Victoria, British Columbia, is located on Vancouver Island, off the West Coast of Canada and very close to Seattle. The place is steeped in history, features many old Victorian homes, and has been dubbed by some, "The Garden City." You’ll find many ways to occupy your time in Victoria.
Since Victoria is known for its gardens, both green thumbs and those who just love green will revel in some of the beautiful gardens located there. Butchart Gardens, located in an old quarry, features a lovely and unusual sunken garden, where you’ll a vast number of plants that total over a million varieties. Butchart additionally has a rose garden, a Japanese garden, and an Italian garden, and offers lunch, dinner and afternoon tea for hungry folks who have walked their way through the 50 acres of land devoted to all things growing.
Consider visits to Finnerty Gardens, which has a comprehensive rhododendron collection, and Victoria Butterfly Gardens too, where you can visit not only tropical plants but also beautiful and rare species of butterflies and moths. Hatley Park is another great place to wander, with many different themed gardens and beautiful woods with plenty of trails for avid walkers or hikers. Pacific Undersea Gardens explores the garden of the ocean and is a lovely aquarium. It’s worthwhile to support this marine museum since they run successful rescue programs for a variety of local marine mammals.
One of the most enjoyed attractions in Victoria is Miniature World, a collection of miniaturized houses, towns and villages representing many historical periods. Since this is indoors, it can be a great place to go in inclement weather. For other indoor activities, consider visits to the Royal London Wax Museum, and Bug World where you’ll find lots of insects, and even pet some of them. If you’re looking for more adult fun, the Great Canadian Casinos View Royal allows you to gamble the night or day away.
If you’d like to learn more about the history of Victoria and British Columbia, the best place to visit is the Royal British Columbia Museum. This museum encompasses galleries in natural history, which showcase Vancouver Island’s ecosystem, and holds many fine exhibits on the original inhabitants of the island. To top it off, it boasts an IMAX theater, which shows impressive films made by National Geographic.
Centre of the Universe is a fantastic look at astronomy, with a planetarium, tons of exhibits, and plenty of hands on activities for kids. This museum is sometimes open in the evenings to showcase its huge telescope. If you want a beautiful view of the sky above, consider an evening visit, but check hours, as these can vary.
If you’d like to visit some of the oldest historic places in town, consider taking walking tours to view some of its historic homes. Several key places in town that are well worth seeing include the historic Chinatown, the oldest in North America, Market Square, which is filled with many enticing stores, and the Parliament Building, where you can even watch parliament in action or take tours.
Don’t forget that the Pacific Ocean beckons, and is a wonderful tourist attraction. You can take whale watch tours, or just a ferry. The ferry can be a better way to travel to certain parts of Victoria. Traffic can be heavy, and the ferry features stops at many of the key locations mentioned above.