Top 5 Things to Do in Victoria BC

by RunningMan

From the world-famous to the lesser-known, here are some of the top Victoria BC attractions.

Victoria, British Columbia is one of the most beautiful cities in Canada. With its mild climate and breathtaking scenery, it’s a great place to visit at any time of year. But how do you decide what to do? From the world-famous to the lesser-known, here are some of the top Victoria BC attractions.

Stay in a Bed and Breakfast

Victoria BC is more than hotels and tourist traps. It’s a city with a rich history that spans centuries, cultures, and nations. Luckily for visitors, it’s impossible to ignore, and easy to explore! Strolling around the remarkably preserved downtown core is a great way to view the city’s historical side, but if you truly want to experience the city’s history, stay in a bed and breakfast.

Some bed and breakfasts were built by Victoria’s original settlers, and have been renovated to retain the charm and character of the original building. Their owners can tell you tales of families and hardship, of glamorous parties and scandals—all of which have taken place in the very building you’ll be staying in. Is there a better way to experience Victoria’s history? I don’t think so.

Explore the Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens is a National Historic Site of Canada and one of the most famous gardens in the world. Tucked away on the outskirts of Victoria, the Gardens feature 55 acres of meticulously manicured grounds that are beautiful in any season. In spring, the garden comes alive with the colours and scents of hundreds of thousands flowers. In summer, a magical glow is cast with thousands of carefully placed lights. Autumn brings the Japanese Garden to life with fiery red, russet and golden maples, and in winter, the background trees and shrubs of summer have a chance to shine.

Stroll Along the Breakwater

Victoria’s scenic Ogden Point Breakwater affords fantastic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Olympic Mountains and the many cruise ships that dock nearby. It’s about a mile walk out to lighthouse and back, which gives you plenty of time to admire the scenery. The surrounding waters are teeming with life, also making it popular spot for scuba diving and fishing. Tip: If you don’t mind getting a little wet, go on a windy day when the waves are crashing into the breakwater’s granite blocks.

Visit the Oldest Chinatown in Canada

With a history dating back to the mid 19th century, Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and second in age only to San Francisco's in North America. Chinatown only encompasses a city block, but its many historic buildings are still connected by a labyrinth of alleys and passages. Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest street in Canada, is found in Victoria’s Chinatown. You can explore Chinatown on your own, or book a tour for a more in-depth experience.

Eat the Best Soft Ice Cream in the World

The Beacon Drive In, located on lower Douglas St. right next to Beacon Hill Park, serves the best soft serve ice cream this side of anywhere. Smooth, creamy and refreshing, it’s the perfect treat in any season. And afterwards, you can cross the street and explore Beacon Hill Park, Victoria’s largest and most popular greenspace.

Updated: 06/25/2012, RunningMan
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