunning sunsets can be viewed while walking, running, or biking along the Lake Hollingsworth Trail.

Photo by @bigmanadventures72

Some of Lakeland’s grandest homes can be found in the sparse suburban neighborhood around Lake Hollingsworth. It’s also home to Florida Southern College, the oldest private college in the state. Enjoy sunsets over this 354-acre lake and special events like boat races and ski shows.

Try This:

  • Eat: LoveBird Almost Famous Chicken. Turn up the heat at this hot chicken joint, located just a three-minute drive from Lake Hollingsworth.
  • Drink: Tuckers’ Southside Package and Lounge. Grab a cocktail from this bar, or build your own six-pack in the liquor store.
  • Outdoors: Lake Hollingsworth. You can’t beat a nearly 3-mile walk, run, or skate around this lake — it’s a bustling hub of activity no matter the season.
  • Nightlife: Cob & Pen. Stop by for unique twists on your favorite foods — you can’t miss the weekly changing Ultimate Fries — and take advantage of daily happy hour starting at 10 p.m.
  • Explore: Florida Southern College. Home to the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, you can book a tour of this historic college.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in Lake Hollingsworth is $490,922.
  • Walkability: Considered somewhat bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 19 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 43.
  • Schools: Cleveland Court Elementary School, Southwest Middle School, Lakeland Senior High School
  • Nearby: Edgewood and Cleveland Heights

Midtown

midtownmural.png

Living in Midtown means you’re walking distance from some of Lakeland’s best murals.

Photo by @the_original_lindsay_b

With an influx of new businesses, Midtown is enjoying a recent resurgence as an urban-suburban mix area. It’s now a hot spot for new murals by Lakeland artists, and local businesses are getting a boost thanks to the co-working and entrepreneurship space The Well.

Try This:

  • Eat: Sweet Cup Cafe. Grab a seat on this restaurant’s patio for fresh Mexican food, including tacos, aguas frescas, and more — we recommend grabbing a hot churro after your meal.
  • Drink: Quinteassence. This kava bar hosts regular community events where you can try unique teas and kava creations.
  • Outdoors: Lake Parker Park. Play a game of pickleball or lawn bowling, or take your boat out on Lakeland’s largest lake at this public park.
  • Nightlife: The Yard on Mass. Every night is a backyard party at this event space that hosts food trucks and serves up craft beers on tap.
  • Explore: Lakeland Flying Tigers. When the Detroit Tigers aren’t spring training, head to Joker Marchant Stadium at Publix Field to cheer on our local Minor League Baseball team.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in Midtown is $209,045.
  • Walkability: Considered very bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 2 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 66.
  • Schools: Phillip O’Brien Elementary School, Crystal Lake Middle School, Lakeland Senior High School
  • Nearby: Downtown and North Lake Wire

Cleveland Heights

clevelandheights.png

Cleveland Heights is a quiet neighborhood with access to great restaurants and pickleball courts.

Photo via Airbnb

Looking for something a little quieter? Check out Cleveland Heights, a sleepier, dense suburban neighborhood. Professionals and families tend to move to this historic area — it’s a bit further from downtown, but businesses and restaurants are easily accessible by car.

Try This:

  • Eat: Antojitos Navideños. Get a taste of Puerto Rican cuisine at this family-owned spot that regularly features live musicians.
  • Drink: Tea Largo. Try a colorful tea creation, smoothie, or acai bowl at this local favorite filled with eclectic art.
  • Outdoors: Dog Leg Woods. Take Fido for a walk down the connecting Three Parks Trail and finish with a run around this public dog park.
  • Nightlife: 1916 Irish Pub. Meeting friends for a drink at this pub — located on the Cleveland Heights Golf Course — is a great way to end a day.
  • Explore: Common Ground Playground. Children of all abilities can play together at this inclusive playground.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in Cleveland Heights is $279,472.
  • Walkability: Considered somewhat bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 13 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 49.
  • Schools: Carlton Palmore Elementary School, Southwest Middle School, Lakeland Senior High School
  • Nearby: Lake Hollingsworth and Edgewood

South Lakeland

southlakeland.png

This semi-rural neighborhood is great for families.

