2679
British Columbia

Victoria and Vancouver: Glorious West Coast Gardens

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.
Rating (4.96)
Program No. 2679RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,199
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8 days
7 nights
16 meals
7 B 4 L 5 D
DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Vancouver, BC
D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in begins at 4:00 pm.

Afternoon: Arrive in Vancouver. Program registration begins at 4:00 pm. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. Remember to bring your name-tag (sent previously).

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome dinner at 6:00 pm in the hotel.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
City Field Trip, Nitobe Gardens, UBC Botanical Gardens
Vancouver, BC
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach. Walking for approximately 1 mile (1.6 km).

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast including hot and cold options will be provided by the hotel. Coffee, tea, and water are included.

Morning: Explore Vancouver’s downtown core and notable neighborhoods by motorcoach with a local expert while travelling to the Nitobe Memorial Garden at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore the Nitobe Memorial Garden with an expert. The garden is designed as a traditional Japanese Garden and celebrates the memory of Dr. Inazo Nitobe (1862-1933), who strove to create an understanding of Japanese culture in the West. Visit the UBC Botanical Gardens and learn about plants from all over the world, and wander through a variety of gardens including a woodland garden, food garden, and Carolinian forest garden.

Dinner: Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.

Evening: Enjoy the evening at your leisure.

DAY
3
Stanley Park, Chinatown, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, Free Time
Vancouver, BC
B,L
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 1 mile (1.6 km) on pavement and stone walkways, some periods of standing.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast will be provided by the hotel.

Morning: Explore Stanley Park by motorcoach while listening to a lecture conducted by one of the park’s Ecology Society members. Learn about this National Historic Site, including the parks variety of hemlock, cedar, and fir trees, and explore the encircling stone seawall while marveling at the ocean and mountain vistas. Visit Chinatown and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, named after the man, considered the father of modern China. This garden is the first Chinese “scholars” garden built outside of China and is modelled after the Ming Dynasty gardens in Suzhou.

Lunch: Taste local cuisine at a nearby restaurant.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
4
Van Dusen Botanical Garden, Ferry to Victoria
Victoria, BC
B,D
Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach and ferry. The ferry to Victoria is 24 nautical miles and takes approximately 1.5 hours; participants will be responsible for boarding and disembarking the ferry with their luggage. Walking up to one mile (1.6 km) on paved paths and groomed trails. Some standing, and stairs with railings.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast will be provided at the hotel. Coffee, tea, and water will be included.

Morning: Discover the VanDusen Botanical Garden with a local expert. This 55-acre garden features a Scottish shelter in the Heather garden, a hexagonal Korean Pavilion, and an Elizabethan Maze made of 3,000 pyramidal cedars.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like on the ferry.

Afternoon: We'll transfer by coach and ferry from Vancouver to Victoria. A local historian will join us on the coach to provide an overview of the picturesque and historic seaside capitol of British Columbia. We'll learn about forces that shaped Victoria and gave it its old British charm. We will check into the hotel late afternoon. Take some time to become familiar with the landscape in the area or freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Dinner will be served at the hotel.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
5
Horticulture Centre, Beacon Hill Park, Free Time
Victoria, BC
B
Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach. Walking 1.5 miles (2.4 km) on gravel paths, and mostly flat ground.

Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Visit the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific with a gardening expert. This non-profit gardener’s garden is devoted to conservation, research, and life-long learning. There are more than a dozen specialist and seasonal gardens cared for by staff, students and volunteers. Explore Beacon Hill Park, a Victorian Park which includes bridges, lakes, ponds, and an alpine garden. A local expert will walk the grounds with us as we see the numerous species of ducks, birds, and peacocks which roam the grounds of Garry Oak, Arbutus, Douglas fir, Western Red Cedar, birch and maple trees.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time. You might like to take a walk along historic Government Street, have tea at one of the numerous tea houses or the spectacular Empress Hotel, or explore Inner Harbour.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy local fare.

Evening: At leisure. You might like to continue exploring local sites, take a horse-drawn carriage ride or harbor ferry exploration, explore Beacon Hill park, walk along the seaside trail, just relax.

DAY
6
Horticulture, Inner Harbour Walk, Butchart Gardens
Victoria, BC
B,L,D
Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles (4.8 km) on pavement, packed gravel, and some uneven ground; standing during field trips.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast will be provided by the hotel.

Morning: A local expert will introduce us to the Butchart Gardens. Learn about the history of the gardens, and the garden’s namesake, Jennie Butchart. Investigate Victoria’s Old Town and Inner Harbour on foot, and see the Victorian architecture on display on Wharf Street, the historic Empress Hotel, as well as the British Columbia Parliament buildings.

Lunch: Taste local cuisine at a nearby restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore the Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site with 55 acres of floral displays and expansive lawns. Wander through the Sunken Garden, see the Ross Fountain, and the Japanese, Rose, and Italian gardens. Maps and flower guides will be provided on arrival for independent exploration.

Dinner: Taste local flavors at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: At your leisure.

DAY
7
Lily Maxwell Garden, Abkhazi Garden, Government House
Victoria, BC
B,L,D
Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel

Activity note: Getting on and off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles (3.2 km) on uneven terrain in public and private gardens, concrete and gravel paths; standing during field trips. Variable weather conditions.

Breakfast: A buffet breakfast will be served at the hotel.

Morning: This morning’s field trips is an exclusive visit to a private garden created by Lily Maxwell, a winner of Canadian Gardening Magazine’s Best Garden in Canada. Enjoy this rare opportunity to explore Maxwell’s garden and see her colourful plant combinations and unusual specimens, such as Cornus, Stewartia, Aralia, Ginkgo and more.

Lunch: Enjoy afternoon tea service, including fresh baking and delicate savouries at the Abkhazi Garden Tea House.

Afternoon: Explore with an expert the Abkhazi Gardens which features splendid rhododendron displays, and Japanese maples situated on glaciated rocky slopes surrounding a heritage house. Roam the gardens of Government House, home to the Lieutenant Governor, the Queen’s Representative in British Columbia, and marvel at the dozens of distinctive gardens, from an extensive rockery, to a formal tapestry planting of Mediterranean herbs.

Dinner: Enjoy our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Wrap-up at the hotel after dinner. At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Victoria, BC
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out is at 11:00 am.

Breakfast: Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the hotel. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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