This is the time of year when trips are being planned so we think this insider’s guide to the top 10 attractions in Victoria BC is timely.
Attractions in Victoria BC
This list may help you with two key questions:
Is it worth including Victoria in our trip?
How long should we spend there?
Naturally, this has a subjective element but as a rule of thumb we reckon these ten will feature high on the “to do” lists for most of our visitors. You will need a few days to fit in the right balance of activities and rest.
The Butchart Gardens
Over 50 acres of floral drama. The Butchart Gardens evolved from a limestone quarry and fields into a series of beautiful gardens. You will not forget the Sunken Garden or the Japanese Garden. Ask your bed and breakfast hosts about their special events – concerts, illuminations and fireworks. GPS: lat 48.4284207, long -123.36564440000001
The Royal BC Museum / IMAX Theatre
Victoria is proud to have one of the top museums in North America. You will be impressed as you enter into life in the pioneer days, even the Ice Age. The First Nations display is exceptional. This is history come to life. GPS: lat 48.42020669999999, long -123.36716130000002
From the era when tycoons built their status, Craigdarroch Castle was placed in a commanding position overlooking Victoria. Tour its 1889 Victorian splendour. GPS: lat 48.422507, long -123.34341
Victoria’s Inner Harbour is the focal point of the city. Here you’ll find the Tourism Victoria information centre adjoining the causeway with its musicians and artists. There’s always an interesting selection of moored boats and you can take a harbour ferry or water taxi. Tour the impressive BC Parliament Buildings.
An unforgettable experience. The three local pods of killer whales (orcas) are sometimes supplemented by transcient pods who conveniently pass through the waters of Vancouver Island during our tourist season. You may also see humpback whales, even a grey whale. Seals and sea lions will fascinate on Race Rocks as your skipper takes you through the Juan de Fuca Strait or Haro Strait in search of more memories.
Treat yourself to some quintessentially English elegance. There are several venues for Victoria afternoon high tea. Ask your B&B innkeeper for recommendations.
Parks and beaches
The natural beauty of south western Vancouver Island is best seen in its stunning ocean settings and many parks.
For beaches visit: Willows Beach in Oak Bay, Cordova Bay, Witty’s Lagoon and East Sooke Park, and others.
For hiking trails (easy to reasonably arduous): explore Gowlland Tod, Goldstream Park and other parks near your B&B base.
Hatley Castle and Gardens, combined with Fisgard Lighthouse / Fort Rodd Hill.
These are all close together so worth a joint visit.
Hatley Castle was built by the same family as Craigdarroch Castle. It’s a pleasure to wander through the gardens, especially the Japanese Garden.
Fort Rodd Hill’s parkland has original gun batteries from the military defences. It overlooks Fisgard Lighthouse, built in 1860 and now with a exhibit about life in a lighthouse.
The mariners lives have been preserved and shipwreck folk lore is still documented at the marine museum called the Fisgard Lighthouse. Hatley Castle GPS: lat 48.4393656, long -123.47697260000001.
Enter a tropical jungle full of life; not just 3,000 butterflies but also moths, flamingos, parrots, koi and more. Look for the Great Atlas Moth somewhere within the 200 species of plants at Butterfly Gardens. GPS: lat 48.5644863, long -123.4391642.
As we wrote, this is a very subjective selection. Your interests may be quite different. Regardless, you will find plenty more information available at your Victoria bed and breakfast.