Road Scholar : Home
Victoria and Vancouver: Glorious West Coast Gardens

Program Number: 2679RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/31/2015 - 6/7/2015; 7/19/2015 - 7/26/2015; 8/30/2015 - 9/6/2015;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Price starting at: $1,785.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Homes & Gardens
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Cradled by sheltered waters and dramatic mountains and freshened by a gentle coastal climate, Vancouver is a city filled with parks and forests whose gardens reflect the city’s blend of cosmopolitanism, natural beauty and art. Across the Strait of Georgia, on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria’s Edwardian architecture accentuates the city’s Britannic refinement, of which no lovelier example exists than the world-renowned Butchart Gardens. Explore both cities and their gardens, uncovering rich history, natural beauty, First Nations heritage and more.


• Discover Vancouver’s Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, a classical Chinese Garden and the old growth forest in Stanley Park.
• Join a horticulturalist who will take you behind the scenes to a private garden and to the elegant Queen’s Gardens to experience Victoria’s colonial past.
• Explore the renowned Butchart Gardens where some 900 varieties give you uninterrupted bloom from March through October; and take a fascinating look at Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Old Town and the historic Empress Hotel on expert-led walks.

Activity Particulars

Walking 1-2 miles a day over flat terrain.

Date Specific Information

5-31-2015, 7-19-2015, 8-30-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Vancouver, 3 nights; coach and ferry to Victoria, 4 nights; departure.

Vancouver (British Columbia)

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Vancouver for its breathtaking hiking and biking trails and majestic views of the tree-lined waterway, the Strait of Georgia. With distinctive neighborhoods, top-rated restaurants and a thriving theater and arts scene, Vancouver is also a sophisticated destination. It is renowned as one of the world’s best cities.


This provincial capital on Vancouver Island is blessed with spectacular scenery and a mild climate year-round. Home to Butchart Gardens and the Empress Hotel, Victoria is rich in First Nations history, marine coastal ecosystems, cultural attractions and European charm that dates to its years spent under British colonial rule.

Vancouver: Hotel a half-block from beach at English Bay. Victoria: Hotel steps from Inner Harbour.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Atkin

John Atkin is an author, historian and heritage advocate who has been fascinated with Vancouver since moving to the city over 30 years ago. He if the co-founder of the Heritage Vancouver Society, has contributed to a documentary on the city, and has appeared regularly on television and radio, including CBC Television and CTV’s Canada AM. John is the author of four books on Vancouver, including “Strathcona: Vancouver’s First Neighborhood,” and is an editor for the B.C. Historical Federation.
Phil Foster

A student of mathematics and physics, Phil Foster graduated from the teacher education program at Exeter University in Devon, England. This was the beginning of a long career in education that spanned three continents — he has taught in small communities and cities throughout England, Australia and Canada. Today, Phil enjoys sharing his knowledge with lifelong learners, and leads educational walks through Victoria.
Joan Looy

Raised in the lovely Victoria, British Columbia area, Joan Looy acted nearly 20 years ago on her passion for gardening. She left teaching and began shepherding explorations of wonderful private gardens that were only rarely available to visiting garden enthusiasts. Joan’s infectious enthusiasm shines as she shares stories of local history, delves into lesser-known, historic public gardens and identifies gardening trends.
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Sands by the Sea
  Vancouver, BC 3 nights
   Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
  Victoria, BC 4 nights
 Best Western Sands by the Sea
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.
  Contact info: 1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
  Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, mini fridges, air conditioning, morning newspaper, free high speed wireless Internet access, iPod/iPhone/iPad Clock Radios and flat screen TV’s.
  Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and 2 bars on site; and room service. Free wireless high speed internet in public areas and guest rooms.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Check for availability. Contact the hotel directly for rates & availability. Toll-Free: 1-800-663-9400
  Check in time: 4:00 PM

 Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: With our convenient location in the heart of downtown Victoria, the largest city on Vancouver Island, BC, you can take a leisurely stroll along Victoria’s famous Inner Harbour, shop for treasures on Antiques Row or make business connections in Victoria’s nearby downtown core. Take a horse and carriage tour of Victoria with family and friends, create memories at Beacon Hill Park, and the Royal BC Museum is just around the block. Take in views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. There’s so much to see and do right at our doorstep! Enjoy yourself in the Royal Scot Hotel & Suite’s beautiful indoor pool, whirl pool, sauna and exercise room. Have some fun in our billiards room or gather with friends for a hand of bridge or a movie in the games room. We offer free wireless Internet access throughout the hotel. For your convenience our courtesy shuttle is available to take you anywhere within Victoria's downtown core. After a full day, rest easy in the cozy comfort of the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites and feel at home in downtown Victoria.
  Contact info: 425 Quebec Street
Victoria, BC V8V1W7 Canada
phone: 250-388-5463
  Room amenities: Our guest rooms include daily newspaper delivery, comfortable lounge chairs, mini fridges, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, tea and cookies, hair dryer, complimentary high speed wireless Internet, iron and ironing board and bathrobes.
  Facility amenities: Our Guest Service Amenities include: Business Services Available Coin-Operated Guest Laundry Courtesy Shuttle between the Hotel and downtown Victoria daily Indoor Swimming Pool Hydrotherapy Pool Exercise Room with a variety of Fitness Equipment Billiards and Games Room Hotel Parking (for a fee) High speed Wireless Internet in all Guest Rooms and Hotel Common Areas Hotel Gift Shop Jonathon's Restaurant Toll Free #: 800-663-7515
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates Contact hotel directly.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel in Vancouver. Check-in after 4:00 p.m. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m in the lobby. Dinner is at 6:00 p.m. You will be staying at Best Western Sands by the Sea that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast on the final day starts at 7:30 a.m.; departures after breakfast, Victoria, BC. Check-out of hotel is 12:00 noon. You will be staying at Royal Scot Hotel and Suites the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
To arrange parking at the Best Western Sands by the Sea Hotel please contact the hotel directly at 604-682-1831. **Please note it is recommended that participants do not drive to the program, as the program starts and ends in different locations.**
To Start of Program
  Location:  Vancouver, BC
  Nearest city or town:  Vancouver
  Nearest highway: Hwy 1
  Nearest airport:  Vancouver International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location:  Victoria, BC
  Nearest city or town:  Victoria
  Nearest airport:  Victoria International Airport
Travel Details


From Airport





If you purchased airfare through Road Scholar, you’ll receive free round-trip airport transfers to get you to and from your program. You will receive detailed information regarding the transfer approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. If you did not purchase airfare through Road Scholar, you will be responsible for making your own way to and from the airport. Please review the suggested options below.




From Airport






Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $35 CAD (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


Approximately 30 minutes 


Taxis available at the Vancouver airport. There is no shuttle service from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to downtown Vancouver. For current arrival and departure information to/from the airport, please visit




From Airport




Public Transportation
Sky Train/Canada Line
phone: 604-953-3333


Per Person/One Way:


$7 - $10 (CAD)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


35 - 45 minutes 


From airport take Sky Train to Yaletown/Roundhouse Station, signs will direct you to the Canada Line. Airport staff will direct you. From Yaletown/Roundhouse take C23 Davie St bus (with same ticket) west to Davie & Howe, walk 1 blk to hotel. For current fare and schedule information visit




From Train Station




Checker Cabs
phone: 604-683-4567


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $10 CAD (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


10 minutes 


Taxis available at train station or use call box. Amtrak, Via Rail and Greyhound all provide service to Vancouver. Taxis available from the bus or train depot.




To Airport




Commercial Van/Shuttle
YYJ Shuttle (Gray Line)
phone: 855-351-4995
Advanced Reservations Required


Per Person/One Way:


Approximately $25 CAD (subject to change)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


30 minutes 


YYJ Shuttle (operated by Gray Line) provides daily 1/2 hour service to/from the airport to all hotels and motels in Greater Victoria. Reservations are recommended. For more information visit or call 1-855-351-4995. Victoria International Airport (YYJ) has many direct flights from Air Canada (Jazz) which offers connections from across North America via Toronto, Montreal and Halifax.




To Ferry Landing




Public Transportation


Per Person/One Way:


$5 - $6 CAD (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.


Travel Time:


5 minutes 




Walking distance from the hotel.


