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British Columbia

Victoria and Vancouver: Glorious West Coast Gardens

Program No. 2679RJ
Discover the botanical beauty of Victoria and Vancouver, where a blend of Asian, First Nation and European aesthetics combine to create some of the world’s most stunning gardens.

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At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking 1-2 miles a day over flat terrain.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

What You'll Learn

  • Discover Vancouver’s Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, a classical Chinese Garden.
  • Join a horticulturalist who will take you behind the scenes 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.

General Notes

You may enjoy our easier paced Signature City program, "Signature Cities Vancouver & Victoria" (#20578).
Featured Expert
All trip experts
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John Adams
John Adams is the author of “Old Square-Toes and His Lady: The Life of James and Amelia Douglas.” Part historian and part storyteller, John has turned a passion for the past into a long career in history. His family-owned business, Discover the Past, provides a variety of historical educational programs for the community. His natural, lively, humorous and clear style makes his presentations both informative and memorable.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of John Adams
John Adams View biography
John Adams is the author of “Old Square-Toes and His Lady: The Life of James and Amelia Douglas.” Part historian and part storyteller, John has turned a passion for the past into a long career in history. His family-owned business, Discover the Past, provides a variety of historical educational programs for the community. His natural, lively, humorous and clear style makes his presentations both informative and memorable.
Profile Image of Marlene Kumnick
Marlene Kumnick View biography
A certified travel director and master gardener, Marlene is always on the lookout for unique cultural experiences, travel and learning opportunities. She’s also fluent in English and German and game to improve her French and Spanish. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and love of Canada with others. With degrees in everything from Music to Medieval Studies to Landscape Design, Marlene loves to talk on a large variety of subjects and is always happy to teach and learn more from those she leads.
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Phil Foster View biography
A lover of math and physics, Phil graduated from Exeter University in England with a teaching degree. His long career in education has spanned three continents; he spent time in small communities and cities throughout England, Australia and Canada teaching and learning about each country’s unique culture. Truly passionate about spreading knowledge to others and about travelling, Phil loves nothing more than taking people on educational walks through historic Victoria, showing them what makes his home special.
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Chris Adams View biography
Chris was raised in Victoria and attended the University of Victoria where he received his BA in history. Chris spent many years of his early adult life in the UK and received a diploma in human ecology from Strathclyde University in Glasgow. He and his wife now live in Victoria with their two children. Chris is a historian, storyteller and interpretive leader. In his spare time, he is a hard-working urban farmer, tending flocks of chickens, ducks and quail, along with many hives of bees.
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Routes Adventures Mobile Phone View biography
Please call the toll free line at 1-866-745-1690 during regular business hours or for non-urgent matters (Mon - Fri 8:30 - 4:30 EST). The mobile phone #1-613-331-5777 is for after hours and weekends for emergency use only. The phone is carried by a staff member.
Profile Image of Alasdair Butcher
Alasdair Butcher View biography
Alasdair Butcher is a Vancouver-born and based local expert, community organizer, and educator. He has a B.A.H. in human geography from the University of British Columbia and a master's in urban studies from Simon Fraser University. In 2008, he founded Vancouver DeTours with the aim of reclaiming travel as an act of educational empowerment. Since then, he has taken more than 100,000 guests on explorations of Vancouver's social history, architecture, urban planning, public art, and contemporary topics through an approach he calls "pedestrian pedagogy."
Profile Image of Lori Snyder
Lori Snyder View biography
Lori Snyder is an Indigenous Metis herbalist and educator with a deep knowledge of wild, medicinal, and edible plants that grow in everyday spaces. Through Lori’s eyes, our immediate surroundings take on a new life and offer a wealth of untapped nutritional and ecological resources. Through Indigenous methods, Lori leads people of diverse backgrounds in reconnecting to the Earth’s wisdom. Lori's vision is to continually co-create insightful dialogues, and to remediate and reconcile with Indigenous plants as we reintroduce them into urban landscapes.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.





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