The Butchart Gardens#2 in Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island
These world-renowned gardens have impressed Victoria visitors since 1904. Resting on 55 acres about 15 miles north of the Inner Harbour, Butchart Gardens were carefully constructed by Jennie Butchart on her husband's former limestone quarry. Today, more than 1 million people stop by each year to meander along the property's flower-lined paths, which contain more than 900 varities. Visit on a summer evening to see the gardens illuminated by colored lights and to enjoy some musical entertainment. If you're planning a summer visit and want to avoid the crowds, heed the advice of garden staff and stop by before 10:30 a.m. or after 3:30 p.m.
Travelers describe the gardens as incredibly beautiful with awesome views and recommend that you bring a camera. They also advised setting aside several hours to make the most of the experience. If you need a break, retreat to one of the three eateries located on-site. There is also a carousel and boat tours available on-site.
The Butchart Gardens open daily at 8:45 or 9 a.m. and closes at different times depending on the season. Admission ranges from CA$18.75 (approximately $14.50) to CA$33.80 (about $26) for adults, depending on the season. If you don't have your own set of wheels, bus route No. 75 services the garden (though a car or taxi will cut your travel time in half). You can find more information on the Butchart Gardens website.
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#1 Inner Harbour
The Inner Harbour is Victoria's primary tourist neighborhood. The harbor itself – home to various fishing boats and colorful floating homes – is framed by wide pedestrian streets, often frequented by street vendors and buskers. Numerous cafes and restaurants line the sidewalks and provide the perfect locale to savor an afternoon cup of tea while keeping your eyes peeled for whales playing in the open water. The Inner Harbour also hosts some of Victoria's most popular attractions, including the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Parliament Buildings. If you're embarking on a boat or ferry tour, this is where you'll likely start your journey.
Although the majority of recent visitors recommended spending a few hours at the Inner Harbour for the view, some suggested devoting at least half a day as there is always something interesting to see and do. For an even more charming scene, return in the evening, when the Parliament Buildings are lit up.