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43 GASPARILLA MAGAZINE SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2016 Bok Tower: This may be one of the only chances you get to go the “mountains” of Florida. Located in Lakes Wales, Iron Mountain is a whopping 298 feet above sea level. This is the place where Edward Bok, an immigrant from The Netherlands, fell in love with Florida and built what is known as one of the most unique structures in our state. Bok purchased the land as a bird sanctuary originally, then added the amazing gardens on the grounds to create a habitat for the birds. As a final touch he had the “Singing Tower” built, which houses a 60-bell carillon. It was originally called Mountain Lake Sanctuary and Bok Tower 1151 Tower Blvd. Lake Wales, Fl. 33853 (863) 676-1408 Open 365 days a year from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with last admission through the gate at 5 p.m. The Visitor Center, Blue Palmetto Cafe and Tower & Garden Gift Shop are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with limited holiday hours Pinewood Estate combo admissions are $18 for adults, $8 for children. Singing Tower when he turned the grounds over to public use in 1929. The tower is 205-feet tall, and is inspired by a neo-Gothic/art deco design. It was created by architect Lee Lawrie. The Singing Tower has many levels, many of them dedicated to different fields of study. Level 1 is “The Founder’s Room” and includes ornate ceramic floor tiles, a huge stone fireplace and the 211-step iron and steel staircase that ascends to the top. Level 2 is called the “Chao Research Center” and holds all kinds of historical documents and artifacts pertaining to the building and history of the Singing Tower. Other levels include the Anton Brees Carillon Library, which holds the largest collection of carillon history and music in the world. Level 7 holds the carillon bells. “The Gardens,” as they are known, were created by famed landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., who also spent time in Boca Grande with his family. Here you will find at least 126 different species of birds, as well as the scenic, winding trails that take you through the gardens. Features of The Gardens include the River of Stone, a pollinator garden, an outdoor kitchen and edible garden, The Window By the Pond, The Reflection Pool and much more. No words can truly describe the beauty of The Gardens, you must see them for yourself. Solomon’s Castle: Solomon’s Castle is a true manmade wonder of the world. Its creator, Howard Solomon, is a recycling sculptor who has created a 12,000 square foot castle in the middle of Florida covered entirely with discarded aluminum and adorned with handmade stained-glass windows. This is a project he began in 1972, he just hasn’t ever quite decided that he is finished. Now his home is a museum dedicated to his works of art, which fill every room of the castle. Individual tickets available at the entrance gate for $5. Singing Tower Carillon concerts are at 1 and 3 p.m. daily The Boat in the Moat Restaurant, located on the same grounds, is also run by members of Howard’s family. The restaurant is also open for parties and other occasions, but only during evening hours. You can also spend the night in The Blue Moon Room, in the east tower of the castle. Solomon’s Castle 4588 Solomon Road Ona, Fl. 33865 (863) 494-6077 Open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. October 1 through August 1 The Boat in the Moat Restaurant is open Tuesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10


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