A Blogger’s Guide to Lakeland

 

Although Orlando is a city that is bustling with local shops, restaurants and attractions (besides the parks), sometimes you just have to expand your horizons to discover what’s outside Orlando. Two Saturdays ago, I got my tripod (which you can see here), my photoshoot outfits and off I drove an hour into the charming and quaint city of Lakeland, Florida. 

 Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals

Named after its many lakes, “Swan City” is the middle point between Orlando and Tampa. Filled with coffee shops, restaurants, antique stores and much more, at first I didn’t think much of Lakeland, but then came The Poor Porker: a true hidden gem in the middle of this undiscovered city that became popular on my social media and that’s when I first noticed how charming this city actually is. Mind you, I’m a sucker for small quaint towns, so this was right up my alley to explore. Yet the question still remains: 

 

What’s worth exploring an hour drive away from Orlando?  

 

Since my first visit a few years back, Lakeland has expanded with some dope places that are perfect for a Saturday drive and most importantly, support local and everything this city has to offer.

Let’s begin, shall we? 

EATS 

Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals born and bread Bakehouse

Born and Bread Bakehouse 

Location: 113 Florida Ave S 

This farmer’s market kiosk turned brick and mortar shop is ONLY open Saturdays (8 am-1pm) and Wednesdays evenings (5-10 pm) for an exclusive dinner menu. What does this mean? Open one day a week = LONG lines (the type that goes around the building type of line). Since I got here almost at noon, there were only 3-4 items from their menu available (yeah, it’s THAT good) so the moral of the story? Make it your first stop and try their unique flavors.

I had the everything croissant, the hazelnut cruffin and of course horchata cold brew (which by the way, why have I waited so long to drink horchata!!! No sweetener needed, it was perfect) 

So, what’s the verdict: is it worth the line? Well…HECK YEAH. The cruffin/croissant were so crunchy and well-flavored, I truly couldn’t get enough of it so I could only imagine how amazing everything else is! I mean, people were coming out of the places with BAGS full of baked goods and they’re mostly sold out before they close soooo…that has to tell you something, right?! Definitely a 10/10. 

Other great places to get some good baked goods/desserts

The Poor Porker 

Charlie’s Mini Donuts & Coffee 

The Market at Café Zuppina 

 

COFFEE SHOPS

Although this time I didn’t stop at a coffee shop for my caffeine fix, here are some of the most popular coffee shops worth stopping by:

Concord Coffee 

Black & Brew

Portico Coffeehouse 

Hillcrest Coffee 

Drica’s Favorite Specialty Coffee Boutique 

 

SHOPPING 

One of my favorite things about Lakeland is its growing local business and support! When you visit the downtown area, you’ll visit different stores that embrace local handmade goods and there’s nothing better than supporting an artist that pour their love into their craftsmanship. 

Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals Twenty Seven
Bright and colorful corners of Downtown Lakeland’s newest brick and mortar shop, Twenty Seven

Twenty Seven 

213 E Bay Street 

Jenna is just a ray of sunshine, I have to put it out there ☀️ The artist and newly brick and mortar shop owner just opened her store in the heart of downtown Lakeland and it’s exactly how her feed and products show: joyful, colorful, bright & happy.

I’ve been following her on Instagram since her beginning and website-selling days and I finally got to meet her in person. A handmade goods store carrying a little bit of everything from cards (there’s actually an envelope bar where you can fill the cards with confetti, enough said!), t-shirts and gift wraps, the store is perfectly curated to evoke joy with any item bought.

The coolest part is the fact that not only did she open her store, but showcases other small business owners in her shop, promoting #shopsmall and exposing artists you may or may not know. Only way to find out? Driving to her store! 

 

Some of my favorite spots to shop besides Twenty Seven are:

Scout & Tag

Top Buttons 

Dixieland Market 

Amelia Page 

Copper Tree Boutique 

Lloyd’s of Lakeland 

Downtown Lakeland city guide things to do shopping local business scout and tag
Inside view of Scout & Tag, a store supporting local artists and crafters
Downtown Lakeland city guide things to do shopping local business Twenty one buttons
Trying on clothes at 21 Buttons, a boutique + vintage store supporting charities through each sale
Downtown Lakeland city guide things to do shopping local business scout and tag
Another inside look at Scout & Tag, a shop supporting Lakeland’s artists and crafters

MURAL SPOTS 

If you’re looking to explore murals, Lakeland brings so much color and hidden gems around town; this was actually one of the main reasons I explored Lakeland in the first place. If I were you, pack your 5-6 outfit changes, bring your photographer/tripod/friend and have fun exploring the bold and colorful murals around Swan City.

 Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals revival

The Shops Across the Street 

Artist: Jenna from Twenty Seven 

 Downtown Lakeland Florida city guide things to do murals the shop across the street Twenty Seven Downtown Lakeland Florida city guide things to do murals the shop across the street Twenty Seven Downtown Lakeland Florida city guide things to do murals the shop across the street Twenty Seven

Haus 820 *behind the building*

 Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals downtown haus 820Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals haus 820 downtown

Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals downtown haus 820

Born and Bread Bakehouse

 Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals born and bread Bakehouse Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals born and bread Bakehouse Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals born and bread Bakehouse Lakeland Florida city guide things to do eats shops murals born and bread Bakehouse

*It’s a mural lovers GEM. It carries different walls that are purely Instagram-worthy plus the food is AH-mazing, what more can I girl ask for?! 

Inside: American Dream Neon Sign + Baked in the USA wall 

Back of Building: Orange & Yellow Wall + Wings Wall + Sun and flowers garage door

 

Abstract Art 

Inside Twenty Seven shop 

 Downtown Lakeland Florida city guide things to do local shop Twenty Seven

Revival Mural 

Revival Bar (back of building) 

 Downtown Lakeland city guide things to do murals local business revival bar

Thom Downs’ Antiques

Woman and flowers Wall 

 

And there you have it! A weekend well spent exploring the charming city of Lakeland. I hope you’ll be as surprised and motivated to support all the local shops popping up in Swan City, I’ll see you for the next guide!

 

Stay Colorful,

Gabby 

 

 

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