Moving to Lakeland

If there's one thing we're certain of, it's that Lakeland, Florida, with its balmy climate, welcoming community, and vibrant lifestyle is well worth considering for your next move. As a tranquil sanctuary nestled between two major cities, it effortlessly blends the peace of the countryside with suburban charm and city convenience. In this comprehensive guide, prepare to dive into all things Lakeland - from its inviting neighborhoods all the way to its thriving arts scene. Is your interest piqued yet? Let's embark on this journey together as we explore the enticing prospect of a new life amidst Lakeland's enchanting allure.

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What to Know Before Moving to Lakeland


1. Spectacular Scenery

First things first, let's talk scenery. One of the immediate appeals of Lakeland, Florida is its stunning landscape. With the city being distinguished by 38 named lakes, every view feels like a postcard waiting to be sent. This provides a perfect backdrop for all those outdoorsy types. Whether you're passionate about scaling nature trails, enjoying serene picnic spots, or simply basking in the watery beauty, there's something here for you!

2. Swan City

The city of Lakeland should ideally be named Swan City! This might come as a surprise to some, but these graceful creatures are an integral part of the city's culture. You can commonly see them waddling around Lake Morton, and the city holds an annual Swan Roundup where they health-check all swans. Lakeland even has a Swan Derby for charity. If you've ever wanted to be surrounded by these elegant birds, Lakeland is your Swan haven.

3. Regional Foodie Paradise

If the way to your heart is through your stomach, Lakeland has lots of love to give! The city's food scene is a delightful blend of well-known brunch favourites, world cuisines, local delicacies, and food festivals that would satisfy any foodie's cravings. To add, the city is also home to a burgeoning craft beer scene - perfect for hop-heads seeking their next favourite brew.

4. Comfortable Cost of Living

Kudos to you if you knew this, because one of the best kept secrets about Lakeland, is its notable cost of living. Not only are house prices generally lower compared to other Florida cities, but other cost of living metrics like health care, utilities, and groceries also trend lower. This makes Lakeland an attractive choice for those looking to relocate without breaking the bank.

5. A Cultural Melting Pot

With an intriguing mix of historic landmarks and modern architecture, Lakeland beautifully blends the charm of the yesteryears with the innovation of today. The Polk Theatre, a 1928 atmospheric theatre, and the Florida Southern College, the largest single-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, present just a sliver of the city's rich cultural heritage.

6. Home to the "Spring Training"

And for a fun bit of trivia, Lakeland holds the record for the longest relationship between a Major League Baseball team and a current spring training host city! Since 1934, the Detroit Tigers have made Lakeland their spring training home - a sign of our city's love for sports and community spirit.

In essence, moving to Lakeland presents a unique lifestyle steeped in natural beauty, rich culture, and mouth-watering food scenes, coupled with a cost of living that gives your wallet a reason to breathe easy. So why wait? Make your next move to the Swan City and embrace all the surprises it has in store!

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Pros and Cons of Living in Lakeland

Pros of Living in Lakeland

Natural Beauty

Lakeland, Florida, is aptly named for its 38 beautiful lakes, which present both scenic beauty and recreational opportunities. Residents can enjoy various outdoor activities such as fishing, boating, and bird-watching in these locations throughout the year.

Strong Community

This city boasts a strong sense of community supported by numerous festivals and community events, from farmers' markets to music festivals. Friendly neighbors and community solidarity make Lakeland a place where people can quickly feel at home.

Great Weather

If you are a sun lover, Lakeland is the place for you with its warm and sunny climate. You can enjoy outdoor activities almost year-round, with plenty of sunshine and mild winters.

Lower Cost of Living

Compared to many parts of the country, Lakeland offers a lower cost of living. This includes more affordable house prices and everyday expenses, making Lakeland a great place for both individuals and families.


Lakeland's central location makes it easily accessible to some of Florida's major cities, such as Tampa and Orlando. It's also close to some of Florida's best beaches, amusement parks, and other attractions, which makes for plenty of choice in weekend getaways.

Cons of Living in Lakeland

Hot and Humid Summers

Lakeland experiences very hot and humid summers, which can be uncomfortable for people not accustomed to this weather. This typically lasts from June to September, requiring good air conditioning and plenty of hydration.

