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the sunken gardens at butchart gardens, victoria, bc

The Best Victoria Parks & Gardens: A Guide to the City’s Green Spaces

So, you’re looking for a guide to the best Victoria parks and gardens? Well, buckle up, folks, because it’s time to smell the roses!

Join us as we explore the green heart of Victoria, a city that prides itself on its stunning parks and natural spaces.

Ideal for visitors and tourists, these Victoria parks offer a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle, showcasing the area’s natural beauty at its finest.

Why Visit Victoria Parks & Gardens?

Known as the “City of Gardens,” Victoria, BC, is a floral wonderland just waiting to be discovered.

This small island city boasts an awe-inspiring collection of parks and gardens that is sure to make you swoon. I’m sure you’ve heard about Butchart Gardens. But we’ve got a list of lesser-known gems that are must-visit destinations for nature enthusiasts and anyone looking to recharge amidst pristine natural beauty.

So, let’s unveil the crème de la crème of Victoria’s parks and gardens to add some colour to your Victoria itinerary.



The Best Victoria Parks and Gardens

a pond at victoria's beacon hill park

Beacon Hill Park – Victoria’s Best Park

The Crown Jewel of Victoria Parks

Ask any local for their top pick, and they’ll rave about Beacon Hill Park, a stunning oasis located a stone’s throw away from downtown Victoria.

A delightful medley of lush gardens, walking trails, and recreational facilities means this 200-acre Victoria park ticks all the right boxes. It even contains the world’s tallest free-standing totem pole!

You’ll find countless natural wonders spread across its whopping 740,000 square meters of parkland. It also offers a fantastic open view across the Strait of Juan de Fuca and marks Mile “0” – the starting point of the mind-boggling 8,000-kilometer Trans-Canada Highway.

Why you should visit:

  • Feast your eyes on the stunning panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
  • Wander through the park’s enchanting floral displays featuring native and exotic species.
  • Get up close and personal with friendly peacocks roaming free.
  • Keep the kiddos entertained with a whimsical playground, a splash pad, and the charming Beacon Hill Petting Zoo.

Related: The Best Things to Do in Victoria for Families

a crowd relaxes in the peaceful confines of abkhazi gardens in victoria, bc

Abkhazi Garden

A Romantic Haven Nestled in the Heart of the City

Here’s a spot for all you lovebirds out there! The enchanting Abkhazi Garden, lovingly created by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, is a testament to the couple’s enduring love story.

This intimate Victoria garden is perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city and features an exquisite heritage home where you can grab afternoon tea.

The site masterfully conceals itself from the street, leaving only subtle clues of the splendour that lies beyond the imposing hornbeam hedge.

Stepping inside, you’ll find yourself in the presence of awe-inspiring glaciated rocky slopes and majestic native Garry oaks that stand tall, showcasing their grandeur and adding to the enchanting atmosphere.

Don’t miss out on:

  • Meandering through the winding pathways, surrounded by rhododendrons, azaleas, and other rare plants.
  • Admiring the exquisite Japanese-inspired pond and bridge.
  • Savouring afternoon tea at the on-site teahouse, where you can indulge in delectable pastries and sandwiches.

Related: The Top Things to Do in Victoria in Summer

The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC.

Butchart Gardens

Victoria’s World-Famous Floral Wonderland

Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on the pièce de résistance of Victoria, BC’s garden scene– the world-renowned Butchart Gardens! This 55-acre botanical wonderland is a true feast for the senses, with over a million visitors yearly singing its praises.

Butchart Gardens is easily Victoria’s most popular attraction. The site even attracts day trippers from Vancouver and is a popular visit for cruise travellers.

Unfortunately, the garden is located in Brentwood Bay, about 40 minutes from downtown. But don’t let that stop you! Victoria Butchart Gardens Express Tours offers roundtrip transport from the heart of the Inner Harbour.

What the hype is about:

  • Don’t forget to check out the jaw-dropping Sunken Garden, once a limestone quarry, now a lush paradise that leaves visitors spellbound. The garden is a living tapestry of colour and fragrance that never ceases to amaze.
  • There are theme gardens galore, including the tranquil Japanese Garden, the charming Italian Garden, and the radiant Mediterranean Garden.
  • Check out the incredible seasonal displays at this year-round attraction, from vivid spring blooms and summertime riots of colour to warm autumn hues and festive holiday lights and decorations.


