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.
Lake Kissimmee State Park has something for history buffs and nature lovers alike! Home to a variety of beautiful and unique wildlife, visitors at this former Florida cow camp can expect to see white-tailed deer, bald eagles, sandhill cranes, turkeys, and even bobcats. Located on the shores of lakes Kissimmee, Tiger, and Rosalie, there are countless recreational outdoor activities that groups and individuals can embark on. Enjoy boating, canoeing, and fishing in the picturesque lakes, or take in the views while you hike over 13 miles of scenic trails to observe and study the abundant plant and animal life. There are also six miles of trail opened to horseback riding and amenities such as shaded picnic areas, full-facility camping areas, and outdoor pavilions. The park's seclusion and distance from light pollution allows campers to take in dark skies and stargaze. For those looking to learn about some of Florida's history, your more into experiencing history, the park now offers a 1876 first person interpretive Cow Camp where attendees can see what it was like to live as a Florida Cow Hunter in the late 19th century.
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.
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.
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.
Family-owned and operated in Central Florida dedicated to the production of raw Florida honey. Featuring unprocessed, natural Orange Blossom Honey, Gallberry Honey (aka Wildflower honey), and a unique Florida Allergy Honey Blend.
A feel good coffee shop offering some of the best lattes, teas, and bistro style food in Lakeland. Black & Brew has two locations, one in downtown Lakeland and the other at Lake Morton, attached to the Lakeland Public Library. Black & Brew offers indoor and outdoor seating and a relaxing atmosphere.
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.
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 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.
Offering locally roasted beans and locally baked goods, Hillcrest is a growing addition to the best of Lakeland coffee. Hillcrest Coffee features a homey atmosphere and a beautiful patio to enjoy the caffeine classics.
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.
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.