We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Very nice place for seniors and families”
Review of Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens
Ranked #1 of 34 things to do in Lake Wales
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Explore the landscaped gardens of Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. and one of Florida’s natural habitats on the Pine Ridge Trail. You can also discover the history of Edward W. Bok and the building of his 205 foot Singing Tower and tour the historic Pinewood Estate mansion to catch a glimpse of the luxurious lifestyle of the 1930s. Enjoy the all new Children's Garden, Edible Garden and Outdoor Kitchen and Wild Garden. Visitor Center includes exhibits on the life of Edward Bok and the Carillon. Enjoy a healthy meal at the Blue Palmetto Cafe and take home a memento from the Tower shop.
Reviewed October 1, 2012

This was my third time visiting Bok Tower, first time in 2005 with my mother, who loved all the greenery, the water and the nature. I smile even now when I remember how much she enjoyed herself. The last time I went was this weekend with my family and we choose the wrong month, September with all the sunshine is still to hot to walk around and enjoy the huge landscraped areas. The gardens were just as impressive as I remembered them and also liked that there were always plenty of benches for seating if one becomes tired. Didn't go into Pinewood Estates to view the mansion because never liked the fact that it's an extra charge and we would rather spend our money in the Cafe for lunch. The gift shop is a little pricey, so didn't buy anything there, but r'cd postcard for filling out a survey. Will visit again between Nov - March, not so hot then.

Thank Freda M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (1,869)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"bok tower"
in 359 reviews
"pinewood estate"
in 210 reviews
"children's garden"
in 76 reviews
"gift shop"
in 138 reviews
"carillon concert"
in 58 reviews
"highest point"
in 66 reviews
"visitor's center"
in 40 reviews
"orange groves"
in 70 reviews
"blue palmetto cafe"
in 24 reviews
"central florida"
in 128 reviews
"full bloom"
in 21 reviews
"koi fish"
in 20 reviews
"hear the bells"
in 19 reviews
"peaceful place"
in 27 reviews
"welcome center"
in 22 reviews
"iron mountain"
in 22 reviews
"house tour"
in 28 reviews

1,618 - 1,622 of 1,869 reviews

Reviewed October 1, 2012

This is a beautiful and peaceful place to visit. Not the easiest place to find but it is signposted. It's the highest spot in Florida and the views from the vista point out of the orange groves is beautiful. It was affected by a big hurricane not so many years ago and a lot of the trees were lost but these are now starting to grow again and fill out the gaps. The gardens aren't perhaps what we (in England) may expect from a gardens, not so many flower areas although the ones that exist are lovely. It is mostly trees of various sorts. There are a lot of different paths to take but be aware they can take you off the beaten track and on some long walks. The highlight has to be the pink marble tower - it is breathtaking. You need to look up at the carvings on it. The carillion bells play different tunes and you are given a timetable when you enter the site. Take time to sit and relax and listen. If you go after Thanksgiving add in the visit to the plantation house which is decorated for the season. When we visited each room was designed by a different local company and they were fantastic. The cafe is also good and reasonably priced. Well worth a visit.

Thank Jeanette D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 1, 2012 via mobile

Located south of Orlando, FL, the Bok Tower Gardens began as the creation of Edward Bok, the editor of Ladies Home Journal in 1921. He and his wife wanted to create a bird sanctuary and picked a spot on the highest hill in Florida, an area they spent winters near.
They brought on a landscape architect who planted1,000 live oak trees, 10,000 azaleas, 100 Sabah palms, 300 magnolias and 500 gordonias bushes , plus blueberry and holly plants!
Visiting this site is relaxing , peaceful and beautiful year round, but easpecially in spring (march/April ), when blooms are at their peak.
Check out the Singing tower, with it's beautiful bell carillon. This can be heard through the gardens . Check with assistants for daily concert schedule.
Great spots for walking, sitting, picnics, and appreciating nature.
Keep an eye out for the beautiful swans in the waters surrounding the Bok Tower. We saw cranes and all kinds of bird varieties the day we visited.

Thank Brewer4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 29, 2012

I went on museum day..and Bok Tower had 11 opther special groups. Nonetheless my visit was flawless. The volunteer told me EXACTLY waht to see on the map, and how to get there and back. She optimized the trip...and because seeing the nine minute video is the best way to start...she said she would announce when the next movie started in the exhibit room..so visitors can make the most of their time and check exhibits while they waited for four minutes.

I was only there an hour..and had a great visit. (The bare minimum time to take in the move, go to the window, the tower, stroll around the lake and enjoy the overlook).

There were lots of path options, many benches to sit throughout..and lovely shaded semi-private spots to enjoy.

There were kids feeding the fish.

Mostly there were many lovely spots. The water lily pads were spectacular.

It was very nice. I wish I lived closer..I would buy an annual pass and come back often. I would love to just sit and read a book by the lake.

Thank Foxes999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed September 24, 2012

My partner and I went to Bok Towers Gardens on a sunny September Sunday. I was not at all crowded, and we enjoyed the quiet trails and lovely flowers. Every half hour, we enjoyed a quiet song from the carillon. The lily pads in the pond were unlike any I have ever seen before! Topping off the pleasure, we decided to have a cold drink before driving home. We ended up sitting for an hour, as the park had invited a dulcimer player and a man who played fiddle/banjo/guitar. Their mix of Celtic and Appalachian tunes was a perfect ending to a lovely weekend!

1  Thank Jody M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Bok Tower Gardens also viewed

Lake Wales, Central Florida
Lake Wales, Central Florida
Lake Wales, Central Florida

Been to Bok Tower Gardens? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing