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“Always enjoy Victoria and especially Butchart Gardens.”
4 of 5 bubbles Review of Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens
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Brentwood Bay Kayak Tour and Butchart Gardens Visit
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: These internationally acclaimed floral display gardens, and National Historic Site of Canada, started over 100 years ago and remain privately owned by the family. Jennie Butchart wanted to make her husband's depleted limestone quarry look better and the result is the Sunken Garden. Other gardens include the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden and the Italian Garden. The gardens are meticulously maintained and provide a riot of colour for much of the year. During the summer, special lighting subtly illuminates the gardens, musical entertainment takes place on the Concert Lawn, and there are ten spectacular Saturday night Firework Shows. The Magic of Christmas season also has beautiful lighting and evening entertainment, and an outdoor skating rink. Spring offers hundreds of thousand flowering bulbs and Autumn is the time for dahlias, chrysanthemums and fall colours. The Gardens is open daily, year round.
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase
Montrose, CO
Level Contributor
23 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Always enjoy Victoria and especially Butchart Gardens.”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2009

We always enjoy going to Victoria, BC. This is our third trip there and we go mainly to visit Butchart Gardens and take pictures.

Thank pattib65
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Level Contributor
269 reviews
122 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 234 helpful votes
“Just Awesome”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 5, 2009

We visited Butchart while staying in Victoria and LOVED it. My wife is the gardener of the family, but I think that I enjoyed it as much as she did.

We saw several tips regarding Butchart on TA before we left, and like always, they paid dividends. Had we visited at a "peak" time our enjoyment would have been diminished substantially, I am sure. Getting there either when they open, or later in the afternoon was sage advice. We took a day trip to Witty's Lagoon and then went to Butchart in the afternoon. We arrived about 4pm on a Sunday. The parking lot was empty and the gardens were basically the same. We were actually alone on several occasions.

The admission price was a bit ot a shocker, but looking back it was certainly worth it. This was a highlight of our recent trip to Victoria, I would call it a "must see." Just do it smartly, and you'll enjoy it as much as we did.

1 Thank kindredspirits
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, WA
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Honest, candid Butchart review”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 30, 2009

As Butchart is widely considered a "must-see" in Victoria, we felt compelled to visit on a summer Saturday trip from Seattle on the Victoria Clipper. Transit options from the Inner Harbour were limited and not readily apparent: taxi ($45 each way), express shuttle ($17 each way), city bus (cheap but slow), or tour company (expensive and you don't control your own schedule). We opted for the taxi since there were 4 of us, so we could split the cost and get there quickly. The gardens are 30 minutes north of the city, and upon arrival the driver offered to wait for up to 1 hour, since un-hired taxis are not allowed to queue on premesis. We said no, since we were not sure how long we would stay, which ended up being a mistake.

General admission was $28 per person, which we paid since we had come this far already. But then came the real surprise: the staggering amount of people jammed inside. Imagine narrow flower-lined pathways clogged to a halt with thousands of tourists (who lacked any sense of self-awareness) snapping countless photos of each other. It was impossible to take a picture without dozens of people in view, and beyond impossible to find any semblance of "sanctuary" if you seek peace and quiet. We were amazed at the gardens' decision to allow so may visitors and tour groups into the park at one time - it completely ruined the natural beauty and sense of discovery. We felt like cattle being herded. We walked the entire park in 40 minutes, only to wait another 25 for a taxi. Another $45 later, and we're back in Victoria less $202 in our pockets, and only frustration to show for it.

I'm sure I will be admonished by other travelers for going on a summer weekend, which I know is peak for visitors. But I'm writing this review for the thousands of people who will visit Victoria as we did - on a nice Saturday. I expected Butchart staff to control capacity so the experience is still enjoyable despite peak crowds, but clearly revenue is a powerful motivator. Perhaps this is also an indictment against the thoughtless tourist hoarde who descend on a beautiful place and show a gross lack of respect for anyone and anything around them. I'm quite confident Butchart would be nice during the low season, and on weekdays, but make sure you avoid it on summer weekends. Otherwise, save your money and your time.

10 Thank euromtr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
163 reviews
76 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 99 helpful votes
“Wonderful time and incredibly beautiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2009

I'm not a super gardener but my wife loves flowers and gardens so on a recent stop in Victoria we had to visit Butchart Gardens. We live not far from Longwood Gardens in PA (also very famous) and have been there several times. Butchart Gardens packs so much into it's acres and it is so fun to walk.

Adding to our enjoyment was an evening concert during our visit. While we didn't sit (or dance) listening to the performers, hearing their music throughout part of the garden tour made it all the more enjoyable.

1 Thank startraindd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
823 reviews
202 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 418 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2009

My husband and I recently returned from our first visit to the Butchart Gardens. We went via a tour with Stay and Tour. We had 2 hours to see the most beautiful gardens either of us have ever seen. The flowers were spectacular and the gardens were so peaceful and everywhere you looked you just oohed and aahed! We came across a beatiful symphony playing in the gardens and wished we had more time to listen to them because it was just the perfect setting to listen to that type of music in. We hope to go back on our own next time and do the High Tea and spend some more time there. Butchart Gardens is the kind of place one could go to over and over again and never get tired.

2 Thank love2traveltogether
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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