Coastal Landmarks in Victoria BC

 

You may know that Victoria is one of the world’s best places for whale watching, but there is so much more to discover out on the beautiful waters surrounding the city. No matter what time of year you visit, Vancouver Island offers unmatched natural beauty. One of the best parts about whale watching is seeing this beauty from a different angle! See below for some landmarks and features to watch out for next time you are on the water outside of Victoria:

Fisgard Lighthouse

At the mouth of Esquimalt harbour lies Fisgard lighthouse, a white and red brick beacon that is hard to miss. This lighthouse is the oldest in western Canada, and is a popular national historic site that is beautiful from the sea or the land.

Olympic Mountains

Directly south on the Washington Olympic Peninsula, the Olympic mountains offer a gorgeous backdrop to a relaxing boat ride. Take in the snowy peaks and impressive height of these monster mountains.

Trial Islands

Just past the breakwater you will see the Trial Islands, an ecological reserve that protects endangered plant species. Although the public cannot access it, you can take in the beauty of the wildlife and lighthouse (located on the largest island) from the water.

Mt. Rainier

On the clearest days you can see Mt. Rainier from the water, even though it is 87km outside of Seattle! Although from Victoria it may seem like just a small peak, this volcano is actually massive up close.

Race Rocks Lighthouse

This lighthouse is hard to miss because of its distinguishable 24 metre black and white tower. For 150 years it has been guiding boats through the Juan de Fuca strait, and this makes it the second oldest lighthouse on the west coast. If you want to check out the lighthouse up close, there are 3 live webcam feeds that bring to life the ecological reserve surrounding the lighthouse. Be sure to check out the variety of seals and sea lions who live on the reserve!

Discovery Island

Discovery Island is known for its panoramic Olympic Mountain views and status as a Marine Provincial Park. Many visitors come to the island to kayak, hike, and check out the variety of wildlife. At the eastern end of the island lies the Sea Bird Point lighthouse, which marks the Canada-United States border.

Ogden Point Breakwater

Seeing the Ogden Point Breakwater from the water is not a view that many get to see, as it is mostly popular as a half mile stroll from land. If you get the chance to stroll on the breakwater or see it from a boat, it will be well worth it.

Mt. Baker

If the weather is clear, be sure to look out for Mt. Baker. Both impressive and terrifying, this active volcano is about 100km east of Victoria in Washington State, and is known to be one of the snowiest places in the world.

Gulf Islands

The Gulf Islands are a grouping that stretch from Victoria to Nanaimo along the eastern coastline. Each island is unique, with scenery from the forested hills of Salt Spring Island to the sandy bluffs of James Island. Since its purchase in 1994 by billionaire Craig McCaw, James Island is strictly off limits to the public as it houses many treasures such as a western village and electric cars.

Clover Point

If you pass by Clover Point, you might see windsurfers, kiteboarders, or kite flyers as it is a popular destination for these sports. If you think this point is spectacular from the water, be sure to check it out off of Dallas Road and get yet another great view of the Olympic Mountains.  

Mt. Douglas

Just a short drive north of Victoria you will find Mt. Douglas. This peak is a great accessible option for families or those who cannot walk far as you have the option of hiking, biking, or driving to the top. The lookout point offers a full view of Victoria and the Juan de Fuca strait.  

East Sooke Park and Becher Bay

This coastal park is a true hidden gem of Vancouver Island. With 50km of trails, breathtaking views, and Mount Maguire (the highest point), it is easy to see why this park attracts many lovers of the outdoors. At the east side of the park you will find Becher Bay, a beautiful space that includes both a marina and a campground.

If you wish to see the best attractions on the mainland, be sure to learn more about our sightseeing tours in Victoria BC.

Lesser known attractions in Victoria BC

As Victoria becomes a more popular visitor destination, it may be difficult to explore some of the most well known attractions in the city. In peak times, tickets sell out and lines form for these places. Fortunately, Victoria is home to many other hidden gem attractions that are much lesser known, but still hold the same experiences. If you haven’t heard of the attractions below, make sure to make some stops on your next visit to Victoria BC.

