Roadtrip! / The Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG)
Canada’s largest botanical garden is just a couple of hours away
680 Plains Road W., Burlington, Ontario
Garden and nature lovers, hikers, or a romantic date
78 minutes • 67.7 miles
I-190 N -> Q.E.Way
The Royal Botanical Gardens has been a worldwide destination for garden tourists and scientists for at least eighty years. Revered for 400 acres of display gardens as well as for its stewardship of 2300 acres of diverse and sensitive ecosystems, it’s about sixty miles from Buffalo, making it an ideal day-trip destination. On your first visit, you might prefer an overview of the five distinct garden areas, accessible by shuttle from the large RBG Center. Flower garden lovers might instead zero in on the RBG Centre in the Laking Garden (perennial displays, hosta/ornamental grass collections, and great views) and Hendrie Park (reflecting pools, rose garden, white garden, medicinal, pollinator plants, and scented gardens). If kids are along, choose Hendrie, which has several engaging and kid-friendly attractions. The Laking/Hendrie areas are also good places to be in case of rain, as it’s easy to duck into the centre for the fabulous gift shop, café, and relaxing indoor Mediterranean garden.
The RBG’s newest must-see component, the David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden, has its own visitors’ center. Start at 1185 York Boulevard, Hamilton. You might also choose to hike The Arboretum and explore the Nature Interpretive Centre (16 Old Guelph Road, Hamilton).
Beyond offering visitors the pleasure of viewing beautiful gardens, the RBG has broad goals. It was modeled after Kew Gardens in England, with tourism, educational, and environmental missions. Today, it has an international reputation as a living laboratory for science studies, and as a model for habitat restoration and endangered plant protection.
Keep your passport refreshed: The RBG is worth many day-trips.
The RBG includes three restaurants, the Rock Garden Café, Greenhouse Café and the Turner Pavilion Teahouse
Berkeley North, West Plains Bistro, Easterbrooks Hotdog Stand
On The Way:
Vineland Estates Winery
Creekside Estate Winery
The extensive gift shop in RBG Centre (680 Plains Road W) has garden props, art, tools, books, and more, including local honey.