The Victoria Clipper passenger ferry travels between Victoria and Seattle. Travel time is 2 ½ hours. For more information, schedules and current fares please call 1-800-888-2535 or visit BC Ferries offers service between Victoria and Vancouver and other mainland ports. Crossing time is approximately 1 ½ hours. For more information call 1-888-223-3779 from anywhere in North America, email:, or visit




To Bus Terminal




Public Transportation
City Bus


Per Person/One Way:


$2 - $3 CAD
Prices are subject to change.


Pacific Coach Lines picks up at scheduled stops in Victoria and goes onto the ferry to Vancouver (including Vancouver Airport), then on to the main bus station. Contact PCL at 1-800-661-1725 or visit City bus or taxi from bus station to the hotel.

Driving Directions
  From East Take the Grandview Highway Exit to Granville Street. Turn right on Granville follow Granville across Granville Street Bridge. Turn Left on Davie Street and follow Davie Street to the ocean. The Best Western Sands will be on your right.
  From West Take Tsawwasswen Ferry Terminal, then follow Highway 17. Take exit to Highway 99 and follow Highway 99 to 41st Avenue. Turn Left on 41st Avenue and continue to Granville Street. Turn right on Granville; follow Granville across Granville Street Bridge. Turn left on Davie Street and follow Davie Street to the ocean. The Best Western Sands will be on your right.
  From the US (south) to Best Western Sands Take US Interstate 5 to Highway 99, follow 99 to 41st. Avenue. Turn Left on 41st Avenue and continue to Granville Street. Turn Right on Granville; follow Granville across Granville Street Bridge and turn left on Davie Street. Follow Davie Street to the ocean. The Best Western Sands will be on your right.
  From the airport: Head south on Grant McConachie Way E, keep right at the fork and follow the signs for Granville St E/ City Centre/ Centre-Ville/ BC 99 N. Merge onto SW Marine Drive. Continue on to Granville St. Make a slight left at Granville St/Granville Bridge. Turn left at Davie St, the Best Western Sands Plus Hotel will be on your right. (Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.)
  From the north: Take Highway 99 south to Vancouver. Take exit 13 for BC 99 S/BC 1A-E towards Vancouver/Taylor Way. Keep right at the fork and follow signs for BC 99 S/Taylor Way, S/Vancouver, and merge onto Taylor Way/BC 1A S/BC 99 S. Turn left at Marine Dr/BC 1A S/ BC 99 S. Take the ramp to Bridge Vancouver and merge onto Lion’s Gate Bridge Rd/ BC 1A S/ BC 99 S. Turn right at Denman St and left at Davie St, the Best Western Sands Plus Hotel will be on your left.
Equipment Requirements: Supportive/comfortable footwear, walking shoes or boots (all-weather or waterproof and broken-in are recommended). Raincoat and/or windproof jacket (lined for cooler temperatures), umbrella, refillable water bottle.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival and Check-In/Welcome Dinner/Orientation
(Sunday, July 19)
 Afternoon: Arrivals and transfers to the program hotel in the afternoon. Check-in is 4:00 p.m. Meet your Group Leader between 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. in the hotel lobby to register and get your welcome packet.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at 6:00 p.m.
 Evening: Following dinner, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Chinatown/Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens/Stanley Park
(Monday, July 20)

