We’ve all seen the beautiful photos on Instagram and Facebook of Bok Tower Gardens. Whether it was just a day visit or a wedding ceremony, the pictures are always incredible. Now it’s your turn to visit. The drive from Tampa to the gardens is only a little over an hour and is so worth it. The amazing landscapes and breathtaking views of Bok Tower Gardens are a one of a kind experience in Florida. Especially this time of year you can enjoy all the holiday festivities they have to offer!
Opening Act: Steamin’ Quartet 4-5:30 p.m.
Main Event: Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra 6 p.m.
Advance tickets: Members $30 adult, $10 child. Non-members $35 adults, $10 child.
Day of event price: $45
Please note: Gardens admission for the day does not include concert ticket.
Bok Tower Gardens is open 365 days out of the year. Their hours are 8am to 6pm on all of these days. The last tickets are accepted at 5pm to give guests a good amount of time to explore, but there is enough to take up the whole day at Bok Tower Gardens.
The Visitor Center is open from 9am to 5pm, though these hours can differ on blackout days or holidays. The same hours are in affect for the Blue Palmetto Cafe and The Garden Gift Shop.
Blue Palmetto Cafe
The Blue Palmetto Cafe is located right next to the Visitor Center and is the perfect place to grab a bite to eat during your visit at the gardens. The cafe serves breakfast, sandwiches, wraps, salads, and soups. They also have a dessert menu, and beer and wine.
Vegetarian and vegan options are available at The Blue Palmetto Cafe.
General Admission Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children. Any child under 5 years old is admitted into the gardens for free. You can also bring your dog for $5.
The Singing Tower
This might be the most famous spot in the whole gardens and the reason most visitors make the trip to The Bok Tower Gardens. The tower is eight levels and can be toured if you become a Sustainer Level Member or higher. These eight levels contain things like The Founders Room, the Anton Brees Carillon Library, and the Carillon Bells.
However, general admission tickets can still get you a look at the tower and a listen to the bells. This structure is 205 feet tall and is covered by beautifully designed tiles towards the top.
The carillon concerts happen most days at 1pm and 3pm and can be heard from many spots in the gardens. The singing tower houses one of the finest carillons and hearing it is a can’t miss part of any trip to Bok Tower Gardens.
Wandering The Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens was designed by famous landscaper Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The gardens are filled with magnolias, azaleas, and camellias. These flowers are not only beautiful to wander through and look at, but they make wonderful home to many species of animals. There are about 126 species of animals living in the gardens including the endangered eastern indigo snake and the threatened gopher tortoise. Bok Tower Gardens is also a stop on the Great Florida Birding Trail, so you can check that off your bucket list when you visit.
There are maps available at the gardens, but I always recommend just strolling around and taking it all in. Life can get hectic, but the gardens were designed for relaxation, so let them do their job. Take a deep breath and take it all in.