Travel Guide to Visit Bartow Florida



Do you know that sometimes you just need to get away from it all? Well, Bartow Florida is the perfect place for that. It’s a small town with big city amenities and lots to do.

From restaurants and shops to parks and museums, there is something for everyone in this little piece of paradise.

If you’re interested in visiting this beautiful part of the country, keep reading our travel guide on what to do when you arrive! We’ll have all your questions answered about things like where to stay or what to do. So, let’s dive in!

About Bartow Florida

Bartow is a hidden gem, with many family-owned antique shops, historic buildings, and charm.

It’s also steeped in history, from museums to the Polk County Museum of Art and Genealogical Library. The city is located in Polk County, in central Florida, between the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast of the state.

Bartow was founded in the 1850s and is named for a Confederate Army officer who was one of the first Southerners to die in the Civil War.

The city and its surrounding areas are home to a wealth of historic buildings, quaint Southern charm, and classic architecture.

Things to do in Bartow, Florida

There are all kinds of things to do and places to go in Bartow, Florida. There are a variety of activities for the whole family, like taking a walk in the city park or biking on the Hancock Lake Canal Trail.

Other activities include fishing on Lake Hancock, having fun at the local amusement parks, golfing at one of Bartow’s beautiful golf courses, and catching a baseball game at the historic Bartow Stadium.

Visit the Barto Market

As we stated above, Bartow has many family activities that you can enjoy. One of the most popular Bartow Florida family activities is going to the Bartow Flea Market.

The flea market features some of the best antiques, jewelry, and crafts in the state. It’s a great place for bargain hunters to find hidden treasures.

Lake Hancock Fishing

Lake Hancock is an artificial fishery that has been in Bartow, Florida since 1948. Lake Hancock is home to many species of fish including tilapia, largemouth bass, bream, crappie, rainbow trout, and more.

The lake also has a number of freshwater habitats including submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), emergent vegetation, and floating plants.

Bike the Lake Hancock Canal Trail

What makes Bartow so unique are the hidden gems, small town charm, and southern hospitality. One of the city’s hidden gems is the Hancock Lake Canal Trail, a scenic biking trail that connects Bartow to Lake Wales.

The Bartow-Lake Wales section is 12 miles long starting at Lake Hancock and continuing through Polk County until it ends at Lake Wales. It’s a perfect way for cyclists to enjoy the scenic views of this area of ​​Florida!

To ride a horse

There are many opportunities for horseback riding in Barto. Two places to ride horses in Bartow, Florida are Polo Ranch in Bartow and Lake Hancock Stables.

The Polo Ranch in Bartow is dedicated to providing its visitors with an authentic polo experience. They offer hourly lessons, group tours, private instruction, as well as summer camps.

Lake Hancock Stables offers plenty of horse riding activities including trail rides, pony rides, playgrounds and more.

Visit local amusement parks

There are a variety of amusement parks that you can visit in the area.

One of Bartow Florida’s amusement parks is called Heritage Square, which is located at Vine Street and Highway 27.

Another amusement park is Bay County’s Adventure Island, which features three rides: the Wet ‘N Wild Splash Park for younger kids, the Boomerang Safari for older kids, and the Wild River Ride for all ages.

Shop in the Historic Center

The historic center offers many small shops and also has a number of restaurants that you can visit to enjoy an afternoon break with food and drinks.

You will find a wide variety of antique shops, boutiques, clothing stores, souvenir shops, bars, restaurants and more!

Experience the Heritage Square

Bartow’s Heritage Square is just two blocks south of Bartow’s Main Street entertainment district. The historic square is made up of brick buildings featuring classical architectural designs.

Some of the city’s most famous buildings are located in Heritage Square, including the former First National Bank of Bartow, now a dance studio, and the Old Bartow Library-City Hall. Heritage Square’s origins date back to 1865 when Polk County was established.

Play golf

If you’re looking for a fun way to spend the afternoon, you can head to the putting green. One golf course that is located in the heart of Bartow’s historic town square is Bartow Golf Course.

Bartow Golf Course has a 9-hole par 3 course with high and low tees, as well as a regulation-length 18-hole course with mounds and bunkers.

The golf course features historic buildings like the Polk County Courthouse and its original jail cell. It’s a common scene to see Bartow golfers claim their golf ball at the top of the courthouse steps overlooking Bartow’s historic square.

Visit the Polk County Genealogy Library and Museum

One of Bartow’s hidden gems is the Polk County Genealogy Library and Museum, which was established in 1977. The museum contains information on historic photographs from Bartow’s past, as well as historical documents dating back to Bartow’s incorporation in 1844. .

The Bartow Florida Museum also presents genealogy information and operates a research library with more than 25,000 genealogy books. Visit the historic Bartow Genealogical Library and Museum for a fun way to spend the afternoon and learn more about the city!

Go to a baseball game at Bartow Stadium

Bartow is home to Bartow Florida’s only professional sports team, Baseball. The baseball team has been playing in Bartow, Florida since 1920 and is now a member of the Southern League.

Bartow Stadium, built in 1952, currently seats 4,000 and features an original field from the 1950s.

Bartow’s baseball team often plays at Bartow Stadium, but also plays select games at their spring training facility in Kissimmee, Florida.

Driving Directions to Bartow, Florida

Bartow is located between Orlando and Tampa. If you’re coming from Orlando or Tampa, Bartow is about a 70 minute drive.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Bartow Florida

The weather is best between November and March, when Bartow has the lowest rainfall.

If you plan to visit in the winter, Bartow’s average temperatures are more tolerable than in the summer, and the city has the least amount of rainfall.


Bartow Florida is a hidden gem in the South that many people don’t know about. The quaint little town features classic architecture and southern charm.

It’s also steeped in history with historic buildings to explore such as the Polk County Museum of Art and Genealogical Library.

If you are looking for a new and exciting place to visit this year, you must visit Bartow, Florida! We hope you have enjoyed our travel guide, happy travels!

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