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Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC: Is it Worth Your Time and Money?

The flowers have been blooming at Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC for over 100 years and for over a million visitors a year, a tour of the gardens is on their must-see list of local attractions. And yet, we still hear some people who think a tour of Butchart Gardens is too expensive, or takes too long to get through. They wonder if it is worth their time and money.

You can actually get a professional image of the Sunken Garden as a wallpaper!

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Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens

Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens

Let’s explore that.

For the 2021 season, the cost of entrance for an adult 18+ during the peak summer season is $36.00 CAD including taxes. Children 5-12 are just $3 and youth 13-17 are $18. The rates (and hours) fluctuate throughout the year depending on the season with the spring and summer rates higher than the fall and winter rates. There is no charge for parking.

When you look at other local entertainment options such as live theatre, the brand new Malahat Skywalk, the Royal BC Museum, Wildplay (an outdoor adventure park) and the movies, pricing is within a comparable range. So, price of the activity should not be a deterrent.

Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens
Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens

Fall flowers at Butchart Gardens

How long does it take to explore the entire gardens?

Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC is a 55-acre oasis of blooms and blossoms. The amount of time it takes you to see the Sunken Garden, Japanese Garden, Rose Garden and Italian Garden depends entirely on your pace and how much time you spend stopping to enjoy your surroundings. 

We think a person who moves along at a leisurely pace, stops occasionally to enjoy the spectacular beauty and takes some memorable photos, would realistically spend a couple of hours. But it is very easy to spend much more time because there is more to the gardens then just the flowers and shrubs. There is the rose carousel, the seed and gift store, winter skating and in the summer, performances on the Concert Lawn and the popular Saturday night fireworks. (fireworks have been on pause for the 2020 and 2021 seasons - let's hope they return in 2022!)

It is not unusual to spend an entire afternoon enjoying this National Historic Site. Get tickets.

Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens
Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens

Japanese Garden at Butchart Gardens

On a recent visit, we spent 2.5 hours walking the gardens and enjoying the spectacular fall colours. We found the Japanese Garden incredibly peaceful and tranquil with many benches overlooking the various water features. I don't think we could have spent ALL afternoon there in the Japanese garden, but we easily spent 45 minutes. 

Fountain at Butchart Gardens
Fountain at Butchart Gardens
Fountain at Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC are not just a beautiful place enjoyed by tourists. In fact for less than $70 annually, many locals take advantage of a 12-month pass option, And this is exactly what we did on our recent visit. We upgraded to an annual pass that gives us unlimited entry to the grounds for 12 full months from the date of purchase. We look forward to seeing the gardens throughout the season and plan to visit monthly. 

Update: We returned in early November and were treated to a "behind the scenes" day at the garden with so many staff busy working away. Some were planting spring bulbs, many were decorating the gardens and getting ready for the Magic of Christmas Light Display and still others were trimming and tidying in the Rose Garden. Can't wait to go back in December! Don't miss this National Historic site - plan your visit now.   

Some of our favourite gifts that will serve as wonderful memories of your visit are this 1000 piece puzzle and the Butchart Gardens wall calendar

So, is visiting Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC worth the time and the money? In my opinion, that is a resounding YES!

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