Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens is a 22 hectare (55 acre) private floral display garden in Brentwood Bay, near Victoria on Vancouver Island.

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In 1904 Robert Pim Butchart established a limestone quarry. After the quarry was exhausted his wife Jennie decided to turn the quarry into a sunken garden, which was completed in 1921.

The Butcharts gifted the gardens to their grandson Ian Ross on his 21st birthday. He was involved with the gardens until his death in 1997. The Butchart’s great-granddaughter Robin-Lee Clark has been the managing director since 2001.

As well as the sunken garden, themed gardens include a concert lawn, rose garden, Japanese garden, Italian garden, and Mediterranean garden.

There are also two restaurants, coffee shop and a seed and gift store.

During the summer months on Saturday nights there is a fireworks display choreographed to music.

The gardens are located at 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia.

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Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum is in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

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The museum, which was founded in 1886, has three permanent galleries – natural history, modern history, and First Nations’ history.

There are over 7 million items in the museum’s collection.

The Royal BC Museum is located at 675 Belleville St, Victoria.

Below are some photos from the First Nations’ exhibit.

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Sidney-by-the-Sea

Sidney is a small seaside town on Vancouver Island, on the northern end of the Saanich Peninsula.

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Sidney, which is also known as Sidney-by-the-Sea, is an popular access point to the southern Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. There are many activities and tours based around the water, including fishing, kayaking, scuba diving, and whale watching.

It is also home to Sidney Booktown, Canada’s only booktown. All bookstores are within walking distance of each other.

On Thursday evenings during the summer (June to August) they close, Beacon Avenue, the town’s main street for the Sidney Street Market. There are over 150 stalls and live entertainment.

Sidney is approximately 20 minutes from Downtown Victoria.

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Renfrew Pub

The Renfrew Pub is a charming waterfront pub and restaurant in Port Renfrew on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

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The pub is part of Wild Renfrew a resort by the water that includes luxury waterfront cottages and a lodge.

The pub serves lunch and dinner 7 days a week and breakfast on Saturday and Sundays. I had lunch here back in July on the patio overlooking the wharf.

Renfrew Pub is located at 17310 Parkinson Road, Port Renfrew.

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Botanical Beach

Botanical Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park near Port Renfrew features tide pools that are home to many different types of marine life.

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At Botanical Beach there are hundreds of different plants and marine species. In the tide pools it possible to see anemones, barnacles, chitons, starfish, urchins and a variety of snails.

Killer Whales and Grey Whales have been seen from the beach during migration season in March and April. Sea lions may be spotted from August to May.

It is approximately a 20 minute walk from the parking lot to Botanical Beach. At the parking lot there are two trails. One leads to Botanical Beach and other to Botany Beach. The trail is a loop. The complete loop is 2.7 kilometres.

It is best to view during low tide. Wear good sturdy shoes as the rocks can be slippery.

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Avatar Grove

Avatar Grove is a 50 hectare area of protected old forest growth in the Gordon River Valley, near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island.

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The old forest growth and giant trees were discovered in 2009. The area had been designated for logging in 2010. The Ancient Forest Alliance was formed and with the Port Renfrew Chamber of Commerce they lobbied to have the area protected. This was granted in 2012.

The Ancient Forest Alliance has constructed a boardwalk around the grove to allow visitors to enjoy the area while protecting the environment.

The site has two areas – the upper and lower grove, which have giant cedars and Douglas Firs. The upper grove is home to what is dubbed ‘Canada’s Gnarliest Tree‘ – a red cedar with a 3 metre wide burl.

Avatar Grove is approximately 20 minute drive from Port Renfrew. Check out the Ancient Forest Alliance website for driving directions.

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Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb is a ski resort in British Columbia.

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Whistler and Blackcomb were originally two separate ski mountain resorts. Whistler was conceived as part of a bid to host the 1968 Winter Olympics. Although the 1968 Winter Olympics went to Grenoble, France the plans went ahead anyway and the resort opened in 1966.

Blackcomb opened for business in 1980. Intrawest Resort Holdings, which developed Blackcomb purchased Whistler in 1997, and the two ski resorts merged in 2003. Together at 33 km (8,171 acres) Whistler and Blackcomb form the largest ski area in North America.

In 2008 the Peak 2 Peak Gondola opened. This tri-cable gondola connects Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. It is a 11 minute, 4.4 kilometre (2.7 mile) journey.

Whistler was the centrepiece for the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted by Vancouver.

The ski resort is located approximately 121 kilometres (75 miles) north of Vancouver.

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