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Things to See and Do on Vancouver Island, British Columbia 
 
by Mary M. Alward August 12, 2005

Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens consists of 130 acres of expansive manicured lawns, meandering paths, panoramic views and ponds that reflect wondrous sights of nature. It’s tucked into the southeast corner of Vancouver Island and is delightful in all seasons. In autumn, the gardens are alive with cascading color and at Christmas, they hold the sparkle and magic of the holidays.

Butchart Gardens was established by the Butchart family in 1908, in what was a former limestone quarry. The first garden established was the Japanese Garden, which is located on the sea-side of the house. The next garden added was the Italian Garden. In 1929, the Rose Garden was created. During the 1920’s, over 50,000 visitors came to the gardens each year. This is one attraction you won’t want to miss. All of the gardens are exquisite.

Parking at Butchart Gardens is adequate and you will enjoy both the gardens and the exhibits. The gardens are child friendly and wheelchair accessible.

National Geographic IMAX Theater

The National Geographic IMAX Theater is the most powerful film experience in North America. Twelve thousand watts of electricity brings images to life on a six story screen. To make the experience even more life-like, the Theater provides digital surround sound. The Theater is wheelchair accessible and provides a great entertainment and educational experience for all who visit.

Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site

Fisgard is Canada’s oldest working lighthouse on the west coast. Step inside and walk along the ramparts of three gun batteries that were built more than a hundred years ago. Explore underground bunkers and look down the barrels of the original guns. Check out the displays and exhibits of shipwrecks.

If you enjoy nature, be sure to check out the grounds, where you will see raccoons, black-tailed deer, squirrels and a wide variety of bird species. The surrounding waters are home to harbor seals and occasionally a sea lion or two. Fisgard lies in the Gulf of Georgia Lowlands and was built in the late 1860’s. Today, the former light keeper’s house contains displays and a video station.

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