Butchart Gardens Info & Guide
Where is Butchart Gardens?
"A world class attraction", "most amazing gardens anywhere", "there's nothing like it", "extraordinary botanical diversity", "beauty beyond belief", these are just a few of the types of comments commonly heard about the world famous Butchart Gardens.
The Butchart Gardens is a spectacular collection of botanical display gardens in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia, Canada, near Victoria on Vancouver Island. Now a National Historic Site of Canada, still privately owned by descendants of the garden's originators, Butchart Gardens offers 55 acres of beautiful gardens, open year round. The award winning gardens receive more than a million visitors each year.
The Butchart Gardens (pronounced "Butch-art") occupy the site of a former quarry and were developed under the guidance of Jennie Butchart between 1904 and 1939. Today, the gardens provide dramatic floral displays in a variety of garden settings and styles set against a backdrop of mature trees and shrubs and linked together by a network of paths and transition areas. Throughout the garden are viewpoints offering glimpses of Tod Inlet and the hills beyond.
Entertainment is part of the experience during the Summer Season (July and August) and the Winter Holiday Season. Expect a wide range of local entertainment, from Jazz to classical music. In the summer, you might even find The Weeds, a band made up of staff members from The Gardens, playing a concert. Fireworks, accompanied by show tunes, are a popular feature on summer Saturday evenings. During the Winter, lights and seasonal decorations adorn the gardens along with an ice-skating rink in the Waterwheel Square.
There are several Butchart Gardens transportation options: taxis, buses (public and private) and limousines all run here. Details are included in this guide.
Cruise Ship Visitors:
As there is usually just a 6 hour window before you need to be back onboard your ship, you need to plan your visit carefully. A packaged tour is often the best way to go, as they include transportation. You can book a tour through your cruise ship, or book a local Butchart Gardens Tour. If you go on your own, keep in mind that you will need 2-3 hours at the gardens (or more if you have a snack or meal), plus allow 30-45 minutes each way to get to/from the gardens (taxi or public/private bus). If your window is during the morning or afternoon, any transportation mode will work. For evenings we recommend a private bus or taxi as public transit is more limited in service. More Information.
Other Items of Interest at Butchart Gardens
Admission is required to visit the Butchart Gardens and varies between about CAD 20-30 for adults, depending on season (summer is the most expensive). Many tour companies include this price in their tour rates.
Services at Butchart Gardens include:
- Visitor Map & Guide available in 21 Languages
- Wheelchair accessible
- Gift shop
- 2 restaurants and a coffee shop
- High tea
- Children's pavilion and carousel
- ... and an online shop where you can buy seeds!
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