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Victoria's attractions are so numerous that, when visiting Victoria, you are more likely to run out of time than run out of things to do. Your ideal holiday may call for doing a lot in a short time or, on the contrary, little of anything during a lengthy stay. Either way, the Island is bursting with attractions and activities that provide the perfect mix of excitement and relaxation.
From museums and art galleries to castles, landmarks, gardens and zoos, Victoria's attractions invite you into a world of history, entertainment and colour. Take a guided tour or stroll at your own pace. The only catch to visiting Victoria's attractions is that you will want to come back again and again.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
When it first opened in 1951, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibited art in the historic 1889 mansion that is now adjacent to its seven modern galleries. With almost 17,000 works of art, the Art Gallery has the largest public collection in BC and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria's artist community.
Beacon Hills Park Petting Zoo
They don’t raise children on this farm but they have lots of animals that your children will love. The farm is located within beautiful Beacon Hill Park and they take pride in being able to bring the farm animal experience into the city where some children may never see such animals up close in real life. Their hands-on approach teaches respect for living creatures is memorable for all.
Centre of the Universe
Dominion Astrophysical Observatory in Victoria, BC, Canada. Featuring the 1.8-metre Plaskett Telescope. Summer evenings public and star gazing tours.
Experience the lifestyles of the very wealthy in the 1890’s. Climb 87 stairs to the tower for fabulous views of Victoria surrounded by exquisite stained glass, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian era furnishings.
This was one of Vancouver Island's first farming communities, established in 1853 along Victoria's Gorge Waterway to meet the Hudson's Bay Company's obligations to Britain to support colonization.
Emily Carr House
One of Canada's greatest and most loved artists, Emily Carr felt a spiritual connection with her subjects. Her world famous paintings include both landscape and native west coast villages.
Just a few minutes from Victoria's Inner Harbour, Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria is a jewel waiting to be discovered. You'll find fun for the whole family, and it's all just a few blocks from downtown.
Set sail for Fisherman's Wharf aboard a Victoria Harbour Ferry, or take the short, 10 minute walk from the Inner Harbour. Whichever way you choose to get there, you'll uncover a treasure chest full of fun. Fisherman's Wharf is full of life, with plenty for visitors to see and do, from marvelling at the house boats, sipping cappuccino, or snacking on fish and chips. Fisherman's Wharf is a photographer's dream!
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site
Step inside a real working lighthouse - Canada's oldest west coast lighthouse - where colourful displays tell of ships wrecked and lives saved. Stroll along the ramparts of three coastal gun batteries built over a century ago. Look down the barrels of original guns and explore the underground bunkers
Goldstream Provincial Park
Experience the splendour of an old growth temperate rain forest year round. Watch world class salmon spawning in the stream where Chum Salmon return between October and December. Enjoy the excellent interactive centre suitable for all ages to enjoy.
Hatley Park National Historic Site
This 565 acre Edwardian estate is Canada's largest and most diverse National Historic Site. At the centre is a magnificent castle built in 1908 by former British Columbia Premier and coal baron, James Dunsmuir. Open Year round, with daily tours of Hatley Castle, museum, Japanese, Italian and Rose Gardens. It has also served as the setting for numerous films and TV series including X-Men, Smallville and Poltergeist.
Now the oldest house in BC on its original site. Once owned by Dr John Sebastian Helmcken, a surgeon with the Hudson's Bay Company, the old Victorian offers you a glimpse into the way life was lived over a 100 years.
The Inner Harbour is the bustling, vibrant, center of the action in Victoria. Let the lively ambience lead you on a leisurely stroll along the waterfront and enjoy the many street entertainers, and artists, all against a picturesque backdrop of yachts, the legislature buildings, and the Fairmont Empress Hotel. With the mildest climate in the country, whether you’re looking for a whale watching adventure, kayak rental, or just to sample the many wonderful cafes, pubs, and restaurants, you’ll find it on Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour.
Maritime Museum of BC
Very few places in the world have a richer maritime heritage than British Columbia, and the Maritime Museum of BC successfully brings to life the triumphs and the tragedies of seafarers over the years. Discover the tales of navigators and explorers, of pirates and shipwrecks. Learn about the local ferries, the Canada's Navy and the heroic Canadian Coastguard. And it’s haunted. So they say....
Mineral World and Scratch Patch
The Scratch Patch is an outdoor garden filled with gemstones. Pan for gold. Excavate real fossils. What fits into your collector's bag, you keep! A perennial family favourite. Indoors. Interpretive Centre has over 30 hands-on exhibits.
Welcome to the little people’s Wonderful World of Smallness, walk down its road—step into the Story Books of fact, fiction and fantasy. Return to those fond memories of yesteryear, those childhood dreams and history’s greatest moments!
Mount Tolmie Lookout
Mt. Tolmie was officially named in 1934 after Dr. William Frazer Tolmie, a biologist. Panoramic views of Saanich and Victoria across to the Olympic Mountain Range and to Mt. Baker in the Cascades will entice you to hike to the 120m. elevation of the summit. The photo is a view towards Victoria from Mount Tolmie at sunset.
National Geographic IMAX Theatre
This 400 seat theatre will immerse you in the IMAX Experience; with a projected area more than 6 stories high and 70 feet wide! Sit back and enjoy the most powerful film experience, bringing images to life with 12,000 watts of IMAX Digital surround sound.
Pacific Undersea Gardens
Located in Victoria's Inner Harbour, where a large variety of Pacific Coastal marine life can be observed. Watch divers play with and feed; wolf eels, crabs, star fish, and a giant Pacific octopus.
Point Ellice House
Gold Rush Magistrate and Commissioner Peter O'Reilly acquired Point Ellice House in 1867. The flowers in the heritage gardens surrounding this home reflect its Victorian history. Treat yourself to a lovely scenic ride between downtown and Point Ellice on the little Harbour ferries.
Ross Bay Cemetery
Victoria's Ross Bay Cemetery opened in 1873 to serve the burial needs of the growing city of Victoria. Overlooking Ross Bay, it is 11 hectares in size (27.5 acres). Not just a burial ground, it serves as a park and restful get away.
Royal BC Museum
This world famous museum showcases the human and natural history of British Columbia and temporary exhibits from around the world. Authentic artefacts and specimens are displayed in highly realistic settings.
Royal London Wax Museum
North America’s first Josephine Tussaud Wax Museum remains the ‘flagship’ establishment on the continent, and is a major contributor to Victoria’s image and reputation as ‘A Little Bit of Olde England’.
Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
An aquarium and marine centre located in Sidney. The 10,000 square- foot marine centre was created to provide local residents and visitors to the area an opportunity to learn more about marine life and get up close and personal with state-of-the-art aquatic exhibits.
St. Ann’s Academy
St Ann's Academy predates Victoria's incorporation as a city. It was founded in 1858 when four Sisters of St. Ann and a lay helper arrived in Victoria from Quebec to begin their mission of teaching and health care.
One of the oft’ missed jewels of Victoria, Thunderbird Park was set up in 1941 to display monumental poles , welcome figures and other First Nations carvings. It is right beside the Royal BC Museum.
Victoria Bug Zoo
Welcome to the Amazing world of insects and arachnids. Discover over 50 exotic species, including the world’s longest stick insect, alien-eyed praying mantis, giant African millipedes, and Canada’s largest leafcutter ant farm. ALL LIVE. Open Daily. And take a look at what they let you hold in you hands! Can you imagine that crawling up your sleeve! 1 Courtney Street, Victoria, BC