Nestled among seas of endless orange groves that lie to the west of Florida’s premier tourist town, the exquisite Bok Gardens awaits as a respite from the rest of the mad, mad world.
The focal point of these Eden-like grounds is an attraction that implores you to use both your eyes and ears in order to experience it at its grandest and, in that regard, has come to be known as the Singing Tower.
Constructed under commission from the land’s owner, Edward W. Bok, in 1929 the tower’s multifaceted façade grows more and more interesting the longer you spend in its presence. From the outside, the coral colours of Florida’s native coquina stone blend with the soft pinks and grays of marble to form a striking stela that can be seen from miles away — a sight that comes with its own soundtrack when the sixty hand-crafted carillon bells ring out from atop the Iron Mountain.
The rich symbolism that surrounds the structure is geared firmly toward the biblical, but a menagerie of wildlife motifs also vie for the attention of visitors (we’ve heard there’s even a jellyfish or two on there somewhere).
The more philosophical features — depicting the balance between the species through intricate ironwork and sculpture — are sure to provide many a contemplative hour for more reflective patrons. Those looking for something a little more somatic should take a walk along the nearby Pine Ridge Trail — an anomaly by most accounts in the Sunshine State’s famously flat terrain — where wildlife spotting from one of the highest peninsula points is sure to shake off the cobwebs.