Victoria is world-renowned for its stunning natural beauty, and its gardens are no exception. From delicate flowers to exotic monkey trees, there is something for everyone to enjoy in the beautiful gardens around Victoria, BC.
Known as the “City of Gardens”, Victoria is home to many public and private gardens, each with its own unique character. With a mild coastal climate, Victoria is the perfect place to grow a wide variety of plants and flowers, year-round. This means that the city is brimming with plant life, and you can find blossoms all through the year.
So, if you want to admire some beautiful flowers, here are some of the best gardens around Victoria, BC. If you love flowers, greenery, and nature, be sure to check out one (or all!) of these incredible Victoria gardens next time you’re in town.
1. Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens is perhaps the most famous of all the gardens in Victoria, and for good reason. With over 55 acres of brilliantly manicured gardens, it is easy to see why this is a must-see for any nature lover. If you love gardens, don’t wait on booking a tour of the Butchart Gardens today!
Only 30-minutes from downtown Victoria, Butchart Gardens is a great place to spend an afternoon if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city (coming from Vancouver? Try this tour). Enter the gardens at Waterwheel Square or from the ocean of Brentwood Bay, by docking your boat at The Wharf!
This beautiful property was originally used as a limestone quarry in the early 1900s but transformed by Jennie Butchart into a stunning public garden over time. Today, the gardens feature thousands of lush plants and blooming flowers. Additionally, there are also ponds, fountains (don’t miss the impressive Ross Fountain), and sculptures throughout the grounds, making the Butchart Gardens in Victoria a truly unique experience.
The sunken garden is a botanical paradise, full of flowering plants and perfectly manicured trees. The rose garden is full of incredible colors, while the Japanese Garden features stunning Japanese maples and a large torii gate. There is also a beautiful Italian Garden and Mediterranean Garden, each with its unique features. They also have a carousel with gorgeous hand-carved animals for children.
After exploring, enjoy a meal at The Dining Room Restaurant or the Blue Poppy Restaurant. In the winter season, check out the Butchart Gardens’ Magic of Christmas Event, where the gardens are decorated with thousands of Christmas lights. And, in the summer, fireworks light up the sky above the gardens every weekend. You won’t regret a visit to the Butchart Gardens!
2. Hatley Park Gardens
With a backdrop of Esquimalt Lagoon and the Olympic Mountains, the Hatley Park Gardens in Colwood are stunning. These beautiful gardens are located on the grounds of the impressive Hatley Castle, one of the majestic castles in Victoria, BC.
Hatley Castle was originally built in 1908 by James Dunsmuir. He was the 14th premier of British Columbia and the son of coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Dunsmuir spared no expense, leading to beautiful Edwardian-style gardens, an extravagant castle, and 650-acres of gorgeous grounds.
Later, the mansion was used for the Royal Roads Military College, a Canadian naval college. Now, the estate is the Hatley Park National Historic Site and home of the Royal Roads University.
At Hatley Park, the main formal gardens are the Rose Gardens, Italian Gardens (perfect for weddings!), and Japanese Gardens. Each one of the Hatley Gardens has a wide variety of flowers and unique designs.
In addition to the Hatley Castle gardens, you can also explore the wooded areas, take in the views of Esquimalt Lagoon (one of the most beautiful beaches in Victoria), and learn about the history of the castle and grounds. The gardens are also nearby the Fisgard Lighthouse and Fort Rodd Hill, two unique National Historic Sites beside the ocean.
3. Beacon Hill Park
Arguably one of the best parks in all of Victoria, Beacon Hill Park is massive and full of beautiful plant life. This incredible park is located in the heart of Victoria, within walking distance from the downtown core.
With 200 acres of parkland, manicured gardens, towering trees, and spacious lawns, this sprawling green space is a must-see on any visit to Southern Vancouver Island. Meander along the numerous footpaths, enjoying blossoming plants, lily ponds, and natural areas – most notably the unique (and endangered) Garry oak ecosystems.
Beacon Hill Park also has a Children’s Petting Farm, a playground, and sports fields. The Cameron Bandshell is a great place to catch a concert in the summer. Look for the Moss Lady hidden in the foliage. And, on the south side of the park, you’ll find the World’s Tallest Totem pole. It stands overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca, nearby the Dallas Road Waterfront and Spiral Beach.
Right beside the ocean and only a short drive from the Inner Harbour, this beautiful park has an amazing location. It’s popular with locals and tourists alike and a great place to spend a day relaxing and exploring!
4. Government House Gardens
In the Rockland neighborhood, you’ll find the beautiful Government House Gardens, part of the 36-acre estate and official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Open to the public from dawn to dusk, these gardens are perfect for an afternoon stroll. Plus, entry is free and all of the grounds are wheelchair accessible!
Cared for by the Friends of the Government House Gardens Society, the gorgeous grounds feature a variety of plants in well-designed gardens. You can explore all kinds of gardens, with plants such as irises, herbs, roses, and other flowering plants. There is even a Woodlands Trail through a Garry Oak ecosystem on the south side of the estate.
Sip on tea at the Cary Castle Mews Interpretive Centre and Tea Room. Or, check out the Government House Costume Museum, full of historical clothing artifacts. They also offer garden tours that are one hour long.
