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.

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.  

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

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

Southeastern University is a Christian liberal arts college in Lakeland, Florida. It was founded in New Brockton, Alabama in 1935 and moved to Lakeland in 1946. It is associated to the Assemblies of God, and is the largest school in that system in the United States with over 3,000 students and growing each year.

Although they are widely known for their acai bowls, Tea Largo also offers delicious coffee and tea choices. And the best part, you can order ahead! 

TheatreWorks has three shows per season. They do both musicals and regular plays. You can volunteer or participate. You should check this theatre out if you live in Polk County. For all Information about shows, volunteering, ticket prices, and auditions look at the website below. 

Best known for the blueberry wine, True Blue Winery is the place for all occasions whether it oven baked pizza from their bistro or their homemade wines.

University of South Florida was founded in 1956 and now has more than 48,000 students. Located in the Tampa Bay area with 14 colleges and 3 schools, USF main campus in Tampa, USF St. Petersburg, and USF Sarasota-Manatee. 

The Vanguard School is an independent boarding and day school for middle and high school students who learn differently.

Warner University is a Christian college in Lake Wales affiliated with the Church of God. It has 36 liberal arts and professional programs for undergraduates and graduate programs in education, business administration, ministry, and management.

Webb's Candy Shop is a candy store in Davenport that has quite a variety of candy. They specialize in chocolates and their famous citrus candy. If you're in the mood for a cooler snack, definitely check out their homemade ice cream that is made with goat's milk. It might sound weird but it tastes really good! The store is sells other goat's milk products, fudge, sugar free candy, and a few exotic wines. 

Webber International University is a private college in Babson Park with a campus that overlooks Crooked Lake. It has several associates, bachelors, and masters degree programs.

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.