You always hear how beautiful this place is and how many people who have been there recommend it. Well, I need to reinforce that! I never really cared about going because I wasn’t into seeing flowers when I was younger, so I didn’t appreciate this place.
Obviously when I matured, I realized I missed out on seeing a Canadian National treasure, if not an American (North America) gem that was in my backyard (when I lived in Seattle).
My wife has been planning to see this and we wanted to do it as a whole family (with her sister and brother). After planning a weekend trip, we went there via BC Ferries (the only way I think).
Summer in the Butchart Gardens is probably the best time. But they do have some months in autumn too.
Parking was plentiful (at least when we arrived) and there were umbrellas available (if it was raining) to use.
We walked to the entrance and paid the fees:
Adult – $33.80
Children 5 – 12 yrs old -$3.00 (which is our kids)
The Sunken Garden was my favorite. Just the history in it and the layout.
The Japanese garden was pretty cool because there were Torii Gates around and within a ton of trees, so it kept the area cool and shaded. Small bridges and stone walkways on water.
I can’t recommended this place enough. If you are in Victoria, this is the main attraction.
The terminal we were using was TSAWWASSEN – SWARTZ BAY
Fares were :
1 standard size vehicle – $57.50
12 years and older – $17.50
5 – 11 years – $8.50
4 and under – free
We crammed into two vehicles and headed out.
The drive from Burnaby to Tsawwassen was maybe 30 minutes. I have to admit, I never been out this way and it was quite peaceful.
We got to the terminal and since we were early, they staff asked if we wanted to get on the 7am instead o the 8am ferry, we said yes.
Again, I’ve never been on this ferry, so didn’t know what to expect. But we pulled it, parked and everyone was told to go up to the higher decks.
The ferry took off. Again, in all honesty, I couldn’t believe how smooth and quick the ferry moved. It was pretty nimble.
Upon docking, there was announcement telling people that they will be docking in 10 minutes, so this gave people to get down to their cars and wait. It seems liked a few minutes extra just waiting to get out and finally we were let out!
People start finding seats on the inside fast.
There is covered seating in the outside/top deck
Line for the cafe!
Vending machines available, but need coins
Windows don’t have covers, can be beaming with sunlight.
My sister-in-law told us about Burnaby mountain. It was a nice sunny day and it would have be perfect for a nice relaxing spot.
When we got there, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The wooden structures were huge and gorgeous.
When we were driving, I saw some people climbing the log, so when went there, I immediately walked on it (on the other side there was a sign saying No climbing, I was unaware). As I was reaching the half it got windy enough that I got my pictures and came down.
It was so clear and beautiful that day, you can see downtown Vancouver BC!
When we were planning a mini road trip, I told everyone I had to meet with friends on Monday Night.
Since Monday was BC day, everyone had it off. It was the long weekend for them.
It was decided to go to Sea to Sky Highway, in which I thought to see the Gondola ride and suspension bridge. Ate Joan said there was a lake that was up that way and had clear water. I thought it was “close enough” to reach when in reality it took 2.5hrs to drive, not including the stops for food and gas.
Once you reach Pemberton, you start driving in an area that I believe belongs to the St’at’imc or Lillooet tribe. Then the drive starts going up hill into the mountains.
Having our kids, Nanay and Ama and my limited time, we couldn’t make the 3.5 hour trek to the middle lake, which we heard was better! It is one of those things you need to leave early and do all day.
When this was first purposed, I really wanted to check it out and when Jasmin asked me what time should we leave, I said 6am. She said 930am, which we did, but told them we can’t do the big hike.
We saw many things on the way there that warrant future exploration with day trips. This was also great to see how we would travel as a big group and with our kids (10 of us).
It was a gorgeous day and we were gonna go to Joffre Lakes… which I didn’t know was really deep North! Sea to Sky Highway goes along the coast. On the opposite side of the road is the mountains… so it is awesome to just see!
I’ve taken pictures in the past, but I don’t think I ever took them when the weather was this great.
The end destination was Joffre Lakes Park, which is 2.5hrs north of North Vancouver. There are so many spots along the way that needs to be explored themselves.
After Joffre Lake, it was just as gorgeous going home!
It was time to revisit Capilano Suspension Bridge. It has been a few years, Cliffwalk is now available and now we all have kids.
Price in Canadian Dollars
Prices have gone up, I think $47 for each adult, $15 for Jacob and 6 and under are free (Gab, Isaiah and Lucas). 30% off after 5pm.
The first was Cliff walk. I’ve been wanting to on this… it was truly hard to video, take pictures and even keep up with the kids. Like any place that is super crowded and attractions like this where moving is essential, I was only able to get a few pictures. I wanted to take more, but it wasn’t easy.
Cliffwalk was to the right, before the suspension bridge, you would walk along the cliff, and then circle back with a small walk in the forest. Besides the pathways being small and busy, it was actually pretty cool.
We then crossed the suspension bridge. When we crossed, there were tons of people coming back, so the bridge started to swing. Lucas became impatient and was wanting to get off the bridge by going back. I was gonna go back with him, but he went the other way.
Once across, there are a few things to do. Walk around the Living Forest, go along the edge of the forest (which was closed off) and Treetop Adventures. Lucas was kinda still agitated, but slowly calmed down. Once we got up to the tree tops, he got excited and started to run ahead (He and I were behind, but the rest of kids were ahead).
My lovely Lucas finally was happy! He kept running everywhere! It was tough to keep up with him.
He was great going back. Jacob was tired and wanted his Icee (he loves cold drinks).
There are stamps throughout the park and at the end you can redeem for a Completion Certificate. I got one, unfortunately, I left it in the rental vehicle and forgot about it. At least I have this picture of the embossed stamps.