You’ll also find the majestic Craigdarroch Castle just down the road from the Government House Gardens. As well, there is the Moss Street Market and Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. With all of these wonderful tourist attractions nearby, you’ll be able to spend a full day just in this one neighborhood!
5. Abkhazi Garden
Abkhazi Garden is a small but beautiful botanical garden located on Fairfield Road in Victoria’s Oak Bay neighborhood. Tucked away behind a hornbeam hedge, this one-acre garden is a hidden oasis in the city.
Known as “The Garden that Love Built”, the Abkhazi Garden was created by Prince and Princess Abkhazi. After marrying, they began the garden in 1946 when they settled in Victoria. For forty years, they tended their garden together. Later, in 2000, the heritage property was purchased by The Land Conservancy.
Featuring a variety of gorgeous flowers, unique plants, and majestic trees, the garden is a great place to take a stroll on a sunny day. There is also The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden, where you can enjoy exquisite high tea and afternoon tea.
6. Finnerty Gardens
Finnerty Gardens is a beautiful 6.5-acre garden located on the campus of the University of Victoria (UVic). Full of flowering plants, tranquil ponds, and forest paths, this beautiful garden is perfect for a stroll. Or, sit on one of the many benches and enjoy the flowers!
One of the best rhododendron collections in Canada, Finnerty Gardens features over 1,500 rhododendrons and azaleas. The flowers were once part of Mrs. Jeanne Buchanan Simpson’s collection at Cowichan Lake but were transferred to the campus after she left her estate to the University in 1974.
The University of Victoria botanical gardens are open year-round, during the daytime. However, if you want to see the rhododendrons blooming, visit the gardens in April and May. Also, entry to the Finnerty Gardens is free! Overall, it’s a great place to take a break from studying or exploring the university campus.
7. Victoria Butterfly Gardens
The Victoria Butterfly Gardens in Saanich is an indoor rainforest that is home to a variety of tropical plants and thousands of butterflies of up to 70 different species. They have all kinds of tropical plants, from carnivorous pitcher plants to moving sensitive plants. You can experience the tropical jungle while you’re still on Vancouver Island!
Full of exotic plants, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens is the perfect place to enjoy an indoor garden and its beautiful butterfly inhabitants. Providing a vibrant jungle experience, the gardens also feature free-flying tropical birds like parrots, poison dart frogs, and other unique animals. Also, there is a cute fish pond to enjoy, full of koi, turtles, and flamingos.
If you love beautiful butterflies and lush plants, this is the perfect spot for you. Open year-round, this hidden gem is the perfect place to escape the winter blues. Get your tickets to the Victoria Butterfly Gardens today so you can experience the tropics without even having to leave Canada!
Enjoy the unique plant life while learning about butterflies on one of their guided tours. Visitors can learn about the lifecycle of butterflies, as well as the conservation efforts that are necessary to protect these delicate creatures.
8. Gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP)
The Gardens at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP) are a must-see year-round for any gardening enthusiast. Known as a “gardeners garden”, the Gardens at the HCP is an excellent place to learn about Pacific Northwest horticulture.
The public HCP gardens (once known as the Glendale Gardens) are full of character, with many unique gardening designs. If you want to learn about herbs, explore the Herb Garden. Wander through the Hardy Fuchsia Garden to see some of these plants that flourish in Victoria’s climate.
You can learn about environmentally friendly, sustainable urban gardening practices for the Pacific Northwest at the Urban Garden. In the colder, enjoy their Winter Garden with colorful trees, berries, and evergreens. They also have the largest outdoor bonsai garden in Canada!
Explore the grounds of the Gardens at the HCP on a self-guided adventure or join a guided tour. The HCP is also home to a cafe and a gift shop, making it a great place to spend an afternoon. Additionally, they offer community education workshops on a variety of topics, including flower arranging and pruning foliage.
Top Travel Tips & Resources for Victoria, BC
- Travel Insurance – If you’re travelling internationally, travel insurance is a must for any trip. Being covered by insurance is especially important when you’re going to an adventure-filled place like British Columbia. If you injure yourself while adventuring, you want to have insurance! We recommend using SafetyWing for international travel insurance. They are affordable and have great policies for travellers, digital nomads, and remote workers. Also, SafetyWing provides COVID-19 coverage, which many other insurance companies don’t cover.
- Car Rental – We find the best deal on vehicle rental prices using RentalCars.com. They compare the prices for different car rental companies so you can find the best deals out there!
- Accommodations – We prefer booking all of our hotels, hostels, and other accommodations through Booking.com because they have a flexible cancellation policy. Also, there are lots of different options on their platform, from hotels to vacation homes. Alternatively, Expedia and Hotels.com are good for booking accommodations. For vacation home rentals, VRBO is an excellent choice (they have lower fees than Airbnb, many of the same properties, and are more ethical).
- Flights – You’ll find many good flight deals on Skyscanner or Google Flights. You can book flights through these websites and they’ll help you find the best prices and flight times. If you fly at less popular times (e.g. mid-week or red-eye flights), you can also save some money.
- Tours – Get the most out of your vacation by taking a guided tour! This is a great way to see the city, adventure to exciting new locations, and learn about the local culture. Viator or GetYourGuide are great options for booking tours.