Victoria Butterfly Gardens#12 in Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island
While you wouldn't normally relate Canada with the jungle, the tropical wetlands thrive in the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. As its name suggests, this indoor facility is home to thousands of butterflies spread across its 12,000 square feet. But they aren't the only critters: The gardens also host a variety of birds and fish, including flamingos and koi fish. You'll find all of these creatures mingling amid the flora, creating a vibrant, colorful atmosphere. What's more, the gardens also house an insectarium with insects and invertebrates from around the globe.
Recent visitors called the Victoria Butterfly Gardens fun and family-friendly, with great staff. Reviewers also said that there is more to see than just butterflies, such as frogs, flamingoes and bugs. A few travelers remarked on the gardens' humid setting, advising future visitors to wear layers.
The Victoria Butterfly Gardens sits near the Victoria International Airport in Brentwood Bay, roughly 12 miles north of the Inner Harbour. Since it's located a little more than a mile east of Butchart Gardens, consider hitting both gardens on the same day. The best way to reach the area is via car, but the No. 75 bus also transports visitors between the Inner Harbour and Brentwood Bay. The garden is open daily starting at 10 a.m. (9:30 a.m. in summer), although closing hours vary by season. Admission costs CA$16.50 (about $13) for adults and CA$6 (roughly $5) for children ages 5 to 12. For more information, check out the attraction's 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.
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