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After spending decades in the north, raising their children and shoveling snow, they knew they wanted to retire someplace warm -- the question was where. It had to be somewhere quiet, but close enough to parks and attractions for when the grandkids came to visit. They both wanted to live on the water. He loved to fish, and she liked to take photos of the herons and cranes that waded in the lake. Sipping wine and holding hands on their deck over looking Lake Deeson, they both knew they had made the right choice. Lake Deeson in West Central Florida has everything they wanted: It is a quiet residential lake with all the history and amenities of Polk County. Less than an hour from Orlando, Disney, Sea World and Bush Gardens, it is the perfect home base for the rest of their family's vacations.
Lake Deeson is located east of the City of Lakeland. It is a closed basin lake with no outflow, and it receives its water primarily from rainfall and storm water runoff. As a result, water levels can fluctuate significantly. In the past homes were built too close to what was actually part of the lake bed, resulting in flooding when water levels rose. To alleviate the problem, Polk County constructed a pumping system in the late 1990's to send excess water to nearby Lake Parker. During periods of drought, the receding shoreline closes the public boat ramp, but water levels rise again with sustained rainfall.
Even during dry periods, Lake Deeson fishing is still quite good with anglers pulling out of the lake speckled perch up to 14 inches long. Lake Deeson is also a good bass lake, and the bluegill are prevalent. Access to the lake is usually from a boat ramp managed by the Polk County Leisure Services. Lower water levels mean boaters must use caution, but the birds don't seem to mind at all. Lake Deeson is ringed with residential development, and there are several lakefront communities with real estate for sale.
Lake Deeson is one of over 550 lakes in Polk County, which is also home to the Winter Haven Chain of Lakes. There are thousands of acres of water nearby for fishing, boating and water skiing. The City of Lakeland alone has 38 named lakes ranging in size from 2.5-acre Lake Branton to 2,272-acre Lake Parker. Lakeland is only 45 minutes from Orlando, but it retains a small town charm reminiscent of Old Florida picture postcards.
Part of the area's charm comes courtesy of Bok Tower Gardens. Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. for Ladies Home Journal Editor, Edward Bok, and his wife Mary, the gardens are now a National Historic Landmark. Along with the gardens and nature observatory, there is a 205-foot tall Neo Gothic, Art Deco singing tower. Designed by architect, Milton B. Medary, and built by stone sculptor, Lee Lawrie, the tower houses a 60 bell carillon. Bok Tower Gardens were dedicated in 1929 by President Calvin Coolidge and are open to the public for tours.
Lakeland has shops, restaurants and museums including the Polk Museum of Art. Started in 1968 by volunteers, the museum celebrates dance, music and art. Accommodations in Lakeland range from bed and breakfasts to cottages, and Polk County has an abundance of waterfront vacation rentals.
Sprawling across central Florida to the north of Lake Deeson, the Green Swamp Wildlife Management Area occupies 50,692 acres between Tampa and Orlando. Comprised of bay swamps, shrub bogs and cypress swamps, the wildlife area covers parts of Lake, Polk and Sumter Counties and is home to alligators, armadillos, feral hogs and white-tailed deer. There is hunting in season for deer, hogs and turkeys, and trails for hiking cross the area.
Lake Deeson is a quiet lake in the middle of everything. Its proximity to all the attractions of Orlando and the wildlife of the Green Swamp make it a perfect home base for a variety of day trips. Polk County and the surrounding area, however, have more than enough activities and attractions to keeps visitors and residents as busy as they choose to be. Together they combine to make Lake Deeson a fantastic West Central Florida vacation destination and year-round home.
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