Homeowner viewpoints Orlando travel tips

A Visit to Bok Tower Gardens by Ruth Moriarty

We’re so pleased to bring you tips from our homeowners about their favourite days out in Florida.  The first blog in this series has been kindly written by Ruth Moriarty.

Why should you go?

If you are searching for a complete change of pace from the Parks, space to breathe and quietly appreciate nature, then Bok Tower Gardens awaits.  The gardens are centrally located in Lake Wales between Tampa and Orlando in Polk County and they have been welcoming visitors since 1929.

What can you expect?

You quite simply relax and slow down.  The stunning gardens cover more than 7 acres and include a 1930s Mediterranean-style mansion to visit and the unique Singing Tower Carillion, from where you hear the tinkling of bells drifting through the air as you wander around. 

You can also sit and appreciate a free half hour concert at set times of the day. The Tower is located at the side of a Reflection Pool and creates fabulous opportunities for taking photos or watching the Koi Carp as they gently swim around in the tranquil waters.

How much does it cost?

Entrance per day costs $15 per adult and $5 for children aged 5-12… quite a bargain when you consider entrance to many other places in Florida!

Who should go?

Bok Tower Gardens is for everyone.  If you are looking for something a little quieter than the theme parks, you will love this day out.

Is Bok Tower Gardens accessible?

There is good access for people in wheelchairs or scooters and a little “train” runs from the Tower back to the entrance for those whose feet may be a little tired and who may be in need of some refreshment.

Will children enjoy Bok Tower Gardens?

There are all sorts of active and creative things for children as well.  Hammock Hollow Children’s Garden incorporates cooling water features, a boardwalk, play areas with climbing features, a stage for little performers, paintings and plenty of space to dig, create and explore.

On arrival at Bok Tower Gardens

When you arrive you pass through a gate with the founder, Edward W Bok’s grandmother’s words inscribed on it: “make you the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it”.  You then pass into the most peaceful of spots and one of my favourite spots in Central Florida.

Owner’s visit: Ruth’s day out at Bok Tower Gardens

We had lunch at the Blue Palmetto Café, where there is a wide choice of light lunches and ice-cream! I had the Avocado Tuna Salad, which was delicious and filling but there are burgers, dogs, sandwiches, wraps etc… oh and did I say ice-cream?!

The Shop at Bok is a lovely way to end your day, to collect a few souvenirs.  There is a good choice, many items are a little out of the ordinary if you are looking for a slightly different gift.   You don’t have to walk through the shop to get out of the gardens, which I liked, but it didn’t stop me going in and buying a couple of things.

We came away from Bok Tower Gardens feeling refreshed, revitalised and inspired.  It’s a very special place and I recommend it highly for people of all ages.  Take your time, slow down, sit a while and think a little about the ethos behind the gardens: Make the world a bit better or more beautiful because you have lived in it.

Ruth’s “don’t miss” attractions at Bok Tower Gardens

  • Pinewood Estate – view from the back of the Mediterranean-style mansion.
  • The Tower and Reflecting Pool – there are tantalising views of the Tower from many areas of the garden – the Carillion bells were tinkling as I took this photo – which was quite magical.
  • The beautiful flowers and trees – these photos were taken during my visit in January 2020.  If you enjoy taking photos of nature, then you couldn’t come to a better place.  There are so many varieties of flowers and trees and everywhere you turn there is somewhere to sit, to think and to Be.

Coronavirus update: What is the situation at Bok Tower Gardens concerning COVID-19?

As with so many places, the Gardens have been closed due to COVID-19.  They are rescheduled to open as of 1 June, though do check the website for updates.  As I write this, they will only be accepting pre-booked entrance tickets.  Find more details here.

About Ruth’s home

If you’d like to book your stay in Florida to enjoy Bok Tower Gardens and central Florida’s other wonderful attractions, please check out our homes here.

Ruth’s home is the very wonderful Sapphire Sky Villa at Orange Tree.  See more – and book – here.

Would you like to share your tips for great days out in Florida?

We’d love to share contributions from our guests and homeowners about great days out in Florida.  If you have tips or ideas you’d like to share on our blog, please reach out to our team. 


  1. Beautiful place and I encourage everyone who gets a chance to see it. The tower itself is breath taking. Reading the blog took me back to my magical visit. Can’t wait until we can go again.

    Liked by 2 people

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