Royal Botanical Gardens 680 Plains Road West

Good day to all! This was our first ever weekend of tour stops and to mark the occasion, Jenny, Kristin and I spent the afternoon at the Royal Botanical Gardens. Situated on Plains Road, the Royal Botanical Gardens is a year-round destination for flower enthusiasts and casual flower admirers with fun activities for people of all ages. For this tour stop, we explored the ever majestic Hendrie Park and lovely Rock Gardens.

We were all famished so we made our way to the Turner Pavilion tea house for high tea and lunch. After a slight detour which involved circling the RBG Centre and contemplating hopping the fence to get in (Jenny’s idea), the three of us finally found our way to the teahouse through the underground tunnels which, unfortunately, turned out to be closed, so we settled for a ride on the lift (elevator). That’s right people, this vocab will be popping up left, right and centre. You’ve been warned.

At the teahouse, we enjoyed a proper lunch of tea, scones and sandwiches and took great delight in our exquisite, handpainted tea cups and the decor, very colourful and teahouse-esque. After a simply scrumptious lunch, the three of us took an afternoon stroll around the lush gardens at Hendrie Park, starting with the roses. The annual Rose Festival was in full swing from the look of things as we watched adults and children alike admire the many varieties and colours of roses. The gardens also presented many opportune moments for photoshoots, including a pineapple water fountain and the Hendrie gates.

One area which stood out to me was the Veggie Garden. This garden features plants from the gardens of local Hamiltonians who have made it a point of growing and incorporating locally grown vegetables into their cooking. It was great to see people who were promoting a healthier lifestyle as well as a fantastic way to DIY.

Map in hand, we moseyed over to the Rock Garden which boasts spring bulbs, annuals, azaleas and even a collection of cheery trees! After grabbing a refreshing cool drink at the Rock Garden teahouse, we continued exploring the Rock Garden. I loved the layout and design of the flower arrangements. Set against the cottage-esque backdrop, the three of us felt like we were somewhere in northern Ontario. How neat though that a few of these tour stops have given us that feeling of being outside the city, without having to even travel outside of Hamilton! Standing on the hill overlooking the rock garden and teahouse in the distance, simply stunning. Somehow this reminded us of The Lion King which led to some impromptu song and dance, something we (well maybe more so I) have a tendency of doing. It happens, don’t judge us.

What better way to end off the afternoon than to partake in a photoshoot, in true Hamiltonian style, with the official Hamilton sign?? We had spotted this sign on the ride to the gardens and knew another photoshoot was in order. It was quite fun posing and modelling with the sign, I’m sure many passerbys wondered what on earth these girls were up to!

What more can I say?? Just reflecting on the past places we’ve visited and the people we’ve encountered along the way, Hamilton is truly a city of many communities.


xoxo Avi

Kristin Archer is the creator of I Heart Hamilton (, where she has blogged about experiences around her hometown since 2011, growing a social media presence along the way. Encouraging locals to “be a tourist in your own city,” she promotes arts and culture across her various social media platforms, blog, and weekly radio show on 93.3 CFMU.

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