Ghost Tours

Due to its age, Victoria is known to be one of the most haunted areas in British Columbia. If you want to learn the spooky secrets of the city, then taking a ghost tour is the right choice for you. You and your guide will visit some of Victoria’s most haunted sites, so watch out for ghosts! Since this tour was developed by historian John Adams, you can rest assured that these stories are not just made up to scare you – they actually reveal Victoria’s scary past.

Christ Church Cathedral

As one of Canada’s largest churches, this impressive gothic cathedral is a must see for lovers of great architecture. The Christ Church Cathedral is open to the public and contains a self guided tour to help you get the full experience and history of this sacred place.  

Dragon Alley

In the famous Chinatown in Victoria lies Dragon Alley, a unique street that connects Fisgard and Herald streets. While all the other visitors look for Fan Tan Alley, stop by Dragon Alley for shops, restaurants, studios, and a true Chinatown feel.

Thunderbird Park

Beside the Royal BC Museum you will find Thunderbird Park, an incredible tribute to First Nations peoples right in the heart of Victoria. The park boasts many totem poles and First Nations monuments along with its two historic buildings, Helmcken House and St. Anne’s Schoolhouse. Stop by for a glimpse into First Nations history.

Glass Sidewalks

As you stroll through downtown Victoria, keep your eyes peeled for the glass sidewalks… or you might just miss them. Back in the late 19th century, these translucent purple prisms were installed in a few spots to help sunlight reach the basements below them. Since many of the prisms have been removed or broken, these are a fading part of Victoria’s past and are a must see if you are in the area.

Ross Bay Cemetery

Although it may seem odd to visit a cemetery, the Ross Bay Cemetery is a truly special place to visit. As one of the most historical places in Victoria, it offers a look into the past as it is home to the graves of many famous Canadians and Americans. Visit the final resting place of Emily Carr, Sir James Douglas, or Billy Barker.  

Downtown Markets

Who doesn’t love a street market with fresh produce and artisan goods? Throughout the summer Victoria has many bustling markets that will be sure to have something for everyone. To find out dates and times, check before your trip as they are subject to change yearly. For year round visitors, check out the permanent public market located in the Hudson building!  

Government House

You can find this historic gem in the Rockland neighbourhood away from the main tourist path. Government House is known as the ceremonial house of every British Columbian, and is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. If you stop for a visit, you can take in the impressive 36 acre grounds that house many gardens and a rare Garry Oak. One of the best things about this attraction is it is free to the public all day long.

If you are visiting Victoria, be sure to check out our sightseeing tours which visit some of the best attractions in Victoria BC.  

Best Cideries, Breweries, Wineries & Distilleries in Victoria BC

best-wine-breweries-victoria-bc

No matter what time of year it is, it is always a great time to visit a cidery, brewery, or distillery in Victoria. Vancouver Island has much to offer in these categories including award winning beverages to quench any thirst. Whether you are looking to go on a brewery hop, or just spend an afternoon at one or two, take a look at the list below for your best options in Victoria:

Sea Cider

Sea Cider is a family-owned, community-minded orchard and ciderhouse. They grow organic cider apples and strive to produce award-winning cider each year. It’s located on a small farm with a big heart and aims to deliver an exceptional experience.

Hoyne Brewing Co.

Hoyne offers a variety of whimsical beverages that are perfect for different activities and seasons including a honey beer and an espresso stout. This brewery can be enjoyed across BC and Alberta as it is supplied in many liquor store locations, or you can visit their Victoria base and purchase a growler or keg yourself.  

Victoria Caledonian Distillery & Twa Dogs Brewery

As the second largest distillery of single malt whiskey in Canada, they know whiskey. All products at this distillery and brewery were founded by Scots, and if you visit their facility for a tour their Scottish pride will shine through. They are also the only brewery in town with a full lounge license, so your tasting can turn into an afternoon of drinks and good times.

Our Feast for the Senses sightseeing tour visits the Victoria Caledonian Distillery.

Driftwood Brewing Company

Although Driftwood brewery does not offer tours in person, you can take a unique virtual tour on their website. Since they began in 2008, they have had much success with their core and seasonal brews. See for yourself at the brewery where you can pick up a growler or a few bottles to try out.

