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Old 08-16-2010, 08:55 PM
 
1 posts, read 4,619 times
Reputation: 12
Unhappy Polk County, FL Someoen tell me more about it

I am considering moving from IL to the Polk County area and want to learn a little bit more before making my final decision....can someone help me PLEASE!!! I need to find out about crime, things to do, housing, demographics...etc... I checked out all the websites I could, but I need to hear it from someone that knows more about it.....so can someone help me out.
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:17 PM
 
Location: Atlanta, GA
386 posts, read 478,502 times
Reputation: 231
Polk County - Slow and quiet compared to the neighboring counties of Hillsborough (Tampa) and Orange (Orlando) but close enough to find whatever may be missing in Polk County. Major roads are I-4, Toll 570, US 98, US 92, US 27, SR 60.

Housing - Cheap, cheap, cheap. You can find great bargains if you are looking to buy. Renting is a totally different situation as there aren't that many rental properties in the metro.

Crime - Moderate but it depends on what kinds of crime you can tolerate. Florida Department of Law Enforcement - 2009 Figures

Demographics - population approximately 580,000 with the largest city being Lakeland (pop 95K).

Polk County Visitors Portal - If you can't find exactly what you need here, there are plenty of people (myself included) that will be happy to fill in the gaps. This area includes links to various tidbits of information about the county as well as the cities within Polk County.

Things to Do - VisitCentralFlorida.org - Lists most of the activities available in the county. However, events within the municipalities may not be covered here (ie. festivals, parades, movies on the park). At any rate it would be beneficial to check out the calendars for various cities to see what may have slipped under the radar.

I will update more tomorrow but just wanted to give you a little bit to get started.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:05 AM
 
Location: Tampa
2,602 posts, read 4,393,990 times
Reputation: 1434
I like Polk. There are a lot of sleepy little towns, orange groves, and old Florida charm. Parts of it are like stepping into a timewarp.
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Old 08-17-2010, 06:58 AM
 
10,153 posts, read 16,325,935 times
Reputation: 7908
I love Polk County. Lived in Lakeland for two years. It has a lot of vintage charm. I haven't been to all the towns in Polk, but the Lakeland/Winter Haven/Auburndale region is my favorite, and Lake Wales is a charming little town, also. Lots of beautiful lakes in Polk, you feel almost like you are on the coast. Abundant wildlife, and natural beauty. Lakeland is very community and civic minded, with a renovated downtown and lots of parks and recreation.

Housing is cheap, and also because the area is not a coastal vacation town, it lives like a real town without so many snowbirds and vacationers.

Well, this is a start for you. You need to narrow down your questions a bit more - where will you be working, do you have kids, what is your budget, etc.
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Old 08-17-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Florida
557 posts, read 1,151,532 times
Reputation: 499
Quote:
Originally Posted by etp83 View Post
I am considering moving from IL to the Polk County area and want to learn a little bit more before making my final decision....can someone help me PLEASE!!! I need to find out about crime, things to do, housing, demographics...etc... I checked out all the websites I could, but I need to hear it from someone that knows more about it.....so can someone help me out.
You can do better than Polk County, don't sell yourself short like that. You really need to research the area and visit Polk and I think you'll find that it is not a very nice place to live. The county is nicknamed Poke County because of it's backwards ways. Backwards meaning Jerry Springer like white trash inhabitants that are full of hate and intolerance towards others who are different from them. You'll be in for quite a culture shock coming from Illinois.

The crime in Polk is high due to the tremendous drug problem and high unemployment that plagues the county. Stores here get robbed pretty regularly so always be on the guard when out shopping. Always lock your house, car, and keep all valuables out of site as property thefts are extremely high. Always be aware of your surroundings and you should be ok during daylight hours.

As for housing yes this area is more affordable than other areas of Florida and that tends to bring in more shady characters. Sex offenders also flock into Polk County in alarming numbers. Luckily the Sheriff's office keeps a really close eye on them.


The positive thing about Polk County is the many beautiful parks, lakes, and wildlife that inhabit the area. I really enjoy getting out in nature here and experiencing the REAL Florida. If you enjoy fishing, boating, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, nature etc you'll never run out of things to do in Polk County. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the area. Still the bad far outweighs the good imho.

