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Victoria’s Butchart Gardens

Our Alaska cruise is coming to a close and we’ve officially left Alaska. This particular Oceania cruise embarks and debarks in Vancouver so I’m seeing some of the Western coast of Canada too. Victoria is a popular cruise port on Alaskan cruises as well and has been high on my travel to-do list for a while.

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The cruise port terminal in Victoria is very near to the main downtown port area:

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and the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

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The most talked about attraction in Victoria are the Butchart Gardens, a 20 minute drive outside the city center. For over 100 years, tourists and locals flock to the gardens for beautiful botanical views.

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The gardens themselves were once a limestone quarry which Jennie Butchart wanted turned into gardens aplenty. The Sunken Garden section was the quarry itself.

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A zillion times prettier than a limestone quarry these days.

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Can you see the big cat bush sculpture? I totally did a double take because I was not expecting it.

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A trash can in Butchart Gardens: so lovely and probably less stinky with the flowers blooming on top!

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In 1939, Butchart Gardens began hosting the symphony, Christmas festivals and more. Today there are many outdoor events, concerts, and fireworks displays.

Mom and I loved the Monkey Puzzle Tree– a good name as the seed pods look like bananas.

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Dragon Fountain selfie near the Japanese Garden section:

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The Rose Garden was amazing and definitely one of my favorite sections. But it was the most crowded section by far.

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It was impossible to get a photo without people in it. Oh well. I still loved seeing all the different rose varieties (there are 280 in total) and their names. Celebrity rose variety names were sometimes strange.

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The Italian Garden was the other garden with the most color.

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I loved meandering along the paths with my mom. There were tons of benches for resting, taking in the botanical delights, and people watching (which is always fun).

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Most hilarious fountain! It is a warthog that is drooling!

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Mom and I took a taxi out to Butchart Gardens and he waited for us for 90 minutes (which is the perfect amount of time if you don’t eat lunch). Overall it was $110 Canadian dollars for the taxi and another $30 per person for the Butchart Gardens entry fee. The cruise line was trying to charge us $229 per person for the sidetrip here. We felt good about doing it on our own and saved a bunch of money.

With our saved money we stopped at Fisherman’s Wharf Park where houseboats and food vendors come together. And we saw some otters!

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Mom ordered some amazing garlic fries with aioli and I had a local beer. These fries were amazing!!!

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Look for Fisherman’s Wharf Park on your way back to the cruise port. It is touristy but awesome.

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Mom and I loved Victoria and would definitely come back here to spend more time exploring. Make sure your Alaskan cruise includes a stop in Victoria!

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