Church & State Wines

Overlooking the vineyard in beautiful Brentwood Bay, Church & State Wines offers award-winning wines to taste. They strive to produce wines that over-deliver, and the results speak from themselves: the winery has been named producer of Canada’s Best Red Wine seven times since 2009, and received countless Gold medals, Best in Class awards and National trophies for both red and white wines.

Victoria Distillers

Victoria Distillers is one of Canada’s oldest, small-batch spirits companies. They’re influenced by history and driven by innovation. For the past 10 years they have been producing some of BC’s finest handmade spirits in their copper pot still under the name Victoria Spirits. To accommodate their growing business, in 2016, they moved to a unique location in Sidney, BC.
If you are interested in other things to do in Victoria during the fall, contact us today or learn more about our sightseeing tours.   

Best Victoria BC Fall Activities

best-fall-activities-victoria-bc

Did you miss summer festival season, or just can’t get enough of it? If yes, there is good news for you: Victoria has some fantastic fall events too! Although many people don’t consider autumn as an event season, there is actually plenty to do for residents and visitors alike. These events offer some of the best ways to beat the cooler temperatures while also enjoying the spectacular colours of fall. Take a look at the list below for some of the must-see Victoria fall events:

Rifflandia

if you love music and arts festivals, Rifflandia is the place for you. As Victoria’s largest music and arts fest, it offers a wide range of musicians and vendors to suit almost every taste. Another plus is this great festival happens right across downtown Victoria over 4 days in September, so it is easily accessible. The organizers also put an emphasis on diversity when selecting their lineup, but don’t worry if you aren’t enjoying an artist as there are multiple active venues during the festival!  

Brewery and the Beast

This isn’t your average meat and beer festival, Brewery and the Beast is a well known culinary fest that brings premium local meats and dishes to a brewery setting at Phillips Brewing Company. The festival features local chefs who teach the importance of consuming meats and other foods conscientiously. There is certainly lots to learn at a festival like this – but there is even more to eat and drink!

Art of the Cocktail

It’s easy to see why guests love this annual event as it features some of Victoria’s best bartenders and chefs. Enjoy watching intense bartending competitions and then relax at the Grand Tasting, where you can sip on a variety of cocktails and enjoy specially designed appetizers to match. This festival is great for a night out with friends, or a parents’ night out away from the kids!  

Salt Spring Island Apple Festival

If you haven’t heard of Salt Spring Island, it is well known for its 450 different organic varieties of apples! With a history in apples since 1860, you can trust that the Apple Festival coordinators know their stuff. This event has something for both adults and kids as you can tour the farm and learn about apple growing, enjoy the scenic orchards, or taste the apples and apple themed dishes prepared by chefs on site.

Vancouver Island corn maze

Everyone enjoys a classic autumn corn maze, and this particular one will not disappoint. Pendray Farms in North Saanich hosts this fun event that features over 10km of trails and 14 acres of corn!  Visitors can choose to visit by day to enjoy the peaceful surroundings, or by night to light up a flashlight and create a spooky feel. Other activities on site include treasure hunts, a smaller kid’s maze and a corn sandbox.

If you are feeling the end of summer blues, these are some great ways to get out and enjoy fall instead! Whether you choose to enjoy with friends, family, or alone, Victoria’s fall events will not disappoint. If you are interested in other things to do in Victoria during the fall, contact us today or learn more about our sightseeing tours.   

Best Time Of Year To Visit Victoria

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Are you planning a trip to Victoria BC? If you have done some research on the best activities, you may have seen that Victoria has lots to offer at all times of the year. So, what really is the best time? Fans of boat rides and whale watching may suggest summertime in BC, while avid skiers may tell you to visit in the middle of winter. Although the “best time” may vary depending on preference, generally the most popular times are March to May and September to November. This is based on the best weather and temperatures and the festival season, which occurs mainly in the summer months. But to help you decide on your best time of year to visit Victoria and the surrounding area, read on.

