Vancouver Island, just across the Georgia Strait, is a massive, adventure-filled haven for outdoor lovers. From hiking to swimming, biking to skiing, surfing to exploring tiny towns, there's something for everyone. A gorgeous spot just outside Victoria is Butchart Gardens, which has been in bloom for over 100 years and attracts over a million visitors every year.
A fantastic day trip is to hop on your bike and take on the Lochside Regional Trail which begins right at the Victoria Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Bikes are substantially cheaper to take across from Tsawwassen at just $19.20 each way per person, compared to $57.50 each way per vehicle (check the latest fares here).
The bike ride from Swartz Bay to Butchart Gardens is a 21km trek along the well sign-posted roadside Lochside Regional Trail, a portion of the Galloping Goose Trail. Follow all the signs to Butchart Gardens: bright, white signs with pink painted roses.
The entrance to Butchart Gardens is $33.10 per adult, at the time of writing. Plan to spend a whole day exploring all the different sections of the gardens, smelling the roses (literally - in the stunning rose garden) and enjoying the magic of the space. A sweet cafe, an open-air restaurant, gift shops and ice cream stands complete the attraction.