Vancouver's gardens may not be as famous as our other outdoor spaces--like Stanley Park or the beaches--but they deserve to be! If you're a fan of gardens, perfect landscaping, serenity, outdoor contemplation, and natural beauty, take advantage of these gorgeous public spaces.
01 of 05
Queen Elizabeth Park's Quarry Gardens - FREE
The two "quarry gardens" at Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park are among the best and best-loved gardens in the city, and they're free!, Situated near the peak of Queen Elizabeth Park, the highest point in Vancouver, these gardens are horticultural delights with lovely landscaping; they're laced with pathways, little bridges and mini waterfalls.
During your visit to Queen Elizabeth Park, you can also enjoy the indoor Blodel Conservatory (it's not free, but it is very inexpensive), which houses an array of tropical plants and birds. There are also the park's famous "dancing fountains," incredible views of Downtown Vancouver, and the Seasons in the Park restaurant, one of the Top 5 Vancouver Restaurants with a View
02 of 05
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden
An oasis of serenity in the heart of Vancouver's historic Chinatown, the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden combines elements of traditional Chinese architecture with the other classical Chinese-garden elements of weathered rock, jade-green water and mystical plants.
There are both free and ticketed portions of this garden. The free portion is fairly limited, so I recommend purchasing the tickets.
03 of 05
VanDusen Botanical Garden
A fairytale land of vibrant flowers, slender, winding paths, and lily-pad covered ponds--there's even a European-style hedge maze--VanDusen is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Vancouver, and well worth the price of admission. A favorite at any time of year (it's famous in winter for its Festival of Lights), VanDusen is truly glorious in the spring and summer.
VanDusen's Truffles Cafe (in their Visitor's Centre) has one of the best afternoon teas in Vancouver, too!
04 of 05
Stanley Park Gardens - FREE
Stanley Park is better known for its majestic ceders and firs than for its flowers, but that doesn't mean there aren't gorgeous gardens there, too. The Stanley Park gardens include a rose garden, a rhododendron garden and a pictorial carpet bed at Prospect Point, the highest point in the park. And like Queen Elizabeth Park, these gardens are entirely free!
You can easily combine a trip to the Stanley Park gardens with other Stanley Park activities, including biking the scenic Seawall, visiting the Vancouver Aquarium, or seeing the Stanley Park Totem Poles (which are within walking distance of the Stanley Park Rose Garden).Continue to 5 of 5 below.
05 of 05
Nitobe Memorial Garden
The UBC Botanical Gardens are one of the Top 5 Attractions at University of British Columbia (UBC). While all of the UBC Botanical Gardens are worth visiting, the Nitobe Memorial Garden is a must-see. This idyllic zen haven is considered one of the "top five" most authentic Japanese gardens outside of Japan!
Head there on the last Saturday of the month during the summer, and you can enjoy a traditional Japanese tea ceremony along with the waterfalls and reflecting ponds.