Bok Tower Garden and Sanctuary – Lake Wales, Florida
Bok Tower Gardens, a “must see Florida attraction” centrally located between Tampa and Orlando, is open every day of the year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with last admission at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. General admission tickets are good for one day only and do not include specially ticketed events. You can also become a member of Bok Tower Gardens and enjoy the beauty of the Gardens 365 days a year.
The meandering garden is one of the greatest achievements of famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. Tranquil resting places, shady recesses, picturesque vistas and expansive splashes of color create a contemplative setting for your personal renewal and enjoyment.
There are also many family-friendly garden areas which give children the chance to learn about the gardens while playing in a vine-covered arbor or observing butterflies.
The acres of ferns, palms, oaks and pines create a year-round backdrop of 1,000 shades of green for the seasonal bursts of azaleas, camellias and magnolia blooms that form an ever-changing work of art.
One of the best spots to observe the Gardens’ native birds, wildlife and wetland plants is inside the nature observatory known as “Window By The Pond.” Situated on the edge of a pond, the small wooden building has benches that face a large picture window where visitors can observe birds, reptiles, butterflies and native species in their natural habitat. On the back wall are drawings of some of the animals that visitors may catch a glimpse of from this unique human vantage spot. But a sign also reminds visitors: “this is nature’s show not ours.
Looking up at the 205 foot neo-Gothic and art deco Singing Tower carillon is an experience like no other. Designed by famed architect Milton B. Medary and ornately crafted by noted stone sculptor Lee Lawrie, the Tower houses one of the world’s finest carillons. Concerts from the 60 bell carillon at 1 and 3 p.m. fill the Gardens daily.