Limited Job Opportunities

While Lakeland has some job opportunities, it doesn't compare with larger cities in the state. For specialized career fields, job opportunities may be relatively limited, necessitating a commute to larger cities for work.

Possible Allergies

The beautiful flora and fauna that comes with Lakeland's lakes and swamps unfortunately also means a high pollen count. This can trigger allergies in those susceptible, causing discomfort during certain seasons.

Hurricane Season

Living in Florida undoubtedly brings the potential for hurricanes. Lakeland is no exception, and residents must be prepared for the possibility of storms, especially during the Atlantic hurricane season from June through November.

Limited Nightlife

If you're someone who enjoys a vibrant nightlife, Lakeland might be a bit quiet for you. As a largely family-oriented city, it lacks the variety and dynamism of bigger cities' nightlife.

Modern day picture of Lakeland, FL highlighting pros and cons of living in Lakeland, FL

Is Lakeland a Good Place to Live?

Lakeland, FL is a great place to live because of its rich history, beautiful lakes, and abundance of outdoor activities. With its warm and sunny weather year-round, you can easily enjoy the city's delicious food markets, exciting festivals, and unique wildlife. Plus, it's ideally located between two of Florida's most popular destinations - Tampa and Orlando!

What Is Lakeland Famous For?

Sun n Fun Aerospace Expo

Lakeland, Florida is home to the annual Sun n Fun Aerospace Expo, one of the largest conventions of its kind in the world. Every year, thousands of visitors gather to witness the latest in aviation technology, airshows and educational forums about the industry.

Florida Southern College

Florida Southern College, located in Lakeland, holds the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in one location. With 13 Wright-designed buildings constructed between 1941 and 1958, the college attracts students and architecture enthusiasts alike. You can check more about this architecture on the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation.

Lake Mirror Park

The picturesque Lake Mirror Park is a staple in Lakeland's community life. Hosting numerous festivals, concerts, and community gatherings all year round, it also showcases a beautifully preserved historic promenade, a stunning amphitheater, and fun-filled children's area.

Detroit Tigers Spring Training

During springtime, Lakeland becomes the epicenter for baseball as it is the location for the Detroit Tigers Spring Training. With a tradition that dates back to 1934, this annual event brings excitement and hefty tourism to Lakeland.

Capital building of Lakeland, FL in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the property tax rate in Lakeland, FL is around 1.32% of a property's assessed fair market value. This is a bit lower than the US national average, which stands at about 1.07%.

Sales Tax

Lakeland, FL residents experience a 7.0% sales tax rate as of 2023. This is slightly higher than the median sales tax rate across the nation, which hovers around 6.5%.

Income Tax

Florida, including Lakeland, does not levy a state income tax as of 2023, which contrasts greatly with the nationwide state income tax average of around 4.6% depending on the individual's income bracket.

Housing Market

The Lakeland, FL housing market is currently competitive. The median home value stands at around $200,000, with a growth rate of about 20% in the last year, surpassing the national average. Average rent is around $1,160, making it more affordable compared to other parts of the US. However, a high occupancy rate justifies this competitiveness. With strong economic factors, good quality of life, and a strategic geographical location, the Lakeland housing market is continually attracting both buyers and renters.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Lakeland, FL, is relatively lower when compared to many other cities in the United States. With housing expenses nearly half the national average, it offers quite an economical opportunity. Additionally, transportation and health care costs also follow the trend, being significantly below average. While utility costs slightly exceed the national norms, this doesn't greatly impact the affordability of the city. Overall, Lakeland presents a cost-effective living option, combining affordability and comfort in a unique blend.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Lakeland, Florida, is characterized by a subtropical climate, with warm, sunny weather nearly all year round. Summers can be quite hot and humid, with temperatures often reaching into the 90s (F). In contrast, winters are mild and dry, with temperatures generally ranging in the 50s and 60s. Rainfall is considerable, primarily in the summer months, creating a lush and verdant environment. The city also experiences the occasional thunderstorm, often accompanied by impressive lightning activity and defining the area as the 'Lightning Capital of the World'. Lakeland is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes due to its coastal location. The city is also susceptible to brush fires in its drier months and periodic flooding due to its heavy rainfall during the hurricane season. Despite these occasional weather extremes, the delightful sunny days and refreshing breezy evenings make Lakeland a charming place to reside.

