Bok Sanctuary & Tower
Anywhere in Florida, climbing just a few feet above sea level is quite an accomplishment. Find your way above 200 feet, and you're practically in the mountains. So it makes sense that the highest point in the Florida Peninsula would be marked with something special. That special something is Bok Tower, the centerpiece of the Bok Sanctuary.
Back in the early 1920's, a magazine and book publisher by the name of Edward Bok spent his winters in Polk County, and often watched the sunsets from the top of Iron Mountain, the highest hill on Lake Wales Ridge. The serenity and beauty of the place convinced him to preserve it as a bird sanctuary. A few years later, he decided the gardens he had created needed a centerpiece, and the carillon tower was constructed.
Bok Tower rises 205 feet above the surrounding gardens. Look closely, and you'll see the attention to detail that went into its design: sculpted stone, with an art deco and gothic style. Inside, there's a 60-bell carillon that plays on the hour, along with recitals every day.
There's much more to admire than the carillon tower. There are plenty of hiking and walking trails that circle the top of the hill. Most are lined with flowerbeds, which seem to always be blooming. There's a wildlife viewing cabin with a large window, and you'll probably see everything from birds to squirrels to lizards.
On your way out, stop by the sanctuary's large gift shop, or the cafe.
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