small town charm, big city energy
Whether you’re striking out on your own or with your family, Central Florida is a great place to settle down. The housing is affordable, the people are friendly, and the weather is enviable.
Perfectly positioned between the two major metro areas of Tampa and Orlando, Polk County gives its residents the best of both worlds, small-town charm and big-city energy. If you want the option to catch a Tampa Bay Buccaneers game or hear your favorite band at Orlando’s House of Blues but don’t want to sit in traffic every time you leave the house, this is the place for you.
Explore, experience and enjoy Polk County
From the Detroit Tigers Spring training to thrilling roller coasters to cycling beautiful nature reserves, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in Central Florida’s Polk County.
Polk has emerged as one of the best places in the state to experience the beauty of natural Florida. Nature preserves like Circle B Bar Reserve give locals the opportunity to hike and bike alongside bald eagles, great blue herons and alligators. Watersport enthusiasts have always been attracted the Polk County, thanks to the region’s 554 lakes. From water skiing to paddleboarding to fishing, there’s no shortage of ways to enjoy Polk County’s liquid assets (and no shortage of time either, thanks to our year-round mild and sunny climate.)
The Detroit Tigers have held their Spring Training at Joker Marchant Field in Lakeland since 1966.
“Our relationship — not just with the city of Lakeland but also Polk County — is very unique,” said Ron Myers, director of Florida operations for the Detroit Tigers. “There is mutual respect. They know our goals and values, and we know theirs.”
Polk County residents have access to world champion sports teams within a short drive; the Super Bowl LV champions the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and back-to-back Stanley Cup winners the Tampa Bay Lightning. Central Florida is also in close proximity to the Tampa Bay Rays, Orlando Magic, Orlando City Soccer, and is home to Lakeland Magic and the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
Florida’s newest theme park, LEGOLAND Florida Resort, has been thrilling the younger set and Lego lovers alike since it opened its gates in Winter Haven in 2011. In addition, the world’s first Peppa Pig theme park opened in 2022 in Winter Haven. For those in search of something off the beaten path, Lakeland’s Safari Wilderness Ranch gives visitors the opportunity to experience a real African Safari Experience without leaving the county. Tranquility seekers will fall in love with Lake Wales’ Bok Tower Gardens—a gorgeous national historic landmark that has been a favorite escape from life’s hectic realities since the 1920s.
In addition, Bonnet Springs Park will be opening in Lakeland in October 2022. Bonnet Springs is a privately developed public park that, once open, will offer public spaces to serve the needs of many by providing engaging and diverse opportunities in education and recreation to residents and visitors.
When in Polk County, you will also find close by, Walt Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios in Orlando, as well as Busch Gardens, Zoo Tampa, and the Florida Aquarium in Tampa. These world famous attractions and much more await your next visit.
Arts & Culture
Polk offers an impressive mix of arts and cultural events certain to appeal to every passion. With more than 30 arts and culture organizations throughout the county, our creative landscape is always in full bloom.
The Polk Arts & Cultural Alliance is the designated local arts agency for Polk County and advocates for all the cultural arts organizations in the county. Their mission is to cultivate an environment in Polk County for the arts to flourish through advocacy, collaboration, economic development, education and marketing.
Polk County boosts a number of unique downtowns that preserve the economic, cultural and historic qualities of each community. Historic downtowns throughout the county celebrate their individual rich history and support vibrant clusters of small businesses and restaurants.