Typical weather in Lakeland, FL

Economy & Job Market

* Health Care and Social Assistance

* Retail Trade

* Manufacturing

* Accommodation and Food Services

* Educational Services

Steeped in a rich history of citrus, phosphate mining, and railroads, Lakeland, FL's economy has evolved to embrace various thriving modern-day industries. The largest industry in this sunny nook of the Sunshine State is Health Care and Social Assistance, offering diverse career opportunities. Not too far behind is the Retail Trade sector, for all you commerce whizzes out there. Manufacturing, especially food processing and packaging, still carries a significant weight in the city's economic balance, tipping its hat to its historical industrial roots. Meanwhile, with Lakeland being majorly a hub of eateries and hotels, the Accommodation and Food Services industry is as bustling as ever. The city also values education as a crucial pillar of its community, making Educational Services a significant sector.

Planning to move to Lakeland, FL, new friend? You're in luck! With an unemployment rate that is consistently lower than the national average, finding a job in Lakeland is usually a less daunting task. The most significant number of job opportunities lie within the Health Care and Social Assistance sector, so it's the perfect time to bring those medical skills into play. If you're into the vibrant retail scene or manufacturing, you won't feel left out either! For those who are more interested in food, hospitality, or education, numerous prospects in the Accommodation and Food Services industry and the Educational Services sector await you in this quaint city where the sunlight is perennial and the oranges are bountiful!

Traffic and Transportation

Hey there, Lakeland explorers! Navigating our city is a cinch, and certainly not as fearsome as our beloved Swan City might suggest. On average, you're only looking at a 24-minute commute. Not so bad, huh? Plus, we have a range of public transport operating here, from the Citrus Connection buses to bikesharing services. And let's not forget Amtrak for those whimsical, cross-country adventures! For those of you with wings (metaphorically speaking, of course), Lakeland Linder International Airport is at your service, ensuring our city is connected to the wider world. So, whether you're a bird of flight or a ground dweller, getting around Lakeland, FL is a dream. Pack your essentials and let's get going - adventure awaits!

What is the traffic like in Lakeland, FL?

Best Neighborhoods in Lakeland


1. South Lake Morton Historic District

Step into a picture-perfect postcard from the past in the South Lake Morton Historic District! This lively slice of Lakeland is famous for its vibrant mix of craftsman bungalows, mid-century modern gems, and lovingly-kept Victorian homes. Besides the charming residential architecture, South Lake Morton features the eclectic and artsy vibe of nearby Florida Southern College. Get lost browsing the magnificent Polk Museum of Art, peruse stacks of good reads at the Lakeland Public Library, or bask in the sun-soaked beauty of Lake Morton, the neighborhood's namesake. Walkability here is excellent with plenty of coffee shops, eateries, and boutique retailers just a short stroll away!

2. Grasslands Golf and Country Club

If lush greens and posh living are right up your alley, then Grasslands Golf and Country Club is a neighborhood you won't want to overlook. This gated community offers luxurious, resort-style living with a golf course that's a golfer's paradise. Enjoy rounds of golf surrounded by nature or dip into the sparkling community pool to unwind. Social events are a regular happening, fostering a delightful sense of camaraderie amongst residents. The best part? You'll be located right by Lakeside Village, a shopping center brimming with retailers, dining options, and a movie theater!

3. Lake Hollingsworth

Perfect for lovers of the great outdoors, Lake Hollingsworth offers an enticing blend of natural beauty and outdoor recreational activities. The neighborhood is centered around the eponymous lake, offering a 2.8-mile trail that's popular with cyclists, joggers, and casual walkers. Festivals and events abound during the summer months, making the community quite social. The neighborhood also boasts beautiful homes, tree-lined streets, and an active homeowner's association that maintains a safe, welcoming atmosphere for all residents.

4. Cleveland Heights

A tale of diversity and rich cultural experiences unwraps itself in the heart of Cleveland Heights. This predominantly residential neighborhood attracts families for its excellent school district, numerous parks, and a variety of home styles. The real charm lies in the local community, a harmonious blend of artists, teachers, and professionals who bring a unique vibe to the district. It's a gem of a neighborhood where you can easily find yourself enjoying a theatre production, sampling exquisite cuisines at local eateries, or simply admiring the beautiful mural art scattered throughout!