Some people move to Polk County and absolutely love it but many leave the first chance they get. The area is extremely transient and many new residents do not stay long. Out of all the wonderful areas of Florida to choose I don't understand why anyone would ever even consider Polk County.

You were correct in putting in the frown smiley, just the thought of moving to Polk County should make anyone sad. Cheer up you are not in
Polk County yet. Spend some time here and you'll see what I am talking about.

FYI- I'm referring to the Lakeland/Winter Haven/Auburndale/Bartow area of Polk County. I have zero experience in Eastern and Southern Polk County so maybe those areas are different.
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Old 02-13-2011, 02:29 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,481 times
Reputation: 11
Default I agree with Lakeland Yankee, you can do better!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakeland Yankee View Post
You can do better than Polk County, don't sell yourself short like that. You really need to research the area and visit Polk and I think you'll find that it is not a very nice place to live. The county is nicknamed Poke County because of it's backwards ways. Backwards meaning Jerry Springer like white trash inhabitants that are full of hate and intolerance towards others who are different from them. You'll be in for quite a culture shock coming from Illinois.

The crime in Polk is high due to the tremendous drug problem and high unemployment that plagues the county. Stores here get robbed pretty regularly so always be on the guard when out shopping. Always lock your house, car, and keep all valuables out of site as property thefts are extremely high. Always be aware of your surroundings and you should be ok during daylight hours.

As for housing yes this area is more affordable than other areas of Florida and that tends to bring in more shady characters. Sex offenders also flock into Polk County in alarming numbers. Luckily the Sheriff's office keeps a really close eye on them.


The positive thing about Polk County is the many beautiful parks, lakes, and wildlife that inhabit the area. I really enjoy getting out in nature here and experiencing the REAL Florida. If you enjoy fishing, boating, hiking, biking, wildlife viewing, nature etc you'll never run out of things to do in Polk County. I sort of have a love/hate relationship with the area. Still the bad far outweighs the good imho.

Some people move to Polk County and absolutely love it but many leave the first chance they get. The area is extremely transient and many new residents do not stay long. Out of all the wonderful areas of Florida to choose I don't understand why anyone would ever even consider Polk County.

You were correct in putting in the frown smiley, just the thought of moving to Polk County should make anyone sad. Cheer up you are not in
Polk County yet. Spend some time here and you'll see what I am talking about.

FYI- I'm referring to the Lakeland/Winter Haven/Auburndale/Bartow area of Polk County. I have zero experience in Eastern and Southern Polk County so maybe those areas are different.
I have to agree with the above post, I too am from NY and have been here for 20 years. When I first came here it was a wonderful, sleepy little town with a lot of charm and very affordable real estate, abundant in wildlife. Fast forward 10 years later, and the housing boom began, people began pouring in like crazy, the poor wildlife started being dispersed, and it started feeling like a fast growing town. Alot of stores and strip malls popping up here and there too much development at a fast pace. One negative thing I have to note is being from NY I am used to diverse cultures and populations. I have to say, I DID NOT get a warm reception here from some of the local yokels. My family and I are hispanics and very americanized and we still faced some racial tensions and remarks. We have a lot of minority friends who also agree with that as well. Polk Co. has alot of the "good ole boy" network going on and they are not shy about voicing their opinions about the northern influence moving in...i.e., blacks, hispanics, etc...etc.

There, I've said it, that's my piece; and yes, we are moving out to the Carolinas as soon as we can sell our house in this horrible economy which has hit Polk Co. really bad. Bad unemployment, bad housing market, and we still have not recovered financially from the three hurricanes that hit us several years ago (Jeanne, Frances, and Charlie).
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:38 PM
 
15 posts, read 28,478 times
Reputation: 38
I live in Polk County (Auburndale actually) & I have been here all my life & I'm trying to get out. Jobs are few & far between. Public transportation sucks. Crime rates are going up & over all it's just not the same anymore.

If your moving here, you better have a job lined up first. I have been looking since getting laid off in November & nothing. The really good jobs are in Orlando & Tampa & you have to drive there as there is no other transportation. Drive to both major cities is about a 45 min to 1 hr drive.