March-May:

With the beautiful landscape and natural scenery in BC, spring is a great time to take in all that Victoria and Vancouver Island has to offer. Many plants bloom as the sun comes out, and many small animals can be seen coming out of hibernation after a long winter. The average temperature is 50-65 degrees F, and as it gets warmer visitors will be able to enjoy the upcoming festival season. In March, check out Victoria beer week or take a walk in one of the many provincial parks.

June-August:

June marks the start of the busiest time of year for Victoria, and many tourists flock to BC during the summer months. With only a small amount of rain and warmer weather, seeing the great outdoors is easy to enjoy. Visitors can get involved in hiking, biking, whale watching, picnics, and vineyard and garden tours during the summer.  Also be sure to check out the many festivals in the area such as the Victoria Film Festival, the TD International JazzFest, the Symphony Splash, and the Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival. Although there is lots to do, this often attracts large crowds, and July has the highest accommodation prices of the year. Be sure to book your room early to ensure availability and a reasonable price. We recommend booking at least three weeks before your arrival.

September-November:

Although temperatures get a little cooler in the autumn months, those willing to throw on a few layers will thoroughly enjoy Vancouver Island. Rainfall amounts increase throughout the fall, so pack an umbrella if you plan on visiting Victoria. Visitors in the fall will see a decrease in summer tourists and a slower paced relaxing vacation. Also, hotel prices decrease as the demand goes down, so you may find some great deals at the best Victoria BC hotels. The Victoria festival season remains in full swing into September and October with the Classic Boat Festival and the Art of the Cocktail Festival.

December-February:

The offseason is a great opportunity to visit Victoria as prices are low and crowds are thin. With that said you can expect big crowds all December long as Butchart Gardens goes all out for Christmas with their amazing displays. Although many people don’t vacation in the winter, British Columbia actually experiences mild winters that most visitors can brave. While you are nearby, don’t forget to check out Whistler village and the great skiing in the mountains. Enjoy the Whiskey Festival in January as a nice way to warm up, or cozy up in a local pub. If you are going to be outside, a word of caution- don’t forget your rain gear if you are visiting the coast!

While in Victoria, be sure to enjoy one of our sightseeing tours.

Best Ways To Get To Victoria From Vancouver

best ways to get to victoria from vancouver

Vancouver and Victoria are the two most well known cities in BC, and it is worth the trip for visitors to try and experience both. With their close proximity to each other, it is fairly easy to travel between the two cities. But if you are in Vancouver and want to head to Victoria, there are some fun ways to make the trip. Visiting Vancouver Island is worth the trip, and you can visit for just a day or stay a little longer. Check out some of the options for travelling between Vancouver and Victoria below:

1 – BC Ferries

BC Ferries is a reliable way to cross the Strait of Georgia, and there are a few benefits of choosing this option. First, you can bring your car across for easy travelling once you get to Victoria. Enjoy the fresh ocean air and skyline view, and maybe spot a whale or two. Other wildlife include sea lions and dolphins that often make an appearance on the journey. If you are using this travel method in the spring or summer, you are in for a scenic treat. Another benefit is the shopping that you can do onboard! If you are hungry or thirsty during the trip, there are 3 dining options available. Grab a souvenir at the gift shop while you wait, or just relax and enjoy the ride. The cruise begins and ends about 30 minutes outside of each city, so taking your car is a good idea. But be sure to book your appointment ahead, especially on the weekend, as the ferry can get very busy. If you don’t want to take a car, a shuttle bus is available on either side to take you right into the city.

2 – Whale Watching

While it’s nice to see whales on the ferry over, going out on a dedicated whale watching tour gives you a great chance to see some wildlife. The Prince of Whales Ultimate Day Tour takes you out whale watching while also delivering you safely to Victoria at the end of the tour. The four hour tour takes you across beautiful scenic areas to find the best whale watching spots, and once you arrive in Victoria you will have some time to explore the city. If you aren’t ready to leave Victoria the same day, there are flexible options to spread the trip out over a few days. Finish your tour with a sunset cruise back to Vancouver.

