Elysium Gardens, Kelowna (JF Bergeron photo)
Nature is never far away in British Columbia, even in cities and towns.
Vancouver's Stanley Park was named one of the “Five Best Urban Escapes in Canada” by The Independent, a UK newspaper (2007). As well, dozens of BC communities have beautified their green spaces through the national “Communities in Bloom” program.
Gardens flourish in southern BC due to long growing seasons, mild temperatures and a healthy amount of rainfall. Stroll by perfectly coiffed blooms at The Butchart Gardens near Victoria or investigate exotic species in Vancouver's UBC Botanical Garden and VanDusen Botanical Garden.
Looking for a unique garden experience? Admire fields of fragrant purple lavender at the Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm, wade into a seaweed garden near Sooke, or join a boat tour from Tofino to visit Cougar Annie’s garden.
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2915 Cameron-Taggart Rd
Mill Bay, British Columbia
Nestled in the foothills of Mill Bay, surrounded by pasture and minutes away from the Pacific Ocean, lies Unsworth Vineyards. The winery's pristine Cowichan Valley setting provides the perfect coastal climate for growing some of the world's finest and most unique wine grapes. Panoramic views, a relaxed ambiance and seasonal entertainment combine to make Unsworth Vineyards an essential stop on any wine tour.
Next to the winery's tasting bar, a 119-year old farm house has been beautifully renovated to accommodate an award-winning restaurant. Visitors and locals alike are invited to experience the terroir cuisine of the Cowichan Valley through cooking classes, chef's discussions overlooking the vineyard, and garden tours among the heritage apple and walnut trees in the winery's orchard.