Florida Guide > Hints and Tips
Making the most of Bok.
Bok Gardens makes a wonderful day out during your Orlando vacation and makes a good contrast to the hurly burly of the theme parks.
Bok Gardens was Edward Boks gift to the American people who he credited with his success. Edward was an immigrant who rose from being a humble office boy to the editor of the acclaimed Ladies Home Journal.
I am going to give you a suggested route round Bok Gardens to make the most of your day.
Once you are parked up and have bought your entrance ticket make your way to the visitor centre where in addition to picking up some info you can also use their wonderfully clean loos. If they tell you that there is a film about to play then pause a whie to see this before you start your exploration.
Right, now before you leave this area take care to admire the Rick Sgrillo metal sculptures peeping through the plantings. Rick is a local man.
Next, make your way to the endangered plant garden. This garden hosts many plants that are only seen in Florida and at the centerpiece is a sundial.
Now to my favourite place; this is the window by the pond and here you can spot many creatures without disturbing them. You can easily spend an hour here in reasonable comfort. There is a helpful chart to help you identify what you see.
Now to spend some time in The Secret Garden while you ponder on whether there is time to go and see Pinewood Estates. This historic home has been acquired by Bok Gardens and was once the winter home of Charles Buck. They have restored it as close as they can to how it would looked in its heyday in the 1930s. If you have only planned to spend a half day at The Gardens I would suggest you leave Pinewood for another day.
Next head for Exedra Overlook; this is made of Coquina which is natural to the geology of Florida.
Now head to the undoubted star of the show; The Singing Tower. One of my favourite vantage points is the reflection pool which mirrors the tower perfectly.
Try to time your visit for one of the Carillon Concerts that take place during visiting hours.
Finally visit Swan Island; this contains the worlds largest lily and some dinky aquatic novelties called mosquito fish!
Now you wil be hungry and thirsty so head back to the starting point where you can get a meal or a snack in the cafe.
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