Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and a thought of one among Canada’s most lovely cities. Situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the coastal metropolis attracts summer season crowds who arrive by ferry from Vancouver or cease for the day on an Alaska cruise.
In the event you’re visiting for quite a lot of days, a street journey up Vancouver Island permits you to see Lengthy Seashore, a part of the Pacific Rim Pure Park Reserve.
These stopping on an Alaska cruise from Seattle or Vancouver might solely have a day, however you gained’t be in need of actions or points of interest to select from.
Listed below are the most effective issues to do in Victoria throughout your trip.
1. Discover Craigdarroch Fort
Situated 2 km from Victoria Harbor, a tour of Craigdarroch Fort gives a glimpse into the lives of the Dunsmuir household. The Victorian property exemplifies wealth with its 4 storeys and 39 rooms. Sitting on prime actual property on a hill, you’ll be able to take pleasure in spectacular views from the highest ground.
The house was constructed within the late 1800s by Robert Dunsmuir, thought of the wealthiest man in Western Canada. A few of the rooms function lovely stained glass, and complicated woodwork and are furnished with interval items.
All through its historical past, the house owners had modified the rooms to behave as a army hospital, a Victoria School, and a music conservatory. Craigdarroch Fort, and neighboring Hatley Fort, are two magnificent Canadian castles value exploring.
2. Go to Butchart Gardens
There are numerous North American gardens that provide you with that wow issue, and Butchart Gardens is one among them. Situated in Brentwood Bay, half-hour north of Victoria, the gardens are a Nationwide Historic Web site of Canada.
In spring and summer season, the 55 acres bloom with an explosion of colour, however the Sunken Backyard is its jewel. However this isn’t a vacation spot for simply two seasons. Within the fall, the Japanese Backyard radiates in tones of crimson, orange, and yellow.
In December, whereas the flowers hibernate, the park comes alive with festive lights, Christmas carollers, and smells of the vacations. It’s no marvel Victoria is called the “metropolis of gardens.”
3. Tour The Parliament Buildings
You possibly can take a complimentary tour of the BC Parliament Buildings from Monday to Friday. The tickets can be found on the entrance and can be found on a first-come-first-served foundation.
On a 45-minute tour, you’ll admire a carved canoe within the Decrease Rotunda and proceed upstairs to the Memorial Rotunda, devoted to those that misplaced their lives for his or her nation.
The head of the tour is seeing the Legislative Meeting of BC.
When you can’t enter the room, you’ll be able to see the place the members make all the selections and the place British Columbia passes its legal guidelines.
4. Have Tea At The Empress Lodge
Situated on Authorities Road, the enduring Fairmont Empress Lodge has served conventional afternoon tea for over a century. The ritual, which isn’t simply tea, however a complete meal, consists of finger sandwiches, scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream, and delicate pastries.
Accompanied by the best globally sourced teas, it is best to benefit from the event leisurely. Like lavish afternoon tea in well-known London institutions, count on this tea to set you again round CAD 100 per particular person with out champagne.
Whereas quintessentially British, tea on the Empress will double your reminiscences of visiting Victoria, British Columbia’s capital.
5. Have Lunch At Fisherman’s Wharf
Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf is a unusual neighborhood comprised of floating eating places, artists’ present outlets, and colourful float properties.
You possibly can catch a ferry throughout the harbor, seize a brew, and luxuriate in some yummy seafood there. It’s an ideal place to individuals watch, and you might even spot some harbor seals, sea lions, or a heron attempting to catch dinner.
Whereas fish and chips is the favored faire provided by most eateries, Puerto Vallarta Amigos serves Mexican, Pirate Pizza has scrumptious pizzas, and Coco grill provides Polynesian-flavored seafood. Be sure you depart room for Jackson’s ice cream, particularly on a sizzling day.
6. Take A Tour On The Harbor Ferry
The harbor ferry gives scenic excursions of the inside marina, which lets you give your toes a relaxation. You’ll study the historical past of the busy harbor as you watch the visitors on the ocean freeway. With fishing boats, tour boats, ferries, and float planes, it’s an orchestral maneuver of ocean-going ballet.
Within the winter, the harbor comes alive with the twinkling of fairy lights. It’s the best time to take a Harbor Lights tour. You’ll benefit from the festive lights and a 3D Little one’s Winter Story, all from the heated cabin of your tub-style boat.
7. Go Whale Watching
The waters of Vancouver Island are prolific with whale species. Resulting from its inhabitants of resident killer whales, it’s thought of top-of-the-line locations to whale watch alongside the west coast. Could to October is peak whale watching season.
