I’ve lived in Florida my whole life, and I had never heard of this magical place called Bok Tower Gardens until about a year ago. I looked it up, read some people’s blogs about it, even looked at images to see if it’s a place I wanted to go.
It’s been on my list for a while now, so yesterday in an attempt to break up the boxing (I’m moving to PA, sorry, haven’t blogged about that yet) monotony, I went. It all started catastrophically of course. I almost came back home before I left my neighborhood, but
I got there. I was ten minutes shy of the mansion tour,
BOOOOOOOOO (why do they stop that at three!?), but we did get to hear the Carillon Bells ring, and see the majority of the park before the torrential downpours started.
The gardens are truly a work of art. The trees are old and have been well manicured and manipulated into stunning openings and expanses of green lush Florida areas, complete with Spanish Moss and overly friendly squirrels. The flower beds are spectacular, there are colors, shapes, sizes, textures, everywhere. You could take a day just to look at them. One area, called Window by the Lake is extremely serene, affording anyone who sits there a view of the resident Wood Ducks and wildlife from behind a glass window. The whole thing is easily accessible to almost anyone with an ability to move, by any means. There are paved areas, flat grassy areas, and some more formidable rougher trail areas. The only area that isn’t accessible to wheelchairs is in the mansion on the second floor. There is no elevator.
The tower is spectacular. It’s built in a Art Nouveo gothic revival style, and is reminiscent of a princess turret, complete with a golden door depicting the story of creation. Surrounding it is a “mote” filled with monsterous carp. The girls had fun imagining Rapunzel coming out from the balcony. I myself was waiting for a dragon. We did not get up to Pine wood Estate, but I understand it to be beautiful. Also, the rain drove us out before we could walk down the Lake Wales Ridge trail.
All in all, we could’ve spent a day there just hanging out. It’s a peaceful place, full of surprises and beauty. If you want to know more about Bok Tower Gardens CLICK HERE, or here —> http://www.boktowergardens.org. There is a lot more to know, as the area is very historical, located on the Lake Wales Ridge, on what’s called Iron Mountain, one of the oldest, highest, areas of Florida.
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