Receiving around one million visitors each year, Vancouver Island’s iconic Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site, and a stunning depiction of flora as art. Set on 55 acres of privately owned land near Victoria, the gardens date back to 1904. A full time staff of 50 gardeners keep the grounds immaculate and well deserving of their world-renowned reputation. Open year round, the flowers and bulbs change with the seasons, blossoming by the thousands in spring, radiating red and gold in the fall. Highlights include the Japanese Garden, the Italian Garden, Rose Carousel and Saturday evening fireworks.
Length of Trip : Half day
Cost : Depends on the season. Click here for the latest rates click here.
Best time to go : The Butchart Gardens are open year-round. Each season brings its different flowers and charm. Peak season is July and August when the paths can be congested between 11am and 3pm. Best time to go is early morning or late afternoon.
Wheelchair friendly : All public areas are accessible by wheelchair, except for a viewpoint area within the Sunken Garden known as
Family friendly : Yes
Where to eat : There are several on-site dining options: The Dining Room serves fine dining cuisine with wonderful views of the Private Garden, Italian Garden and Tod Inlet. Reservations are recommended. More casual fare can be found at The Blue Poppy Restaurant, which has a kids menu. The restaurant is closed January to mid-April, and reservations are not required. Soups, sandwiches and other “to-go” items can be found at the Coffee Shop located in Waterwheel Square. The Dining Room Restaurant is well-known for its Afternoon Tea, which during the cooler months, becomes a High Tea with an altered menu containing more warm and savoury items.
Official Site : Butchart Gardens Official Website
Getting There : The Gardens are easily accessible via a scenic drive from Victoria. If you’re coming from Vancouver, take BC Ferries from Tsawwassen Terminal to Swartz Bay and follow the signs to the Gardens. Click here for full directions from Vancouver, Victoria or Washington.
Note from Robin : Don’t be disappointed if you arrive in late fall or winter and don’t see roses. The Garden is open in all four seasons because each season brings its own delights. It’s not so much the floral attractions themselves but the overall ambiance of the Gardens that charms the pants off most visitors.