Vancouver may have the nickname of the ‘City of Glass’, but we think ‘City of Green’ works just as well (for a number of reasons). There’s no better way to soak up summer than by checking out the best gardens in Vancouver and enjoying their relaxing atmospheres. And, from sprawling botanical gardens to hidden gems, this city is full of incredible options.

So, here are the 10 best gardens to visit in Vancouver this summer.

VanDusen Botanical Garden

 

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We’re kicking things off with some absolutely classic picks, and VanDusen fits the bill exactly. Featuring multiple areas to explore, including a Korean pavilion, the garden blooms year-round with thousands of incredible plant species. Fun fact- this summer is actually the 40th anniversary of that crazy Elizabethan labyrinth inside the garden, as well.

Where: 5251 Oak Street
Cost: $11.70

Queen Elizabeth Park

Known as Vancouver’s ‘horticultural jewel’, Queen Elizabeth Park has tons for you to explore. Outside, you can visit the iconic Quarry Garden or check out the Arboretum for free, and boy do they pair well for a picnic. And of course, the park is also home to the Bloedel Conservatory, which is filled to the brim with tropical plants and birds. Combine that with incredible views of the city skyline, and Queen Elizabeth becomes a must-visit spot for us every summer.

Where: 600 Cambie Street
Cost: Free/$7.05 for the Bloedel Conservatory

UBC Botanical Garden

 

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Now over a century old, the UBC Botanical Garden has grown into an absolute behemoth of a space. Sprawling over 108 acres, the garden features roughly 30,000 plants representing some 8,000 different species. So yeah, this is one of those options where you could spend a full day here and still have more to explore. Plus, they’ve now got a ‘TreeWalk’ experience for those looking for a change of perspective while they’re visiting.

Where: 6804 SW Marine Drive
Cost: $10/$23 with TreeWalk add-on

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Nitobe Memorial Garden

 

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The UBC Botanical Garden isn’t the only spot on campus we’re recommending on this list- there are actually three! Our second pick is the Nitobe Memorial Garden, which is an underrated spot even for campus students. An unbelievably faithful recreation of Japanese garden design, Nitobe is best known for making the former Emperor of Japan say “I am in Japan” during a visit. If that’s not a seal of approval, we don’t know what is.

Where: 1895 Lower Mall
Cost: $5

UBC Rose Garden

 

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Since you’re going to be on campus in the summer, a quick stop by the rose garden is guaranteed to be an easy addition. Framing an incredible view of the Burrard Inlet, the garden lights up in the summer with dozens of roses for your relaxation needs. It might be a simple spot for the best gardens in Vancouver list, but it’s oh so worth it, and especially during twilight hours.

Where: 6301 Crescent Road
Cost: Free!

Ted and Mary Greig Rhododendron Garden

 

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Stanley Park has a few gardens worth checking out, and they’re all free to visit! Located around the Stanley Park Pitch n’ Putt, this incredible garden has some 4,500 blooming Rhododendrons in all kinds of colours. A hidden gem on the southern side of the park, this one is in fact best seen during May, so get over there and check it out!

Where: Lost Lagoon Path, Stanley Park
Cost: Free!

Stanley Park Rock Garden

 

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Next up is this little-known garden with an unusual history. Turns out, this garden in Stanley Park is most likely the oldest in Vancouver, having started around 1911. It’s so old, in fact, that it was forgotten in city history for a few decades until the great-grandson of the creator got (quite literally) to digging around. Now, the garden is on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

Where: Stanley Park Pavilion
Cost: Free!

Hastings Park

 

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This large park in East Van holds a couple of local treasures to explore. First up is the Il Giardino Italiano, which is a classic Italian garden featuring sculptures inspired by famous Italian operas. Then, head over to the Momiji Gardens, which serves as a reminder of the Japanese internment period during World War II. So, it’s a little serious, but gosh darn if it’s not also beautiful.

Where: 2901 E Hastings Street
Cost: Free!

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

 

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After months of closure, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen finally reopened earlier this spring! Located in the heart of Chinatown, this immersive garden features materials directly imported from China, including the architectural elements. It’s no wonder this amazing spot was named the Top City Garden in the World by National Geographic back in 2011. If that’s not enough to convince you to visit, we don’t know what is!

Where: 578 Carrall Street
Cost: $16

Alright folks, that’s our roundup of the best gardens to visit in Vancouver this summer! Our advice? Keep this guide handy, and try to visit them all over the next few months! You’ll be happy you did, folks.