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Vancouver Island

TRIP INFORMATION: 590 km round trip, 8.5 hours driving time including Tofino. This multi-day trip allows you to see many of Vancouver Island’s sights and Gardens. Allow 2-3 days to really take in all that Vancouver Island has to offer.
Day One

    Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

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    505 Quayle Road, Victoria, BC, CA, V9E 2J7

    With nine acres of demonstration gardens to enjoy, you’ll find plenty of inspiration for your own garden. A further 100 acres of conservation park is home to endangered plant species and host to many native bird species. Over 260 volunteers assist in maintaining and growing the gardens and were the first to establish this unique setting.  HCP is also home to Pacific Horticulture College, founded in 1987 providing yearlong professional horticulture education. Community Education programs run year around and our new Couvelier Pavilion provides a gorgeous setting for weddings and events, including our amazing Arts & Music Festival in August each year, definitely one to build your vacation around!

  • The Butchart Gardens

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    800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC, CA, V8M 1J8

    After filling your head with new latin names for plants and flowers you love, head on over to The Butchart Gardens (visit time 2-3 hours). Tip: after you enter the gardens stop by the Visitor Center and reserve for lunch or afternoon tea.

  • Victoria Butterfly Gardens

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    1461 Benvenuto Avenue, Brentwood Bay, BC, CA, V8M 1J5

    After your visual senses have been satiated, drop by Victoria Butterfly Gardens – just 5 minutes from Butchart (visit time 1 hour).

  • Hatley Park National Historic Site

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    2005 Sooke Road, Victoria, BC, CA, V9B 5Y2

    Haven’t seen enough and still not dark yet? Head on over to Colwood and immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Hatley Castle and Gardens, including a wonderful Japanese Garden, and like The Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada. Keep in mind closing time is dusk.

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    603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC, CA, V9C2W8
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    603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC, CA, V9C2W8

    Adjacent to Fort Rodd Hill you will find an iconic Victoria landmark: The Fisgard Lighthouse

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    100 Cook St, Victoria, BC, CA

    While in the Victoria area, take in Victoria’s iconic harbour, or saunter through the gardens of Beacon Hill Park. With roughly 740,000 square metres of parkland, Beacon Hill Park is the crowning jewel in Victoria’s public park system. There are natural areas, manicured flower beds, footpaths and many sports and play features for the whole family to enjoy.

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    675 Belleville St, Victoria, BC, CA, V8W9W2

    Stay an extra day and experience one of Canada’s best museums, the Royal British Columbia Museum! 

Day Two
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    Front St, Nanaimo, BC, CA, V9R6Y3

    When you are ready, head over to the Nanaimo area and continue your adventure dining on Nanaimo’s inner harbour.

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    6357 Wicks Rd, Duncan, BC, CA, V9L4K1

    Head south, out to the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth (visit time 30 -90 minutes). Take a walk through the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth. In the words of owner Christopher Carruthers, “you won’t get lost”! Perhaps one of the most captivating features of the Cowichan Valley Lavender Labyrinth is the multitude of lavender cultivars represented. Featuring over twenty varieties, from the classic English and Mediterranean lavenders to the lesser known lemon lavender (whose scent is akin to rosemary), this diversity in colour, shape and scent is an experience not to be missed.

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    Lake Cowichan, BC, CA

    Cowichan Lake isn’t far from there, and is not to be overlooked. Don’t miss the wine and culinary delights of Cowichan when you are in the area.

  • Milner Gardens & Woodland

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    2179 W Island Hwy, Qualicum Beach, BC, CA, V9K 1G1

    Heading back north up the island past Nanaimo, continue on a little ways past Qualicum Beach, stop to take in Milner Gardens & Woodlands (visit time 60-120 minutes). A one-of-a-kind woodland estate and gardens nestled in the peace that only an old-growth forest can provide; an oasis that rejuvenates the soul.

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    403 Lowrys Rd, Parksville, BC, CA, V9P2B5

    If you’re a fan of cheese or wine, stop by Little Qualicum Cheeseworks to pick up some of their delicious artisan cheeses, and be sure to try their unique berry-based wines.

  • Naa’Waya’Sum Coastal Indigenous Gardens

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    1084 Pacific Rim Hwy, Tofino, BC, CA, V0R2Z0

    Welcome to the home of the Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens, the IISAAK Learning Lodge, and the Little Costa Rica Cafe.

    The Tofino Botanical Gardens has entered a new phase of life. In 2021, the 10-acre site was sold to the IPCA Innovation Program – a project of MakeWay Charitable Society – and renamed the Clayoquot Campus. The unique space, established in 1997, has shifted to a focus on supporting Indigenous-led conservation.

    The Naa’Waya’Sum Gardens and Little Costa Rica Cafe are now open to the public! Come by for a visit, witness the live carving of totem poles, explore the trails, sip a hot drink on the patio, and learn about Nuu-chah-nulth art and culture."

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    452 Alberni Hwy, BC, CA

    Head back to Nanaimo and stop and explore the remarkable Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park — you’re going to need an hour here to walk the loop and take it all in.

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    2326 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, BC, CA, V0R1M0

    Loop back and catch Goats on the Roof (the Old Country Market) in Coombs – always fun for kids and adults alike!