If you are new to Lakeland, Florida, one of the first places you should visit is the revitalized downtown area known as the Munn Park district. A hub of activity for shopping and dining from the late 19th century to about 1989, the streets adjacent to and surrounding Munn Park fell silent as much of the area’s shopping and dining moved north toward the expanding area around the I-4 Interstate.
Today, however, the downtown Lakeland area around Munn Park is alive and thriving. There’s shopping, dining, and entertainment to fit nearly every taste and every budget. If you’re in the market to purchase of Lakeland real estate, and you’re wondering what areas to consider, you’d be well served to take a look at some of the homes for sale within easy driving distance of Munn Park. Trust me, come Saturday morning – the short trek to Mitchell’s for breakfast and coffee will be a pleasure!
Munn Park – A Brief History
Established in 1884, Munn Park served as the town square for Munn’s Subdivision, which was Lakeland’s first. Sometime later, Abraham Munn, for whom the area was named, dedicated the entire block as a “Public Square” that remains in public ownership today.
In 1989 the park underwent a redesign to amplify the character of the Munn Park Historic District that surrounds it . The new look took the park back to the more simplistic “Town Square Era,” which is more in line with its historic beginnings.
Enjoy Shopping, Dining and More
The revitalization of the Munn Park Historic District has brought about a lot of changes to the area. If you’re in the neighborhood and enjoy shopping, dining, and a wide choice of casual hang out spots, then you’ll be very happy with what Mun Park has to offer.
All told, there are some 50 shops and restaurants in the downtown Lakeland area. I suppose we here in the Lakeland area all have our favorite shops, cafes, and restaurants. I’ll share a few of mine here, and I encourage you to visit them!
Mitchell’s Coffee House
Mitchell’s Coffe House, located at 235 North Kentucky Ave, was founded by the Harvey’s (Mitchell is their son) in 1998 to fill a much needed void in the community for an honest to goodness local coffee house. From the outset, Mitchell’s has featured local artists with live music on the weekends and original artwork in the store.
The menu at Mitchell’s is pretty amazing. Everything is handmade, and it’s all gourmet quality. You can find gourmet coffees, pastries, and killer breakfast sandwiches.
Each morning Mitchell’s is filled with an eclectic mix of local residents, business people, college students and out-of-towners all enjoying the cozy atmosphere and friendly service. The Polk Netizens group, a collective of local Polk County, Florida social media enthusiasts, can often be found at Mitchell’s on Saturday mornings.
Photo Credit – Hyku on Flickr
Brooke Pottery is one of the most amazing local Lakeland area shops I know of. Though Brooke Pottery is a local treasure, they carry a wide variety of contemporary American artists’ work in clay, glass, wood and metal.
I love to just wander in and see what’s new on their shelves. It’s always a wonderful experience – as Brooke Pottery continues its reputation for celebrating imagination and fine craftsmanship.
These are just a few of the local places that make owning a piece of Lakeland real estate so very special. I hope you take time to visit all of the shops and stores that Downtown Lakeland has to offer.
Photo Credit: Brooke Pottery Website