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BOK TOWER GARDENS - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Other Florida

If you fancy a day away from the theme parks in Orlando, and if you can drag yourself away from the comforts of your vacation villa, then a trip down to Historic Bok Sanctuary is highly recommended. It is marked on some maps as Bok Tower Gardens, which is a better description, although it is indeed a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity away from the busyness of the environs of Orlando.

Historic Bok Sanctuary is situated just over 30 miles due south from the Four Corners area, and is a comfortable drive down the SR27 past Haines City to the Lake Wales area. It is well sign-posted off the highway and easy to find.

As soon as you enter the vast landscaped park you know you are in for a real treat.

The Visitor Centre by the car park / parking lot is well worth a visit. It is modern and airy and houses an interesting museum about the Sanctuary’s creation, a friendly reception area, restrooms and a pleasant coffee shop.

We would recommend that you should take the time to view the short video too as it sets the scene for your visit.

Start your tour of the gardens with a visit to the “Window by the Pond” where you can sit quietly watching the many varieties of birds that visit the pond. Next stop is the Pinewood Estate, which is a classic Mediterranean style country house with a quaint patio garden and orchards – a great place to stroll around. The centre point is of course the magnificent Carillon Tower which dominates the park and stands by a pretty lake surrounded by exotic flowers, trees and plants. The Carillon bells play a tune on the half-hour and a full 25-minute concert at 1. 00pm and 3. 00pm.

It is so relaxing to sit in the gardens – anywhere in the gardens – and listen to the music. As the Sanctuary is situated on a hill, at least a hill in Floridian terms, the view from the top, behind the Carillon Tower, must rank as one of the best in the State. And, if you want to explore further, there is also a short nature trail.

There are many other features of the gardens, too many to mention. The entire park is a joy to walk round. It really is a true sanctuary – a charming restful haven in which to relax and enjoy nature at its best.

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