Whether you’re a tried-and-true Swan City citizen, a long-time snowbird, or new to the flock, here are some unofficial rules of engagement that every Lakelander needs to know.
We asked our readers to share Lakeland’s unwritten rules, from common city knowledge to relatable trends and local lingo. You won’t find these rules in a handbook, but they are undoubtedly absorbed by the community — and if you’re not the 863, these might be a little difficult to explain.
- “Weekly if not monthly trips to Lakeland curb market are a must!” — @scoutandtag
- “Always shop small when able, especially when it comes to eating local.” — Carole C.
- “You must shop local! Coffee shops, the Saturday Market, etc!” — Lakeland South Rotary
Putting the lakes in Lakeland
- “Don’t feed the swans or other birds any bread! It’s not good for them!” — @Tonyafayesanchez
- “You will find Lakeland Rocks. You will hide Lakeland Rocks.” — @orangeblossompoems
Roads, roads, roads
- “Avoid 98 at 👏 all 👏 cost 👏” — @notheories
- Avoid South Florida Avenue if you can between 4-5:30pm — Peyton B.
Just Lakeland things
- “You and your friends as teens call Lakeland a black hole and then you go off for a few years after you graduate and you come back only to realize it’s literally one of your favorite places on earth. We also all brought back ideas for businesses, restaurants and more to make Lakeland as amazing as it has become!” — @rituals_by_chelsea
- “You are either team northside or southside and both think the other doesn’t have everything their side has.” — @theactingmom
- “You must and I mean you must go to #bornandbreadfl.” — @stilleaglesfan
- “Get your chairs set up early for the Xmas parade.” — @ryler75
- “Park a ways away from downtown and walk to the parade if you want to get out in a reasonable hour.” — @curlsandcrinolines
What did we miss? If you know an unofficial rule that’s not on the list, let us know.