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12 Things to Do in Victoria, British Columbia

Ishwari Pamu Nov 30, 2019
From garden, museums and historic buildings to a haunted castle, beaches and the best fish and chips, Victoria is so full of life and has an endless list of things to do.

Butchart Gardens

It all started in 1904 when Jennie Butchart started planting flowers in her husband’s abandoned limestone quarry. Today, these spectacular gardens are spread over 20 hectares and are divided into 5 main gardens.
Stroll around these endless gardens, pools and fountains. Thousands of colored lights illuminate the gardens during the winter and summer evenings.

The Parliamentary Building

Built in 1897, this stone building stands overlooking the well-manicured gardens at its entrance and the Inner Harbor.
It looks best in the evening when twinkling lights outline every door, window, corridor, arch and dome of the building. But if you are interested in the history of the place, go for one of the free tours available during the day.

Ogden Point Breakwater

Often overlooked by visitors, it is one of the most beautiful places in Victoria. Take a break from the typical tourist spots and amble along this 1.5 km port facility; the walk is refreshing, the views are beyond spectacular and the sunsets are magical.

Inner Harbor

If you get to Victoria via a boat or a ferry, you’ll be greeted by the sight of bright-colored pastel-hued buildings, cozy cafés and restaurants, street vendors and numerous fishing boats. It has to be one of the most beautiful harbors in the world.
Park yourself at one of the cafés, order a cup of tea and watch as the people go about their day, as the seaplanes take off and land, and if you’re lucky you might even spot a pod of whales playing in the open waters.

Beacon Hill Park

If you are in Victoria with kids, this park is the perfect place for them to relax and play after you’ve dragged them along to see all the buildings, monuments and historic sites.

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It houses two playgrounds, a petting zoo, the fourth tallest totem pole in the world and offers breathtaking views of the Olympic Peninsula from its highest point.

Royal BC Museum

Visit this museum for a complete insight on the geography, history and culture of the city, struggles the First Nations went through after the European colonization, natural history and much more.
The best thing about this museum is that all the exhibits are displayed in a chronological order.

Craigdarroch Castle

Robert Dunsmuir built this grand mansion for his wife, Joan Dunsmuir and ten children; get a glimpse into the life of the privileged upper class of the 1890s.
Listed as one of the most haunted places in Canada, there have been reports of sighting ghosts of a maid, a woman dressed in white (we all know who that could be), a little girl (definitely the reason why it made the list), and music being played all by itself.

Chinatown

The second oldest Chinatown in the world and the oldest in Canada, it’s complete with tea, cafés and souvenir shops. Head to Union Pacific Coffee Co. for the best coffee in the area or Venus Sophia if you fancy tea.
It’s home to the narrowest alley (35 inches across) in Canada, the Fan Tan Alley, once a place for vile doings is now a popular tourist destination.

Lower Johnson Street

Pastel-colored Victorian style building housing some of the finest independent boutiques, restaurants and shops in the city skirt the street. If you want to do some real shopping, this is where you come.

Hit the Beach

What do you do when the skies are blue, the temperature rises and you are exhausted from checking all the attractions from your never ending things-to-do list? You go to the beach!
Victoria’s beaches are excellent for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or just vegging out but on the beach and with some drinks. If you want to swim, you might want to hit the Thetis Lake, as the water at the beaches is cold.

Whale Watching

Book a whale watching tour to watch the majestic ocras (killer whales) play in the water and enjoy the warmth of the sun. Make sure you go with a reputable tour company and maintain a respectful distance from the whales.