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Not just known for its 38 lakes, this is where "Edward Scissor Hands" was filmed at the Southgate Shopping Center in Lakeland. About halfway between Tampa and Orlando, Lakeland was once the home to Native American Tribes. It was settled in the 1870s. The city's largest employer is Publix, a Fortune 500 company of supermarkets. The unofficial "royal" inhabitants are the swans that gracefully glide around Lake Morton. They are descendants of the royal swans that were once owned by Queen Elizabeth II. The city pays homage to these floating white feathery visions by smothering the town in swan-related sculptures and murals. It is where Frank Lloyd Wright designed the college campus of Florida Southern College and it is the largest collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture in the world.
For those wishing for a bit of calm and chanting time, you can head to The Shree Swaminarayan Temple, one of only two Hindu temples in the United States. Alternatively go to Lake Mirror amidst the serenity of 10,000 flowers, shrubs and ornamental fountains and stroll along its historical promenade for some good karma. You can take in a movie at an actual drive-in movie theater, the Silver Moon, which has been open since 1948. For the classical music lover, the Lakeland Symphony Orchestra gives 5 masterwork concerts and a full opera throughout the year. If you want a taste of history then go to Munn Park Historic District, or if you are in need of exercising the limbs, jog around the lakes trail, float in a boat or splash in the water.
If you get bored in this somewhat small town, jump in a car and head up to Orlando or a theme park such as Universal or Disney. Tampa Bay is only 40 minutes away where you can find one of the best-rated beaches in the state.
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