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Gardens of California & Canada with the Rocky Mountaineer Train

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Enjoy a small group botanical tour of California.

Botanica founder Judy Vanrenen at the J.Paul Getty Museum Garden.

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Discover the beautiful gardens of California, Vancouver and Victoria, including the world famous Butchart Gardens before relaxing aboard the exquisite Rocky Mountaineer train as you journey through to Banff. View complete itinerary

Trip code: BTLACAN14
Duration: 14 days
Accommodation: Hotels offering superior comfort
Journey: Los Angeles to Vancouver
Meals included: 21

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrive Los Angeles

You are met at the airport and transferred to your Los Angeles Hotel. Enjoy a Welcome Dinner this evening at 6:30pm to meet your fellow travellers and Botanical Guide.
Stay: Three Nights: Los Angeles, Loews Hollywood Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Dinner

Day 2. Getty Museum & Villa

Today visit the architectural masterpiece that is the J. Paul Getty Museum. Costing $1 billion to build in 1997, and with views of Los Angeles skyline, the stunning gardens surrounding this museum were designed by artist Robert Irwin. The waterfall terraces flow down to the floating azalea maze which resembles a floating labyrinth creating a unique centerpiece to the garden. After exploring the gardens, lose yourself in one of the art galleries filled with European treasures. You may wish to visit the Getty Villa and garden this afternoon. Once J. Paul Getty’s home, it became his first museum. Housing Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiques. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 3. Huntington Gardens

Today explore the Huntington Gardens, sprawled over 207 acres with 14,000 different plant species and maintained by 40 gardeners. These gardens have an amazing art collection and a world famous library of books. There are gardens representing all parts of the world including Australia, a Desert Garden, a Jungle Garden as well as a Japanese and Chinese gardens. Enjoy a tour of the gardens followed by lunch in a relaxed setting, at the Tea Room overlooking the three-acre rose gardens.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 4. Lotus Land, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo

Lotus land is a fantasy world created with dramatic plant combinations and exotic hard landscaping. Paths are lined with huge diamonds of green glass and a Mediterranean blue kidney shaped pond is bordered by abalone shells. The creation of Polish Opera Singer, Madame Ganna Walska, this is a garden that will challenge and excite you. We then travel on to San Luis Obispo.
Stay: Cambria, Pines Lodge
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 5. Hearst Castle

Today, visit and amazing castle created by mining magnate William Randolph Hearst and designed by Julia Morgan. There are 165 rooms and 127 acres of gardens to explore, a huge feat of engineering. Many tonnes of topsoil were poured onto the rocky site to create the gardens. Courtyards, terraces with their own gardens, staircases, pools and fountains were used to link all the buildings. Hearst loved to swim in the famous Neptune pool with his favourite Dachshunds. You can wander through the gardens or choose to visit one of the museums to view the art collections. We then continue on to San Francisco.
Stay: Two Nights: Parc 55 on Union Square
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 6. San Francisco Gardens

Considered among America’s finest gardens, Filoli is now owned by the National Trust. Among the sections of the gardens to explore are the Sunken Garden, Pool Pavilion Garden, a large Walled Garden, Rose and Knot Gardens, plus topiary and beautifully manicured hedges. San Francisco Botanical Gardens at Strybing Arboretum is a botanical treasure with more than 7,500 varieties of plants.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 7. Depart San Francisco, Arrive Vancouver

Fly from San Francisco today into the beautiful city of Vancouver and transfer to your hotel right on the waterfront. This evening enjoy dinner at 6:30pm.
Stay: Two Nights: Vancouver, Blue Horizon Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 8. Vancouver Sightseeing

Vancouver has a stunning natural beauty and we will explore some of the highlights on a full day tour. See the pretty Waterfront, Chinatown including the classic Chinese Sun Yat-Sen Gardens, historic Gastown, the University of British Columbia Botanical Gardens, Queen Elizabeth Park and the picturesque Stanley Park Gardens.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 9. Victoria & Butchart Gardens

Board a ferry and cruise across Georgia Strait to Vancouver Island, known for it’s mild climate and English-style gardens. This afternoon visit the world-renowned Butchart Gardens and see how this once disused quarry has been turned into a Botanical wonderland.
Stay: Victoria, Magnolia Hotel & Spa or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 10. Vancouver Island & Van Dusen Gardens

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of Vancouver Island including its boat lined harbor and neo-baroque Parliament Buildings before taking a ferry back to Vancouver. This afternoon visit Van Dusen Gardens, home to one of Canada’s largest collections of ornamental plants.
Stay: Vancouver, Blue Horizon Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Day 11. Rocky Mountaineer to Kamloops

Board the Rocky Mountaineer in Gold Leaf class, to enjoy a train journey of a lifetime. Sit back and relax and you watch the scenic majesty of the Rocky Mountains unfold from the comfort of your carriage. See the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Enjoy lunch on board before arriving into Kamloops, where the North and South Thompson rivers meet.
Stay: Kamloops, GoldLeaf Service Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 12. Rocky Mountaineer to Banff

Re-board the Rocky Mountaineer as we continue our journey to the most picturesque places, Bannf. Along the way marvel at Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, Rogers Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and the glaciers and snow capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
Stay: Banff, Brewsters Mountain Lodge or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Lunch

Day 13. Banff Sightseeing to Vancouver

This morning we will explore the sites of Banff, including a Gondola ride; be sure to have your camera at the ready for the picture postcard views you will enjoy. This afternoon we will make our way to Calgary where we will board our short flight to Vancouver. This evening enjoy a Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Stay: Vancouver, Blue Horizon Hotel or similar
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast
  • • Dinner

Day 14. Depart Vancouver

After breakfast you will be transferred to the airport for you flight home.
  • Daily Meals Included:
  • • Breakfast

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the Filoli gardens, considered one of America’s finest gardens
  • Visit Hearth Castle and its gardens
  • Visit the fantasy world of Lotus Land in Santa Barbara
  • Visit the $1 billion J Paul Getty Museum & Getty Villa
  • Explore the city of picturesque city of Vancouver
  • Visit gardens in Vancouver including the University of British Colombia Botanical Gardens
  • Explore the famous Butchart Gardens on Victoria Island
  • Stay on Victoria Island and enjoy a sightseeing tour
  • Travel the Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train
  • Stay in Banff & Kamloops

Included Experiences

  • Services of a Botanical Guide & Experienced Tour Manager
  • Airport transfers on first & last day of tour
  • 21 Meals – 13 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches & 5 Dinners
  • Travel in a small group in a luxury vehicle
  • GoldLeaf Carriage aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train

Additional Information

Botanical Guide - Talei Kenyon

  •  Talei has had the opportunity to live in parts of Asia & the Pacific, enjoying an early introduction to exotic landscapes and food plants. Through Talei’s work with the Diggers Club, she has enjoyed leading a number of international tours with Botanica, sharing her knowledge about plants, gardens, history and the culinary world.

 

The Rocky Mountaineer

  • Join Botanica on this world renowned, luxurious train as it travels by daylight through the wild beauty of Canada’s West. This is the best way to experience the majestic Canadian Rockies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in luxury

Trip Notes

  • Itinerary and inclusions are subject to change
  • Prices are for land/rail and flights as specified only

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