We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Butchardt Gardens in May

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
3 posts
69 reviews
Save Topic
Butchardt Gardens in May

We were told years ago that Butchart Gardens was a "must see" so we are trying to plan a layover at SeaTac to go up to the gardens when we head to Alaska in May. We would appreciate some advice on getting to the gardens the cheapest way from SeaTac. Bus? Train? Ferry obviously. Also, our flight arrives late Monday so we'd spend the night by the airport. We would have to be at the airport by 9:45 AM for departure. Is it possible to get to the gardens and back in one day to depart on Wednesday or would we need to stay an extra night? If an extra night is needed, do you have suggestions for unique things to see in Victoria or Tacoma? Thanks in advance for your help!

Edited: 10 March 2014, 11:18
6 replies to this topic
Vancouver-by-the-Sea
Destination Expert
for British Columbia
Level Contributor
8,778 posts
1 review
Save Reply
1. Re: Butchardt Gardens in May

Butchart is fine but IMO not in any way worth the running around you'd have to do for a brief visit-take the time and enjoy Seattle then maybe you can come back one day and spend a week or two on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
60,849 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Butchardt Gardens in May

From a hotel at SEA Airport, it will take you about 30 minutes to cab to the Clipper ferry terminal in downtown Seattle. You could take the Victoria Clipper from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria in 3 hours. You could arrange a shuttle to Butchart with the Clipper, I believe, that picks you up at the ferry terminal. The drive to Butchart is about 30-40 minutes. Spend 2 hours at Butchart. More if you wish to have a meal in the cafeteria or dining room. Reverse all this to get back to Seattle. Only you can decide if all that travel is worth a couple of hours at Butchart. It would be much better and a good idea to stay one night.

Be aware of our long weekend, Victoria Day is on May 19th this year and it will be very busy.

To May the 9th, the Clipper departs Seattle daily at 8 am, and departs Victoria at 6 pm.

For the rest of May, daily Seattle departure times are 7h30 am and 3h00 pm, and then Victoria at 11h20 am and 6h45 pm.

On the following link, look under the tab for "Packages" and check out the one that includes a hotel and Butchart:

www.clippervacations.com/schedules-fares/

You're not quite on the right forum to explore the Things to Do for Victoria. You need the Victoria forum for that and then the Things to Do tab in the green menu bar across the top. Can't tell you about Tacoma, you need the Tacoma forum for that. Here are the TtoD for Victoria. I would certainly recommend the Royal BC Museum:

tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g154945-Activiti…

Here is a map for driving (taxi) from SEA airport to the Clipper terminal, a good half hour, or more if there is congestion on the highway. About an hour if you take public transit. You should ask this ground transportation question in the Seattle Forum.

http://tinyurl.com/l3qs6sc

And here is a map showing Victoria to Butchart: http://tinyurl.com/ksfazfz

Edited: 10 March 2014, 11:58
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
27,566 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Butchardt Gardens in May

You can also fly, and given your schedule, that might be the best plan. Folks on the Seatlle forum can advise. I believe the flights leave from Lake Union.

San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
3 posts
69 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Butchardt Gardens in May

We don't really have any schedule yet but thought the gardens could be seen with one or two extra days. We've had two vacations in Seattle so don't really want to spend time there as that cuts into time spent with grandsons. I'm going to check on the flight recommended by Vancouverite just for something different, stay longer as suggested by Sam Salmon, and use all the info/links Mulfi had. GREATLY appreciate your responses, you've all been a wonderful help!

Usa
Level Contributor
10 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Butchardt Gardens in May

What is the best way to see the Gardens as we are coming from the cruise ship?

I read so far that there is a tour from the Empress Hotel. are there other tours available that will take us out there less than the $65. from the Empress? We are there from 2:00-10:00 pm. I would appreciate other suggestions. thanks.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
60,849 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Butchardt Gardens in May

Hi powersusa ~

There are a couple of ways to see the Gardens. One is to take public transit for an hour, visit the Gardens for a couple of hours, and return by public transit. Bus #30, #70, #72, all with a transfer to the #75 bus part way through the journey. The #72 leaves from northbound Douglas St at Belleville. $2.50 exact fare in coins. Better to buy a $5 Day Pass on the bus as it would give you more flexibility.

Another way is to take a private tour.

A third way is to take the CVS Shuttle from the cruise ship to the front of the Empress Hotel, transfer to their Butchart Shuttle to the Gardens. They charge the entrance fee along with the coach fare, but you are free to wander the Gardens, it does not included a guided tour. Later, when you are ready you can take any shuttle back to the Inner Harbour.

The disembarkation area by the cruise ship will have all kinds of companies hoping for your business. The CVS cruise shuttle will be there, private tour companies will be there and taxis as well.

I would suggest you make your way over to the Victoria Forum. Look in the green menu bar for Things to Do. When the new page is open, filter down the left side for Tours, then private tours to be able to see those companies.

Just a friendly heads up. Note that you have added a reply to a thread that is originally from 2014. This is called necroposting. It also puts your question down the thread, making it somewhat difficult to find you. Instead, find the button for "Ask a Question" and start a new question, which means a new thread. This way your question and your user name will be completely visible to all who can help you out.

Reply to: Butchardt Gardens in May
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted
Get answers to your questions about Central Saanich
Recent Conversations