Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and a thought-about considered one of Canada’s most stunning cities. Positioned on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the coastal metropolis attracts summer time crowds who arrive by ferry from Vancouver or cease for the day on an Alaska cruise.
In case you’re visiting for various days, a highway journey up Vancouver Island means that you can see Lengthy Seaside, 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 received’t be wanting actions or points of interest to select from.
Listed below are the very best issues to do in Victoria throughout your trip.
1. Discover Craigdarroch Fortress
Positioned 2 km from Victoria Harbor, a tour of Craigdarroch Fortress supplies 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 possibly can take pleasure in spectacular views from the highest flooring.
The house was constructed within the late 1800s by Robert Dunsmuir, thought-about the wealthiest man in Western Canada. A number of the rooms function stunning stained glass, and complex woodwork and are furnished with interval items.
All through its historical past, the homeowners had modified the rooms to behave as a army hospital, a Victoria Faculty, and a music conservatory. Craigdarroch Fortress, and neighboring Hatley Fortress, are two magnificent Canadian castles price exploring.
2. Go to Butchart Gardens
There are lots of North American gardens that provide you with that wow issue, and Butchart Gardens is considered one of them. Positioned in Brentwood Bay, half-hour north of Victoria, the gardens are a Nationwide Historic Website of Canada.
In spring and summer time, the 55 acres bloom with an explosion of shade, 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 purple, 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 surprise Victoria is named the “metropolis of gardens.”
3. Tour The Parliament Buildings
You may 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 top of the tour is seeing the Legislative Meeting of BC.
When you can’t enter the room, you possibly can see the place the members make all the choices and the place British Columbia passes its legal guidelines.
4. Have Tea At The Empress Lodge
Positioned on Authorities Avenue, 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’s best to benefit from the event leisurely. Like lavish afternoon tea in well-known London institutions, anticipate this tea to set you again round CAD 100 per individual 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’ reward outlets, and colourful float houses.
You may catch a ferry throughout the harbor, seize a brew, and revel in some yummy seafood there. It’s an amazing place to individuals watch, and chances are you’ll 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 presents 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 supplies scenic excursions of the interior marina, which lets you give your ft a relaxation. You’ll be taught the historical past of the busy harbor as you watch the site 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 perfect 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-about probably the greatest locations to whale watch alongside the west coast. Might to October is peak whale watching season.
The highest tour firm, Prince of Whales, presents 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 received’t want transportation to get to your touring vessel.
8. Watch Horse Carriages
A horse carriage journey 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 light 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 straightforward approach to see the websites. They’re useful for the mobility challenged.
You’ll benefit from the journey on a double-decker open-top bus in Victoria. It takes the bus 90 minutes to finish the town loop.
With the liberty to create your individual schedule, you will 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, identified for its luxurious lodging and scrumptious afternoon tea.
Different factors of curiosity embrace the Royal British Columbia Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria’s Internal Harbor, Christ Church Cathedral, Oak Bay Village, and Prepare dinner Avenue Village.
For a further charge, your ticket consists of entry to Craigdarroch Fortress.
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 Changing into BC.
The First Peoples Gallery has indigenous totem poles, Haida objects, and a set of Invoice Reid’s carvings.
A watch-opening exhibit featured the darker facet of Canadian historical past. It showcases the shameful manner 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 among 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 provides you the liberty to create your individual schedule.
E-bikes are straightforward to journey. In case you can journey a pedal bike, you possibly can be taught the controls of an electrical bike in a matter of minutes. The battery help means that you can deal with hills and journey additional with out exhaustion.
In case you arrive in Victoria by cruise ship, Victoria Bike Leases presents bikes on the Ogden Level Terminal. The Pedaler and Victoria Cycle BC have storefronts and leases close to the harbor. You may lease by the hour or the entire day.
Sightseeing by e-bike eliminates the necessity for parking in the event you’re touring with a automobile. That alone can save some huge cash.
12. Hire A Kayak
Paddling the waterfront provides you a serene approach 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 suited to skilled rowers. The excursions are family-friendly, and chances are you’ll take pleasure in harbor seals, river otters, and seabird sightings.
Alternatively, Victoria Kayak Excursions presents handy leases on the waterfront. You may select from a bunch tour or a self-guided rental. In case you don’t have higher physique power, go for a double or triple kayak as a substitute of the one one. Energy in numbers!
13. Go to Hatley Fortress
Hatley Fortress was the household residence of James and Laura Dunsmuir. James was the oldest son of Robert and Joan Dunsmuir from Craigdarroch Fortress.
After their deaths, the house served as a coaching college for army officers. At present, Royal Roads College makes use of the mansion as its campus. Within the basement, guests can see the Hatley Fortress Museum containing a few of James and Laura’s belongings.
Exterior, you possibly can take pleasure in complimentary excursions of the property. Guided excursions can be found from Might till September, 10 am to nightfall.
Wrap It Up: Greatest issues to do in Victoria Canada
Victoria attracts guests for its pure magnificence, delicate local weather, and exquisite gardens. Since yow will discover many fashionable points of interest centered across the interior harbor, you possibly can discover most of them on a strolling tour.
By strolling quite than driving, you possibly can uncover meals vans, stunning gardens, and hidden gems.
Karen is a Canadian traveler at ForeverKaren. Born to a British Navy household, she grew up touring the world and by no means misplaced her need for seeing all of it. Together with her husband Brian, she loves to hunt out new adventures and areas to discover.