Whether you prefer sunbathing on the beach or exploring top-of-the-line museums, Victoria has it all. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is only accessible by boat or plane. Every day, large ferries transport hundreds of cars across the Pacific Ocean and onto the beautiful island, where visitors are greeted by cheery customs officials in bright green uniforms. From there, tourists can head to the beach or into the town itself which boasts just under 100,000 residents. With so many things to do, it can be hard to narrow down the best of what Victoria has to offer, so this list provides the top five experiences to have while in Victoria, British Columbia.

  1. Craigdarroch Castle: Built in the late 1800s, this beautiful castle has had multiple uses throughout its life. First it was used as the home of a wealthy coal baron before being sold and converted into a military hospital during the First World War. After treating hundreds of wounded soldiers, the castle was then converted into a college, before finally becoming a historical museum.
  2. Butchart Gardens: These gardens are not your everyday flowerbeds; spanning nearly 55 acres, Butchart gardens grows everything from roses to pine trees. Make sure to plan plenty of time to visit, as there are more than five enormous gardens each with thousands of beautiful plants to experience. Many of the gardens include beautiful statuary and one even has a working carousel.
  3. Inner Harbour: Looking for delicious fish tacos? What about picturesque homes that are literally floating on the ocean? The inner harbour boasts both of these things and more. Fishermen bring in fresh seafood every day, and once you’ve finished filling your belly of the best lobster that Canada has to offer, you can walk around the floating pier and shop in cute and unique boutiques.
  4. Beacon Hill Park: A wonderful way to relax in the afternoon is to walk the pathways of Beacon Hill Park. Take in the beautiful, lush scenery and experience some of Victoria’s native animal species as you unwind after a long day. The park itself is located only a few minutes from downtown, and with two playgrounds and a petting zoo, the park is also a great option for those traveling with children.
  5. Royal British Columbia Museum: With a history spanning thousands of years, Victoria has seen its share of monumental events, and the Royal British Columbia Museum brings these events—and the people involved—to life. The museum is open every day of the week except Wednesday, and tickets cost just over fifteen US dollars. Some of the exhibits include artifacts from indigenous tribes, life-sized models of prehistoric animals, and a large collection of native animals including fish and insects.


—Elizabeth Kenning