Polk County

Polk County is located in Central Florida east of Tampa Bay bordering Sumter, Lake, Osceola, Highlands, Hardee, Hillsborough and Pasco Counties. 

Polk County was established in 1861 from portions of Brevard and Hillsborough counties and named for James Knox Polk, 11th President of the U.S.

Polk County Florida Image Map
Population - 2000
483,924
Population - 2010
602,095
Population - 2015 Est
633,052
Land Area (sq mi)
1,798
Water Area (sq mi)
213
Total Area (sq mi)
2,011
Average Rainfall
50
Temperature - Average High
82
Temperature - Average Low
61

The Allen David Broussard Catfish Creek Preserve State Park is home to one of the rarest scrub habitats in all of Florida. The park is a whopping 8,000 square acres consisting of 6 miles of hiking trails and 7 miles of equestrian trails. The park has amazing rare plants and animals making it one of the best parks in Florida for wildlife viewing. Come prepared to track across rough and rare scrub habitats while seeing some of Florida's protected wildlife such as the scrub-jay, scrub lizard, and bald eagles!

Colt Creek State Park is full of natural wonders. With more than 5,000 acres of native Central Florida habitat, this is the perfect place to see nature as nature intended. There are many different activities that can be done here. With more than 15 miles of multi use trails, visitors can walk or run, ride a bike, or ride a horse if they want to. Canoeing and kayaking are two of the water related activities that can be done here. Cold Creek State Park is home to many white tailed deer, American alligators, otters, birds, and butterflies, as well as the threatened gopher tortoise and the Sherman's fox squirrel. 

General James A. Van Fleet State Trail named after General James A. Van Fleet, a prominent Polk county resident, who was a U.S. military commanding officer. He is most recognized for his service during the Normandy Invasion, the Battle of the Bulge, and the Korean War. The General James A. Van Fleet Trail runs 29.2 miles long and passes through Florida's most widely sought out paddling havens like the Peace, Hillsborough, and Withlacoochee rivers. The horse trail parallel to the General James A. Van Fleet Trail and provides a place for equestrians to ride their horses. The General James A. Van Fleet Trail is pet-friendly, it has wheelchair accessibility, restroom facilities, and a picnic pavilion.

Lakeland Center is a multi-purpose arena and theatre located in Lakeland, Florida and home to the Central Florida Jaguars elite indoor football team and the Florida Tropics soccer team. 

Polk County School District is headquartered in Bartow, Florida. The school district consists of more high schools than it does elementary schools. Over 50 traditional school and numerous charter and virtual schools exist in Polk County. Student in Kindergarten through 8th grade are required to wear uniforms.

Website Listings

A fresh taste of reinvented burgers made with high quality ingredients.

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All Saints Academy offers preschool, elementary school, middle school, and high school instruction.  College preparatory learning environment that is welcoming and inclusive to students of all religions and backgrounds.  At All Saints Academy, we are committed to transforming the world one student at a time so he/she can reshape the future.  That’s why we inspire every student to be an independent thinker, principled leader, and humble learner.  

Auburndale Dog Park is a local park with equipment for you animals and a grass area to play. Also, it has a nature trail as well for the pet owners to enjoy.

BayCare is a non-profit organization that provides a vast array of services at 15 hospitals all throughout the Central Florida and Tampa Bay regions. Some of the services they provide are acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness.

The Bok Tower Gardens makes for the perfect day trip on a bright and sunny Florida day. Not only are there 250 acres of gardens to enjoy, there is also the stunning Bok Tower, also known as the Singing Tower. This tower is definitely the highlight of the grounds, with it's beautiful architecture and ringing carillon bells throughout the day. The structure started construction in 1927 and finished in 1929 and has since been standing tall and ringing its bells proudly. The grounds are perfect for an afternoon picnic and as long as you clean up after them, dogs are allowed in most parts of the historical area. 

Downtown Farmers Curb Market is located in Downtown Lakeland where the community invites locals for food, live music from a featured local artist, and handmade goods.

Come to Eagle Ridge Mall for all the classic mall stores and so much more. There are no shortage of fun activities your kids can enjoy while you shop, including a Regal Cinema movie theater and a bowling alley.

Fantasy of Flight might be small, but it's an awesome "museum" to visit if you're in the area of Polk City. It's not exactly a museum, but rather a hanger filled with aircraft. From I-4, there is a big sign that advertises the business but there's also a cool old-fashioned plane that sits on the property for people in passing cars to see a sample of the items that are housed here. The aviation hangar holds a collection of vintage aircraft from a variety of eras, starting with the early 1900s when flying was just starting to take off to World War I and World War II as well as a select few machines from the 1950s.

The hangar can hold up to 25 airplanes at any given time, although they are often switched out with others for regular maintenance and cleaning. There's also a little gift shop to check out for those who would like to have their own little aviation memorabilia. If you're a big fan of flying contraptions and would love to see a little bit history right in front of you, this is a great place to check out as a summer time activity! They do have a limited time schedule in which they are open, so it's recommended to check out their calendar to pick a day that works best for you. Regular business hours are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11 am to 3 pm from June to July and November to April. 

Florida Polytechnic University was established in 2012 in Lakeland as a university of engineering and technology dedicated to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

 

Florida Southern College was founded in Orlando in 1883 as a United Methodist school. It is now located in Lakeland. It offers about 50 undergraduate, pre professional, and graduate programs. It as been called one of the most beautiful campuses in the country and has the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world. 

Florida Technical College is a two-year college with degree programs in healthcare, food and beverage, beauty, and criminal justice. It has locations in DeLand, Kissimmee, Lakeland, Orlando, Pembroke Pines, and Cutler Bay.

Footaction USA caters to the people who need to find a new pair kicks. They have shoes for men, women, and kids, plus a few accessories like socks and shoelaces to go with the new shoes. Footaction USA is always located in malls or other shopping centers throughout the state. 

Polk County’s oldest, largest and most comprehensive non-public school, Lakeland Christian School has remained committed to God’s truth and academic excellence.

The Lakeland Library system has three branches, both in Lakeland. It is a part of the Polk County Library Cooperative and cards are available to all residents of Polk County.

The Lakeland Square Mall is one of Polk county's best shopping centers. It has many options for shopping and dining as well as a Cinemark movie theater to catch the latest flicks.

The Polk County Library Cooperative is made up of many different libraries in Polk County. It includes libraries in Auburndale, Bartow, Dundee, Eagle Lake, Fort Meade, Frostproof, Haines City, Lake Alfred, Lake Wales, Lakeland, Mulberry, Polk City, and Winter Haven.

Polk County offers 40 parks and 11 mini-parks to its visitors as well as 40 boat launching sites, 120 sports fields, 27 youth athletic leagues with more than 12,000 participants.

The Polk Theatre was built in Lakeland in 1928 as a vaudeville and movie theatre. It underwent restorations in 1999 and is today a venue for performances and private events.

The Putnam County Library System has five libraries in Palatka, Crescent, Interlachen, Melrose, and Bostwick.

This food truck features a mix of old school and modern techniques with menu updated frequently.

For families homeschooling students age 11 to 18 and living in Central Florida, this teen only group includes activities, field trips, etc. will be geared toward the middle to high school level/age group.