The Bok Tower Gardens is a beautiful destination near Central Florida. This National Historic Landmark, located in Lake Wales, Florida boasts beautiful gardens (obvi!), a historic home, and the “Taj Mahal of the United States”. Adam and I have been to a few gardens; we love walking around, exploring, and – of course! – snapping photos. For those that are tired of theme parks or shopping, Bok Tower Gardens is worth the drive.
As stated earlier, Bok Tower Gardens is located in Lake Wales, Florida. Lake Wales is somewhere south of both Kissimmee and Lakeland and, kind of, in between them. I’ve got the worst sense of direction and can’t point anyone anywhere, so I’d look it up on a map. It took Adam and I about 45 minutes to get there; however, the drive was so slow (and so boring!) that it felt like it took forever.
Admission to the park was $20 per person, for both admission to the garden and Pinewood Estate. Throughout the gardens, there are various trails to walk along. We chose to go during their spring peak bloom season to see the azaleas, camellias, and magnolias. The vibrant pinks and whites were all around the gardens, breaking up the greens of the foliage.
There’s also a cafe/restaurant for those interested in grabbing lunch or a glass of wine while there. Their chicken salad (served on a criossant – yum!) was delicious.
The hours of the park are varied per season. In the spring and summer, the park opens around ten and eleven and closes between three and four.
For those with Children, there’s a children’s area as well. Oh, and one of the ladies at Pinewood Estate told us that she climbed up the spider thing (Adam and I didn’t make it over there).
ABOUT OUR DATE
Adam and I attempt (not always successfully) to go out on dates once per week. On most occasions it ends up being a little group outing, whether it’s double-dating with another couple for brunch or grabbing drinks downtown with friends. However, when I start to get a little bit whiny, Adam is sweet enough to take me somewhere different or new.
I think I hinted about going to Bok Tower Gardens sometime around the New Year. When I went to have lunch with him during my Spring Break, he mentioned it. And we were off that weekend.
The weather was perfect (the morning started out in the mid 40s and heated up to the high 60s) for our stroll around the gardens. When we got to Bok Tower (did I mention that it “sings” and chimes once per hour?), there was a wedding. We watched the wedding for a few minutes before taking off again.
After meandering through the gardens some more, we ended up at Pinewood Estate, a beautiful home that was lived in until the mid 70s (I think). It was the winter escape for a man (Mr. Buck – can’t remember his first name) and then became the permanent resident for a family.
The home is still in it’s original state, etc. (except for the elevator that was put in by a former resident and the AC put in by the foundation) and I must admit that this was unlike any of the old Floridian homes I’ve seen before. The Mediterranean style, complete with clay tiles on the roof, painted tiles along the stairs, and hand-carved, wooden doors, was magnificent. Adam and I both stated that we could live in it (if it had some more windows.
After we were finished exploring the grounds (I found a TON of bees around one of the trees – and we could hear them buzzing!), we headed back toward the front for a quick lunch. As I stated earlier, I had the chicken salad. Adam had a turkey gouda sandwich. He said it would’ve been better if it was served on a croissant.
It was a fun date and we both agreed that we want to take our parents to explore too. It’s definitely something they’d enjoy. The one thing I’d do differently? I’d pack a picnic. There are tons of benches and lawn space. It’d be so beautiful to lounge under the trees, nomming on grapes and sipping champs.