Note: The walk to/from and through Stanley Park will be approximately two miles over relatively flat terrain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel includes: hot porridge, cold cereal with milk, eggs, selection of one breakfast meat( bacon, ham or sausage), toast with preserves, yogurt, fresh fruit, fruit juices, coffee and tea
 Morning: We travel to historic Chinatown to visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first authentic Chinese garden to be built outside of China. Like every classical Chinese garden, the design is based on the harmony of four main elements: rock, water, plants and architecture. Together, these four elements combine to create a breathtaking experience of perfect balance, yin and yang. The garden was built using the time-honored principles and techniques of the original Ming Dynasty garden.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: On an exceptional field trip, meet with a member of the Stanley Park Ecology Society for an in-depth exploration of Stanley Park, a breathtaking expanse that remains unspoiled and a testimony to the giant trees that occupied Vancouver in its former days. With the ocean and mountain vista as a backdrop, learn about this unique park and its temperate rainforest ecosystem. Its natural West Coast atmosphere offers a backdrop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees that transport visitors to an environment rich in tranquility. World-famous landmarks in the park will also be discussed, including Lost Lagoon, totem poles, various monuments and sculptures, and the 5.5-mile seawall that encircles the park. Following this afternoon’s field trip, take some time to explore the local area independently before regrouping for dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant
 Evening: You may remain with your Group Leader to continue exploring local sites, take the opportunity to head off on your own to discover Vancouver or relax at your hotel.
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Vancouver City Exploration/Nitobe Japanese Gardens/University of British Columbia/Museum of Anthropology
(Tuesday, July 21)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Experience the Nitobe Japanese Gardens at the University of British Columbia. Considered to be the best traditional, authentic Japanese Tea Garden in North America, it is among the top five Japanese gardens outside Japan. Each tree, stone and shrub has been deliberately placed and is carefully maintained to reflect an idealized conception and symbolic representation of nature.
 Morning: Enjoy a presentation on Vancouver with a local historian and heritage advocate. The presentation will be a walk-and-talk in and around the False Creek area (Olympic village and the old Expo 86 site), where the changes in the city over the last 20 years are most obvious and interesting. Then travel with your local guide by bus through Vancouver’s downtown core en route to the Museum of Anthropology. Vancouver is situated in an exceptional natural environment and is often cited as one of the best cities in the world to live, work, visit or invest in. See some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods and hear about points of interest along the way.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Museum of Anthropology.
 Afternoon: At the Museum of Anthropology (MOA), enjoy an expert-led exploration of the museum. The MOA is Canada's largest teaching museum and world-renowned for its collections, research, teaching, public programs and community connections. Its exhibitions and programs provide access and insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world. The Museum houses some 535,000 ethnographic and archaeological objects, many of which originate from the Northwest Coast of British Columbia.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore the many dining options. Suggestions will be provided or join the Group Leader at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Van Dusen Botanical Gardens/Ferry to Victoria/Introduction and History of Victoria
(Wednesday, July 22)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore Van Dusen Botanical Gardens with a local expert. This spectacular 22-hectare (55-acre) garden in the heart of Vancouver has matured into a botanical garden of international stature since opening to the public in 1975. The mild Vancouver climate allows the cultivation of an outstanding plant collection which is a delight any time of the year. The garden design features displays of plants in picturesque landscape settings. Specific garden areas are planted to illustrate botanical relationships, such as the Rhododendron Walk, or geographical origins, as in Sino Himalayan Garden. These areas are set amidst rolling lawns, tranquil lakes and dramatic rockwork with vistas of the mountains and Vancouver cityscape.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own on the ferry.
 Afternoon: Transfer by coach and ferry from Vancouver to Victoria (1.5 hours). Arrive in Victoria and check into hotel. This afternoon we will become familiar with the landscape, environment, culture and history of Victoria. We transfer to the hotel, followed by a presentation about the forces that shaped Victoria, the current personality of the city, and what the future holds. Victoria has an old-British charm where the residents are warm and welcoming and delight in showing visitors the beauty of this seaside gem.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Lily Maxwell's Private Garden/Government House Gardens/Craigdarroch Castle
(Thursday, July 23)

Note: Today's activities will take place primarily outside, so participants should be prepared for various types of weather conditions. In both the private and public gardens, the ground could be uneven in spots, so good walking shoes are recommended. There are a number of stairs at the historic Craigdarroch Castle and no elevator is available. There is also a short walk uphill to get to the castle.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel includes: hot porridge, cold cereal with milk, eggs, selection of one breakfast meat( bacon, ham or sausage), toast with preserves, yogurt, fresh fruit, fruit juices, coffee and tea.
 Morning: Enjoy an exclusive visit to the private garden of Lily Maxwell. This beautiful garden is located in the Oak Bay area overlooking a vista of the Strait of Georgia and the magnificent, snow-covered Olympic Mountain range. Sweeping garden beds are filled with interesting, rare and unusual perennials. Explore this amazing garden that was selected the No.1 residential garden by the national Canadian Gardening magazine.
 Lunch: Lunch at a the Tea House at Abkhazi Gardens.
 Afternoon: After lunch we spend some time at the elegant Queens Gardens surrounding the home of the lieutenant governor's mansion, the Queen's representative to the province of British Columbia. The unique features of the Government House Garden estate include an extensive rockery developed on a natural rock outcropping overlooking the ocean, an herb garden for all the senses, and a formal tapestry planting featuring Mediterranean herbs. Walk under heritage rhododendrons, towering copper beeches, and giant Douglas firs and sequoias (California redwoods) and stand beside the towering metasequoia (dawn redwood), one of the first specimens to be planted in North America.

