Butchart Gardens by Foot
From the Butchart Gardens you can walk to nearby Brentwood Bay, about 2-3 km away. You can also walk to Butterfly Gardens along Benvenuto, about 2 km away, although the road is narrow. If heading to Butterfly Gardens, we recommend catching the 75 or 76 bus.
Butchart Gardens by Bike
From the Butchart Gardens head up Benvenuto to Wallace drive and turn right. Wallace is a flat route, although a little bumpy and narrow, but is used by cyclists all the time. Then follow West Saanich Road (turn right) when Wallace ends. You may follow West Saanich to either Quadra Street or the Pat Bay Highway and onto downtown. Alternatively, turn left at Elk Lake drive then right at Royal Oak drive, cross the overpass past Broadmead Shopping Centre and then a couple of kilometres later look for the Lochside trail connection at the elementary school and turn right and follow the trail downtown. We recommend the trail and although it is longer, it is much safer and scenic compared to using city streets from Royal Oak onwards. Distance to downtown is about 15-20 kilometres from the gardens.
If you are cycling from downtown Victoria to the gardens, just reverse the above route. Take the Pat Bay (#17) highway out of town (Blanshard Street turns into #17). Exit at Quadra Street/West Saanich Road and turn left and cross the highway. Follow West Saanich to Wallace (just past the Red Barn Market) and turn left. Follow Wallace to Benvenuto and turn left and go down the hill to the gardens.
Butchart Gardens by Boat
You can book a whale watching tour with boat drop-off at the gardens and then a private bus back to Victoria from Prince of Whales. Note this only runs in the summer season.
Butchart Gardens has a private dock, but you can arrange for someone to drop you off or pick you up from this dock. There also is a boat tour that you can take from the dock around the area and back to the gardens; inquire at the dock entrance inside the gardens for schedules and prices.
If you stay in downtown Victoria, of interest to tourists are the little harbour ferries run all over the harbour.
Also of interest are Whale Watching tours. Several companies are scattered around the waterfront and into town that offer these tours (which are about 3 hours long and cost about CAD 80-120).
If you are headed to Vancouver after your visit to Butchart Gardens, instead of flying, you can take the boat! BC Ferries, which operates the ferry service from Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal, 30-45 minutes north of Victoria (quite close to Butchart Gardens), to Tsawwassen (south of Vancouver). To get to there from Butchart Gardens, you'll need to take a taxi, or a couple of buses.
Alternatively, if you want to travel onwards to Washington state (the border to the United States is nearby!), you have three options by boat:
Nearest to the Butchart Gardens, is the Anacortes ferry. Washington State Ferries operates the passenger and vehicle ferry between nearby Sidney and Anacortes, passing through the San Juan Islands. Ferries run once or twice a day. This service does not operate during the winter season, generally from the second week of January until the end of March. To get there, you'll need to take a taxi, or a bus (or two).
If you are interested in visiting Seattle, there is a high-speed passenger catamaran ferry, The Clipper, that runs to/from Victoria's inner harbour (downtown):
- Clipper high-speed passenger ferry from Victoria to Seattle
- Clipper high-speed passenger ferry from Seattle to Victoria
You can also take the MV Coho/Black Ball Ferry Line passenger / vehicle ferry from Victoria's inner harbour (downtown) and Port Angeles, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Crossing time is 90 minutes. Service runs all year except for an annual refit for one week in winter time. In the winter, this ferry runs 2 sailings a day and in the summer up to 4 sailings per day each way are scheduled.
Other Butchart Gardens Ground Transportation
You can arrange with Harbour Air, a combination flight from Victoria Harbour Airport (YMH) to the gardens, garden admission, and a (shared) limo service back to town for about CAD 200 per person.
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