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“A self congulatory monument erected by a nobody.”
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.
Reviewed January 15, 2010

The price is not excessive, but the gardens are not impressive; just some palms and some flowers, nothing you won't see in any Florida public garden. But my gorge rose when I realized the whole complex is just a celebration of an obscure editor to himself.
The view is very nice, and supposedly this Bok person wanted to preserve it. However, that meant plopping a rather ugly tower on top of the hill, which served as his study, and now serves as a headstone, since he specified he be buried in front of it.
The carillon sounds like one of those drugstore Christmas cards that play music when you open them, not at all melodious or charming.
BTW, the house open for tours next to the property was never his dwelling, but a neighbor's.
Inscriptions in the visitor's center call it "America's Taj Mahal", but the Taj Mahal has the charm of being a monument erected by a husband to a beloved wife. This is evidently a monument erected by Bok to perpetuate his own memory; Donald Trump would appreciate the gesture.

6  Thank EnglewoodLocal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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1,703 - 1,707 of 1,746 reviews

Reviewed January 1, 2010

Enjoyed a visit there today. Many gorgeous flowers in bloom even on New Year's Day. Fun to hike the trails. The area is well kept and the beautiful swans outside the tower were the icing on the cake. I love this place.

Thank Kathy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 30, 2009

The place is set on beautiful grounds. It is well attended but I never felt it was crowded. The big disapointment however, came from the canned music coming from the carrillon. Although they have two daily concerts, at least when I went, all that one could hear was a recording coming out of the bell tower. Very disapointing...

1  Thank marsabez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 11, 2009

Stand on a real hilltop and look down on the rest of Florida, and up at this incredible tower that looks like it came from a different world. This is an experience that is difficult to describe. Definitely not Disney World! We went for a moonlight recital, and I kept waiting for a knight to come riding up on a white charger. The gardens are wonderful, and we enjoyed the visitor's center films and exhibits. Well worth the cost, which is still low. We go every time we get a chance, and see new and different things every time. You haven't seen Florida until you've seen this place. It's a National Historic Landmark.

1  Thank Yummy-lover
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 8, 2009

While this is a lovely setting it is very much natural Florida flora and for the $10 price of admission, I think I'd rather stroll around in any of several state parks in the region. $20 for two people to have a quick picnic, walk through the 'gardens' and listen to the bells was just a bit much. There is an interesting exhibit about Mr. Bok and the tower construction, but do not expect formal gardens, breathtaking views, and majestic flowers. On the other hand, my husband really enjoyed the serenity of the park and would like to visit again.

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

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