Looking to visit from Vancouver? Check out our top Butchart Gardens from Vancouver.

a tropical butterfly at butterfly gardens near victoria, bc

Victoria Butterfly Gardens

A Whimsical Walk through the World of Butterflies

Do you believe in magic? If not, you will after visiting the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. This tropical oasis is home to thousands of free-flying butterflies, fluttering amidst vibrant flowers and lush foliage.

It’s a spellbinding experience you won’t want to miss. Better yet, it’s also located in Brentwood Bay, making it a great option to pair with Butchart Gardens.

As soon as you step inside the lush, temperature-controlled environment, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a tropical paradise. Butterfly Gardens is a family-friendly destination that caters to all age groups.

What to expect:

  • Marvel at the dazzling array of butterfly species, including the striking Blue Morpho and the elegant Monarch.
  • Explore the hummingbird aviary, home to these enchanting, iridescent birds.
  • Learn about the fascinating lifecycle of butterflies and witness their incredible metamorphosis.


Related: The Top Things to Do in Victoria in Summer

A group admires the scenery on a Victoria bike tour

Clover Point Park

Victoria’s Waterfront Playground

This picturesque Victoria Park, nestled along the coastline, is truly something special, offering breathtaking views and unforgettable experiences for all who visit.

As you stroll along the Dallas Road Waterfront Trail, you’ll be treated to panoramic vistas of the sparkling ocean, with snow-capped mountains in the distance, making for a picture-perfect backdrop.

But that’s not all – Clover Point Park is also a hotspot for activities like kite flying, beachcombing, or simply strolling along the water’s edge, taking in the soothing sound of waves crashing onto the shore.

Why you can’t miss it:

  • This beautiful waterfront park offers the best views of the Straight of Juan de Fuca around, and you won’t find a better spot to watch the sunset anywhere in Victoria.
  • The adjoining Dallas Road Waterfront Trail is one of the places in town to bike or go for a jog.
  • It’s the kind of view that’ll leave you speechless and itching to snap a few photos to remember the moment.

Related: The Top Victoria Bike Tours

azaleas in full bloom in playfair park, saanich, bc

Playfair Park

An Unsung Hero among Victoria’s Gardens

If you’re on the hunt for a hidden gem, look no further than Playfair Park. Tucked away in a quiet residential neighbourhood in Saanich, this is one of the best Victoria parks for those seeking peace and tranquillity.

It contains a huge grove of mature rhododendrons and azaleas right next to a Garry Oak meadow and a whopping 300-foot perennial border. I mean, talk about a sight for sore eyes! This place really comes alive in the spring, trust me!

Why it’s worth a visit:

  • Stroll through the mesmerizing rhododendron garden, where these vibrant blossoms take center stage in spring.
  • Enjoy a quiet picnic under the canopy of magnificent Garry oaks.
  • Snap that perfect Instagram shot at the charming stone bridge, nestled among lush ferns and vibrant azaleas.

In town for the weekend? Check out our 2-day Victoria itinerary.

thunderbird park in victoria with the empress hotel in the background

Thunderbird Park

A Public Display of Local Indigenous Art

Thunderbird Park was founded in 1941 when a collection of majestic totem poles from the Royal BC Museum was put on display across the street, smack dab at the corner of Belleville and Douglas – in the heart of the Inner Harbour. 

Later on, Kwakwaka’wakw master carver Mungo Martin was appointed chief carver, and his influence over this downtown Victoria park remains. If you’re looking for a quick dose of indigenous culture without taking the time to hit the museum – this is the place to do it. It is also a popular stop-off point on many Victoria walking tours.

You can expect to see:

  • A small outdoor treasure trove of cultural wonders showcasing the rich heritage of the First Nations people.
  • A handful of majestic totem poles right in the heart of Victoria’s Inner Harbour.
  • Mungo Martin House, a traditional Kwakwaka’wakw Big House that contains a carving house and a collection of beautiful masks and captivating artifacts that’ll transport you to another time and place.

Related: The 13 Best Victoria Tours for Visitors and Locals

rhododendrons at finnerty gardens, victoria, bc

Finnerty Gardens

A Horticultural Masterpiece at the University of Victoria

Situated within the University of Victoria’s grounds, Finnerty Gardens is a living work of art. Home to over 4,000 different trees and shrubs. Trust me, this serene 6.5-acre sanctuary is a treasure trove for plant enthusiasts.

While not massive in size, if you find yourself in the area, Finnerty Gardens is a great place to relax – particularly during the rhododendron and azalea season.

