Victoria is an enchanting seaside city and one of the most popular vacation destinations in the whole of Canada. The city can be found on the southern tip of the large and lovely Vancouver Island and boasts a mild climate that makes exploring fun and easy.
Butchart Gardens is a stunning 50-acre garden north of the city that has been drawing visitors since it was planted in a limestone quarry in 1904. The site’s Japanese, Italian, rose, and sunken gardens now grow 700 varieties of flowers. In the summertime, musicians and other entertainers perform in the afternoons and evenings, and there is a fireworks display every Saturday night.
Beacon Hill Park lies on the southern tip of the city, and with its ponds, gardens, petting zoo, and jogging and walking paths, it is a great place to spend an afternoon. The southern lawns have great views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is also home to the world’s tallest, freestanding totem pole carved from a single log.
The Royal British Columbia Museum is considered to be one of Canada’s best. It has some incredible exhibits and galleries and an IMAX theater. One of the finest collections of totem poles in the world can be found in Thunderbird Park on the grounds of the museum.
Shopping in Victoria is easy, since virtually everything can be found in the downtown area on or near Government Street stretching north from the Empress Hotel. The restored Market Square, originally built during the late 19th century is now a pedestrian-only area, lined with cafes and boutiques.
After dark, there are more than enough English style pubs to watch a hockey game, but Victoria also has thriving dining, music, art, and theater scenes. Victoria provides easy access to miles of scenic hiking trails that lead across the Island through forests, along ocean shores and up mountains.