5. Beacon Hill Historic District

Beacon Hill Historic District is an architectural enthusiast's dream! Winding roads reveal beautifully-preserved historic homes, echoing the romantic charm of bygone eras. The neighborhood showcases Spanish Mission-style homes, stunning Italian Renaissance residences, and charming Craftsman Bungalows. Beacon Hill is close to downtown Lakeland, offering residents the advantage of enjoying city life while residing in serene, peaceful surroundings. Eat, shop, and explore your way through the district before settling down to a quiet evening in your elegant home!

Whether you're an outdoor enthusiast or a history buff, an artist or a golfer, Lakeland's unique neighborhoods offer a delightful mix of culture, recreation, and community. All that's left is for you to discover which best matches your vibe and start your adventure in your new home! After all, moving is not just about changing locations--it's about discovering new favorite spots, generating fond memories, and falling in love with a community you'll be proud to call home.

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Things to Do


If you are planning to move to Lakeland, the crown jewel of Florida, or simply thinking of paying a quick visit, there are plenty of exciting activities and attractions guaranteed to spice up your sojourn. From strolling around Lake Mirror, visiting Polk Museum of Art, to discovering unique hideouts, here's a roundup of the seven top things to do in Lakeland.

1. Lake Mirror Complex

Known as Lakeland's showpiece, the Lake Mirror Complex is a picturesque site that offers breath-taking views of nature. The lake, surrounded by various parks like Hollis Garden and Barnett, is a great spot for snapping photos or enjoying a picnic. The famous Frances Langford Promenade puts on a visually enchanting light show in the evenings.

2. Polk Museum of Art

Art enthusiasts would be in their element at Polk Museum of Art. Showcasing the best of contemporary and historical art, it boasts an impressive collection. An added bonus is the free entry to the museum so you can indulge your artistic sensibilities without spending a dime.

3. Circle B Bar Reserve

If you love wildlife, then the Circle B Bar Reserve is a must-visit. This protected habitat is home to an array of wildlife species that includes alligators, eagles, and numerous wading birds. The Marsh Rabbit Run trail offers some of the most scenic views.

4. Hollis Garden

For a peaceful retreat, head to Hollis Garden. The garden showcases over 10,000 flowers and ornamental shrubs and includes a lovely butterfly garden. With a neo-classical architectural setting, the garden provides a serene vibe that can be very therapeutic.

5. Dixieland Self-Guided Historic District Walking Tour

One of the lesser-known charms of Lakeland is the Dixieland Historic District Walking Tour. It's an opportunity to get to know the city's rich architectural heritage. Marvel at the well-preserved buildings from Florida's land boom era while strolling down the picturesque paths of this self-guided tour.

6. Explorations V Children's Museum

If you have kids, Explorations V Children's Museum is a fantastic place to let them have a fun learning experience. The museum offers interactive exhibits focused on art, science, and creativity. Children can explore, play, and learn, making it a great family outing destination.

7. Lakeland's "Hidden" Speakeasy

Have you ever fancied taking a step back in time into the Prohibition era? Lakeland hosts a "hidden" speakeasy, concealed inside a real barbershop called Traditions Barber Parlor - it's called The Chop Shop! The entrance requires a daily-changing password - a delightful clandestine experience! While not too well-known outside of local circles, it's a unique gem that you shouldn't miss.

Therefore, whether you're a nature lover, history enthusiast, art aficionado, or cocktail connoisseur, the city of Lakeland has something unique to offer for everyone. Lakeland is indeed a charming blend of Floridian beauty, cultural richness, and exciting secret spots that makes it a compelling place to live in or visit!

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Find Movers for Your Lakeland Relocation

Now that you're armed with all the vital information for your move to the charming city of Lakeland, FL, your next step is easier than ever. Let Great Guys Moving simplify your relocation process by connecting you with reputable, licensed, and insured movers in their expansive network. Known for quality and affordability, these moving partners are ready to make your journey a breeze. All it takes is submitting a few basic details about your move, and you'll soon receive personalized quotes. Start preparing for your new Lakeland adventure today - requesting your free moving quote is just a few clicks away!

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