Plus, West Pipkin Road project update.
November 16, 2023 6AM-Top banner logo-small.png


Today’s Forecast

77º | Light thunderstorms and rain | 90% chance of rain | Sunrise 7:20 a.m. | Sunset 5:49 p.m.

Everything you should try in Dixieland
This vivid sign welcomes you to the equally colorful Dixieland Historic District.|Photo by LALtoday
Whether you’re looking to move in or just visiting, there’s something to delight you in Dixieland. The historic neighborhood provides a perfect combination of old Lakeland charm and modern hustle + bustle. Here’s why so many love to call it home.

The early days

The neighborhood got its start as a “fashionable suburb” in the early 1900s, and many of the bungalow houses in the area were built in the land booms of the 1920s and 1940s. It was once home to Lundy’s Bakery — which first supplied Publix with its baked goods — and the local Dairy Queen was the place to be before its location became Subs ‘n Such.

Can’t miss

Running low on time? A visit to Dixieland isn’t complete without breakfast or lunch at Born & Bread Bakehouse. Pro tip: This bakery is only open on Wednesday, 7 a.m.-1 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.

A vintage marquee sign reads "Warning! No barrel racing in Dixieland"

Always check the Southside Cleaners sign for a laugh.


Photo by @sunsetmeridian


Take a walk down Dixieland’s brick-lined streets and get some fresh air at these outdoorsy spots.
  • The neighborhood is bordered on the west by Lake Hunter, just a quick walk or bike ride from the residential area.
  • Speaking of bike rides, take one on the Lake-to-Lake Bikeway. It cuts through Dixieland on Cresap Street, connecting nine lakes through 26 miles of biking trails.
  • Need a place to play? Take little ones to the playground at Dobbins Park, or enjoy the green space at Drane Park.

Where to live

If you’re sold + looking to buy a home in the area, here are some housing options currently on the market:
Would you ever consider changing neighborhoods?

A. No way, I love it here
B. Yes, I’m looking to move to a new ‘hood soon
C. Maybe, if I saw a good deal
Thursday, Nov. 16
  • Women United’s Gents & Bourbon | Thursday, Nov. 16 | 4:30-7 p.m. | CJB United Way Children’s Resource Center, 650 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free entry | Tour the Children’s Resource Center, meet Campaign Chair Desmond Clark, and sample specialty cocktails in the Rooftop Garden Bar.
Friday, Nov. 17
  • Free Play Florida | Friday, Nov. 17-Sunday, Nov. 19 | Times vary | RP Funding Center, 701 W. Lime St., Lakeland | $10-$75 | Celebrate the history of arcade games with 250+ available to play for free — parking is $10.
  • “The Addams Family” | Friday, Nov. 17-Sunday, Dec. 3 | Times vary | Buckner Theatre at Florida Southern College, 1100 Johnson Ave., Lakeland | $10-$20 | They’re crazy and they’re kooky — see the Addams take the stage in this comedic musical.
Saturday, Nov. 18
  • Blessings, Brunch + Boutiques | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 10 a.m.-2 p.m. | The Back Nine, 124 S. Tennessee Ave., Lakeland | Price of purchase | Enjoy your favorite brunch classics, then peruse local vendors on The Back Nine’s patio.
  • Tiffany — Unfiltered & Unplugged | Saturday, Nov. 18 | 7:30-8:30 p.m. | Unfiltered Lakeland, 801 E. Main St., Lakeland | $50 | Enjoy this acoustic performance of Tiffany’s international hits — the show is limited to 100 attendees.
Friday, Dec. 15
  • Light Up BSP | Friday, Dec. 15-Sunday, Dec. 31 | 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Bonnet Springs Park, 400 Bonnet Springs Blvd., Lakeland | Free | Celebrate the season with free nightly holiday-themed events, including live music concerts, visits with Santa, seasonal food + drinks, family-friendly activities, and so much more.*
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How you can support LALtoday’s 2024 vision
City Editor Connor holding a cat at Purrology.
Help us keep writing the stories that connect you closer to our city.|Photo by LALtoday
It’s hard to believe it’s almost a wrap on 2023 — and what a year it’s been. We’ve been privileged enough to bring you incredible Lakeland news stories straight to your inbox.

Check out some of City Editor Connor’s favorites:
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News Notes
  • Expect more detours on West Pipkin Road from South Florida Avenue to Harden Boulevard. Polk County’s Roads and Drainage Division says this phase of the Pipkin Road widening project, originally set to be complete by June, is now scheduled to finish at the end of January. (LkldNow)
  • Lakeland Linder International Airport will share proposed ideas for reducing air traffic noise at a drop-in public meeting today. Visit the airport terminal (3900 Don Emerson Dr.) from 4 to 7 p.m. to learn about possible changes and ask airport staff questions. (The Ledger)
  • Alligator activity has picked up at Circle B Bar Reserve, closing down trails like Alligator Alley where the reptiles are most active. Pro tip: If you visit, keep an eye out for gators, obey warning signage, and maintain a safe distance. (The Ledger)
  • Lake Gibson Middle School is the new home of the 10th Boys & Girls Clubs of Polk County program. Middle school children will have access to free homework help, sports programs, meals, and other after-school resources. (The Ledger)
  • The Lakeland Police Department is collecting new, unwrapped gifts for the Cops for Kids program through Dec. 9. Drop off your donations at Ax-Caliber and receive a small coffee on the house.
✈️ Leaving on a jet plane?
The MCO glass exterior with a plane overhead
Get ready to take flight from Orlando International Airport.|Photo via Greater Orlando Aviation Authority (GOAA)
Orlando International Airport is expecting its busiest holiday travel period ever, meaning we’ll take all the pro tips we can get before taking flight for Thanksgiving. Save this guide to gates, parking, and flights to help make your time at MCO as smooth as possible.

What to know

  • Map it out | If you’re like us and need to completely visualize a place before you step foot inside, these maps of the entire airport will be your saving grace.
  • Flight status | While we recommend staying updated via your respective airline, you can also check your flight status here in a pinch, or by downloading the MCO App.
  • Arrival times | MCO recommends following a 3-2-1 rule: Arrive at the ticket counter three hours before your departure time, go through security two hours before, and be at your gate at least one hour prior to takeoff.
The Buy
Know someone who loves candles and cosmos? Add this candle to your cart this holiday season.
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The Wrap
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From the editor
If TPA is your airport of choice, you’re not alone: It’s expecting 80,000 travelers per day for the next 10 days. Save this guide from our friends at TBAYtoday to navigate the airport like a pro.
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