The highest tour firm, Prince of Whales, provides year-round excursions and ensures sightings. Most vacationers come to see the orcas, however humpbacks, minke, and grey whales are noticed too.
Excursions depart from the harbor on the waterfront, so that you gained’t want transportation to get to your touring vessel.
8. Watch Horse Carriages
A horse carriage trip has turn into an iconic attraction in Victoria.
Victoria Carriage Excursions and Tally-Ho Carriage Excursions present service across the harbor, for guests to see the capital in an open-air carriage pulled by a retired draft horse. Carriages can seat as much as six, and excursions begin at quarter-hour and as much as 90 minutes.
Each corporations use Belgians, Clydesdales, Suffolk Punches, and Shires to drag their carriages. They select these horses for his or her mild demeanor, belief in individuals, and friendliness.
9. See The Sights On A Hop-on Hop-off Bus
Hop-on hop-off buses are utilized in many cities and supply a simple option to see the websites. They’re helpful for the mobility challenged.
You’ll benefit from the trip on a double-decker open-top bus in Victoria. It takes the bus 90 minutes to finish town loop.
With the liberty to create your personal schedule, you may get off the bus at every cease and discover the world earlier than boarding once more. The primary cease is exterior the enduring Fairmont Empress Lodge, recognized for its luxurious lodging and scrumptious afternoon tea.
Different factors of curiosity embody the Royal British Columbia Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria’s Interior Harbor, Christ Church Cathedral, Oak Bay Village, and Prepare dinner Road Village.
For a further payment, your ticket consists of entry to Craigdarroch Fort.
10. Browse The Royal British Columbia Museum
For over 125 years, the Royal BC Museum has been attracting guests to view its assortment of over 7 million artifacts. The museum consists of three galleries, the First Peoples, Pure Historical past, and Turning into BC.
The First Peoples Gallery has indigenous totem poles, Haida objects, and a group of Invoice Reid’s carvings.
A watch-opening exhibit featured the darker aspect of Canadian historical past. It showcases the shameful approach the federal government handled Japanese Canadians after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in Oahu.
The museum has the biggest IMAX display screen in British Columbia, that includes documentary-style movies. The movies routinely change, as do a number of the reveals, to maintain locals and guests coming again.
11. Tour The Metropolis On E-Bikes
When you can tour Victoria on foot or the Hop-on hop-off bus, renting an e-bike offers you the liberty to create your personal schedule.
E-bikes are straightforward to trip. In the event you can trip a pedal bike, you’ll be able to study the controls of an electrical bike in a matter of minutes. The battery help permits you to deal with hills and trip additional with out exhaustion.
In the event you arrive in Victoria by cruise ship, Victoria Bike Leases provides bikes on the Ogden Level Terminal. The Pedaler and Victoria Cycle BC have storefronts and leases close to the harbor. You possibly can lease by the hour or the entire day.
Sightseeing by e-bike eliminates the necessity for parking for those who’re touring with a car. That alone can save some huge cash.
12. Hire A Kayak
Paddling the waterfront offers you a serene option to take pleasure in Victoria. You’ll escape the crowds and see the views from a unique perspective.
Kelp Reef Excursions provide 2-to-3-hour excursions from Fishermen’s Wharf, with the latter fitted to skilled rowers. The excursions are family-friendly, and you might take pleasure in harbor seals, river otters, and seabird sightings.
Alternatively, Victoria Kayak Excursions provides handy leases on the waterfront. You possibly can select from a bunch tour or a self-guided rental. In the event you don’t have higher physique energy, go for a double or triple kayak as a substitute of the one one. Energy in numbers!
13. Go to Hatley Fort
Hatley Fort was the household house of James and Laura Dunsmuir. James was the oldest son of Robert and Joan Dunsmuir from Craigdarroch Fort.
After their deaths, the house served as a coaching faculty for army officers. At the moment, Royal Roads College makes use of the mansion as its campus. Within the basement, guests can see the Hatley Fort Museum containing a few of James and Laura’s belongings.
Outdoors, you’ll be able to take pleasure in complimentary excursions of the property. Guided excursions can be found from Could till September, 10 am to nightfall.
Wrap It Up: Finest issues to do in Victoria Canada
Victoria attracts guests for its pure magnificence, delicate local weather, and delightful gardens. Since you’ll find many well-liked points of interest centered across the inside harbor, you’ll be able to discover most of them on a strolling tour.
By strolling somewhat than driving, you’ll be able to uncover meals vehicles, lovely gardens, and hidden gems.
Karen is a Canadian traveler at ForeverKaren. Born to a British Army household, she grew up touring the world and by no means misplaced her want for seeing all of it. Together with her husband Brian, she loves to hunt out new adventures and areas to discover.