Best Things to See and Do in Victoria, Canada

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Post by Nancy D. Brown

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, Canada Wendi Dube photographer

My favorite tips and locations for visitors to Victoria, Canada.

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to the  Inner Harbour or Dallas Road.

When I crave Victorian cuisine, I turn to Red Fish Blue Fish.

To escape work I go to Lower Johnson Street (LoJo) for awesome shopping, North Fort for food (Sally Bun), exercise (yoga) and more shopping or to the beach to relax.

For complete quiet, I can hide away at Sooke Harbour House. To be surrounded in nature, head to Gold Stream Park or East Sooke Park.

If you come to Victoria, get your picture taken in front of the Parliament buildings.

If you have to order one thing off the menu at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, get one of their hand crafted Artisan Beers – Iceberg Pale Ale is an excellent choice.

Victoria is my one stop shop for outdoor adventure.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I go to Daidoco or the Noodle Box. 

For a huge splurge, I go to Brasserie L’ecole. 

Butchart Gardens, Nancy D. Brown photographer

Photo ops in Victoria include The Fairmont Empress Hotel, Butchart Gardens, the Inner Harbour, Fishermans Wharf, Market Square, Bastion Square, Dallas Road and Beacon Hill Park to name a few.

The best vantage points are taken by hiking or driving to the top of Mount Tolmie or Mount Douglas. Or by taking a quick elevator trip to Vista 18.

The most random thing about Victoria is the Free B Film Festival and the Symphony Splash.  

In Victoria, an active day outdoors involves walking, hiking, kayaking, cycling, kite surfing or scuba diving.

My favorite walking route is walking through Cook Street Village (stopping at the Mocha House to get a “London Fog”) and to Dallas Road, along the beach and back through Beacon Hill Park.

Victoria’s best museum is The Royal BC Museum

For a night of dancing, go to Darcy’s Pub and onto Lucky Bar. 

The Mint is the spot for late night dining.

To find out what’s going on at night or on weekends, read The Monday Magazine and Eat Magazine.

You can tell a lot about Victoria and Vancouver Island from visiting the Cowichan Valley and attending the Feast of Fields. 

In the spring you should attend the Spark Festival and the Island Chef’s Collaborative’s Defending your Backyard event.  

In the summer, you should attend the Symphony Splash and Luminara.

In the fall you should visit Goldstream Park to watch the salmon spawn. 

In the winter you should go to Butchart Gardens and skate on their outdoor ice rink and view the gardens lit up with Christmas lights.  

Beacon Hill Park Petting Farm, Victoria, Canada photo Christina Craft

A hidden gem in Victoriais the Fernwood Neighborhood – Tapas at Stage, then a play at the Belfry Theatre.

For a great breakfast treat or espresso, go to The Black Stilt Cafe. 

Just outside of Victoria you can visit Sidney and have lunch at the Fish on Fifth.  

The best way to see Victoria is to walk, cycle or rent a scooter.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss The Beacon Hill Park Petting Farm. 

What are your favorite things to do in Victoria, BC?

Thank you to Kelsey Ewart of Tourism Victoria for assistance with this post.

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6 Responses to “Best Things to See and Do in Victoria, Canada”

  1. heidi says:

    The pictures are amazing and I see the Beacon Hill Park. When is the best time to go?

  2. Nancy D. Brown says:

    @heidiThanks for stopping by. I was in Victoria in late September and it was very pleasant. Not crowded at Buchart Gardens the flowers were lovely.

  3. conor says:

    Thanks for this there are alot of useful tips there for when I visit Canada.

  4. Nancy D. Brown says:

    @conorI’m glad you found my Victoria tips helpful. I look forward to returning to Victoria when I have more time to explore this beautiful Province.

  5. Melanie@TravelsWithTwo says:

    Nancy, Victoria and the southern half of Vancouver Island was one of my favorite trips with my husband. Thanks for bringing it all back…and then some! I’d love suggest two more things:The Roost in Sidney for breakfast or pizza in a decommissioned schoolbus: http://www.roostfarmcentre.comKathy McAree of Travel With Taste can tour you around the foodie side of Victoria or the farms and wineries of Vancouver Island: http://www.travelwithtaste.com/tours.phpSo, can we all go back to Victoria now? Please?

  6. airbeds says:

    Thanks for all the great information. In August I took my first ever trip to Canada, 10 days in Calgary/Banff/Yoho/Jasper, and it was spectacular. I plan to try to see Victoria, Vancouver within the next few years also.

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