|Tour Butchart Gardens
|This is Victoria's most famous attraction.
You don't need a green thumb to enjoy this spectacular
garden. It's about 30 minutes out of town so prepare to
drive yourself, take a bus tour or a regular #75 transit
bus. Information about Butchart Gardens is in every hotel
and on all the ferries. For an enjoyable half
day, arrive about 10 am, stroll, have lunch in the restaurant then poke
the gift shop before you return to town. The outdoor theatre
entertainment throughout the day and at dusk the sunken garden becomes
light display. There is a fantastic fireworks display on Saturday
| Walk Beacon
|Beacon Hill Park offers a pleasant half day
stroll through lush garden beds and around cool, shaded ponds alive
with waterfowl. The pavilion atop Beacon Hill is a great place to
have a picnic. To extend your walk, take the coastline path to
the "Breakwater" or Clover Point.
|Walk the Inner
| Victoria's inner harbour is tiny and
charming. Except for the Port Angeles ferry, no large ships
enter, consequently hundreds of pleasure craft move about mixing up
with seaplanes, tour boats, sailboats, kayaks and most anything else
that floats. Artists, craftmen and entertainers stake out space
near the water on the lower promenade. All this activity will add
interest to a walk from the Ocean Pointe Resort on one side of the
harbour to the Laurel Point Inn on the other. Allow a couple of
hours and enjoy a coffee at both ends.
|Tour by Victoria Harbour Ferry
| Victoria's inner harbour is well serviced
by a fleet of charming walk-on ferries. They offer an opportunity for
enjoyable but inexpensive way ot spend a sunny afternoon. The following
quote is from their website.
"As we have 10 ferries we are able to service all the
around Victoria Harbour every 12 to 15 minutes. Our home base is in
at the West Bay Marina. The most popular Harbour Ferry stop is the dock
located directly in front of the Empress Hotel. We also stop around the
Harbour at Delta Ocean Pointe Resort, Hyak Air, Songhees near
Coast Harbourside Hotel, Fishermans Wharf and West Bay Marina. On the
Waterway we stop at the docks in front of the Canoe Club at the foot of
Street, Selkirk near the South Bay Pub, Point Ellice House and Tillicum
next to Gorge Park."
|The downtown core, especially Government Street,
above the Empress Hotel, has a unique collection of shops that are
responsible for Victoria's image as "a little bit of old England".
find many delightful "buskers" drawing crowds. Stop at Murchies for
and pastries. Browse next door in Munro's books. Explore Bastion Square
and continue on to Johnson Street and Market Square. When you
find yourself inside the Empress Hotel, go downstairs to see pictures
the facinating history of the inner harbour.
|Tour the Royal B.C. Museum
| The Royal B.C. Museum has earned an
reputation for its many unique exhibits. Its presentations of
native life and natural history should not be missed. Allow at least
|The impressive gates to Victoria's Chinatown are
on the corner of Government and Fisgard Streets, eight blocks from the
harbour. Tours can be arranged. (744-1985) or just head down and
browse. The Chinese people have been in Victoria since 1858.
|Walk the Dallas
|Find your way to the Fairfield Shopping Village
and have a coffee and treat at the local deli. Cross the road and take
the central path through Ross Bay Cemetery, one of Victoria's oldest,
to Dallas Road. Take a right along the ocean's edge past Clover Point
where you'll probably see a kite or two flying. Enjoy the views and
as you walk the cliffs past Beacon Hill to the deep water dock at Ogden
and "the breakwater". You can have a fine lunch here at the Cafe, or if
you'd fancy traditional English "fish and chips", continue 10 more
to Fisherman's Wharf.
|Tour Craigdarroch Castle
|Craigdarroch Castle was one man's vision of a
for his "queen". It's an amazing story and a fascinating place. If you
like antiques, this is for you.
|Whale Watching Tour
|Victoria has become a centre for whale watching.
Several pods of killer whales are permanent residents along the west
of Vancouver Island. During the summer months grey whales can be
as they make their annual migration from Mexico to Alaska. You can join
a tour boat in the inner harbour.
in a Kayak
|The Gorge is a long, narrow channel of water
begins at the inner harbour and winds about 5 kilometres through the
to Portage Inlet. A strong current builds as the tide moves in and out,
making the narrowest section behave like a river. On a windless day, an
hour and a half each way is usually enough, but take care to set your
time to take advantage of the tide. It's a peaceful and scenic paddle
an easy beach landing at the Craigflower Bridge for those in the mood
a picnic and snooze. Kayaks are available from Ocean River Sports near
Johnson Street Bridge. No transportation is necessary since the dock is
only a few steps from the pick up spot.
|Hike East Sooke Park
|On a clear day the hike along the Coast Trail in
East Sooke Park is stunning. Rocky crags guard innumerable tiny bays
surge channels. You may see seals, eagles and river otters. Do the
walk along the entire coast line in 5-6 hours or shorten your walk by
or cutting across the interior of the park. You will need a car to
get to East Sooke Park. It's about 45 minutes southwest of Victoria.
the Trans Canada Highway (#1) to the Colwood/Sooke turnoff (#1A) and
out Sooke Road (#14) to Gillespie Road. (18 miles) Look for an old
English road house called the Seventeen Mile House perched on the edge
the road, just before the left turn at Gillespie. Follow Gillespie to
Sooke Road (3 miles) and turn left. Watch for the sign announcing East
Sooke Regional Park, Aylard Farm at Becher Bay Road.
|Hike Goldsteam Park
|A short distance (10 miles) from Victoria on the
Trans Canada Highway (#1) you can enjoy the many nature trails of
Provincial Park. It has water falls and old mines to view, plus a
of forest types including some ancient rain-forest. For a workout, find
your way up the trail to the summit of Mount Finlayson (40-60 minutes)
the terrific views.
|Hike Mount Douglas Park
|Mount Doug is a delightful piece of rocky forest
bordered in turn by subdivisions, small farms and the ocean. It's
reached by catching downtown bus to the University of Victoria exchange
and then a #39 to the park. You can walk for hours on its extensive
of trails or take the easy way and drive to the top to enjoy the view.
|Take a ferry to the Gulf Islands
|Six islands in the straits
between Vancouver Island and the mainland are connected by ferries that
leave from Swartz Bay near Sidney. Most are easily visited in a
day. The largest and most populated is Salt Spring
about 30 minutes by ferry with several sailings each day.
|Links around town
| Much, much more.
Many suggestions for
hikes around Victoria