Lake Wales

Points of Interest

Architecture
The Colony House and Mountain Lake are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the homes at Mountain Lake are examples of distinguished architecture. Guests are welcome to enjoy a guided tour of the residential park, or to visit the Colony House Library for additional information. 
 
Boat Trips
Camp Mack offers Airboat Nature Tours along the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes 4 times daily, starting at 9 a.m., as the weather permits. They also offer Sunset Cruises which can include cheese, wine, or other requests. Open daily. Reservations are appreciated, but not required. Phone: (863) 696-1108 www.campmack.com
 
Museums
The Lake Wales Art Center offers a variety of year-round art classes, concerts, and exhibitions in a state-of-the-art gallery. Open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Saturday hours are available by phone. Phone: (863) 676-8426 www.lakewalesartscouncil.org

Lake Wales Depot Museum  features exhibits beginning with the foundation of Lake Wales in 1911 as well as the formation of the city, industry, places of interest and the developments in the 19th century that led to the settlement of the area. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Phone: (863) 676-1759 http://www.cityoflakewales.com/439/Depot-Museum
  
Music and Theater
Polk Arts Alliance is the designated Local Arts Agency for Polk County, Florida.  Enjoy events and exhibits in the area by visiting the calendar section at www.polkarts.org

Bok Tower has daily carillon concerts at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. with short selections played throughout the day. There are moonlight concerts monthly and special events held throughout the year. Open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with last admission at 5 p.m.
Phone: (863) 676-1408 www.boktowergardens.org

The Lake Wales Art Council holds concerts throughout the year of varying types of music. Concert times vary and all dates can be found on their website. Phone: (863) 676-8426 www.lakewalesartcouncil.org
The Lake Wales Little Theater puts on theatrical performances throughout the year. For tickets, call (863) 679-8587.  Schedule of upcoming and current shows available at www.lwlt.org 
Regal Cinemas, located in the Eagle Ridge Mall, shows current films, including 3D. Phone: (863) 678-1606 www.eagleridgemall.com 
 
Parks, Gardens, and Nature

Tiger Creek Preserve is a Nature Conservancy project, just south of Lake Wales. The preserve contains hardwood swamps, hammocks, scrubby flatwoods, pine flatwoods, sandhill and longleaf pine/wiregrass habitat. There are three walking trails and a visitor center.  Open dawn to dusk.  Phone: (863) 635-7506 http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/florida/placesweprotect/tiger-creek-preserve.xml

Lake Wales Ridge State Park is located just off of highway 17. There are four separate trails in the park which is home to many of Florida’s rare and endangered animals and plants. The park also offers primitive camping, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, and horseback riding. Phone: (863) 635-8589

Skydiving
Skydiving is available at the Lake Wales Airport. For information, call Florida Skydiving Center at (800) 823-0016

Shopping
The Eagle Ridge Mall features many stores including Dillard’s, JC Penney, Sears, and many more. It also houses a movie theater, bowling, and an arcade. Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. and Sunday noon – 6 p.m. Phone:  (863) 676-2300 www.eagleridgemall.com

Historic Downtown Lake Wales is home to many restaurants, galleries and shops, offering antiques, art, clothing, jewelry, and much more. www.cityoflakewales.com  
 

Lakeland, Winter Haven, and Surrounding

Points of Interest

Attractions
LEGOLAND Florida, the largest Legoland Park in the world, is a 150-acre interactive theme park with more than 50 rides, shows and attractions, restaurants, shopping, a breathtaking botanical garden and the LEGOLAND Water Park all geared to families with children ages 2 to 12. Phone: (877) 350-5346 www.legoland.com
 
Museums
Florida Southern College, in Lakeland, is home to the largest number of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings in a single place.  The visitor center on campus also has a collection of furniture and drawings by Wright, open Monday – Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Self-guided walking tours are free and welcome daily, guided  and in-depth tours are offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Phone: (863) 680-4444 www.flsouthern.edu
 
The Polk Museum of Art features a gallery of pre-Columbian artifacts, an outdoor sculpture garden and 8 galleries on a rotating exhibition schedule. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 – 5 p.m. Phone: (863) 668-7743 www.polkmuseumofart.org

