Bartow

This little piece of Florida, located between Tampa and Orlando and just south of Lakeland, the “City of Oaks and Azaleas.” And that tells you a lot of what you need to know about Bartow, a gentle hideaway. In fact, a self-guided walking tour passes some of Bartow’s grandest structures and ancient oaks, pretty azaleas and dogwoods. Bartow is a land of lakes and citrus groves; of friendly, family-owned antique shops and welcoming bed and breakfasts; an historic courthouse and the embedded Polk County Museum of Art and Genealogical Library. Bartow also is the home of the annual Bloomin’ Arts Festival.