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“fabulous 55 acres of gardens, a real treat”

The Butchart Gardens
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Butchart Gardens Tour from Victoria
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: Bathroom facilities, Activities for young children, Lockers / storage, Wheelchair access, Food available for purchase
Reviewed April 24, 2007

for my wife's birthday we came to Butchart, she's a retired horticulturalist, and just ooohed and awhhhhhed about all the incredible plantings, variety, and even the high tea we enjoyed at their tasty restaurant on the grounds, attentive waitress too.

the japanese garden was our favorite if we had to pick.

we spent 5 hours there, and could have stayed longer. about 30 mn drive from victoria...

2  Thank garymiller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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8,165 - 8,169 of 8,879 reviews

Reviewed March 20, 2007

I have visited the gardens several times and at various times of the year. If you are in Victoria in the Spring or Summer, don't miss the Gardens. It can be crowded in the Summer, but you won't notice the crowd until you get to the rose garden. There the crowd can be slow moving, but it's well worth the wait. The rest of the gardens are wide open so you won't feel claustraphobic. Beautiful place!

1  Thank shellsm17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 4, 2007

The Butchart Gardens Fireworks display north of Victoria, BC, is worth a trip in itself. It occurs on Saturday evenings in July and August each year inside the Gardens which are beautiful in themselves. These fireworks are different from and better than any I've ever seen in the States. They are choreographed to music and take place in the sky and just above the ground also. Don't miss this! There's also a concert earlier in the evening; it was a really fine Celtic singing group when I was there (bring a dropcloth or a blanket and sit on the hillside). There's also a great pipe organ concert after the fireworks (you must stand for this on the paths in a garden area). The organ is inside and you stand outside. Allow three to four hours for all of this including seeing the gardens themselves. The cost is about $26 in US dollars!

There is public transportation (BC transit - takes about an hour) so one can get to the Gardens and back for the price of a daypass which is less than $10. Buy a two-area daypass at a 7-11 (or another location on their website) and catch the bus on the main N-S street going north (I think it's #25 - check the BC transit website). You won't find this info on any website, and I had a heck of a time finding this out on-line, but on fireworks Saturdays several BC buses leave the Gardens after the display and drop you at Centennial square which is on the north end of the downtown area.

I would plan to stay the night (at least one) in Victoria. The hotels are REALLY expensive - start at $100 per night - you might find something for $70 - but I would definitely NOT recommend the Turtle Refuge Hostel - loud-noisy, dirty, and smoking outside the (open) windows of bedrooms.

If you take the boat from Port Angeles, WA to get to Victoria, BC it's much less $ than going from Seattle. One can take public transportation from Seattle to Port Angeles to avoid having to rent a car while in Seattle. Check out the Jefferson County Transit website for the schedules and connections.

I did a lot of research for this trip and if I can, I will try to help if you have questions. E-mail me at rabenajk@yahoo.com

14  Thank JKR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 1, 2007

I visited here in June of 2006. All I can say is that I was very, very, pleased with these magnificent gardens. I have done a lot of travelling since last year and I havent seen nicer gardens. The ones in Bogota and Spain compare, but dont beat Butchart because Butchart offers the unbeilevable diversity. STAY FOR THE FIREWORKS. I did, and I have only seen one better show in my whole life. They last for a whole 30 minutes. The fireworks started at approximetly 10 pm and went to about 10:30! If you decide to go, put down a blanket at 3 pm in the park to get a good seat. You can make a day at Butchart easily fly by, so staying in the park for 7 hours is easy. I also reccomend the guided 3 hour tour of the gardens. There is detailed information about the plants, the architecture and the history of the gardens and they make time for resting at the cafe. The italian restraunt at Butchart is a lovely senic place for lunch. I recommend the salads, because the rest of the dishes likely have upwards of 300 calories per plate!!! I spent about $840 US at Butchart that day, including all of my purchases at the gift boutique. This is one of my favorite places in North America, and I plan on visiting Victoria next year to expierence the magic again! :)

5  Thank Little_Travel77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 6, 2006

We just returned from a cruise on the Sun Princess on 7-2-06. We were in Victoria on 7-1-06 for Canada Day. We stayed around to watch the sun set and witness the fireworks for the Canada Day celebration. What a beautiful city! We booked an excursion to Butchart Gardens through the ship. I am not a "flower" person but my wife and mother were both with me and they are gardening junkies. Needless to say, they loved it. I have to admit that even a guy like me who isn't in to flowers was impressed by the gardens. We have made several trips to the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina. While their gardens are impressive, nothing I have ever seen compares to Butchart. Don't miss it if you go to Victoria.

5  Thank Chattanooga
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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