Known as “the city of oaks and azaleas,” Bartow is the county seat of Polk County, Florida. Incorporated in 1882, Bartow is a beautiful town located along the Peace River that has been able to maintain its small-town feel amidst its continued growth. Ideally placed, Bartow lies between Tampa and Orlando, just south of... Show all »
Known as “the city of oaks and azaleas,” Bartow is the county seat of Polk County, Florida. Incorporated in 1882, Bartow is a beautiful town located along the Peace River that has been able to maintain its small-town feel amidst its continued growth. Ideally placed, Bartow lies between Tampa and Orlando, just south of Lakeland, on State Road 60.
Bartow is the second largest city in Polk County. Bartow’s crossroads include U.S. Highways 17 and 98. Bartow is convenient to two major airports including Orlando International Airport that is sited about one hour from Bartow and Tampa International Airport is located about 48 miles west. The Bartow Shuttle offers 27 stops throughout the city with low-cost fares.
Bartow has many recreational opportunities for the estimated 16,300 people who call Bartow home. The city of Bartow has a gorgeous 18-hole municipal golf course with a driving range and a putting green, two swimming pools, and several parks with playgrounds and ball fields. Bartow has local lakes that are known for great bass fishing. The Art Guild and Imperial Symphony Orchestra provide cultural activities throughout the year.
A contender in 2007 for Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live, Bartow has 10 movie theaters and 712 restaurants located within 15 miles of the city and 86 public golf courses located within 30 miles. The residents of Bartow have many local shopping choices including the Bartow Center, Golden Gate Shopping Center, Wal-Mart Shopping Plaza, and Bartow Village. Bartow is less than 50 miles from many well-known attractions including Disney World, Universal Studios, Bush Gardens, and Cypress Gardens.
Named after General Francis Bartow, the first Confederate officer to die in the Civil War, Bartow is Polk County’s second oldest city. This small southern town is a true mixture of traditional and urban. Bartow has many old large brick or frame houses set among a scene of towering oaks. Bartow has many choices in housing including apartments, condos, single-family homes, and mobile home parks.
Part of the Polk County Public School System, Bartow has four public elementary schools, two public middle schools, and one high school. Bartow also has one career academy for grades 7-12, one public special education center, three private elementary schools, and one private school for grades kindergarten through ninth grade. There are seven colleges, universities, and professional schools sited within 30 miles of Bartow including Florida Southern College in Lakeland that boasts Frank Lloyd Wright architecture.