What to Do in Victoria
Collected by Allison Murray , AFAR Contributor
The capital of British Columbia and one of Canada’s largest tourist hotspots, there is no shortage of activities to be had in Victoria. Its fast-paced downtown scene is perfect for those seeking a vibrant nightlife, amazing restaurants, and great shopping, while its more rural areas are home to some of Canada’s greatest nature trails and parks.
649 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A7, Canada
Yes, my five-year-old was probably the target demographic for this place, but there were plenty of people without kids here, too. Because where else are you going to see an entire working sawmill built in miniature? Where else are you going to...
800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada
Nearly a century ago, Jennie Butchart, wife of cement manufacturer Robert Butchart, transformed a depleted limestone quarry into these stunning, world-renowned show gardens. Allow ample time to enjoy the 22 hectares (55 acres) of floral displays,...
603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC V9C 2W8, Canada
For great views of boats and seaplanes and water and mountains this is the spot. The kids will like the chance to pilot a virtual boat, and the grownups can check out the vintage lighthouse-keeper supplies: French toothpaste and pickup sticks....
721 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1W5, Canada
Every book will tell you to have high tea at the Empress in Victoria, and you should. They welcomed our three-generation group, including 2 kids under 6, and had hot chocolate for those who didn't want tea. They also had a full gluten-free option,...
944 Fort St, Victoria, BC V8V 3K2, Canada
For the freshest farm-to-table and boat-to-bistro dining experience, come to Cafe Brio. Specializing in French cuisine created from regional Canadian ingredients, their simple sauces and delicate preparation let the natural flavors come through in...
1108 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1Y2, Canada
Like the rest of Victoria, Munro's is one of a kind. Founded by Jim and Alice Munro (the famous author), it is one of the few independent bookstores left in the city. Relocated to the neo-classical Royal Bank of Canada building, the generous staff...
Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Colwood, BC V9C, Canada
For those seeking the historic sights of Victoria, Fort Rodd Hill is the perfect location, with its historic artillery fort built over a hundred years ago to defend Victoria. Visitors can even see the old gun batteries and underground magazines....
308 Catherine St, Victoria, BC V9A 3S8, Canada
Spinnakers has been quenching thirst since 1984 with their unique beverages. While they brew the expected craft beers on site, they also make their own sodas, ciders, and other creations. In addition the food and setting are worth sticking around...
1205 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 1T8, Canada
The Local Kitchen sits at the foot of a pedestrian-only street, right along the main drag by the harbor in Victoria. Our seat on the patio put us in the front row for a busking band. We ate a delicious meal while watching the activity of the...
Fan Tan Alley, Victoria, BC V8W 3G9, Canada
An afternoon meandering through the narrow stores of Chinatown feels like a trip back in time. This is the oldest Chinese district in Canada and it's full of historic nooks and crannies to explore. Formerly a derelict gambling district, it has...
1435 Store St, Victoria, BC V8W 3C6, Canada
Victoria's historic downtown is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon. Next to the picturesque harbour, it's crammed with great places to eat and drink as well as great shops. My favourite downtown streets for shopping are Broad, lower Fort,...
1567 West Side Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA
Washington's San Juan Islands and Canada's Gulf Islands are home to three resident Orca pods. The waters off the San Juan Islands are a protected Marine Sanctuary so the pods feed on salmon in the area. These Orca populations are at risk due to...
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