Photo via Airbnb

Slow down with a home in South Lakeland, a semi-rural area comprised of neighborhoods like Medulla and Lakeland Highlands. With expansive properties and a ~30-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown, this is a great area to get away from it all.

Try This:

  • Eat: Curry Mango. Indulge in Indian cuisine like chicken tikka masala and samosas — visit on Sunday afternoons for an all-you-can-eat buffet.
  • Drink: Purrology Cat Cafe. Pop into this cafe for a specialty coffee or tea, then book an appointment to cuddle adoptable cats.
  • Outdoors: Se7en Wetlands. Keep an eye out for alligators as you hike through 1,600+ acres of marshes, swamps, and lakes.
  • Nightlife: Winners Circle Sportsbar & Comedy Club. Catch your favorite team’s big game or a local comedian’s new set.
  • Explore: SUN ‘n FUN Aerospace Expo. Check out the aviation fun found at this annual air show and expo, plus events happening year-round.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in South Lakeland is $434,087.
  • Walkability: Considered to be not very bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 40 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 3.
  • Schools: Medulla Elementary School, Lakeland Highlands Middle School, George Jenkins Senior High School
  • Nearby: Imperial and Medulla

Downtown

downtownwest.png

The Downtown West neighborhood is extremely walkable and dog-friendly.

Photo by @jennaaneal

Be right in the heart of the city with a new home in the Downtown neighborhood. Most events and businesses in this urban-suburban mix area are walkable from nearby homes and open to your furry friends.

Try This:

  • Eat: The Joinery. There’s something for everyone to enjoy at this food hall featuring barbecue, pizza, ramen, and more.
  • Drink: Revival. Try a new take on your favorite cocktail at this bar serving fine spirits.
  • Outdoors: Bonnet Springs Park. Just a five-minute drive from Downtown is this 168-acre park with walking trails, kayak rentals, and dining options.
  • Nightlife: Lakeland Loft. Catch live jazz every weekend at this bar and cigar lounge.
  • Explore: Lake Mirror. Walk around the Frances Langford Promenade to take in the downtown skyline, attend community events, and explore Hollis Garden.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in Downtown is $317,480.
  • Walkability: Considered very bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 5 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 63.
  • Schools: Phillip O’Brien Elementary School, Sleepy Hill Middle School, Lakeland Senior High School
  • Nearby: Dixieland and Lake Beulah

North Lakeland

Large home with paved driveway on several acres of land with trees

Enjoy wide open spaces with a North Lakeland home.

Photo by @gatearty with Keller Williams Realty

If you’ve got the travel bug, this neighborhood offers the quickest access to I-4. Residents here enjoy many recreational activities, especially golf fanatics. Life here is slower than in other areas, with a retirement community and plenty of parks.

Try This:

  • Eat: Mr. Pollo Mexican Grill. Choose your favorite California-style tacos, enchiladas, burritos, and more.
  • Drink: The Back Nine. The cocktails here are enough reason to visit, but you can also try out the golf simulators for even more fun.
  • Outdoors: Gator Creek Reserve. Trek down seven miles of trails or have a picnic among the wildlife.
  • Nightlife: Music Ranch. This event venue often hosts concerts by local and traveling music artists.
  • Explore: Lakeland Antique Mall. Shop for one-of-a-kind treasures, including vintage items and collectibles — including an extensive collection of Walt Disney World memorabilia.

Live here:

  • Home: The average home price in North Lakeland is $226,023.
  • Walkability: Considered to be not very bikeable, this area is ranked as the No. 31 most walkable area in Lakeland with a score of 26.
  • Schools: Griffin Elementary School, Kathleen Middle School, Kathleen Senior High School
  • Nearby: Webster Park North and Pinehurst
More from LALtoday