Millions of tourists travel to Canada’s west coast every year to enjoy its natural beauty and attract them. Victoria BC is Canada’s most beautiful city and has the highest average climate in Canada. Oceanside’s climate allows flowers to bloom year-round. The city is also safe and easily accessible by foot.
Victoria is a garden city known for its flowers, moderate climate and beautiful scenery. However, Victoria is located on Vancouver Island’s south end and is therefore isolated from the rest of Canada and British Columbia. Although Vancouver visitors may not make it to Victoria due to the distance, it is worth the effort if they have the time to take a day trip while in Vancouver.
Victoria BC: A Brief History
Victoria was founded 170 years ago by James Douglas, Hudson’s Bay Company. Douglas leased the area from the British government, and was responsible for making sure Victoria wasn’t taken over by the Americans. Douglas knew that the 49th parallel would be the line of demarcation between Canada and the USA. Victoria lies below the 49th Parallel. The land would be in British Columbia’s possession if it were to be operated from Victoria.
In the Victoria region, 25,000 gold seekers arrived during the Goldrush in the late 1850’s. Soon after the Victoria Goldrush, the new Free Port of Victoria was established, it would be the center of trade in shipping, lumber, fishing and mining. Its population rose to 20,000 by 1900. Many of Victoria’s most treasured buildings were built during this time, including The Empress Hotel and the British Columbia Parliament Buildings.
You can fly to Victoria using the BC ferry service, which departs from Vancouver and Tsawwassen, or the Coho Ferry, which departs from Port Angeles, Washington State. It takes about an hour for the ferries to cross the Straight of Georgia.
You can either walk or take a horse-drawn carriage ride to see the sights. Or you can get on a double-decker tour bus. You can spend several days touring the city, visiting microbreweries, galleries and museums. There are also many restaurants and bistros. The Inner Harbour, Empress Hotel and Parliament Buildings are some of the most popular tourist attractions. Vancouver Island is also home to a lot of indigenous art. You can find more in shops around Victoria, including the impressive collection at The Royal British Columbia Museum.
Tourists love to gather at the inner harbour and Fisherman’s Wharf. You’ll find artisans and buskers offering entertainment and creating art here. There are many boats that can be moored at the dock, including sailing vessels and historic restored ships. A commercial fishing dock is nearby so fresh fish is always available.
Victoria’s Chinatown is the first Chinatown in Canada. It’s small enough for a pleasant stroll. Although it is only two blocks long, there are many interesting shops, studios and restaurants. You will need to pass through the Gate of Harmonious Interest. This is a red-and-gold tiled archway with two hand-carved stone Lions.
The Parliament Buildings are adjacent to the Royal British Columbia Museum. The museum’s collection includes 7 million items, divided into four galleries. The natural history gallery explains and shows the unique features of BC’s forests, oceans and other ecosystems. This gallery is a great way to learn about BC native art, including totems and masks. Also, see Giant Woolly Mammoths.
Butchart Gardens’ flowers are world-famous and a major attraction for seniors. The Butchart Gardens can be reached by highway from Victoria, 13 miles north. Seniors can get discounts on admission to Butchart Gardens through Via Rail or several tour companies. This sunken garden, which Jeanette Butchart created in a nearly 40-foot deep abandoned rock quarry, took her 9 years to complete. 60 gardeners work full-time to plant 250,000 bulbs and flower each year. A water fountain is also powered by miles of electric cord that lights the gardens.
Accommodation is essential if you are visiting Victoria for a weekend, a day, or more. There are many exceptional luxury resorts, including the Fairmont Empress Hotel and Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa. Also, there is The Westin Bear Mountain Resort and Inn at Laurel Point. There are many bed and breakfast inns. Travel BC’s accommodation directory on their website will help you find more hotels. You will find many affordable hotels around the city.
Victoria is a wonderful place to visit in the summer or winter. You’ll experience exceptional weather, unique culture and a different geography.
Jim Bob is a Canadian travel writer who contributes articles to seo consulting victoria about Canadian destinations. He also discusses where to find the best activities and leisure activities in Canada’s major cities. Bob contributes to travel websites such as Terrific Toronto. A key component of Canadian vacations is the quality of services and amenities offered by Victoria Hotels and other Canadian hotels. Bob has other articles about Canadian travel destinations.