Known as the City of Gardens, Victoria BC makes its home on the southern tip of Vancouver Island offering great weather and lots of outdoor adventure. Views are stunning including the Olympic Mountains and the Pacific Ocean—it’s no wonder this destination is consistently voted one of the top five places to visit in Canada.
There are so many things to discover in beautiful Victoria from the Butchart Gardens to Craigdarroch Castle to Chinatown (Canada’s oldest as a matter of fact). Here’s the skinny on a few:
- Butchart Gardens—visitors flock to Butchart Gardens to see the time-centric, cultivated handiwork of Jennie Butchart. Tour the Japanese Garden on the seaside, the Italian Garden on the former tennis court and the lovely Rose Garden. Grandson, Ian Ross was gifted the Gardens on his 21st birthday and began the transition to the world-renowned attraction visitors love today. He added outdoor concerts for summer nights and the Magic of Christmas for winter. Today, guests also enjoy choreographed fireworks, a Children’s Pavilion and a Menagerie Carousel.
- Craigdarroch Castle—a Victorian example of a “bonanza castle,” which were massive houses built for entrepreneurs who made their fortune in the industrial age. Scottish immigrant Robert Dunsmuir was king of the Craigdarroch Castle, finding his wealth in the Vancouver Island coal industry. This legendary attraction was built between 1887 and 1890 on a hillside overlooking the City of Victoria, an appropriate announcement that he was the richest and most influential man in Western Canada. You’ll notice four floors of stunning stained-glass windows, lovely craftsmanship in the woodworks and Victorian-era furnishings. Dunsmuir died in 1889 and his wife Joan lived in the Castle until she died in 1908.
- Chinatown—the oldest in Canada, Victoria’s Chinatown is an opportunity to explore the Chinese culture from landmarks, streets, organizations, festivals, art and people in this community. Enjoy food, celebrations, adventure and art in this unique, well-visited area.
Water activities are in abundance and range from world-class whale watching to kayaking, fishing and sailing.
- An abundance of whales, including humpback, along with other wildlife is often spotted on beautiful summer days on the Salish Sea. Learn more about these water creatures on a whale watching excursion.
- Kayaking, fishing and sailing are popular outdoor activities in Victoria. Check out all the offerings online and pre-book your favorites before you leave home.
Restaurants in Victoria and More
From historic sites to museums and eco-tours to sight-seeing opportunities, Victoria stands poised to offer the best vacation possible. Things to do in the area are endless!
Bursting with excellent chefs, Victoria restaurants draw from the area’s rich farming regions of the Saanich Peninsula and Cowichan Valley sprinkling local ingredients in a variety of menu options. Savor outstanding local salmon when visiting, it’s a favorite among locals and guests to the region. Also, indulge in a food and drink tour to fully embrace the region’s chefs, growers, brewers and such. It’s worth the time to experience the culinary side of Victoria.
And, of course, a good getaway begins with good accommodations. Don’t forget to book early for the best property that fits your checklist in this gorgeous destination.