What to look forward to:

  • Discover the impressive collection of rhododendrons and azaleas, spanning 500 species and 1,000 cultivars.
  • Marvel at the garden’s diverse array of trees, including magnolias, maples, and cherry blossoms.
  • Unwind on one of the numerous benches, perfect for soaking up the sights and sounds of nature.

Related: What is Victoria Best Known For?

the hatley castle in colwood, bc, outside of victoria

The Hatley Park National Historic Site

A Beautiful Collection of Gardens Amongst a Regal Castle Estate

This lovely national historic site in the suburb of Colwood contains the Hatley Park Castle, which was constructed in 1908 as a dormitory and mess hall for the Royal Roads Military College. And like any good castle, the site contains some amazing landscaping that is fit for a king.

The castle aside, the park’s true showstoppers are, without a doubt, its fabulous formal gardens. You’ll find three themed gardens – Italian, Rose, and Japanese that are bursting with life, colour, and charm.

What you’ll find:

Interested in exploring Vancouver Island further? Have a look at our favourite day trips from Victoria.

A photo of Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf Park

A Seaside Escape

Fisherman’s Wharf Park offers stunning views of the Inner Harbour, the iconic seaplanes, and Victoria’s waterfront. The picturesque scenery provides an idyllic backdrop for leisurely strolls, relaxing picnics, or simply soaking in the sights and sounds of the harbour. What’s more, it offers a great spot to relax during an afternoon spent wandering the Inner Harbour and David Foster Harbour Pathway.

It’s simply one of the best places in Victoria for a picnic. I like to grab a bite from Barb’s Fish and Chips or another of the food stalls across the street, then relax in the park’s gentle confines away from the tourist hordes. Fisherman’s Wharf’s piers and kiosks also provide a great starting point for a Victoria Whale Watching Tour or a Victoria Kayaking Adventure.

You should use this Victoria park as:

  • A quiet picnic spot across the street from Fisherman’s Wharf’s plentiful waterfront restaurants, galleries and kiosks.
  • The place to relax before or after a Victoria Whale Watching Tour, Kayaking Adventure or Seaplane Tour.
  • A location for quiet contemplation amidst the summer crowds of the Inner Harbour.

Related: The Top Free Things to Do in Victoria



Victoria Parks and Gardens FAQs

While Victoria, BC’s parks and gardens flaunt their splendour all year round, spring (April to June) is the most spectacular time to visit as the city bursts into a riot of colours and scents. Most locations will also be less affected by the influx of visitors that typically come with the peak July/August tourist season.

It depends on your itinerary and interests. Some visitors might spend an entire day basking in the beauty of sites like Butchart Gardens or Beacon Hill Park. On the other hand, smaller attractions like Thunderbird Park or Abkhazi Gardens might only require 30-40 minutes of a leisurely afternoon. 

Absolutely! Many Victoria parks and gardens are wheelchair accessible, with paved pathways, ramps, and other amenities to ensure a comfortable experience for all visitors. Popular attractions such as Butchart Gardens and Butterfly Gardens are well equipped to deal with all types of mobility issues, while public parks are easily accessible to all types of visitors.

Butchart Gardens is located in the suburb of Brentwood Bay, approximately 30-40 minutes from downtown Victoria. As such, the attraction is best accessed by car, though the #75 bus does provide service, depending on time and season. If you don’t have a vehicle, we’d recommend visiting via the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle, which includes admission and round-trip transport from the city centre.

Butchart and Butterfly Gardens are among Victoria’s most popular tourist attractions, so they take the cake as the most visited Victoria gardens. In terms of Victoria parks, Beacon Hill Park, Clover Point Park, Thunderbird Park and Fisherman’s Wharf Park are likely the most popular due to their vicinity to the city’s downtown and Inner Harbour areas.


Ready to answer your personal invitation to the best Victoria parks and gardens?

There you have it – your complete guide to the best Victoria gardens and parks. The city is brimming with enchanting spaces that’ll capture your heart and make you yearn for more. So why not pack a picnic, grab a camera, and embark on a botanical journey like no other?

By exploring these natural wonders, you’ll uncover the soul of the Garden City and forge unforgettable memories. Whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth, Victoria always has something new and magical to reveal.

So, what are you waiting for? Let our guide be your roadmap, and dive headfirst into Victoria’s best parks and gardens. It’s a nature lover’s paradise just waiting to be discovered.

Happy exploring!

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