Waterskiing is not the only spectacular thing to do in this area, which features numerous lakes, murals in downtown and a signature attraction. With Bok Tower Gardens
and its 60-bell carillon, editor Edward Bok realized his dream of building one of the most beautiful places in the country “second to none” with the help of well-known architect Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. The AAA GEM features lush gardens, water features and an adjoining Mediterranean-style mansion. Lake Wales
also features some interesting convergences. In 2004, hurricanes Charley, Frances and Jeanne blew through within 44 days. Then there’s Spook Hill, an optical illusion on North Wales Drive at Dr. J.A. Whiltshire Drive that seemingly causes vehicles to roll uphill when drivers park and shift to neutral. Nearby: The brick-filled art, rides and seasonal events at Legoland Florida Resort
in Winter Haven
is a short jaunt—especially appealing if you’re traveling with kids and trying to avoid the crowds at Orlando theme parks.