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The Butchart Gardens, Victoria's signature attraction

Ask our guests “What were the highlights of your visit to Victoria BC?” and they will always mention The Butchart Gardens. How can it be otherwise? This glorious show garden will impress anyone and is the principal “must-see” of the attractions on Vancouver Island - 1.2 million people will vouch for this every year.

The Butchart Gardens

 The Butchart Gardens has more than 50 acres of themed gardens; a floral delight open all year. Additionally, you can enjoy concerts, lighting displays and fireworks. Dine in the Dining Room or the Blue Poppy restaurant or take afternoon tea here.

Greater Victoria Golf Courses near Cordova Bay and Elk Lake
Cordova Bay Victoria BC located close to Elk Lake

More than 100 years in the making

When we walk around the gardens today, we benefit from more than 100 years of growth and work. When Jennie Butchart caught a vision of her future gardens in 1904, there was just a worked-out limestone quarry, some fields and woods. Cartloads of soil were needed at the site before its immature landscaping took shape. First to open was the Japanese Garden in 1906, followed by the dramatic Sunken Garden with the Italian and Rose gardens following. Within 10 years, more than 50,000 people were visiting annually. Admission was still free and many were served coffee but when the Second World War ended the Gardens took on a more professional approach; a restaurant was created and summer concerts began.

The Butchart Gardens today

More than 100 years in bloom later, there’s much more to The Butchart Gardens today than just flowers. Wandering through the summer illuminations (now nightly from mid-June to mid-September) is a special experience first introduced in 1954. On July and August evenings, you can enjoy a high quality concert on the lawn – do check the schedule. Additionally, summer Saturday nights draw crowds for fireworks set to music (bring warm clothing).

Strangely, it is rare to see a gardener – their team of 50 + gardeners make an early start caring for more than 700 varieties of plants. They use more than one million bedding plants annually, grown in two acres of greenhouses. In 2004, The Butchart Gardens were designated a National Historic Site of Canada.

Victoria BC Bed and Breakfast close to sandy beaches, oceans
Victoria BC Bed and Breakfast nearby Butchart Gardens

Victoria BC Bed and Breakfast nearby Butchart Gardens

Your visit to the Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens are on the west side of the Saanich Peninsula, adjoining Brentwood Bay, a short drive from Victoria BC. When you arrive, you’ll receive a detailed map with a recommended route. At your bed and breakfast, you will be able to find out about special events, or check at the Information Centre near the coffee shop and gift shop. Plan on spending several hours here: if you also intend to visit nearby Butterfly Gardens, we suggest you visit there first, allowing up to an hour.

Children will love the Rose Carousel in the Pavilion. An interesting aside for anyone is an informative 45-minute boat tour from the dock of Tod Inlet and Brentwood Bay.

If your visit is not in the summer months, several events may coincide:

  • January 15th to March 31st: Spring Prelude Indoor Garden – the Blue Poppy Restaurant is transformed into a remarkable indoor garden.
  • January 15th to March 16th: the Historical Display inside the Butchart residence.
  • November: see behind the scenes in the greenhouses. Prior booking is recommended.
  • December 1st to January 6th: The Magic of Christmas. This is the favourite for many of us locals. It really is wonderfully magical. Walk through the pretty illuminations, discover the Twelve Days of Christmas displays, listen to Christmas music, take a spin on the outdoor ice rink and then sip a hot chocolate.

Re-admissions may be made daily and for $3.50 the following day, except on fireworks Saturdays. Wheelchairs, strollers and umbrellas may be borrowed.

All our bed and breakfasts are on the Saanich Peninsula close to the Butchart Gardens, just a short drive from a memorable day’s visit. Please do contact us about our availability or check and reserve accommodation online. Your B&B hosts will be glad to tell you more about visiting the Butchart Gardens and other Victoria BC attractions here on Vancouver Island.

Greater Victoria BC Scenery Cordova Bay Mount Baker View
Victoria Tourist Attraction Butchart Gardens Japanese Garden
Greater Victoria Tourist Attraction Butterfly World
Home Cordova Bay Saanich Peninsula Victoria Hospitality Community Blog Butchart Gdns Attractions Links Map
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