3 – Float Plane

Harbour Air Seaplanes offers a quick and interesting way to make the trip between Vancouver and Victoria with a flight that takes about 40 minutes. This option is great for those who want to experience Victoria just for the day, and there are flexible and frequent departure times that fit around a busy schedule. Arrive early to get a window seat for the best view of the ride at a unique angle! Be sure to book this flight in advance.

4 – Helijet

One of the newest methods of travel between the two cities, Helijet offers the high sights as well as a cool ride. This ride takes about 35 minutes, and there are several flights every day between the cities. One of the best things about this method is that kids under 12 fly free, so book in advance to take advantage of that offer. Also, you can bring your luggage as the allowance is 50lbs per passenger!

5- V2V Vacations

If you don’t mind spending a bit more money, the newest addition to the list of options is V2V. This luxury cruise moves between downtown Vancouver and Victoria, and there are three levels of class that include leather seats, three course meals, and charging stations. Although the trip is only 3.5 hours, visitors will love their cruise, and packages are available that include accommodation or golf!

Once in Victoria, we would love to have you on one of our sightseeing tours.

Best Victoria BC Free Activities

best free activities in Victoria BC

Everyone loves visiting new places, and Victoria, BC is one of the most popular new cities for tourists to come and see. Like most destinations, once you factor in hotels, food, travel costs, and souvenirs, visiting Victoria can get expensive and there may not be much left in order to see attractions in the area. A great way to get the most out of the city you are visiting while also staying on budget is looking for free activities to do with your family or travel partners. For those looking to visit Victoria soon, below we have listed some of the top free activities in Victoria that both you and your wallet will enjoy:

Stroll the causeway

One of the most appealing places in Victoria is the inner harbour. The harbour is a hub of activity when the weather is warm, and it offers plenty of places to stop when the weather is cold. The causeway is a walkway circling the inner harbour that is lined with shops and restaurants, and one that offers beautiful ocean and city views. Go for a stroll, enjoy the city views and snap some pictures of the British Columbian parliament buildings.

Beacon Hill Park

Set in the heart of downtown, Beacon Hill Park is 183 acres of sprawling natural paths. Beacon Hill Park brings to life the natural beauty of British Columbia that many people travel far to see. Not only can visitors enjoy the gardens and duck ponds year round, there is also a playground, putting green, and water park right on site. If you don’t mind spending a small amount of cash, a petting zoo is also open to the public in the summer months.

Take in the docks at Fishermans Wharf

For those visitors looking for an aesthetic photo, Fisherman’s Wharf is the place to be. Take in the fishing boats, floating houses, and recently built playground, or just enjoy the sea breeze on the docks. Local stands also offer fish and chips or ice cream.

Breakwater

If you are visiting the inner harbour, take a few minutes to walk to the breakwater in order to experience the city from a different view. The breakwater is also a great place to be at sunset. Visitors can walk or sit by the water as well as view the Unity Wall, a piece of art depicting the history of the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations peoples.

See the view from the mountain top

Victoria is a city full of fabulous views! For those that love a challenge, parks such as Lone Tree Hill Regional Park offer tougher hiking trails, while Mill Hill Regional Park offers an easy 200m climb to the peak that is close to the city and great for families. Whichever path you take, all end at a gorgeous panoramic view that is absolutely free.

We all know vacations can be expensive, especially when there are a few children in tow. But luckily now your next Victoria vacation doesn’t have to break the bank- and you can still have a great time! Happy travels and be sure to learn more about our Victoria BC sightseeing tours

Best Victoria BC Hotels

Best Victoria BC Hotels in 2017

Are you planning a trip to Victoria, BC? Great choice! Victoria is one of the provinces most up and coming tourist destinations, and there are many impressive things to see and do while visiting. Victoria is also full of places to stay during your visit- but how do you know where the best places are? Read on to find out about the best hotels in Victoria and why you should consider booking them.

  1. Fairmont Empress

    The Hotel Empress is one of Victoria’s most well known hotels, as it stands proudly on the inner harbour. This luxury hotel has many top ratings and awards, and is home to the Q Bar restaurant and it’s famous martinis. Spending the extra cash to stay in one of the Empress’ classic rooms is worth it to soak up the true beauty of the city. The hotel is also a popular destination for conferences and weddings as it has a expansive area for both types of functions.

