Thursday, December 11, 2014

Vancouver Vacation: Victoria and Butchart Gardens

Hello, friends! It's been a while since I've posted, but if you've been following along, you'll remember that my family and I went on a summer vacation to beautiful British Columbia! I blogged about our first 3 days here, here, and here, in case you want to catch up.

We spent the fourth day of our vacation exploring Victoria, the capitol of British Columbia, located on Vancouver Island!  It was just a short (1 hour) drive from Deep Cove, where we stayed, to catch a ferry to the island.  It's a good idea to reserve your spot on the ferry (if you're bringing your car...which you should) ahead of time, so you're guaranteed a spot there and back.  The lines get long!

The ride over is beautiful but cold, as you weave through tiny islands toward Victoria. Make sure you dress in layers!

Once we got off the boat, we decided to head straight to The Butchart Gardens.  I'd highly recommend making this your first stop of the day, because it gets BUSY as the day goes on!

Butchart Gardens, consistantly ranked as one of the most beautiful public gardens in the world, is over 55 acres of beautiful gardens and grounds that have been growing over the last 100 years.  Once Mr Butchart exhausted the limestone deposits on the grounds, his wife decided to use the space for flowers by bringing in tons of topsoil in from nearby farms.  From there, the garden was slowly expanded to what it is today!

There are 8 different themed areas that make up Butchart Gardens, ranging from the Rose Garden to the Japanese Garden, and the Star Garden to the Sunken Gardens.

I managed to narrow down the number of pictures from the gardens from 300 to about 25 to share with's a taste of what you'll see when visiting in the summer.  It's breathtaking!

Once we'd had our fill of flora, we made our way to downtown Victoria.  While there, we toured the beautiful Parliament Building, checked out the totem polls outside the Mungo Martin House, strolled along the harbor, and did some shopping as we explored the city.

We also toured Craigdarroch Castle.

As if the sights we saw IN Victoria weren't enough, we were treated to a beautiful ride back to Vancouver.  If you find yourself in British Columbia, a day (or two!) in Victoria is a must!

Read about our other Vancouver adventures here:

Grouse Mountain
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Stanley Park & the Aquarium