7 Best Neighborhoods in Lakeland, FL

December 21st, 2023

7 Best Neighborhoods in Lakeland, FL

Best Places to Live in Lakeland

Have you been considering a move to Lakeland, Florida? Check out these top seven great places to live in Lakeland, any of which would make a fantastic new place to call home.

A great place to live, Lakeland is located east of Tampa and southwest of Orlando. Also known as Swan City, Lakeland has much to offer its residents, including beautiful architecture, excellent restaurants, fun outdoor recreation, prime real estate, and top-rated educational opportunities. 

Considered one of the best places to live in Florida, Lakeland is the 22nd largest city in Florida and has a growing rate of 1.33%. If you are considering a move to the area, Lakeland has nearly 100 geographic neighborhood boundaries, with 30 associations. Living in Lakeland, you have tons of options.

Moving can be highly stressful for some people. A lot goes into ensuring you move to the perfect area and home. Luckily, our team has compiled this Lakeland neighborhood guide to help you decide which community to call home in this beautiful Central Florida city. Check out our other focus on the best restaurants in Lakeland to see which dining options are near.

Here are the top seven neighborhoods to move to in Lakeland.

South Lake Morton Historic District

This neighborhood is known for its unique structures in Lakeland, which covers 2,500 acres around Lake Morton. South Lake Morton Historic District has been a designated district in the country since 1985. It earned its designation because of urban planning from the early 20th century.

This neighborhood contains large numbers of architecturally significant structures ranging from 1920 to 1948, attracting families ever since. It has 557 historic buildings, all within the district. Most of the homes are bungalows from the 1920s. You can get any style of home, whether Victorian, Queen Anne, or Spanish Revival.

South Lake Morton is the place for you if you want a neighborhood of character and uniqueness.

Local Favorites:

  • Polk Museum of Art: This museum was founded in 1966 by the residents of Lakeland, Florida. It serves 140,000 visitors a year through exhibitions and art education programs. Stop by this museum to see all this location's incredible artifacts.
  • Lake Morton: Lake Morton is a private lake that covers 39 acres. If you can access the lake, it is perfect for an evening walk around it. You could even bring your family or friends to the lake and picnic with the stunning views.
  • Black & Brew: Black & Brew Coffee House and Bistro opened on Valentine's Day in 2006. It began when two young brothers decided to open their own business in the city they grew up in. This is a hot spot in the Lake Morton area. Stop by and enjoy a coffee and a snack on the patio while taking in the insane views of the lake.
  • Red Door: Fine dining is next to you here on Lake Morton. Red Door has been open since 2009 and has served fine American dining. This establishment prides itself on its scratch kitchen, craft beverages, and classic cuisine with a modern twist.

swans lake lakeland Florida downtown

Lakeland Highlands

Lakeland Highlands is a suburban neighborhood of Lakeland. It has a population of 11,575 people and is ranked one of the best places to live in Lakeland, Florida. Lakeland Highlands offers a rural feel, attracting many people to call this place their home.

Many people tend to retire in Lakeland Highlands. This neighborhood is located around Scott Lake in Lakeland. It has beautiful homes, keeps growing, and is ranked highly in schools. You will find everything you need: groceries, restaurants, post office, banks, etc. Who wouldn't want to live in Lakeland Highlands?

Local Favorites:

  • Christina Park: If you want something to do on a nice day, Christina Park is at the edge of Lakeland Highlands. This park has five softball fields with concession buildings and restrooms. There are also numerous picnic tables and grills around the park. You can enjoy a walk around the park, and the children can enjoy the playground area.
  • Scott Lake: Scott Lake is a private lake that covers 250 acres. Enjoy all the joys of living near a lake at Scott Lake. You can personally walk around the lake anytime or have a picnic on a nice day.
  • SPCA Florida: If you are ever sitting at your home and wondering what there is to do around you, visit the SPCA. The SPCA is a rescue center for animals located all around the country. These animals are looking for their forever homes, and if you can adopt, that would be amazing, but if you can't, it's okay. These fur babies would be so happy to have the presence of humans who want to pet them and spend quality time with them.

