Planning Your Victoria Exploration

There is so much to see in Victoria, even the people living here need years to see it all. That’s why we put together resources on this site to help you prioritize your visit and ensure you and your family form lasting memories of a successful holiday. Here you will find valuable information about Victoria’s best hotels, sumptuous restaurants, eclectic shopping, cultural events and natural vistas.

When you arrive in our fair city, be sure to look for a copy of Explore Victoria - our glossy, high quality publication found in most motel and hotel rooms throughout the city. And we invite you to stop by our Greater Victoria Tourist Information Center found in the Victoria Public Market in the old Hudson’s Bay building. See you soon!

Info on Victoria

Victoria is a small city of some 350,000, located on the south tip of Vancouver Island and the capital of British Columbia. It features a bustling inner harbour nestled in the Salish Sea, overlooked by majestic mountains, and graced with an abundance of flowers.

This city brims with artists, artisans and venues. Visit the famous Robert Bateman Center on top of the Inner Harbour causeway featuring the largest exhibit of original works by the world renowned wildlife artist. There you will enjoy his lifetime commitment to the majesty of nature through more than one hundred pieces painted across his lifetime. Walk down the causeway along the inner harbour and you will find talented buskers entertaining and creating an eclectic variety of art.

In the busy harbour, sailboats and tour boats come and go as ducks and harbour seals play in their wake, kayakers and canoeists poke into coves and marinas, and floatplanes take flight off the water. If you feel like exploring the city from both land and water, take a trip with Hippo Tours – both a bus and a boat combined! Go on a whale watching adventure with either Eagle Wing or BC Whale Tours to visit our resident killer whales, or take your kids to see Miniature World located in the classic Empress Hotel which features over 80 exquisite miniature dioramas.

South of the Empress Hotel, the Royal BC Museum and Imax Theatre has so much to see you’ll need to plan a second trip. Nearby in Thunderbird Park is the Mungo Martin carving shed named after the Kwakiutl artist who began the restoration work on native totem poles, now housed in glass cases by the Royal British Columbia Museum.

If live performances are your thing, take in some extraordinary music with the Victoria Symphony - Vancouver Island's premier performing arts organization.

There is something for everyone; historical buildings and tours, souvenir and specialty shops, restaurants that cater to families and sophisticates, pubs, lounges, coffee bars and antique shops are all within walking distance in downtown. Victoria boasts more restaurants per capita than any other Canadian city which means every kind of international cuisine can be found here. For lunch, stop and have some Indian food at India Bistro, or Mediterranean at Black Olive Restaurant, or Chinese at the Fountain Restaurant or even pizza at the Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria in Market Square plaza near Chinatown.

Victoria is known as the city of flowers. Take in the famous Butchart Gardens, the exotic Butterfly World nearby, or stay in the city and visit Beacon Hill Park – Victoria’s ‘south lawn’ facing the Juan de Fuca Strait. If you want to escape the bustle of the city, pristine and wild, Goldstream Park is only minutes from downtown Victoria. Here you can climb a mountain, visit a waterfall or, at certain times of the year, marvel at the struggles of spawning salmon.

This city has something for every taste of adventure. Enjoy our site and your exploration of Victoria!

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