Next we will experience the magic of Victoria history with a visit to Craigdarroch Castle. Built in the late 1800s and decked out in its Victorian finery for the holiday season, the mansion features magnificent woodwork, period furnishings, and the most prominent collection of stained and leaded glass on the West Coast. Craigdarroch Castle was built as the home of Robert Dunsmuir, the richest man in nineteenth century British Columbia, and his remarkable wife, Joan. After her husband's death, Joan ran the family empire from the Castle. There are 39 rooms furnished lavishly in the 1890s–1900s period. With over 20,000 square feet of space, the house and gardens are being restored exactly as they were originally built. On most days you will find artisans busily working on restorations.

 Dinner: Dinner at local restaurant.
 Evening: You may remain with your Group Leader to continue exploring local sites, take the opportunity to head off on your own to discover Victoria or relax at your hotel.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Inner Harbour Walk/Royal BC Museum
(Friday, July 24)

Note: During your guided walk of Old Victoria and the Inner Harbour, participants should expect to walk between 1 - 2 miles and stand for short periods of time (10 minutes) for interpretation en route. At the Royal BC Museum, benches will be available throughout, for those who need to stop and rest.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy a historic guided walk of Victoria's Old Town and Inner Harbour. A walk along Wharf Street in the heart of Old Town provides a look at the many examples of Victorian architecture. Despite a fire in 1910 which ravaged the city core, many fine buildings remain and many restorations are evident. Our local historian will discuss the well-marked and hidden treasures of Victoria including the BC Legislature, Old Town, the historic Empress Hotel and the Inner Harbour.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Sticky Wicket Pub.
 Afternoon: Experience the Royal British Columbia Museum and Art Gallery on a self-guided visit. Through unique galleries, the museum showcases the human and natural history of British Columbia and temporary exhibits from other countries and cultures. Authentic artifacts and specimens are displayed in highly realistic settings, giving visitors the experience of another time and place. Researchers at the museum, throughout British Columbia and around the world use its collections to reveal new insights into the natural world and human cultures of British Columbia.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a free evening to explore Victoria's inner harbor, take a horse-drawn carriage ride, explore Beacon Hill park, take a gentle walk along the seaside trail, or a harbor ferry exploration.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Butchart Gardens/Farewell Dinner
(Saturday, July 25)