Beautiful view of Lakeland, FL

Beacon Hill

Beacon Hill is ranked the best neighborhood in Lakeland, Florida, to raise a family. If you plan on moving to Lakeland and eventually want to start a family (or already have one), Beacon Hill is the right neighborhood.

Beacon Hill has a population of 364. Compared to other neighborhoods in this article, Beacon Hill is relatively smaller than others in the area. Some tend to lean towards the smaller communities in populated areas like Lakeland. If that is the case for you, then check out Beacon Hill.

Local Favorites:

  • Dobbins Park: Dobbins Park is a local favorite for sure. It has bike trails, playgrounds, walking trails, and space to hold events like birthday parties! This playground is different than the others because it now has a zipline with multiple swings.
  • Love Bird Almost Famous Chicken: Love Bird is a fried chicken restaurant. It is inspired by Southern culture's love for food, music, and community. This establishment aims to create high-quality, scratch-made food served in a laid-back restaurant with a taste of southern shine.
  • Cob & Pen: Cob & Pen is the perfect place to gather to enjoy the arts of craft beer, boutique wine, fine food, and good company. This business is located just a few blocks from downtown Lakeland and is a must-try.

fried chicken love bird lakeland, florida

North Lake Wire

North Lake Wire is a neighborhood that has an average population of 1,448. This neighborhood has an urban feel and is very invested in its community. Move to North Lake Wire and join the North Lake Wire Neighborhood Association. This Association has partnered with multiple local health-centered organizations.

This neighborhood is located west of Lake Parker and east of Lake Bonnet. There are fun things to do in this neighborhood, and we are here to highlight some of those things below.

Local Favorites:

  • North Lake Wire Park: This park is used for many things, including events for the local Association. The North Lake Wire Neighborhood Association holds events for their community here at this park, with over 150 attendees and 20 participating vendors.
  • Lakeland Seafood: Lakeland Seafood is a local seafood market that offers fresh fish, shrimp, oysters, blue crabs, lobsters, and more. This market prides itself on its fresh everyday seafood at an affordable price! This market has been a trusted business in Lakeland for over 40 years.
  • Lake Wire: This lake covers almost 22 acres of land and is completely urbanized. You can find a public sidewalk that circles the entire lake's circumference to allow you, your friends, or your family to enjoy an evening walk around the lake.

lake lakeland Florida park trees water

Cleveland Heights

Cleveland Heights is located west of Lake John in Lakeland. Its population is 1,844 residents, home to many families and young professionals. Cleveland Heights has a dense suburban feel and is located near Cleveland Heights Golf Course.

You can find a handful of restaurants in this neighborhood ranging from easy takeout to an excellent sit-down restaurant. It is also located next to Parkway Frontage Rd, allowing easy access to the main highway 570.

Local Favorites:

  • Cleveland Heights Golf Course: This is a top-notch golf course. There are three nine-hole courses to choose from; each has been said to be challenging and fun. This course also has a delicious restaurant located right on the golf course. It is perfect for nine and dines.
  • Lakeland Family YMCA: Nearby, you will find the Lakeland Family YMCA. YMCAs can be found nationwide and is a loved business by many. It offers so many different activities for kids and young adults. They have pools, gyms, rock climbing, etc.
  • Three Parks Trail: Cleveland Heights residents have easy access to many parks, fields, and boardwalks because of the Three Parks Trail. There, you can find a bicycle and pedestrian path that runs along the entire length of the golf course. It links to Peterson Park, Woodlake Park, and Common Ground Park.
  • Dog Leg Woods: Opened in 2018, Cleveland Heights is home to the city's most popular dog park. Take your furry friends to the park to enjoy socialization and exercise off-leash.


Cumberland is one of the smaller neighborhoods in Lakeland, Florida. It is home to 471 residents and is a dense suburban area. It is located just North of Lake Hollingsworth and Florida Southern College.

