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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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climate
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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 9 - May 16, 2023
Starting at
2,899
May 23 - May 30, 2023
Starting at
2,899
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2023
Starting at
2,899
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2023
Starting at
2,849
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2023
Starting at
2,949
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2023
Starting at
2,949
May 7 - May 14, 2024
Starting at
3,349
May 21 - May 28, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Jun 4 - Jun 11, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Jun 18 - Jun 25, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Jul 2 - Jul 9, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Jul 16 - Jul 23, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Jul 30 - Aug 6, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Aug 6 - Aug 13, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Aug 20 - Aug 27, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Sep 10 - Sep 17, 2024
Starting at
3,349
Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2024
Starting at
3,349
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
May 9 - May 16, 2023
Starting at
3,689
May 23 - May 30, 2023
Starting at
3,689
Jun 13 - Jun 20, 2023
Starting at
3,689
Jun 27 - Jul 4, 2023
Starting at
3,759
Jul 11 - Jul 18, 2023
Starting at
3,759
Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2023
Starting at
3,759
Aug 1 - Aug 8, 2023
Starting at
3,559
Aug 15 - Aug 22, 2023
Starting at
3,759
Aug 22 - Aug 29, 2023
Starting at
3,759
Sep 5 - Sep 12, 2023
Starting at
3,759
Sep 12 - Sep 19, 2023
Starting at
3,759
May 7 - May 14, 2024
Starting at
4,369
May 21 - May 28, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Jun 4 - Jun 11, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Jun 18 - Jun 25, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Jul 2 - Jul 9, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Jul 16 - Jul 23, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Jul 30 - Aug 6, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Aug 6 - Aug 13, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Aug 20 - Aug 27, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Sep 10 - Sep 17, 2024
Starting at
4,369
Sep 24 - Oct 1, 2024
Starting at
4,369

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.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • 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 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 Experts
Profile Image
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 Phil Foster
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.
Profile Image of Chris Adams
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.
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.
Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Katharine Berry Judson
Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, alongside noted geographical features of the territory.
The Raven Steals the Light
by Robert Bringhurst, Bill Reid (Illustrator), Claude Levi-Strauss (Introduction)
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.
The Last Great Sea, A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean
by Terry Glavin, Carl Safina (Introduction)
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.
Great Bear Wild
by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Introduction), Ian McAllister
A colorful photographic journey through the Great Bear Rainforest that follows the coast from Vancouver Island to southern Alaska; McAllister captures the spectacular landscapes and wildlife, including wolves, whales and bears.
The Pacific Northwest Garden Tour: The 60 Best Gardens to Visit in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia
by Donald Olson
Perfect for the traveling gardener, this guide covers the best public gardens in the Pacific Northwest with full-color photos and practical information and history about each destination.
Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson
A beautifully wrought, extremely evocative novel set on San Piedro Island in Puget Sound in the 1950s. Readers are rewarded not only with some fine storytelling and beautiful prose, but also with a vivid glimpse of island life.
Art of the Northwest Coast
by Aldona Jonaitis
A survey of Pacific Northwest art and artistic traditions from Puget Sound to Alaska, featuring thought-provoking essays by art historian Jonaitis along with 152 illustrations, 89 in color.
The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia
by Jean Barman
A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the cultural and social influences that have shaped the region.
Vancouver Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species
by James Kavanagh
This pocket-sized reference for the bird enthusiast includes illustrations of over 120 species and a map of local birdwatching hotspots.
Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast
by Bill Richardson
Lake Woebegone goes British Columbian in this humorous slip of a novel about an unconventional Vancouver B&B, which features twin bookworm brothers, a talking parrot and a motley crew of hotel guests.
Vancouver Then and Now
by Francis Mansbridge
This installment in the Then and Now series takes stock of Vancouver’s evolution by placing antique photographs side-by-side with contemporary ones. It peels back the years so that readers can see city fixtures as they once were.
The Gardener's Garden
by Phaidon
With over 1,200 photographs of historical, contemporary, private and public gardens around the world, this gorgeous compendium is an inspiration to both garden designers and garden wanderers. Summary texts provide the design and planting features while the luscious photos tell each garden's story.
Exploring Vancouver, The Architectural Guide
by Harold Kalman
In this highly accessible and authoritative guide to Vancouver's architecture, specialists Harold Kalman and Robin Ward take us on a tour of Vancouver's fourteen neighborhoods, exploring the city's rich architectural heritage in over 450 entries. Each entry includes historical, social and architectural commentary accompanied by striking, full-color photographs.
Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form
by Bill Holm
An in-depth analysis of the form, shape and texture of the art of the Northwest Coast Indians by an artist, teacher and expert in the field, illustrated throughout.
The Island Within
by Richard Nelson
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.
Down The Garden Path
by Beverly Nichols
This facsimile edition of Nichols' 1932 ode to the pleasures and perils of gardening is an entertaining account of creating a garden, which asks the question: Why Garden?





Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.