The delightful Royal Botanical Gardens cover some twelve square kilometres just across Burlington Bay from downtown Hamilton, its several sections spread over 15km of wooded shoreline. The flower displays here are simply gorgeous with highlights including Hendrie Park’s Rose Gardens (best June–Oct) and nearby Laking Garden with its irises and peonies (May & June). Hendrie Park adjoins the main RBG Visitor Centre, where there’s a shop, café and several inside areas featuring forced bulbs, orchids and cacti. Wilder parts of the RBG are round to the west with the 800-hectare Cootes Paradise Sanctuary latticed with hiking trails.

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