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Waterways, Roadways & Pathways

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Victoria, British Columbia is a special place and the route there makes it even more splendid, if not a tad complicated. Of course, you can fly but the car ferry is much more relaxing and picturesque. Victoria lies at the southern tip of Vancouver Island on Canada’s west coast. There are several ferry departure points from mainland Canada and the United States. One of the most popular is Anacortes, 1½ hours from Seattle in the San Juan Islands. After driving onto the ferry, it takes about three hours to cross the water. Once past customs and the international border, Victoria is another 30 minutes south. So it takes some time and effort to get there but on a sunny day, there’s no prettier town in Canada. Victoria sparkles by the sea. It’s the capital of British Columbia with a decidedly English flair. But it’s also home to the second oldest Chinatown in North America, after San Francisco’s. The area’s most impressive attraction is a 30-minute drive out of town. The Butchart Gardens were created in an old limestone quarry. Walking the paths reveals a stunning display of a million bedding plants in over 900 varieties. Founded more than 100 years ago, the gardens are a National Historic Site of Canada.

Route & Map        

Starting in Anacortes, Washington this route crosses the water by car ferry to Vancouver Island. Then it heads south to Victoria and up to The Butchart Gardens.

Time

It's 3 hours to cross the water, 30 minutes to drive to Victoria and 30 minutes to the Butchart Gardens. But obviously it takes more time waiting for the ferry and clearing the international border. Plan on several hours to walk the paths at Butchart, too.

Best Time to Visit

Victoria enjoys some of the mildest weather in Canada. Summer and fall are the most comfortable seasons as they are usually dry and warm.

Links

Check out the Tourism Victoria and Butchart Gardens sites for planning information.

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