Lakeland and Winter Haven are the two largest cities in Polk County, Florida

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is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States, located just outside of Tampa. According to the 2013 U.S. Census Bureau estimate, the city had a population of 100,710.Lakeland is a principal city of the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area (coterminous with Polk County), which had an estimated population of 623,009 in July 2013 based on data from the University of Florida Bureau of Economic and Business Research. It is twinned with Richmond HillOntarioCanadaImabari, Ehime, JapanBalti, MoldovaPortmore, Jamaica; and Chongming County, Shanghai, China as part of the Sister Cities program.The area was home to Native American tribes. Lakeland was settled in the 1870s and expanded in the 1880s with the arrival of rail service. Lakeland is home to the 1,267 acre Circle B Bar Reserve. Lakeland is located at 28″N 81°57′32″W 28.041248°N 81.958978°W / 28.041248; -81.958978 (28.041248, -81.958978). Lakeland is 141 ft (43 m) above mean sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 67 sq mi (173.5 km2); 45.84 sq mi (118.7 km2) of it is land and 5.61 sq mi (14.5 km2) (10.90%) is covered by water. Lakeland is located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain, with a terrain consisting of flatland interspersed with gently rolling hills.


Lake Mirror Park in downtown Lakeland is lined by City Hall and Lakeland Terrace Hotel.

The dominant feature in Lakeland is the city’s many lakes. Thirty-eight lakes are named, with a number of other bodies of water unnamed, mostly phosphate mine pits that eventually filled with water. The Largest of these is Lake Parker, which is 2,550 acres (10.3 km2) in size. Much of the culture of Lakeland revolves around its many lakes, and many people use the lakes as reference points in much the same way that people in other towns use streets as reference points, such as “I live near Lake Beulah.” In addition to Lake Parker, some of the more prominent lakes in the Lakeland area are Lake Hollingsworth, Lake Morton, Lake Mirror, and Lake Gibson.

Swans are one of the most visible features on the lakes of Lakeland. They have a long history, the first swans appearing around 1923. By 1954, the swans were gone, eradicated by alligators and pets. A Lakeland resident who mourned the passing of the swans wrote to Queen Elizabeth. The royal family allowed the capture of two of the royal swans, and the swans now on the lakes of Lakeland are the descendants of the royal swans sent by the queen.


Lakeland, like most other parts of Florida north of Lake Okeechobee, is located in the humid subtropical zone Typically, summers are hot and humid with high temperatures seldom dropping below 90 °F and 70 °F for the overnight low. Like most of Central Florida, afternoon thunderstorms are the norm throughout the summer. The winters are drier and mild, although rare cold snaps drop temperatures below freezing.

Winter Haven

is a city in Polk County, Florida. The population was 26,487 at the 2000 census. According to the US Census Bureau’s 2007 estimates, the city had a population of 32,577, making it the second most populated city in Polk County. It is a principal city of the Lakeland-Winter Haven Metropolitan Area. Lego Land Florida is located here.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.4 square miles (66 km). 17.7 square miles (46 km) of it is land and 7.7 square miles (20 km) of it (30.45%) is water. Winter Haven is located within the Central Florida Highlands area of the Atlantic coastal plain with a terrain consisting of flatland interspersed with gently rolling hills.[18] It has an average elevation of 146 feet (45 m) above sea-level. The city is located at the headwaters of the Peace River (Florida).


Winter Haven has 50 lakes within its borders, including its famous Chain of Lakes. The lakes are by far the city’s most distinctive feature. Winter Haven bills itself as “The Chain of Lakes City”. The city has two prominent chains of lakes. The northern chain has 9 lakes interconnected by a series of canals.[The southern chain is larger, with 16 lakes interconnected by a series of canals. The southern chain has several prominent lakes, including Lake EloiseLake Howard, and Lake Lulu 2011, after 6 years of construction and political in-fighting, Winter Haven opened a canal lock system connecting the two chains of lakes.] Most of the lakes in Winter Haven formed in a similar fashion to sinkholes, through dissolving of the limestone ground. These types of lakes are called “solution lakes”. The lakes in Winter Haven teem with life, including alligatorsbald eaglesgreat blue herons, and more. The Winter Haven lakes are a world renown spot for bass fishing.


Winter Haven is located in the humid subtropical zone.The city gets its name from its obvious lack of colder weather with a warm tropical climate throughout the majority of the year. The average temperature is 73.2 °F (23 °C) The city averages 50.3 inches (128 cm) inches of rain per year. The summer months of June, July, August, and September, which includes the height of the Atlantic hurricane season, are by far the rainiest time of the year. Those four months, which average 29.7 inches (75 cm) inches of rain per year, account for more than half of the annual rainfall.