With a gorgeous waterfront and rich history, Victoria is so much more than British Columbia’s capital city. A destination for outdoor activities as well as the arts, this bustling city is full of stunning heritage architecture, a vibrant downtown, and resplendent natural beauty.
Founded in 1886, the Royal BC Museum and British Columbia Provincial Archives showcases the province’s natural and human history. Wander through the galleries to explore the fascinating artifacts, documents, and specimens on display. The museum even includes an IMAX movie theatre that brings history to life!
Stop and smell the roses at Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada in Brentwood Bay. Over a million plants in some 900 varieties bloom in the famous gardens, with new colors every season. In the summer, take a boat tour through Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet, catch a concert, or enjoy the dazzling Saturday night fireworks. Even the winter is magical, with festive Christmas décor and ice skating.
Step back in time at Craigdarroch Castle, a legendary Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion once home to the rich Dunsmuir family. Now a National Historic Site, Craigdarroch Castle is meticulously restored, giving visitors a glimpse of privileged life in the 1890s. Guests can explore 39 rooms over four floors full of exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings.
A quiet, sunny haven just a short walk from Victoria’s downtown, Beacon Hill Park is an oasis of both natural and landscaped beauty. This 200-acre park is not only full of trees, ponds, and wildflowers, but also includes sport fields, playgrounds, a miniature golfing green, and a children’s petting zoo. Horse-drawn carriages and peacocks meander through the park, and in the summer, music drifts from the Cameron Bandshell.
For art lovers, the Emily Carr House is a must-see in Victoria. Now a National Historic Site, the childhood home of the Canadian Group of Seven painter has been beautifully restored. Learn about her art and writing, admire the ever-changing contemporary art exhibitions, and even pet on the Carr House Cats!