Polk County Historical Museum and Polk County Historical and Genealogical Library in Bartow, opened its doors in 1998. Their mission is to actively collect, conserve, and interpret material culture related to Central Florida’s past with the goal of promoting and encouraging knowledge and appreciation of Polk County’s valuable and diverse heritage.  Phone: (863) 534-4386 http://www.polkcountyhistory.org/museum/
 
Parks, Gardens, and Nature
Hollis Garden is a formal garden gifted to the city of Lakeland by the Hollis family. The garden houses over 10,000 flowers and ornamental shrubs, shade trees and a Grand Staircase. Hollis Gardens is also home to Barnett Park, a kid-friendly play area with picnic pavilions. Open daily Open Tuesday through Sunday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Phone: (863) 834-2280 https://www.lakelandgov.net/parkrec/hollis-garden
 
 
Music and Theater
In addition to its Matinee and Jazz series, South Florida State College offers an Artist series that consists of ten performances that run from November through March. The Artist Series features a wide variety of quality entertainment focusing on orchestras, musicals, pops, dance, and comedy. Internationally acclaimed entertainers have graced the auditorium stage for over 20 years. www.sfscarts.org/calendar

The Imperial Symphony Orchestra performs five masterwork concerts in the Youkey Theater in the Lakeland center. They also perform one free outdoor pops concert in both Winter Haven and Lakeland each season. The box office is open Monday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased by phone, (863) 834-8111, or online at www.ticketmaster.com. For a list of concerts and more information visit www.imperialsymphony.org. 

Florida Southern College provides an array of shows throughout the year including stage performances, concerts, and art exhibits. Music includes everything from classical to jazz and this year’s theater performances include The Nutcracker and Symphony Orchestra: A Night at the Opera. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: (863) 680-4296 www.flsouthern.edu/ffa
 
The Polk Theater, Inc. is located in downtown Lakeland. This restored historic vaudeville/movie palace shows films on the weekends and features a live Performing Arts Series each year. Movies are also shown on the weekends. The office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: (863) 682-7553 www.polktheatre.org
 
The Florida Dance Theater is Polk County’s only professional dance company and training school. They present major performances throughout the year, in various theaters around Lakeland. Phone: (863) 802-0399 www.floridadancetheater.org

Theater Winter Haven is both nationally and internationally acclaimed as “one of the best community theaters in America.” Each year, TWH produces a five-play Main Stage subscription season, a two-play Theatre for Young People’s series, a summer musical, two touring productions and a three-play staged reading series called StageRead. Box office open Tuesday through Saturday 1 – 6 p.m. during weeks with performances and Tuesday through Thursday from 1 – 4 p.m. during weeks without a performance. Main Office hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Phone: (863) 294-SHOW (7469) www.theaterwinterhaven.com

Short Trips from Mountain Lake

Tampa

The Tampa area is often overlooked in the shadow of Orlando and the Disney experience.  The area, surrounded by water, offers many fine shopping and dining venues as well as theatre, museums and sports. www.visittampabay.com/play

  • Experience the Big Cat Rescue

  • Enjoy International Plaza for shopping and lunch

  • Attend a Tampa Bay Buccaneers football or Tampa Bay Lightning hockey game

  • Take a trip on a hot air balloon

  • Visit the David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

  • Explore Lowry Park Zoo

  • Be inspired by The Dali Museum

  • Visit the Henry B. Plant Museum

 

Orlando Area

From Universal Studios to Epcot and the Magic Kingdom, the Orlando area is a world renowned destination.  If you aren’t in the mood to enjoy the theme parks and attractions in the area, there’s plenty more to do. www.visitorlando.com/things-to-do

  • Discover Winter Park, Millennium Mall or the Outlets for shopping and lunch

  • Wander through the Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art

  • Attend an Orlando Magic Game

  • Take a boat tour of Winter Park or Paddle around in the over-sized swans at Lake Eola Park

  • Visit the Kennedy Space Center

  • Enjoy Disney Springs for shopping and new restaurants

Sarasota Area

The area is known for its cultural and environmental amenities and of course, its beaches. www.visitsarasota.org/things-to-do

  • Go Deep Sea fishing for the day

  • Stroll St. Armand’s Circle for shopping and lunch

  • Tour the Ringling Museum

  • Attend the Sarasota Opera

  • Relax on the beach in Siesta Key, rated The Best Sand Beach in America by The Travel Channel

  • Browse the Sarasota Classic Car Museum

Helpful Websites

Helpful Websites