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“Relaxing and very enjoyable”
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 August 27, 2009

This is the place to go to unwind and just feel relaxed the gardens are beautiful and the gardens are full of wildlife, watch out for the tortoise.
The Tower is beautiful and the bell and concerts are great, very worth a visit, it gets you away from all the stress of the parks and shopping,This really is a lovely place to sit and watch the world go by.
The cafe does excellent food.

1  Thank SPAMHAM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"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
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1,828 - 1,832 of 1,869 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2009

Decided to visit here because of its proximity to where we are staying in Davenport and were pleasantly surprised! A beautiful estate with old Florida charm. I am from the NE and somewhat anti-Florida, but this garden has changed me! It was not at all crowded and the breeze blowing through the trees was glorious. While the adults oooohd and awed over the beautiful vistas and nature the kids loved the squirrels, birds, swans and fish. We could not stay to hear the official carillon performance, but heard the clock chime quite a few times. I only give it Very Good because if we had gone Saturday morning between 8-9 AM admission would have been half price and summer does not seem like the best time for flowers etc... as none were blooming. Also there is a separate charge to tour the Bok home.

Thank Celling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 13, 2009

This place has a serene, almost otherworldly beauty about it -- difficult to describe. As a native Floridian, I found it wonderful to be able to be in my home state and find a place where you can look out and see -- actual topography. Rolling hills in the distance carpeted in well-manicured orange groves. The gardens themselves are immaculately kept (10 full time gardeners/landscapers we were told, supplemented by an army of volunteers) and a joy to wander through. The architecture and facade of the tower are deceptively intricate -- it's impossible to get a tour of the interior, which is disappointing because from what we saw depicted in the detailed model in the welcome center, it looks amazing. If you are visiting the state, this is a perfect day-trip away from the bustle of the theme parks. If you are a native Floridian and haven't been here yet, definitely make the trip. I guarantee that upon leaving that day, you will already be planning your return.

Two minor quibbles/corrections to previous reviews. First, Iron Mountain ("mountain" being a relative term in this state, of course) , from which the tower rises, is not the highest point in Florida. It is likely the highest point in peninsular Florida, but the highest point in the state is in Walton County in the panhandle.

Second, and more importantly, I vehemently disagree with the suggestion that this is not a place to bring children who don't appreciate beauty and serenity. First, if you have such children, perhaps a visit to a place like this is just what they need to begin to find some connection with such things. Second, our two daughters are fun-loving and rambunctious and had a wonderful time exploring the trails and wide expanse of meadow sloping down from the south side of the "mountain". There is a children's center, a quaint lakehouse with informative posters on the walls to help identify wildlife and plants, fish and swans in the shadow of the tower itself, places on site for family picnicking and togetherness . . . it would indeed be a shame if this fantastic place was reserved only for those who frown upon hearing the laughter of children. The grounds are large and expansive -- plenty of room for everyone, including those who wish to find quiet places to reflect without being disturbed by others.

1  Thank eclecticfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2009

Lake Wales is in the middle of nowhere so you'll need to make a special drive to get here. It's worth it. The bells were only so-so, played live at 1pm and 3pm daily. You can't go into the tower itself so that's also a disappointment. But the smell -- jasmine and orange blossoms simultaneously in bloom -- heaven. The gardens are really more of a park, very pleasant for an hour-long stroll of winding paths shaded by big old trees. Several nice rain shelters if you're caught out as we were. Swans, lizards, etc. At 324 feet this is the highest spot in FL as well as the highest spot east of the Rio Grande within 60 miles of the Atlantic/Gulf.

Be sure to follow the walking path to the Pinetree manor next door which is not well marked or promoted, but well worth a visit. It's a lovely spanish colonial with really nice tile work inside and out. These gardens are intimate yet splendid, with tightly trimmed orange trees, a hidden fern basin, huge old trees, a private walled garden, a clever little kitchen garden, and sweeping lawns. It's a dream home surrounded by vistas and dream gardens. I took dozens of snapshots of ideas for my own garden, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

Thank RosemaryBaileyBrown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 22, 2009

Far from the hustle and bustle of Disney World, and a much welcome break. For a quiet and relaxing day this is a must. The gardens were of a very high standard a credit to the staff. The tower and concert were beautiful. Enjoyed a nice lunch on the way out. All in all a lovely drive out and well worth it.

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

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