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“Beautiful, Peaceful Historic Bell Tower Park and Gardens - Go to Pinewood Estate at Christmastime”
Review of Bok Tower Gardens

Bok Tower Gardens
Ranked #1 of 34 things to do in Lake Wales
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Melbourne, Florida
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 96 helpful votes
“Beautiful, Peaceful Historic Bell Tower Park and Gardens - Go to Pinewood Estate at Christmastime”
Reviewed December 1, 2013

We have been here a dozen times or so over the years. We are never disappointed. The gardens and tower are well maintained. The bell music is beautiful. You get a brochure with all the live concerts and songs played. There is a nice little bistro there with good food. The gift shop is well stocked too. They have outdoor concerts there sometimes. You MUST GO at Christmastime to see the decorated Pinewood Estate. The decorations get better every year. I agree with the other reviewer that the Peacock room is best and most unique in the house. We always have picnic lunch in front by the tables. You can bring a bible or other book for a peacefull afternoon. Get there early before crowds get bigger although they are never too bad. What a wonderful place!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank jbaron02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Beautiful gardens! Wonderful vistas! Old historical Florida !”
Reviewed November 30, 2013 via mobile

Worth a day trip if you are in central Florida. The bell tower is amazing. (You can not go inside unless you are a sustaining member.) We took the holiday tour of the estate. The Peacock room is my favorite. Interesting historical site overall!

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank SZ2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Wales, Florida, United States
Level 4 Contributor
30 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Bok Tower Gardens”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

It is a great place to walk, enjoy all the flowers, trees, plants and animals. It has lots of shade and quite places to sit. There is a great place to eat at a reasonable price, a lovely gift shop and lots of information about plants and gardens. The tower plays music each day. Its nice to be able to get exercise in such a beautiful place. I love going there. We also go on Easter for the Sun Rise Service it is so special.

Visited May 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank GoatladyP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Lake Wales Florida
Level 2 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Highest point in Central FL”
Reviewed November 25, 2013

A massive bell tower built by Mr. Bok for his wife. Take time to watch the movie and learn some of the history behind why it was built and when it was built. The gardens surrounding the tower are gorgeous any time of the year. No not everyone can go inside but it very impressive anyways. Only a few people in the United States can play this type of bell organ. It is a rare treat to hear the concerts. Well worth the trip.

Visited August 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Peebs2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level 5 Contributor
56 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
“Architecturally, and marble nice, but all the ostensibly open interesting things are 'no admission' !”
Reviewed November 23, 2013 via mobile

It's a nice enough Tower, architecturally interesting, but perhaps a bit hyped, as is much in the US (still one of our favourite countries).

However, it's misleading in expectations: not only do you have to be a 'Member' to enjoy the brief 4-times annually, guided visit into the Tower and its 7-storey vistas (we couldn't because we were tourists), but we were doubly unfortunate to arrive near Thanksgiving, and were told (after paying the entrance fee to the grounds), that the Boks' Pinewood Mansion nearby 'was closed for Christmas decorations until after Thanksgiving' (!). The mansion could have been interesting - 30's decor / furniture - but it was 'out of bounds'. As far as we could see through its windows, all the decor was in place, no one was working - but no tourists were allowed in. Oh, and by the way, if it had been open, there would have been ANOTHER ticket fee.

So, all in all, for a couple, $24 to walk round some fairly average gardens (no, they're not special) - no possible admissions or Tower views across the Florida plains (which might have been nice) - seems just a little steep. Just a bit misleading about what you're getting for your entrance money.

Don't you think?

At least the cafe's rib and vegetable soup snack was nice.

Visited November 2013
Helpful?
5 Thank A_TravellerFlorida
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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