It was tough to imagine, yet sensibly plausible that the beautiful and lush landscapes we were standing upon had been designed and prepped beginning nearly a century ago in 1921. The grounds were picture-perfect and flawless in every way. There was a small family out in the distance throwing a frisbee to one another. On the other side of us, a young couple was enjoying a picnic together facing out toward the central Florida expanse below us. An older couple sat behind us on one of several permanent benches facing the Tower.
Now, for the Tower. Where this beautiful tower is located on the property -- in fact this part of Florida -- sits atop Iron Mountain, elevating all of its spectators nearly 300 feet above sea level, making this one of the highest points in the Sunshine State. Moreover, the Singing Tower is located on the highest part of the 250-acre garden property. What makes Bok Gardens unique is the magic that lives within that 205-foot tall Tower: 60 powerful and precisely-tuned carillon bells, controlled and played by a 'clavier' (keyboard) located within the Tower. On a personal note, I was raised Catholic. There was certain exhilaration to go to Church on Easter each year because the Churches would ring the bells for minutes prior to the start of Mass. For the fortunate visitors to Bok each day, they are graced and privileged to have 2 opportunities (1p and 3p) each day to hear those bells from anywhere around the gardens (but you'll want the full experience by sitting as close to the Tower as possible when the Carillonneur (Carillon player) begins his 30-minute musical concert). The carillon here at Bok is one of only 4 in the state of Florida, and only 200 in North America. The grounds coupled with the carillon make for a very serene and whimsical experience, certain to put you in a very peaceful state of mind.
The overall breadth of our experience transported us away from the attraction-populated central Florida that we've come to know over the years. This was a very gentle departure into an oasis of green landscapes, punctuated by adorning trees of multiple species, which perfectly complimented heavenly skies above. The bells of the carillon whisked you away from an audible perspective, and you were no longer drowning in the painful sounds of busy interstates, but rather your mind and your senses felt elevated to a better, more sophisticated place. Here at Bok, you can clear your mind and truly get away from can sometimes become a very busy life in central Florida. Here, you felt like you were in a dream, and none of us were in any hurry to try and wake up.
If you have the chance to go, we'd strongly recommend a visit to the very quarantine-friendly Bok Tower Gardens!!