5 Things a Nature Lover Should Do for the Perfect Lakeland Daycation
Sometimes we could all use a vacation from our day to day life but we don’t have the time (or maybe money) to escape on a getaway. At Tampa Bay Live we completely understand this and so here is the first in our new Daycation/Staycation series! Any nature lovers on here? Today I'm going to go over ways to enjoy some cheap or even free entertainment around Lakeland, including my favorite nature walk! So, who's ready for a hike?
Circle B is a nature reserve located right on Lake Hancock in Polk county and it is home to many different types of plants and animals- including bald eagles and alligators! Speaking of gators, have you guys seen that famous video of 13+ foot alligator crossing a path? That was at Circle B!
Circle B is much more than home to large alligators though! The reserve is completely free and has miles of trails to explore on foot, bike, or even horseback though it is B.Y.O.H! My favorite trail to walk is the Shady Oak and Alligator Alley loop. The trail starts near the Nature Discovery Center so stop in to learn a little about our local ecosystems!
After your take in all of that natural splendor (who else loves Westworld?) you’ll be ready for some food! Luckily, Lakeland has the spot to go to on our nature day! Lakeland’s first juice bar, The Juice Box Café is also a vegetarian restaurant that features many vegan items on their menu. My favorite is the Thai Dye toast that has almond butter, carrot shreds, cilantro, raisins, and lime juice; all topped with their house-made coconut sriracha!
Now that we’ve refueled it’s time to head back outdoors, but not to a nature trail! We’re going to be cruising around downtown Lakeland and its nearby lakes using their bike share program Swan City Cycle. Lakeland has partnered with GOTCHA to provide an easy way to rent a bike. It’s a great way to explore some of the city’s best sights- from the royal swans at Lake Morton to Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous architecture, they’re all waiting for you to pedal by! You can also stop at Hollis Garden to check out the exotic flora, koi pond, and promenade for free! Hop onto a computer or use the GOTCHA app to reserve a bike and start your scenic ride for only a few bucks.
We’re going to end our Lakeland nature day in one of my all-time favorite spots! A Lakeland hot spot for over 70 years, the Silver Moon Drive-In is the last drive-in theatre in Polk County. They have two screens that have double features each night of the week for only $5 a person so load up your car with snacks, friends, and blankets and chairs to enjoy a night under the stars with the (movie) stars! Forget to bring some snacks? They have a concession stand that serves everything from popcorn and candy to pizza and beer! Check their website for the movies they’re showing and for information on other events like their weekend market, the Swap Shop!
That’s it for today’s Lakeland Daycation guys! I hope you enjoy exploring some of Florida’s nature and seeing Lakeland’s sights, let me know if you see that gator! - Abbie