Victoria is the English-accented capital of British Columbia, known for its lovely floral gardens, formal tea services and charming harbour. It’s located in the heart of scenic Vancouver Island, surrounded by deep blue waters and covered in thick pine trees, a great place for kayaking, hiking, and whale watching. There’s a distinctly European flavour to the city, whether it’s the Gothic architecture of its Parliament building or the Renaissance vibes of its stately Empress Hotel! Yet have a wander and you’ll also find trendy cafes and one-of-a-kind art galleries that lend a cosmopolitan feel.
Victoria’s heart and soul is its harbour, which is always busy with everything from kayaks all the way up to mega cruise ships. Watch them bob up and down in the water or head out on a boat tour around the island yourself. You can stroll to the Fisherman’s Wharf, which features the freshest seafood imaginable in its food stalls.
There’s no shortage of greenery in Victoria, with its lush natural setting! City parks are top-notch, particularly the Beacon Hill Park with its petting zoo, waterpark, and hundreds of acres of manicured gardens and hiking trails to explore. Make sure to note the totem pole at its centre, once the world’s tallest at a height of 39 metres! Butchart Gardens is another prime attraction with its impressive floral displays.
Learn more about the history of the First Nations people by visiting the Royal BC Museum, which displays historic indigenous artefacts alongside interactive exhibitions about the region’s modern history. There’s even an IMAX Cinema to get you involved.
Vancouver Island is one of the best places on the Pacific coast to spot migrating whales, so head out into the water on a whale watching tour and you may be treated with sightings of humpback, minke, and orca whales alongside playful porpoises and seals!