Carved from an abandoned quarry, the delightful Butchart Gardens are Victoria ’s best-known attraction. They’re approximately 20 kilometers north of downtown (800 Benvenuto Dr., Brentwood Bay, 250/652-4422, www.butchartgardens.com , adult $30, youth $15, child $3). The gardens are open every day of the year from 9 a.m., closing in summer at 10 p.m. and in winter at 4 p.m., with varying closing hours in other seasons.
The gardens were developed in the early 1900s to beautify an abandoned quarry; the owners creating what has evolved into one of the world’s premier private gardens. The gardens now contain more than 5,000 varieties of flowers, and the extensive nurseries test-grow some 35,000 new bulbs and more than 100 new roses every year.
Go to Butchart Gardens in spring, summer, or early autumn to treat your eyes and nose to a marvelous sensual experience. Summer visitors are in for a special treat on Saturday nights (July and August only), when a spectacular fireworks display lights up the garden.