Guide to Victoria BC
This is your guide to Victoria BC tourism. Click on the links below to learn more about local attractions, activities, accommodations, tours, transportation, recreation, day trips and, of course, The Butchart Gardens. All are on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Many can be viewed on our Victoria map.
Additionally, your Victoria bed and breakfasts hosts would be delighted to pass on their extensive knowledge of the area to help you make the most of your visit here.
- Attractions, Museums & Tours
- Gardens & Parks
- Victoria Travel Guide
- Day Trips
The following short videos give a handy summary of things to see and do here. The first video focusses on Victoria, courtesy of Tourism Victoria:
Then this second video is from Tourism Vancouver Island. These activities are mostly accessible while staying in Victoria.
Downtown Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula and southern Vancouver Island: all offer so much for your leisure.
Downtown is focused on the bustling Inner Harbour crowned by the Parliament Buildings (worth a tour). You will need half a day in the magnificent Royal BC Museum with its IMAX theatre. Wander through shopping diversions as far as China Town or take an organised walking tour. Craigdarroch Castle is the most splendid of several heritage homes to explore.
Tour the Saanich Peninsula, just 30km/18 miles long, to sample BC wines at wineries and local fruits at the fruitstands. The principal must-see attraction is of course the Butchart Gardens with other significant places to more than fill a day: Butterfly Gardens, The Raptors birds of prey, the Centre of the Universe, the gentle seaside town of Sidney.
West of Victoria are the parks and beaches of Metchosin and Sooke. En route you should visit the Fisgard Lighthouse at Fort Rodd Hill and nearby Hatley Castle.
Victoria, "The Garden City" has a lovely gardening climate, the setting is beautiful and the population has more than its fair share of garden-loving Brits and green-thumbed Dutch. So you can expect some delightful visual treats.
Naturally you will want to spend many happy hours at the Butchart Gardens - maybe taking in afternoon tea, a concert and summer Saturday fireworks. But take a look at other varied options, including the 28 themed areas at Glendale Gardens, the Edwardian gardens at Hatley Castle, charming Abkhazi Garden and stroll through the trees and shrubs of Finnerty Gardens and Playfair Park in the spring.
Parks vary from famed Beacon Hil Park near downtown to many rugged parks around our coastline. Whether you prefer to sit on a bench to view flowers and children playing or enjoy a casual stroll or a hard hike, you'll find it here.
Lots of handy information to help you prepare for your visit including British Columbia tourist information, Customs and Immigration requirements, driving in BC, Canada's public holidays, Victoria accommodations and weather.
This page contains travel information for visiting Victoria by air or ferry with lots of handy links.
That same climate and beautiful setting that produces lovely gardens also results in many golf courses on which you can play year-round.
Here are some suggestions which may well produce your best memories of your visit to Vancouver Island. The beautiful scenery and temperate climate combine to make these very special. No adjectives are needed, just use your imagination: there's whale-watching, sailing, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, bird-watching, horseback riding, cycling, swimming, zip-lining and more.
Having a car will give you so much more flexibility, otherwise you'll miss on on these suggested tours as well as many of the places mentioned above. These suggestions will aid your exploration of southern Vancouver Island.
The growth of Vancouver Island wineries has been one of the great success stories for Victoria tourism. Many are small family estate wineries and all are proud of their BC wines. Chat with the wine-makers, maybe tour their vineyards, sample their wines and take home a souvenir. Some offer lunches with local foods as you tour.
Your guide to Victoria BC tourism and southern Vancouver Island - from Victoria's Finest Bed and Breakfasts