The story behind some of Lakeland’s unique roadside attractions

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Lakeland, FL | Photo via @photos_around_usa

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As Floridians, we tend to be unphased by the bizarre. Sometimes, however, certain oddities make us stop and think. If you’re like us, you’ve probably experienced this when driving past strange statues, landmarks, or other roadside attractions around town, up and down I-4, or even down the street to your neighborhood.

Thus, we give you 4 conversation starters you can see from the road in and around Lakeland.

The Citrus Center monument

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Polk County’s monument | Photo via Google Maps

Located at the corner of US 92 and County Line Road, between Lakeland and Plant City, lies one of three remaining monuments dating back to the 1930s as a welcoming icon for visitors, dubbing Polk County as a “Citrus Center.”

The Dixieland Dragon

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The Dixieland Dragon | Photo via @gatearty

Located on West Park Street, the Dixieland dragon sculpture was erected in 2019 by local welder Keith Williams of 4th Dimension Art & Fab as a commissioned piece by developer Gregory Fancelli. The structure was built from scrap metal courtesy of Dixieland Relics.

Sputnik Rotosphere

This spinning neon attraction near the corner of Main Street and Ingraham Avenue (often dubbed as ‘sputnik’ because it looks like the satellites that were launched in the ‘50s) was designed by Warren Milks between 1961-1970. The Roto-Sphere is so much of a Lakeland landmark, that it’s said that pilots use it as a reference point at night.

Publix Cake Tower

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Cake tower | Photo courtesy of Publix

If you drive down 92, you might catch a glimpse of the only cake from Publix that won’t taste delicious. The tower was constructed in 1982 and acts as a 146-ft water tower that provides 250,000 gallons of water per minute.

Honorable mentions: Other unique roadside structures that we love include Blinky, Spook Hill, that ark-like structure off of I-4, the Fantasy of Flight plane, Dinosaur World, and the Airstream Ranch.

Have a favorite or one we missed? Fill us in here.

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