Ten thousand trees, shrubs, and rare plants from around the world thrive on this 70-acre research site on the university campus, which edges on Pacific Spirit Park. The complex feels as far away from the city as you can get, with forested walkways through an Asian garden, a garden of medicinal plants, and an alpine garden with some of the world's rarest plants. A Walk in the Woods is a 20-minute loop that takes you through more than 1,000 species of coastal plant life. The garden gift store is one of the best of its kind. One-hour guided tours, free with garden admission, are offered on certain days; call or check the website for schedule. A UBC Museums and Gardens Pass will save you money if you're planning to visit several attractions at UBC.
The 308-meter-long (1,010-foot-long) Greenheart Canopy Walkway, a swaying network of suspended bridges weaving a trail between gargantuan cedars and hemlocks, is a thrilling way to explore the garden. Along the way, you stop off on
eight platforms in the trees, each more than 15 meters (49 feet) high, while an additional two-story viewing platform tops a free-standing tower more than 22 meters (72 feet) in the air. Visits to the walkway are by 45-minute guided tour, where you learn about the forest, local wildlife, environmental issues, and First Nations traditions; call or check the website for seasonal tour schedules. The walkway is a great adventure for kids; just note that small children must either be able to walk on their own or be carried in a child backpack or other carrier (strollers aren't permitted).