Two caveats to the recommendations: All recommendations will span a variety of interests and types of trips, from family vacations to a long weekend with a group of guys. In addition, this will focus exclusively on Lakeland. Not to say that nearby destinations and attractions aren't worthwhile, many are, but this quick reference guide is specific to the Tigers home away from home.
Assuming the primary part of your trip is to take in a few Detroit Tigers spring training games, we'll go ahead and assume that's a given. And if you've got the ability and time, we'd highly recommend visiting one of the other parks in the area for a Tigers away game.
In addition, we highly recommend attending a Tigers minor league game on the back fields, and you can find the schedule here:
But beyond the baseball diamond, there's lots to do in the Lakeland area.
Scenic: The Hollis Garden, Downtown Lakeland
The Hollis Garden is a botanical garden set near downtown Lakeland overlooking Lake Mirror. With plenty of architectural masterpieces throughout flower beds and open spaces, it's a great place to spend a relaxing, warm afternoon. There's also a children's playground attached, and many restaurants are in walking distance.
Entertainment: The Lakeland Center
The Lakeland Center
For some indoor entertainment, the Lakeland Center is a performance and convention center situated just outside of downtown. It includes an arena where the Harlem Globetrotters will play on March 6th, as well as a theater for comedic and musical performances. Check out their calendar at the link above for a complete picture of what options are available while you're in town.
Nature: The Circle B Bar Reserve
Circle B Bar Reserve
A former ranch, the reserve is a natural habitat for local wildlife situated on Lake Hancock (there are a lot of lakes in Lakeland, in case you didn't know), including a vast array of birds and alligators. Lynn Henning of the Detroit News just recently did an excellent piece on the area, which you can read here.
Recreation: Cleveland Heights Golf Course
Cleveland Heights Golf Course
Despite being an avid hacker on the links, I've never made it out to a course in Lakeland, but on a nice day off, it's the perfect retreat, especially for a group of guys looking for some more activity. Cleveland Heights is locally owned and is also the annual host of the Detroit Tigers scramble, put on each winter as spring training gets underway.
Musems: Florida Air Museum at Sun ‘n Fun
Florida Air Museum
Part of the Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, air shows are a popular destination activity in Lakeland, and given its heritage for flight dating back to the early 20th century, there's plenty to learn about from a historical perspective. The air shows are great to see if you're in town and can catch one, but the museum is still an adventure worth experiencing.
Like the suggestions? Have one of your own? Looking for something else not mentioned? Head to the Message Boards to chime in with your recommendation or look for something more!
And to see TigsTown's first piece on where to stay, follow the link below: