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There are a number of different options for getting to the Butchart Gardens . It all depends on what type of experience you want, how much you are willing to pay, and what other activities you have planned.
Many tourists rent a car to accommodate their activities. Using a car to get to the Gardens is easy. If you are travelling with a family, it might also be the cheapest option. It's about a 40 minute drive from downtown Victoria. Blanshard Street downtown becomes the #17 Highway (Pat Bay Highway) and that will take you in the direction of The Gardens. There will be a sign on the highway which advises you to turn left on to Keating Cross Road (exit 18), which will take you straight to The Gardens. Parking is included in the admission. If you are planning to go on a fireworks night, plan to arrive early. You won't want to leave downtown Victoria much later than 5 pm.
The #75 bus will take you to the Butchart Gardens. This is definitely the cheapest and the most time consuming way to get to the gardens. If you're looking for adventure or a unique experience, this might be the choice for you. At times during the day, the #75 departs from a number of stops along Douglas Street downtown. Otherwise, the #75 departs from the Royal Oak Exchange. To get to The Gardens from downtown when the #75 is not direct, hop on the #30 or #31 bus - these routes end at the Royal Oak Exchange. Let the driver know that you are going to Butchart Gardens, and they will direct you to the stop for bus #75. The cost is $2.50 each way. The BC Transit website has schedule information. Extra express busses are on hand after Saturday fireworks that will whisk you to downtown Victoria. Be sure and get a schedule from the Tourist Information Cenre across from the Empress. The bus takes about 60 minutes.
Taxis and private cars and vans may be more expensive ways to get to the Gardens but are by far the most convenient. Taxis will cost approximately $60 each way from downtown Victoria to the Gardens. If you hire a private car, it could cost anywhere from $50-85 per hour. If you are travelling with a group of 4 to 6 a minivan taxi might suit. A private car, minivan, or van (up to 14 passengers) might be a better option and may be cheaper than taking two cabs. The great thing about private cars and vans is that they can show you much more of the city and other sights along the way. They will also wait for you at the Butchart Gardens or arrange a pick-up time so you don't have to worry about getting back. The larger vehicles also have larger luggage compartments.
Check out Victoria's London Taxi for personalized sightseeing tours.
Check out Fresh Air Tours for Butchart Gardens and city sightseeing van and minivan tours.
In July and August an all day tour package complete with lunch and many of the area's attractions including Craigdarroch Castle, Oak Bay Village, the Butchart Gardens, optional Church & State Winery or Butterfly Gardens and Sidney by the Sea. Departs daily at 9:30am cost per adult is $158.00 including lunch and admissions. This is a 7 hour tour.
offer daily departures to and from Butchart Gardens on their Butchart Gardens Express for an adult return fare of $54.25 (+tax). This fare includes admission to Butchart Gardens. Several options for pick-up are available, including directly from the cruise ship terminal; these must be pre-arranged online; select hotel pickups are also available. An optional Butterfly Gardens admission is also available.
Gray Line Victoria offer daily departures between downtown Victoria and Butchart Gardens on their Butchart Gardens Express, for an adult return fare of $56 (+tax). This fare includes admission to Butchart Gardens. They also include a Coho Ferry pickup from the ferry terminal on the Inner Harbour with no transfer needed to another coach.
Pacific Coach Lines offers a trip from downtown Victoria to downtown Vancouver with a 2 hour visit to the Gardens. The tour departs downtown Victoria at 1 pm, stops at the gardens before continuing on to board the Swartz Bay ferry to Vancouver. This tour runs May 1 - Sept 30 and the cost is $112 (+tax) for an adult and includes your admission to The Gardens and the ferry fare.
Peninsula Attractions Connector offers a free Hop On - Hop Off loop service from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, Washington Ferry terminal at Sidney, to Butchart Gardens, Butterfly Gardens, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre and Sea Cider Farm and Cidery. The service also sells several admission passes, all of which include a complimentary transfer to the shuttle service to downtown Victoria. This inaugural service operates in July and August only.
Prince of Whales offers a tour in June, July and August that combines whale watching with a trip to the Gardens. Board the boat in Victoria's inner harbour for a whale watching cruise before being dropped off at the Butchart Gardens dock in Todd Inlet. After your time at the Gardens, you will return to Victoria by Cruise Victoria shuttle coach. Return to Victoria on the shuttle departure of your choice. The cost is $145 (+tax) and this option can be cheaper than doing a whale watching tour and Butchart Gardens bus tour separately.
Prince of Whales offers a Whales and Gardens tour in June, July and August on the way to Vancouver. Board a bus from downtown Victoria to Butchart Gardens. After enjoying the gardens, board a Prince of Whales boat which sails out for whale watching across Georgia Strait to Vancouver.
Harbour Air Seaplanes offer a tour from both Vancouver and Victoria to Butchart Gardens. After a scenic flight the floatplane lands on Tod Inlet at the Butchart dock. The return trip to your point of origin is by various transportation options.
Pacific Coach Lines offers a variety of round-trip sightseeing tours from downtown Vancouver.
West Coast Sightseeing and Landsea Tours also offer similar tours from Vancouver with a wide variety of add-on options including whale watching, a museum visit, or return to Vancouver via float plane.
If you are visiting the area by private yacht, you can tie up at Butchart Gardens' dock while you visit. Butchart Gardens has a handy fact sheet for those planning to visit by boat.