Note: Paved and tightly packed gravel walkways lead the way through the historic Butchart Gardens. There may be some uneven ground along the way, so good walking shoes are recommended.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel.
 Morning: Enjoy some free time to shop along historic Government Street and side streets, take tea at one of the numerous tea houses or the spectacular Fairmont Empress, or explore the Inner Harbour.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore the local fare.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we will journey off-the-beaten path along rolling countryside, ocean glimpses and old-growth forests to Butchart Gardens. Butchart Gardens is a Natural Historic site still owned and operated by family descendants. The gardens offer 55 acres of wonderful floral display and you will find spectacular views as you stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Rose Garden, this show garden still maintains the gracious traditions of earlier times.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at Butchart Gardens.
Accommodations: Royal Scot Hotel and Suites
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Program Concludes/Departure
(Sunday, July 26)
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel is at 7:30 a.m.
 Morning: Departures from Victoria after breakfast as per individual travel plans. Check-out of hotel is 12:00 noon. This concludes our program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Victoria, BC BC Legislature
The Legislative Tour strives to provide an enjoyable and informative experience for all visitors focusing primarily on the role of the Legislative Assembly and MLAs and the history of both the province of British Columbia and the Legislative Buildings. The Legislative Tour Office staff promotes access to the Legislature and encourage a sense of pride and unity in the province. The goals are to foster an understanding of the legislative process, an awareness of B.C.'s political heritage and an appreciation for the beauty and significance of the Legislative Buildings. For additional information, visit
  Empress High Tea
Indulge in one of Victoria's grandest traditions - Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Empress. For almost a century, the majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England's most beloved ritual - the taking of Afternoon Tea. Award-winning Pastry Chef D'Oyen Christie works his magic, ensuring an authentic and memorable experience - from your very first sip of our secret Tea at The Empress blend tea, right through to his freshly baked raisin scones served with clotted cream and strawberry preserves. Served in the relaxing atmosphere of the elegantly restored Tea Lobby, overlooking Victoria's sparkling Inner Harbor in the stately Harborside Room or under the hand-painted ceiling of the Library, Afternoon Tea is an absolute 'must do' for all who visit Victoria. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver, BC Boat Cruise
Vancouver's best sightseeing, dining and special event cruises. Join Vancouver's most popular Sunset Dinner Cruise, an amazing opportunity to enjoy the fabulous sunset view. Enjoy Vancouver's only authentic paddlewheeler and narrated tour of the inner harbour or relax with Indian Arm Luncheon Cruise through a secluded mountain fjord. A unique experience, since the area is only accessible by boat, in 4 hours you will pass Deep Cove to Indian Arm and finally reach Silver Falls. For additional information, visit
  Grouse Mountain
Take the Gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain. If you want a real challenge - or at least a serious workout - try the Grouse Grind. A 2.9-kilometre (3700 ft.) trail straight up to the top of Grouse Mountain. When you do the Grind, it's recommended you wear hiking boots and carry water. For those in good shape the hike takes about an hour. An average time would be between one and a half to two hours. The world record for doing the Grind is under 27 minutes! It's free to hike up, but it's not wise (or advised) for you to hike back down so you'll need to pay for the gondola ride to the bottom ($10 - 15 CDN for gondola ride). The Grind is open from late Spring to early Fall, dependent on weather and trail conditions. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver Aquarium
Vancouver Aquarium Canada’s largest aquarium, the Vancouver Aquarium is dedicated to the conservation of aquatic life through display, interpretation, education, research, and direct action. You can experience all of this and more when you visit us. Research is ongoing at Aquarium labs and with display animals, by graduate students and staff. For additional information, visit
  Vancouver Museum
The Vancouver Museum houses permanent displays, exhibitions and educational programs about the natural, cultural and human history of the Vancouver region. Canada's largest civic museum moves into its second century, it continues to explore the human and natural history of the Vancouver region, the Pacific Northwest Coast and Pacific Rim with exciting, ever-changing new exhibitions. The Vancouver Museum continues to celebrate the rich legacy and heritage of our diverse multicultural society through varied programs. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Early in the Season, A British Columbia Journal

Author: Edward Hoagland

Description: A journal of seven weeks the author spent living in the bush of British Columbia. Filled with perceptive observations of the flora, fauna, geology and people of the region.

Looking at Indian Art of the Northwest Coast

Author: Hilary Stewart

Description: A concise, illustrated overview of the diverse art produced by the peoples of the Pacific Northwest. It focuses on the spiritual and cultural meaning of common motifs that characterize the rich art of the area.

National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest

Author: Peter Alden

Description: A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the Pacific Northwest.

The Island Within

Author: Richard Nelson

Description: A beautifully written tribute to the Pacific Northwest. Drawn from the author's journals, this is an account of the natural and cultural history of an island in the waters of Haida Strait, with emphasis on the relationship between people and the land.

The Last Great Sea, A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean

Author: Terry Glavin, Carl Safina (Introduction)

Description: A wide-ranging conservation history of British Columbia and the North Pacific ocean. Glavin lives in the Gulf Islands, where he writes frequently about fisheries and environmental issues facing the region.

The Raven Steals the Light

Author: Robert Bringhurst, Bill Reid (Illustrator), Claude Levi-Strauss (Introduction)

Description: A classic collection of 10 Haida myths and legends with accompanying black and white etchings by Vancouver artist Bill Reid. These stories capture the storytelling traditions of the Haida.

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