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“Wonderful mix of wild habitat and cultivated gardens”
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.
Western Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Wonderful mix of wild habitat and cultivated gardens”
Reviewed March 24, 2010

Stopped here as part of the Great Florida Birding Trail, and also because we wanted to see the gardens. The Live Oak grove by the tower was very, very impressive and serene - and the carillon concert provided lovely accompaniment! The gardens were attractive and inviting, particularly as the pathways provided much opportunity for meandering and exploring. We particularly enjoyed walking the natural scrub habitat looking for birds (of which we found many).

1 Thank CatguyJV
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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lake wales, fl
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Got married here 04-18-09 best day of my life PERFECT LOCATION”
Reviewed March 23, 2010

I got engaged April 2008 and was trying to think of somewhere besides a church to get married. A friend at work told me that Bok Tower does wedding ceremonies, so I decided to check it out. One visit to these beautiful Gardens and I knew this is where I would have my dream wedding! Now it's not the cheapest place to get married, but not the most expensive either. Our wedding here cost my mother 1595.00 plus tax, but it was worth every penny! We even used the bells instead of music for everyone to walk down the aisle. Everyone except me because I was late as most brides are and as soon as it was my turn to walk the bells stopped ringing, but it is such a peaceful place no one seemed to mind. In fact I think it added a little something special to the ceremony. PLEASE NOTE bok tower does not allow unity candles or any source of fire. Staff is wonderful, thanks to Rita our wedding went off without a hitch. They even provided golf cart transportation from the parking lot to the Horseshoe garden where the ceremony was held.
They have dressing rooms for the bride and groom to get ready on site which is a real plus.
The only downfall of this beautiful place is they do not allow anyone inside the tower as it is a fire hazard!
Other than that the carrilon bells are lovely and the gardens are well tended and beautiful. I couldn't have asked for a better place to have the most important event in my life.
admission is only $10 to get in!

3 Thank MrsTiffanyRoberts
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“A sea of tranquility amongst the bustle of Central Florida”
Reviewed March 8, 2010

Stunning gardens amongst the sometimes parched landscape of Florida. A stiff climb up one of the only hills in Florida takes you to Bok Tower. Why bother? Be there for the twice daily Carillion concert and be captivated. The American equivalent of bell ringing, we guarantee you won't have heard anything like it if you're from the UK. Be happy, the carillions were made in the UK.
Spotlessly clean, the facilities are great although the menu at the restaurant is a little limited, though the service is great.

Thank Railnut
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Definitely worth the trip!”
Reviewed February 17, 2010

I took the advice of others and visited this wonderful place while accompanying my husband on a business trip to Orlando. Since I wanted nothing to do with Disney-anything, this seemed like a great retreat. The grounds were beautiful, the tower and bells were amazing, the museum in the visitor's center was really interesting, and I absolutely loved the historic Pinewood Estate home on the property--loved it!! Definitely worth the 45 min drive and the $16 combo admission. I only wish I lived closer to enjoy this place more often. Even the food in the cafe was great! If I'm ever back in Orlando again, I'll definitely make another visit. Just spectacular.

p.s. The only room for improvement would have been if I had remembered my camera!!!! I missed so many beautiful shots--ugh!!

1 Thank ladybug810
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Englewood, FL
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“A self congulatory monument erected by a nobody.”
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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