Discover the locals' favourite restaurants, search for colourful Victorian era homes or relax with a local beer in hand. While scoping out Victoria's diverse neighbourhoods, visitors will find a whole new side to the city.
Funky FernwoodLocated just 10 minutes from downtown Victoria, Fernwood is a popular culinary and arts destination that should be shared beyond just the locals. Fernwood Square is a beautiful, historic location, and a community meeting place that is buzzing almost any day of the week.
The historic Belfry Theatre is Victoria's largest contemporary theatre and hosts a year-round series of world-class performances. The neighbourhood is home to a selection of the most unique and colourful heritage properties in the city which visitors can find with a map from the Victoria Heritage Foundation.
For a bite to eat make sure to stop into Stage Wine Bar for delicious small plates showcasing the best of Vancouver Island's local produce, wines and cheeses. Another culinary hot spot not to be missed is Ça Va Bistro Moderne, providing fine dining Victoria style - comfortable, affordable and delicious. Ca Va aims to bring fresh, interesting, local and organic food, proudly serving some of the island's best produce, meat and seafood.
Top tip: Try a handmade ice cream from Cold Comfort Ice Cream. These ice creams are made in small batches using local ingredients and developing one-of-a-kind flavours. The menu changes daily, offering up decadent ice cream pies and cakes, enticing ice cream sandwiches, delectable house-made truffles and more.
Cook Street Village in FairfieldCook Street Village in the Fairfield neighbourhood, a popular residential area of Victoria, is one of "the" places to hang out on the weekend. This part of Cook Street borders Beacon Hill Park and is only blocks from the ocean. The street is a quaint, tree-lined enclave of shops, restaurants, and colourful heritage homes.
Visitors searching for a bite to eat will not want to miss Big Wheel Burger featuring fresh, local and delicious burgers made with products sourced from within 100 miles. Many visitors and residents get their coffee, grab snacks and walk along Cook Street to the ocean, to wander along scenic Dallas Road.
This area is also a favourite for locals as runners, cyclists and dog walkers can be found year-round along this oceanfront walkway. Towards the end of Dallas Road is Clover Point, a popular place to kitesurf, hang-glide and fly kites, or just stop and people watch.
Top tip: Pick up a cup of Discovery Coffee and tasty treat at Bubby Rose's Bakery. Grab a slice of their freshly made fruit-filled pies, or a flaky sweet or savoury croissant.
Victoria WestAcross the Johnson Street Bridge, visitors looking for a truly local experience will want to check out the trendy coffee shops, bakeries and beautiful parks in Victoria West, or "Vic West" as the locals say.
Begin with a stop at Fry's Bakery to pick up some tasty, wholesome treats. Owner Byron Fry is from a long line of bakers; his bakery is now opposite the location of his great-great grandfather's store in the 1920s. Baked in a wood-fired oven using Red Fife Wheat and organic flour, products include delicious flax-rye bread, flaky croissants and sell-out handmade pizzas.
Beside Fry's is Spiral Café, a cozy neighbourhood coffee shop full of eclectic mismatched furniture and ever-changing artwork. Known for its lively free music nights Friday to Sunday, visitors should arrive early to get a seat and enjoy the bands with an organic coffee or local JagaSilk tea in hand.
Grab a drink to go and head over the street to Banfield Park overlooking the Gorge waterway to admire the view as kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders cruise by. Visitors can cross the Galloping Goose Trestle and follow the trail back to downtown or take a Victoria Harbour Ferry back to the Inner Harbour.
Top tip: Stop off for a brewery tour at Lighthouse Brewing Company and enjoy samples of their delicious brews or head to their onsite store to purchase their latest creations.