Our glorious season of sun has returned! Feeling a little pressure to make every second count? A quick escape to momentarily slow down life and embrace the season with some much-needed outdoors time strolling around lush gardens?

Book Now: Seattle to Victoria, BC Day Trip with The Butchart Gardens Package

Luckily, for Seattleites, the world-renowned Butchart Gardens are easily accessible with a quick and easy water trip across the Salish Sea. A scenic 2-hour and 45-minute ride on the Victoria Clipper ferry lands you at the Clipper terminal in the heart of Victoria, BC’s Inner Harbour. A mere twenty minutes later, you’re off the Clipper, through customs and ready to explore!

By Luxury Motor Coach

Ready to make your trip super easy? Clipper Vacations offers a unique Butchart Gardens tour overnight package as well as a Butchart Gardens day trip package option. Either package option saves you money on your Victoria Clipper ferry ticket!

After passing through customs in Victoria,  climb aboard a modern, double-decker motor coach for the 45-minute ride to The Butchart Gardens. (Insider tip: Grab a seat on the upper level for the best view of the city tour!) The best part? If you book Clipper’s Butchart Gardens tour overnight package from March 30 to October 13, Clipper delivers your luggage directly to your hotel! Your bag is there, ready and waiting for you after your tour. Clipper also offers complimentary luggage storage at the Victoria terminal until your return, if you prefer to transport your belongings yourself.

Cruise Victoria motor coach.
Take in scenic sights from the top of a double-decker motor coach. Credit: Cruise Victoria Sightseeing

On the coach, cruise past Victoria’s highlights as your expert local guide narrates a tour of the city. There’s the impressive Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) Steamship Terminal built by architects P.L James and Francis M. Rattenbury (who also created The Parliament Buildings and the Fairmont Empress) accenting the Inner Harbour. The terminal’s striking columned façade is reminiscent of Greece’s Temple of Poseidon. Not too far down the road, the turquoise dome-topped Parliament Buildings hold court over the city.

Flowers blossom to life in front of the Parliament Buildings in Victoria, BC.
Cruise past the Parliament Buildings and catch sight of gorgeous flowers. Credit: Scott Meis

You’ll also pass by the cobblestone-filled Bastion Square. Once the site of the city’s jail, courthouse and gallows, it now houses pop up markets, restaurants and a variety of shops. Next, there’s the red-brick City Hall, one of the oldest in Canada and sure to catch your eye with its steeple-like clock tower. Further along, there’s a quiet, tree-lined rural road that lands you in the charming community of Brentwood Bay. Scenic and relaxing, it’s hard to think of a better way to immerse yourself in the city’s beauty and history.

Have the kiddos in tow? Combine your trip to The Gardens with a stop by the Victoria Butterfly Gardens & Insectarium. Pop into the tropical paradise when your coach makes the 30-minute stop en route to The Butchart Gardens. Wander through the grounds, which are the size of three basketball courts, checking out exotic flowers, carnivorous plants, frogs, koi fish, tortoises, flamingos, insects, free-flying birds, large iguanas and, of course, thousands of colorful butterflies.

A stunning butterfly rests on a flower in Victoria, BC's Butterfly Gardens.
Where else can you get up close and personal with butterflies? Discover new species and colors in the midst of this urban jungle. Credit: Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Peer into the “emerging window” to catch sight of 600-1,200 butterflies as they are released each week and watch as more than 70 different varieties flit from flower to flower in the Butterfly Alley. Duck inside the insectarium and play “spot the insect.” Witness the social behavior of a leaf cutter ant colony as they carry food around their habitat. Or meet some of the garden’s resident winged friends (all are there as a result of rescues, donations or adoptions) such as Little E, an Eclectus parrot, and Picasso, a blue crowned conure.

The Butterfly Gardens' resident blue and gold macaw perched on a tree branch.
Meet Shadow, the Butterfly Gardens’ resident blue and gold macaw, and watch her share her lunch with her friend Miss Jiggs the iguana. Credit: Victoria Butterfly Gardens

When you arrive at The Butchart Gardens, stroll along intricate stone paths and babbling streams lined with colorful flowers and trees. Take advantage of the motor coach’s flexible return times to downtown Victoria and explore the manicured, 55-acre grounds at your leisure. When you’re ready to venture back to the city for the evening, show your Clipper hand stamp to board any Cruise Victoria Sightseeing (CVS) coach for the return ride to Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

The Butchart Gardens' Sunken Garden brims with blooms.
Stroll through The Butchart Gardens’ signature Sunken Garden to see thousands of beautiful blooms. Credit: The Butchart Gardens

By Bicycle

Want to soak in some fresh air? Grab a bike from the Pedaler (it’s right across the street from the Clipper terminal) and use your feet to power your way to The Garden on a 12.4-mile bike ride. Follow the Galloping Goose Trail to Interurban Road; take Interurban north to West Saanich Road; turn right (north) onto West Saanich; turn left at Wallace Drive; follow Wallace north to Benvenuto Avenue; turn left and take Benvenuto to The Gardens.

Bike ride in Victoria, BC.
Pedal along quiet roads and soak in scenic forest views. Credit: Lucas Anderson

By Car

Pick up a quick car rental from Budget Downtown for the 13-mile and 35-minute drive from Victoria’s downtown core to The Gardens.  (Inside tip: They’ll even pick you up from the Victoria Clipper terminal.) Drive north on Blanshard Street, which becomes Highway 17. Turn left at Keating X Road. Continue on Keating until it becomes Benvenuto Avenue. Follow Benvenuto to The Gardens’ entrance.

Drive from downtown Victoria, BC to The Butchart Gardens by car.
Command your own adventure from the road on a scenic drive to The Butchart Gardens.

By B.C. Transit Bus

The number 75 bus makes the roughly 65-minute trip from downtown Victoria to The Butchart Gardens at various times of day. At other times, it is necessary to take bus 6, 30 or 31 from downtown to the Royal Oak exchange to connect with the 75.

No visit to Victoria, BC is complete without exploring the world-renowned Butchart Gardens! Grab your friends and family for a memorable escape and surround yourselves with more than 300,000 blooms.

How to Get There:

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Feature Photo: Cruise Victoria