  2. Inn at Laurel Point

    The Inn at Laurel Point is another hotel that visitors to Victoria do not want to miss. Due to its proximity to the Victoria Conference Centre, many conference guests stay at Laurel Point during their visit, and they love every minute of their stay by the ocean. Guests at this hotel also enjoy many discounts and perks to local businesses and tourist attractions such as museums, whale watching, restaurants, and activities.

  3. Oswego

    Away from the bustle of the downtown Victoria inner harbour you will find the Oswego Hotel, a boutique hotel that offers urban decor in a prime location. This hotel offers everything from studio suites all the way up to two bedroom suites that have balconies and stunning views of the city. The O Cafe and Bistro on site offers live jazz music and a menu that ranges from coffee shop items to a full dinner menu. Also be sure to check out the spa services that happen right in your room!

  4. Chateau Victoria

    The Chateau Victoria is a long standing feature of downtown Victoria, and it offers luxury stays in everything from small suites to their newly renovated penthouses. With two restaurants on site, the Chateau Victoria is a great place to come for dinner even if you are not a hotel guest. Enjoy more traditional room types for shorter stays, or indulge in a large suite for longer adventures in the city.

  5. Delta Ocean Pointe

    Another beautiful place to stay on the inner harbour is the Delta Ocean Pointe. This location is perfect for those who like to fill their days with as many attractions as they can, as many activities are just steps away from the Delta Ocean Pointe. Guests can also enjoy LURE restaurant and bar on site, a dining option that offers locally sourced dishes on a beautiful outdoor patio. For those who like athletics, the hotel offers tennis, racquetball, and squash courts. Guests can also relax in the full service spa.

  6. Hotel Grand Pacific

    Yet another perfect location on the inner harbour is the Hotel Grand Pacific, a hotel that boasts a distance of just a few minutes’ walk to the downtown shopping and dining districts. With private ocean facing balconies, the rooms at the Hotel Grand Pacific live up to expectations. The Hotel Grand Pacific offers a whopping four dining options along with its own spa which make some guests never want to leave. The friendly staff will also take care of any bookings you may want to make for activities, appointments, or other services.

When in Victoria and looking for sightseeing tours, be sure to learn more about the tours we offer.

Best Victoria BC Restaurants for 2017

When most people think about visiting Victoria, the beautiful scenery often comes to mind first. What many visitors aren’t aware of is the wide range of fantastic restaurants that the city has to offer too! From patios by the harbour to dining rooms with stunning views of nature, Victoria holds many hidden gems of the restaurant world. For those who love to try the finest foods of the cities they visit, here are 6 of the best restaurants in Victoria for 2017:

Red Fish Blue Fish

For seafood lovers, this is the place to be! Due to Victoria’s proximity to the ocean, fresh and sustainable fish is available for this restaurant and its patrons to take advantage of. Red Fish Blue Fish is located right in the inner harbour and offers great views. Visitors can enjoy a traditional fish and chips, fish tacone, or many other delicious dishes. Look for the unique look of the cargo container that now holds this great spot.  

The Butchart Gardens

Not only does the Butchart Gardens offer 20 hectares of extensive plant life and serene ponds, it also has a two highly rated restaurants! For a finer dining experience you can visit The Dining Room, or for a more casual family atmosphere there is the Blue Poppy Restaurant. For those who aren’t looking for a meal, a coffee shop is also available. All restaurants offer a variety of dishes along with special events such as afternoon tea, gourmet lawn picnics, or seasonal menus. Guests can enjoy fireworks on select days in the summer while they munch on fresh ingredients from their picnic basket, and take a stroll in the gardens after.

At CVS Tours, we offer a Butchart Gardens bus tour so you can enjoy the restaurant at Butchart Gardens.

Il Terrazzo

Italian food lovers will enjoy the romantic setting of Il Terrazzo. Their kitchen includes a wood-oven that produces fantastic roasted pizza and meats, and a selection of pastas and fresh seafood are also available. Guests will enjoy local fish and homemade desserts such as tiramisu in this quaint italian hideaway. This is the perfect spot for a candlelit dinner in the heart of Victoria.

