• maggie seibert

Run, Don’t Walk to One of the Most Colorful Cities Around

The colorful, yummy, beautiful adventures to be found in the land with the lakes is completely worth it. Allow me to convince you of why.

What attracts you to a destination? Is it the food? Or the night life? Or the ventures and sight seeing?

Lakeland had long been on my list of places to visit. Sitting about an hour away from my home in sunny Dunedin, I knew the circumstances had to be just right for me to dedicate a day to heading that way. Benny was in town and who else would I want to spend the day with? Check! But for some odd reason, we took Wrigley Knox that way with us, my 70 pound beast of a Standard Poodle. Buckle up, buddy.

Music, chats, checking on the pup, we made it to the side streets of Lakeland to park in the two hour free parking. Booyah. What we didn't know was that we were stumbling upon a local market that spanned blocks and blocks and blocks. It was insane.

If you're planning a trip to Lakeland, try to make it when the Lakeland Downtown Farmers Curb Market is taking place, on Saturdays from 8 am to 2 pm. The market takes place on the streets bordering Munn Park on Kentucky & Pine. Scouting local markets is a fantastic way to get a feel for the community you're visiting and a chance to connect with the neighbors amongst the bustle.

There are plenty of cutie brick and mortars scattered about the streets of Lakeland in the sea of the market vendors, make sure not to miss Scout & Tag. This unique shop is one of those beauties you could spend hours in simply wandering around. Scout & Tag's love of local is displayed in their products, many of which celebrate the Lakeland culture. Mugs, candles, frames, earrings, sweaters, bags, there is an abundance of special elements that make up Scout & Tag. And to be honest, I am a sucker for anything that leads with the word 'Scout.'

The main siren beckoning me to Lakeland was Twenty Seven. Twenty Seven is a paper goods store owned and created by a gal named Jenna O'Brien while she was attending college. Having a difficult time processing the throws of mental illness, Twenty Seven was Jenna's way of creating amidst the chaos of her mind. Twenty Seven's advocacy for mental health has not slowed down a bit since she launched which connects my heart to her mission and values so well.

What can you experience between the walls of Twenty Seven? Whimsy, color, and hope fill the air. Twenty Seven's products go unmatched from what I've laid eyes on before. Jenna sells the cutest prints, greeting cards, buildable notebooks from scratch to suit your fancy, and stickers. She doesn't stop with stationary though, her foot is on the gas for all things home and living. Twenty Seven boasts of beautiful candles, wall hangers, mugs, bath bombs, perfume rollers, pillows, and more.

If I haven't sold you yet, Twenty Seven also sells their own tea line and the brick and mortar shop is complete with the most amazing tea bar. Order a unique drink from the counter and pick one of the most adorable chairs to sit in, to sip alongside a loved one.

Is Lakeland a quick skip and a hop away? Or is it miles and miles across the country? Whatever the case, you should follow Twenty Seven on Instagram, for encouragement and for all things hope and yellow.

After window shopping or scoring your new favorite trinket, you may hear grumbling in your tumbling, aka maybe you're hungry.

Have no fear! The Joinery is the cutest place to grab some lunch. The Joinery boasts of multiple food vendors, set up like Armature Works if you're a Tampa native and are familiar with the industrial and communal food court set up. There is inside seating galore but outside seating as well so your pup can enjoy all the views.

Have your choice of sushi, pizza, street tacos, ice cream, ramen, burgers and fries, craft beer, cocktails, and wine, and Mediterranean eats. The best thing about all these options is that it's not a Golden Corral buffet. Instead, the shops are individually ran and producing the highest quality of their specialty.

The aesthetic is adorable, light, airy, and welcoming. It's the perfect place to hangout after a day of leisurely shopping with your loved ones.

After eating the lunch of your dreams, there's a little yellow crosswalk that will take you across the street to a huge lake, hence the name, I assume, Lakeland. Take your pup and the hand of your boo and walk steps and steps around this massive waterfront. Like Ben tells me sometimes, it's not good to go sedentary after eating, so walk we will.

Have you ever been to Lakeland? What were your favorite spots? I still have a few on my hit list, I'd love to see. I'd love to experience the magic of Concord Coffee, Hillcrest Coffee, the Poor Porker, what about you?


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