Attractions in Lakeland, Florida

Attractions in Lakeland, Florida
Vacationers may overlook Lakeland, Fla., because it's tucked between the popular tourist destinations of Orlando and Tampa. Lakeland is a charming small city where visitors can get a taste of old Florida, with historical homes, bountiful gardens and high-flying attractions. The city holds a prominent place in history , as it's home to the largest collection of buildings designed by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Florida Southern College

At the heart of downtown Lakeland, Florida Southern College is the place to see Frank Lloyd Wright architecture. Nine buildings designed by Wright grace the campus grounds, collectively referred to as "Child of the Sun." The campus is open to the public, and the "Child of the Sun" Visitor Center offers walking tours and exhibits showcasing the work and life of the famous architect.

The Visitor Center and its adjacent Esplanade Gift Shop are open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided campus tours are available by appointment from May 4 through August 15 for $10 per person (as of November 2009). Self-guided tours can be taken anytime.

Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive
Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 680-4444
flsouthern.edu

Hollis Garden

A boost to Lakeland's old Florida charm, this 1.2 acre botanical garden is a favorite with locals and visitors. Spread along Lake Mirror in the heart of the city, Hollis Garden features garden rooms flush with hundreds of flowers, fruits, herbs and vegetables. A peaceful grotto and koi pond round out the property, which the Hollis family graciously donated to the city.

Hollis Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. The gardens are closed on Mondays.

Hollis Garden
702 East Orange Street
Lakeland, FL 33801
(863) 603-6280
lakelandgov.net

Fantasy of Flight

Self-proclaimed as the "world's largest private airplane collection," Fantasy of Flight displays aircraft dating back to the early days of the airplane. High-flying visitors can browse the vintage collection, take a restoration tour or a tram tour through restricted airfield space and test their courage in an immersion simulator attraction. The most courageous pilots-in-training can even try a video game where they take the controls as a naval aviator in an aerial battle from the cockpit of a Corsair Fighter plane.

Fantasy of Flight is open every day from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is $28.95 for anyone over 15 and $14.95 for kids ages 6-15 (as of November 2009). Children under 6 are free.

Fantasy of Flight
1400 Broadway Blvd. S.E.
Polk City, FL 33868
(863) 984-3500
fantasyofflight.com

Article Written By Lisa Jay

Lisa Jay began writing professionally in 2002. She has written for "Focus" magazine and "The Orlando Sentinel" as well as travel websites in the Central Florida area. She served as executive editor of "The Valencia Source." Jay earned an Associate of Arts in journalism from Valencia Community College. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in writing at Columbia University.

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