Aura Waterfront Restaurant and Patio

With a waterfront patio, this is the place to be on a warm summer evening. This unique restaurant has seasonal menus which use the freshest in season local ingredients. Whether it be for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, Aura offers everything from omelettes to beef tenderloin. Guests can also enjoy the extensive offering of wines, local beers, and cocktails along with complimentary valet parking.  

10 Acres Kitchen

Pescatores was favourite restaurant of many locals and tourists. Back in 2015 the ownership decided it was a change and has since opened 10 Acres Kitchen in it’s place. The menu features organically grown items sourced from the restaurants farm in North Saanich. Anything not grown on the farm is sourced from like minded farmers and fisherman. You can expect nothing but fresh ingredients on your plate when dining at 10 Acres Kitchen.

Best Victoria BC Tourist Attractions for 2017

Are you headed to Victoria BC and at a loss for things to do? As an up and coming tourist destination, Victoria has many booming tourist attractions. From the beautiful scenery to the food and drink, Victoria offers many activities for visitors. Also, as the capital of British Columbia, tourists can get a taste of the province’s heritage. Below are 6 of the top tourist attractions to see in Victoria this year:

    1. Royal British Columbia Museum

      For those who love everything about British Columbia, the provincial museum is an exciting look into the past and present. The museum is at a nice central location on 675 Belleville St., and is only a short distance to the Parliament Buildings or the Fairmont Empress Hotel. The Royal BC Museum features both natural and cultural history and takes a three dimensional approach to allow its visitors to experience the exhibits first hand. Visitors can view a replica of the first ship to land in Vancouver, the HMS Difairscovery, or they can learn about First Nations culture and struggles. The museum also includes Thunderbird Park, an outdoor area featuring First Nations architecture and art.

    2. Fairmont Empress Hotel

      At 721 Government St., the Fairmont Empress is an impressive site right in the heart of Downtown Victoria’s inner harbour. Visitors can choose to stay at the hotel, or just admire the stunning architecture while passing by. The Fairmont Empress was built in 1908, and still functions today as a place to stay, have afternoon tea, or dine in the evenings. The north side of the hotel is a sight to see as it holds Miniature World, a collection miniature model scenes that bring to life castles, historical events, and community moments.

    3. Butchart Gardens

      Although just outside of Victoria, Butchart Gardens is one of the city’s most famous attractions and is well worth the short journey. These gardens have been growing since 1904, and what started as a small project has turned into a 20 hectare sprawl of flourishing plants of all kinds. Some of the most well liked gardens are the Italian garden, rose garden, and Japanese garden. Also included amongst the flowers are fountains and quiet benches to relax by and enjoy. While in the area, Brentwood Bay is also a great place to check out. Learn more about our Butchart Gardens tour.

    4. Parliament Buildings

      Another stunning sight on the inner harbour is the provincial parliament buildings of British Columbia. Designed by Francis M. Rattenbury in 1897, the parliament buildings are a great place to catch a photo- especially among the surrounding gardens. The grounds also hold a large statue of Captain George Vancouver, the first person to land on the shores of Vancouver island. Other tributes can also be seen in the area, and for a unique experience many take advantage of the horse-drawn carriage tours that are close by.

    5. Craigdarroch Castle

      This designated National Historic Site Of Canada was built in the late 1800’s. It was built for coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. The castle was believed to cost as much as $500 000. After Robert Dunsmuir passed away, his wife Joan sold the castle to Griffith Hughes. During a slow real estate market, Mr. Hughes raffled the castle to eventually winner Solomon Cameron who eventually went broke in 1919 and passed the castle to one of his creditors, The Bank of Montreal. Learn more about our Craigdarroch Castle tour.

    6. Beacon Hill Park

      For nature lovers, Beacon Hill Park is a must while in Victoria. With its close proximity to the centre of town, many visitors seeking the peace and quiet of nature or the stunning views head to the park to walk its trails. On a clear day it is easy to see the Olympic Peninsula from the highest points, along with the many critters among the park.

    At CVS Tours, we offer sightseeing tours in Victoria BC. Visit our sightseeing tours page for more information.