Good luck.
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Old 06-07-2011, 06:40 PM
 
15 posts, read 28,478 times
Reputation: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Native NYer View Post
My family and I are hispanics and very americanized and we still faced some racial tensions and remarks. We have a lot of minority friends who also agree with that as well. Polk Co. has alot of the "good ole boy" network going on and they are not shy about voicing their opinions about the northern influence moving in...i.e., blacks, hispanics, etc...etc.
I agree. Polk County is full of hicks/red necks. There are alot of blacks & Hispanics but they are not treated well at all.
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Old 06-07-2011, 09:30 PM
 
1,377 posts, read 2,638,043 times
Reputation: 951
Polk county and now it seems Sanford are really going down the toilet lately, you can thank all the uneducated "thuggy" wannabes for the decline. Thank God they all seem to kill themselves off sooner or later.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:36 PM
 
6 posts, read 29,361 times
Reputation: 14
I currently live in East Lakeland (Eaton Park)... but I have lived in Haines City, Winter Haven (Inwood) and Highland City. (Also Tampa, Orlando and Cocoa.. but you didn't ask about other places)

I am in the process of moving to NW Montana. But, here are my 2 cents.

1. Poor infrastructure. - The area has grown too fast.The cities still have much of the same infrastructure it has for years. The road system alone can barely handle the extra traffic. The Polk Parkway, and extension of Bartow Rd helped only a little bit.

2. When I moved here 14 years ago.. there was a small town feel. Now it is an urban + suburban sprawl. Even most of the Orange Groves are gone, except in certain locations on the outer edges of the core urban area.

3. Crime - Crime is prevalent throughout the county, and getting much worse. I went from being someone that would never buy a firearm, to carrying everywhere I go. I also keep it handy in my home. I have had two different apartments burglarized.. one in the midst of a home invasion spree in WH. My current home has had attempted burglaries, but they got chased off by Wild Pigs. My parents have had 3 cars stolen out of local hospital parking lots (both LRMC and WHH) in the last year.

4. Jobs - While some companies are moving into the area.. it is still not a location with tons of jobs.

5. The people - Most of the people... natives or otherwise, are not friendly. Natives resent the large-scale influx of people. The transplants tend to view anyone that has been here 1 or more years longer than them as bumpkins. A large portion of the people are also the reason why crime is so high.

6. Schools - They suck. With the exception of colleges, which I would say hit the OK mark.

Are there things I like? Sure...

I actually enjoy going to Polk State College.

It's conveniently located to all of Central Florida.. but it would be better if the roads could handle the traffic.

Some beautiful swamps, ridge scrubland, hills, lakes, rivers...

Downtown Lakeland has actually improved. Makes the city look nicer than it actually is. Some parts of town are nice, others... complete wastes of space. Combee Rd, Fish Hatchery Rd, MLK Jr, Wabash, Kathleen, Galloway and W 10th St. areas I tend to dislike.... Lakeland Highlands/Clubhouse Rd/Bartow Rd/South Lakeland, Edgewood Blvd, Downtown Historic, West Lakeland areas I tend to tolerate.
I do enjoy the phosphate mining region.. Bartow, Mulberry, Ft. Meade.
Highland City is probably the most improved community in the entire county. It was once a drug-infested ink spot. Now it is a commercial nexus in between LKD and BTW.
The area north of Lakeland and near Polk City.. I also enjoy. I like hiking the Green Swamp.

On the other side of the county, I only like Haines City. Lake Wales is OK, as long as you stay out of the ghetto.
Winter Haven, Lake Alfred, Eagle Lake and Auburndale I am not fans of, although Auburndale is getting better.
Lake Hamilton, Davenport and Dundee are easy to miss.
Wahneta is a dung-heap, as is Inwood.
I've actually never been to Frostproof or Poinciana.

Recommended visitation -
Circle B Bar Reserve
Green Swamp
Gun Shows
Peace River (the river, not the psychiatric facilities)
Saddle Creek
Lake Wales Ridge area
Reclaimed Wetlands in the phosphate region
Anywhere you can see swans or alligators. Generally they keep the lakes with swans on them gator-free.

Last edited by ScotttheViking; 06-09-2011 at 10:41 PM..
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