Today the Bok Tower Gardens has evolved into one of America’s leading historic landscapes and a natural wildlife habitat. From the ferns, oaks, palms and pines that stretch for miles, to the foliage of flowers that bring the grounds to life, roam the romantic Bok Tower Gardens during your three and a half hour tour.
The Visitor Center
Start your time at Bok Tower Gardens in the Visitor Center. Here staff can help you make the most out of your time at the gardens by giving you useful information about the grounds and advice on what you should see and do. Pamphlets and maps are also available in the Visitor Center and can assist you as you explore the grounds.
Familiarize yourself with Edward W. Bok, the Singing Tower and Pinewood Estate Gardens during a 9-minute orientation film in the Visitor Center Theater. Played continuously throughout the day, the film gives an overview of what Bok Tower Gardens has to offer.
Located in the Visitor Center, learn about the life of Edward W. Bok and the influence he had on the gardens. Displays also explore the history behind the Singing Tower and Gardens and allow guests to learn more about the wildlife that lives on the Lake Wales Ridge.
See works that reflect Florida’s environment, gardens, plants and architecture. The Art Exhibit is continuously updated and many of the art on display can be purchased.
River of Stone
As you exit the Visitor Center, a pebble pathway will lead you to the gardens. Over 30 different species of Tillandsia can be seen as you make your way down the path. These unique air plants require no soil, but obtain their nutrients from air and water.
Spring Peak Bloom Season
Experience an ever-changing palette of colors during the spring. The Bok Tower Garden’s boasts over 150 varieties of flowers. Baby pink azaleas, white orchids, vibrant purple irises and other flowering plants create an explosion of colors.
Pinewood Estate Gardens
Designed by landscape architect William Lyman Phillips, the Oriental Gate, Frog Fountain, Vegetable Garden and Grotto make up the unique garden areas of Pinewood Estate Gardens. The focal point of the Pinewood Estate Gardens is the Mediterranean-style mansion; the detail of the mansion alone will take your breath away.
Exedra & Sunset Overlook
The Exedra and Sunset Overlook is the perfect place to watch the sun go down. Rest on the long bench given to Edward Bok by his friends. At 298 ft, you can admire the very views that inspired Mr. Bok to create the Bok Tower Gardens.
Endangered Plant Garden
Learn about the flora unique to Florida in the Endangered Plant Garden. A sundial sits in the center of the garden and the garden’s circular design allows guests to get a good view of Florida’s rare and endangered plants.
Window by the Pond
Watch as nature takes its course. Window by the Pond is an observatory overlooking swampy, Floridian grounds where you can watch birds, reptiles, butterflies and other wildlife in their natural habitats.
Given as a gift by Usaburo Tsujita in remembrance of Mr. Bok, this Japanese stone lantern was assembled and erected in 1955. Within sight of Edward Bok’s grave, the Peace Lantern is the perfect place to reflect on Mr. Bok.
Designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted Jr., the pathway leading through the gardens was specifically designed to shield the Singing Tower until reaching the Reflection Pool. The magnificent picture that comes into view of the Singing Tower provides guests with the perfect photo opportunity.
The Singing Tower
Stretching high into the Florida sky, the Neo-Gothic Singing Tower carillon is a 205 ft building unlike any you have ever seen. Designed by Milton B. Medary and crafted by Lee Lawrie, the Singing Tower is home to the world’s finest carillons which can be heard echoing throughout the gardens on a daily basis.
Shopping in the Tower Gardens Gift Shop
Take home something special to remember your time at Bok Tower Gardens or a gift for a loved one. Suncatchers, throw blankets and CDs of the carillons are popular among visitors. You can even find a plant for your own garden in the Tower Gardens Gift Shop.
Dining at the Blue Palmetto Café
After you explore the picturesque grounds at Bok Tower Gardens, head back to the Visitor Center and enjoy lunch at the Blue Palmetoo Café. Both outdoor seating overlooking the beautiful garden landscape and indoor setting is available for guests. Try fresh salads, soups, sandwiches and wraps all created by the house Chef. Fruit salads, specialty deserts and a variety of beverages including wine and beer can also be found on the menu.