Named Georgia’s Historical Mural City, the small town of Lakeland has more than 30 life-size murals throughout the downtown. Commissioned by a local resident, the murals provide a glimpse into the community’s history when it was once known as Milltown.
A self-guided tour provides the real-life stories behind each painting. In addition, visitors can opt for a printed map, available at the Lakeland-Lanier County Chamber of Commerce office, or use their smartphone to scan a QR code.
On the first Saturday in April, Lakeland hosts the Milltown Motorcade, where car enthusiasts show off antique vehicles.
Banks Lake is located at the edge of Lakeland’s western city limits on GA 122 (ED Rivers Memorial Highway) and is open seven days a week. The concession store, boat rental, and tackle shop are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
Part of a natural basin, Banks Lake formed when a stream was dammed to make a sawmill. Of the 4,049 acres, approximately 1,000 acres is open water. The remainder consists of marsh, hardwood swamp, and uplands.
Established as a National Wildlife Refuge in 1985, more than 20,000 people visit Banks Lake each year. A popular location for kayakers, cancers, and fishermen wanting to view great blue herons, sandhill cranes, osprey, wood storks, and alligators that inhabit the area.
Lakeland’s waterway experience continues with the Alapaha River Watershed that joins Bank Lakes with Grand Bay in Lowndes County and the Carolina Bays in Atkinson County. This blackwater river flows below bald cypress trees along with longleaf, slash and loblolly pines, and oak trees.