Lakeland’s charm: Historic districts in the Swan City

Canopy roads, bungalows, brick streets, and royal swans — you’ll find all this and more throughout Lakeland’s seven historic districts.

map of lakeland's historic districts

Lakeland’s seven historic districts are focused around downtown.

Screenshot via Arcgis

One of our favorite bits of Lakeland is the city’s historic charm. Come along with us for a virtual tour through Lakeland’s seven districts on the National Register of Historic Places.

Cloudy sky over downtown Lakeland, FL streets and businesses

You’ll find a combination of historic buildings and new businesses in the Munn Park district.

Photo by @nicolefeller_

Munn Park

Munn Park has been around longer than Lakeland itself, being labeled as a “public square” a year before the city’s incorporation in 1885. The area served as the backdrop for Lakeland’s bustling rail yard. Today, city officials are planning to revitalize the park at the center of the historic district.

Exterior of a historic home in the Lake Morton neighborhood with green trim, landscaping, and purple and pink flowers lining the yard.

Lake Morton residents are just steps away from a lake, library, and art museum.

Photo by @raelinmonet

East Lake Morton + South Lake Morton

These neighboring districts founded in the early 1900s now showcase historic bungalow and Mediterranean-style homes, as well as Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture. Lakelanders and royal swans alike flocked to this area — you can’t beat those lakeside views.

Historic home in Biltmore-cumberland district

This Biltmore Cumberland historic home features a porte-cochere (aka a covered driveway).

Photo via Florida Memory

Biltmore Cumberland

East of downtown, this district contains two neighborhoods and 200+ historical buildings. The area, developed in the 1920s, is now known for its bungalow homes and schools like Lakeland High School + Florida Southern College.

A colorful mural showing Dixieland icons like retro signage, a cardinal, and a woman with a bicycle.

This mural includes several of Dixieland’s most recognizable features from over the years.

Photo by LALtoday

Dixieland

As homes popped up here from the 1920s to 1940s, Dixieland was dubbed a “fashionable suburb” by the local papers. The district was deemed historic in 1994. Today, don’t miss out on local favorite businesses, from bakeries and coffee shops to furniture design and antique stores.

A historic Tudor Revival-style home in Lakeland's Beacon Hill historic district

This style is called Tudor Revival — it’s one of 14+ you’ll find in Beacon Hill.

Beacon Hill

This district also included the Alta Vista community when it achieved historic status in the 1990s. It’s known as the most eclectic historic district with at least 14 architectural styles. During the 1920s land boom, a single lot of land was $600-$4,500. Can we get in on that deal, please?

A canopy road in the Lake Hunter Terrace historic district

Canopy roads are an iconic aspect of several historic districts, including Lake Hunter Terrace.

Lake Hunter Terrace

West of Lake Hunter, this district was established during the mid to late-1940s and features many homes built in the modern masonry vernacular style that was popularized after World War II. It’s considered the first modern development to achieve historic status in Lakeland.

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