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Florida Guide > Miscellaneous

Historic Bok Sanctuary (1)

Visiting Bok Sanctuary has been on my ‘to do’ list for quite some time. Those of you who are lucky enough to go Florida quite frequently will all have a ‘to do’ list and those of you going for your first visit will just have to resign yourselves to the fact that you cannot do everything in just one visit no matter how well you plan it and you will soon have your own list.

This time I was so pleased when I made sure that I included Bok in my itinerary.

What a delightful place. Although it is less than 100 years old it is classed as a National Historic landmark.

The gardens, which contain over 1,000 plant types, were designed as a meditative woodland landscape and nature preserve.

My favourite spot was the Window by the Pond where we spotted blue jays, red cardinals, grackles and several attractive but outside our knowledge, types of bird. There were literally dozens of squirrels in the same area and it was fascinating to watch.

We were there during the lunch time carillon music recital. Played by the carollinneur from the top of the bell chamber. It was delightful to listen to as we walked round the gardens. If you wish you can view the performance on a television screen

There are good facilities on site which include a museum and exhibit hall, a café and gift shop and an education centre.

It cost $10 each to visit the area of Bok Sanctuary but at certain times of the year you can pay an additional fee to take a tour round the Pinewood estate home which is within the grounds. This is a 20-room early 19930’s Mediterranean Revival winter estate and is open for walking tours. We would have included this but it was closed for our visit.

This trip is suitable for the members of the family who like to get away from the parks and enjoy wildlife. One of the great delights for me was watching the wild gopher tortoise in its natural habitat. One of these guys lives near our estate but I always think he got there by accident.

Bok is down the 27 past the sign for Cypress gardens. Approximately 23 miles off exit 55, of the I4. It is open 9am – 5pm daily. The carillon concerts are at 1pm and 3pm playing different programmes. I would combine it with a trip to that little known phenomenon Spook Hill and also the Lake Wales area with its attractive waterfront and the new Eagle Ridge Mall.

This is not a day for the children but a treat for those of you who enjoy peace and tranquillity.

Florida has it all.

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Page added on: 11 January 2007
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