Cumberland has been rated the #2 best neighborhood in Lakeland. They have also been placed in the #3 best neighborhood to raise a family in Lakeland. This neighborhood might be one of the smaller ones, but it has much to offer because it is outside the college campus.

Local Favorites:

  • Frank Lloyd Wright: Frank Lloyd Wright is an architect who designed the college (FSC). You can visit this building and take a tour to embrace the unique collection of Frank Lloyd Wright - it is worth it.
  • Hollis Garden: Hollis Garden is a Botanical garden in Lakeland, Florida. This garden is worth the sight! Enjoy the beautiful flowers and watch how cotton and eggplant are grown.
  • Lake Hollingsworth: Come check out one of the famous lakes of Lakeland. There are many walking trails all around the lake. Lake Hollingsworth is also known for its birds. Many people tend to go to the lake to bird watch, which can be highly relaxing after a long day.
  • Escapology: Enjoy this escape room minutes from the college campus. An indoor activity that is great for a family and friend's day out!
  • Lake Bonny Park: This park is unique compared to the others in the area. Lake Bonny Park is home to a skate park. It also has soccer fields, baseball fields, vending machines, playgrounds, and more.

botanical gardens flowers roses

Lake Hollingsworth

Lake Hollingsworth is one of the famous lakes in Lakeland, Florida, and a neighborhood home to 3,169 residents. Lake Hollingsworth offers a sparse suburban feel while enjoying all its restaurants and parks. The Lake Hollingsworth neighborhood is south of the lake itself.

Lake Hollingsworth covers 350 acres of land, is surrounded by Lake Hollingsworth Dr., and is right around the corner from Florida Southern College, located on the lake's Northside.

The lake is also known for birdwatching. You can enjoy watching birds like white pelicans and black-bellied plovers at any park. The Lake Hollingsworth neighborhood has a handful of parks to check out, listed below. 

Local Favorites:

  • Horney Park: This park is a recreation and green space - free to enter. Visit this park if you would like to enjoy the nature and wildlife just minutes from Lakeside Village.
  • Common Grounds Park: This is a fun kid's park in Lakeland. The playgrounds found at this location are perfect for a day out with your children. There is so much for them to do in this one location.
  • Veterans Park: This park is designated for our Veterans. Walk around this park and learn about the Spanish/American War's history and more about what our veterans have fought in. It is the perfect place to pay your respects and teach yourself about history.
  • Handley Park: Handley Park is just a half mile east of Common Ground Park. This park has swings, slides, large playgrounds, and a large field. This location also has a few picnic tables for a lovely day with your family and friends.

FAQ - Moving to Lakeland, FL

Is Lakeland, Florida, an excellent place to live?

Lakeland is undoubtedly one of the best places to live in Florida for young professionals, families, and retirees. There is no place like it, with many things to do, excellent schools, and an affordable cost of living. 

What is Lakeland, Florida, best known for?

Lakeland has the most extensive one-site collection of Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, Circle B Bar Reserve, Detroit Tigers Spring Training, and Safari Wilderness.

Does Lakeland, FL, have hurricanes?

Lakeland has had some destructive hurricanes, but the city is always well-prepared, so make sure you are as well if you plan on moving to Lakeland. 

Best Neighborhoods in Lakeland - The Last Thought

Living in Lakeland is a dream of its own. This city has so much character. It is a place that needs to be considered when deciding where to move to in Florida. This town is just east of Tampa and has an entirely different feel. People are moving to Lakeland daily, so we outline the best seven neighborhoods to help with your search. Florida has many other beautiful cities and towns like Boca Raton and Miami. 

If you or anyone you know is considering moving to Lakeland, contact us to connect with a local Realtor! 

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Ryan Fitzgerald

Ryan Fitzgerald

Hi there! My name is Ryan Fitzgerald, and I am a REALTOR®. My goal is to help you learn more about real estate through our Real Estate Blog! Hopefully, you enjoyed the above blog post and it found a way to provide help or value to you. When you're ready to buy or sell a home of your own let us know here. Please feel free to join the conversation by dropping us a comment below.

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