Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is the perfect location to start your Vancouver Island adventure. With ferries and flights from Vancouver every hour, and a ferry to Seattle as well, it is easily accessible and knows how to cater to it’s guests. With the population increasing exponentially in the summer, this is definitely a tourist destination, and after reading this Victoria activity guide, you’ll see why.
Although mainly a university town and senior living destination in the winter months, Victoria lights up in the summer and allows for a beautiful travel experience to all those who visit. Over the 4 years that I lived there, I got to try out most of the must-do activities. And I have listed all my favourites for you guys in this post! Enjoy!
Take brunching to the next level:
If Victoria knows how to do one thing, that thing is brunch. If you take a walk downtown on a weekend morning, you’ll notice lines of people waiting outside restaurants, hoping to get a table for the most important meal of the day (nothing beats a mimosa with a side of avocado toast).
There are so many restaurants that specialize in brunch here, and honestly they are all SO GOOD. If I had to choose a few favourites, I would recommend these three.
Mo:Le: The perfect restaurant option for those who enjoy all the deliciousness of brunch, with none of the cruelty. They have great vegan and vegetarian options along with a full menu for meat eaters as well (the sides of avocado – for toast and the mushroom sausages are amazing).
Jam: Jam is possibly the most popular brunch place in Victoria. Or at least I’m assuming so given the fact that every time I go I have to wait at least 30 minutes for a table. Even when we get there 15 minutes before opening! It makes sense though. With their fried chicken waffles and funky hipster feel, it’s definitely in my top 3.
The Blue Fox: Finally, The Blue Fox needs to be on here. Although they have many great specials, my favourite item on the menu is their Classic Benny. The just make it so well!
Explore Fisherman’s Wharf:
Located a 20 minute walk along the waterfront from downtown Victoria, Fisherman’s Wharf is a wharf (duh), that is a must-see for tourists. With boat tours, fresh seafood, an ice cream stand, and a mexican food restaurant, there’s plenty to do on the wharf. You can even walk along the dock and see the floating houses (yes, they are full on houses just floating there). So cool!
There’s also a friendly band of seals who hangout at the wharf and you can sit on the side of the dock and give them a wave! Just make sure to keep your distance. You don’t want to be like that little girl in that viral video… You know the one.
Feed the ducks/peacocks at Beacon Hill Park:
Head over to BulkBarn (which is downtown Victoria), pick up some wild birdseed, and then walk on over to Beacon Hill Park. 5 minutes from downtown, this park has fountains, flowers, tons of birds, and even a petting zoo! If you are there at the right time of year you can even hangout with cute little baby goats! It doesn’t get much cuter than that, right?
I love feeding the ducks and peacocks on my visits. They swarm around you and go crazy for the birdseed, some will even eat right out of your hand! Just make sure to get wild birdseed and don’t feed the birds anything else (especially not bread!).
Walk along the waterfront:
As Victoria is on the southernmost tip of Vancouver Island, there are many gorgeous ocean views. Downtown is located right on the water, and there is a lovely waterfront walk you can do. I’ve walked the waterfront for about an hour and the views and ocean air just can’t be beat! If you want an extra breathtaking walk, try going just before the sun sets. You’ll be gifted sights like the one pictured above!
Go to high tea at The Empress:
It isn’t a trip to Victoria without a trip to The Empress. Known as one of Canada’s top hotels, The Empress is definitely a sight to be seen, inside and out. They have high tea offered everyday, and although pricy, I feel that it’s worth every penny. I’ve been over 5 times and honestly, I would go back to have their delicious sandwiches and scones.
Want to book your stay at The Empress? Click here.
Hike Mount Doug:
Only a 10 minute drive from downtown, Mount Doug is a great afternoon activity. You can either hike up (which only takes an hour tops) or drive up to the top and experience beautiful 360 degree views of Victoria.
Explore the Goldstream Trestle:
The trestle is technically located in a “Do Not Enter” area off of the main highway, and it can be a little tricky to find. But, if you manage to make it up there, it is absolutely stunning. This massive trestle is extremely high up and offers amazing views and Instagram opportunities! If you want to go, try asking a local for exact directions. But be warned, it is very high, and has no fences. Make sure to watch your step and don’t go too close to the edge if you’re afraid of heights.
Feel like a giant in Fan Tan Alley:
Fan Tan Alley is located downtown (on the same street as Jam), and is a cool little place to walk through. The alleyway is quite narrow and there are several shops that zigzag their way around inside. It’s always fun to head into the little Chinese inspired shop and walk around in the maze-like interior until you magically find yourself out the other side!
Check out the Parliament Building:
The Parliament Building is a sight to see during the day and at night! This massive building is located downtown and has a massive garden out front with fountains and statues. At night, the entire building lights up with the thousands of lightbulbs placed around it. Definitely worth a visit!
Visit the Royal BC Museum:
Finally, one of my favourite activities in Victoria, is visiting the Royal BC Museum. With several exhibits showing throughout the year, I’ve learned about First Nations culture, dinosaurs, and even Vikings on my trips. They also have an IMAX theatre that shows new releases of popular movies as well as documentaries.
So there you have it, a handful of the never-ending list of activities one can try in Victoria, BC. Have you ever been to Victoria or done any of the things mentioned in this post? Tell me about it in the comments! If not, has this Victoria activity guide convinced you to explore Vancouver Island?
And if you’re interested in booking a trip to Victoria, click here for more info on flights, accommodation, etc…
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