What are the Butchart Gardens like in Vancouver?

Answers from Our Experts (2)

Stéphane Mouttet
  • Stéphane Mouttet

  • Chef Concierge, Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver

  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria, it is the capital city of British Columbia, and it is easily accessible from Vancouver by land, water and air. Victoria is well connected to mainland British Columbia by vehicle and passenger ferries.  Each day, dozens of ferries cross the straits, granting breathtaking views of the rocky coastline, forested islands, inlets and marine wildlife.  If you have the time, the car/ferry option is a great way to travel as it offers breathtaking views of the rocky coastline, forested islands, inlets and marine wildlife.  Please note the departure point for Victoria is from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal 34 km (21 miles) south of Vancouver for an estimated 45-minute drive.  The crossing time for the ferry ride is approximately 1 hour and 35 minutes.  Upon arrival at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, it will be a further 45-minute drive to downtown Victoria.  Please visit: www.bcferries.com for further information on fares, vehicle reservations and current sailing schedules for BC Ferries.  For people without a vehicle, there are also regular buses leaving the downtown bus depot for Victoria.  For schedule and rates, please visit: (www.pacificcoach.com)

I would suggest to fly out of Vancouver via a floatplane or helicopter. Should you wish to arrive by air, regular floatplane and helicopter service to downtown Victoria is available from Vancouver.  Scheduled daily seaplane flights are operated by Harbour Air (www.harbourair.ca). The point of departure for the seaplanes is at 1075 West Waterfront Road and arrives in the Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria.  Daily helicopter service are also available from early morning to early evening from Vancouver and Victoria Harbours with Helijet International (www.helijet.com); the departure points for the helicopter is an approximately a 30-minute walk or a 7 minute taxi ride from either cities.  For all modes of air transportation, the duration of the flight is 35 minutes each way. Reservations are advisable as flights can book up quickly - especially on beautifully clear days and on weekends and holidays.

There is also a sightseeing tour company called LandSea Tours that offer day trips from downtown Vancouver to Victoria.   Enjoy a ferry cruise through beautiful Active Pass in the Gulf Islands to B.C.’s quaint capital. Marvel at the awesome, ever-changing Butchart Gardens. They’ll drive the scenic route into Victoria and the Inner Harbour. Take your free time to explore this unique city: Government Street shopping & dining, Empress Hotel, Legislative Buildings, Royal B.C. Museum and more. Take a leisurely walk along the beautiful waterfront. Relax on the bus and ferry ride back to your hotel. They also offer Watching Tours as well!  Please visit their website for further information: http://www.vancouvertours.com/

There are many things to see and do in Victoria for every interest.  For information on attractions, museums, arts and entertainment, you can visit www.tourismvictoria.com.  The website has a full array of specific points of interest that will help you get acquainted with Victoria, British Columbia.


Carolyn B. Heller

Located on Vancouver Island, across the Georgia Strait from the city of Vancouver, the Butchart Gardens is western Canada’s most beautiful botanical garden. On this 135-acre (54-hectare) former private estate, which is also a National Historic Site, walking trails wend among seasonal showcases of roses, tulips, lilies, daisies, dahlias, geraniums, and many, many more.

First opened to the public in 1904, the gardens welcome visitors daily year-round, although their floral displays are most spectacular from late spring through early fall. An especially popular time to visit is on Saturdays in July and August, when evening concerts are followed by fireworks displays. The Butchart Gardens is 12.5 miles (20 kilometers) south of the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, where ferries arrive from the BC mainland, and about a 30-minute drive from the city of Victoria.

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