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8 Tips for Exploring Greater Victoria

Posted on November 7, 2018

Planning a trip to Greater Victoria comes with an impressive list of experiences. From dining on farm-fresh produce to hiking along the rugged coast and exploring Canada's oldest Chinatown, Victoria offers year-round extraordinary adventures for all. So where to start? Check out these insider tips from locals and visitors who've already fallen in love with our destination.

 

1. "Cycling on the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails"

Comment by @cpivarnik via Instagram 

Residents and visitors alike love travelling the Galloping Goose and Lochside Trails. With a network of over 80-kilometers of pathways, you can choose to cycle, walk or run along these converted railway lines. Watch as the scenery changes from funky neighbourhoods to picturesque farmland and forest scenes to sweeping ocean views.

Galloping Goose Trail Victoria BC

 

2.  "First Nations art at the Provincial Museum."

Comment by @pollysue55 via Instagram

Follow human activity on Vancouver Island over thousands of years, at the Royal BC Museum. The First Peoples gallery unites old and new works to emphasize the continuing artistic traditions of the Northwest Coast First Nations. Totem Hall is the central exhibit in the First Peoples gallery and features carvings from Kwakwaka'wakw, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Gitxsan, Haida and Nuu-Chah-Nulth communities. Make sure to check out the extensive collection of masks and cultural treasures too. 

Totem Poles at Royal BC Museum in Victoria BC

 

3. "Seafood tower on the deck of Steamship Grill & Bar. Enough said."

Comment by @kelly_the_red via Instagram

Located at the heritage Steamship Terminal on Victoria's spectacular Inner Harbour, Steamship Grill & Bar offers waterfront dining at its best. Dishes are prepared using locally sourced ingredients from Vancouver Island and B.C. and complemented with spices from around the world. The seafood tower (pictured) is a three-tier taste sensation featuring a selection of freshly caught delights.

Steamship Bar and Grill Victoria Inner Harbour

 

4. "My favourite memory was taking an early ferry ride and seeing a pod of orcas!"

Comment by @chriscleo3 via Instagram

Zip around on the Inner Harbour and see downtown Victoria from a new perspective with a ride on a Victoria Harbour Ferry. Keep an eye out for our local wildlife whilst on board or take a whale watching tour for extraordinary up-close encounters. There are three orca pods totalling over 80 whales in the waters surrounding southern Vancouver Island.

Tip: Harbour and Gorge tours start at the Empress Dock and depart daily from February through October. Victoria Harbour Ferry services startup for the season on February 20.

Victoria Harbour Ferry

 

5. "We went to Victoria Distillers and it was fab. Love the Empress 1908 Gin as it's my favourite colour (and tasty!)"

Comment by @westcoastcitygirl via Instagram

Located on the waterfront in Sidney, Victoria Distillers is one of B.C.'s finest artisan distilleries. The tour & tasting experience takes visitors through the entire distillation process and around two copper pot stills. Guests are then invited to taste all of their premium spirits neat including the award-winning Empress 1908 Gin.

Victoria Distillers Empress Gin Victoria BC
Image by @colljeffers 

 

6. "Love Victoria! We like to vacation there. Can't wait to take Pebbles, my tiny Yorkie there next year for her first time and stay in our favourite place, Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites. They are dog-friendly!

Comment by @pebbles_elizabeth via Instagram

If you can't bear to part with your four-legged friend during your holidays, bring them along for an extraordinary adventure in Greater Victoria. Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites offer dog-friendly rooms in both traditional and one bedroom suites The charming hotel also offers a rooftop dining experience that celebrates Vancouver Island's best local food.

Chateaux Victoria

 

7. "Tea at The Empress and strolling around on a cloudy day. And shopping at the vintage clothing stores."

Comment by @sir.tobias.barkley via Instagram

Tea and shopping go hand-in-hand in Greater Victoria. Start on Lower Johnson and make your way up toward Government Street for boutique shopping at its best. Next up, head to The Patch on Yates Street for Victoria's largest selection of vintage clothing. Open from 10:00 am to 8:00 p.m. every day, you're guaranteed to walk out with a pre-loved piece that's perfect for you. Finish your adventure with afternoon tea at The Empress where you can choose from 21 of the finest loose leaf teas. 

High Tea at The Empress Hotel Victoria

 

8. "I have been fortunate enough to visit Victoria twice. Butchart Gardens is spectacular."

Comment by David Keith Rodrigues via Facebook

The grand-scale of Greater Victoria's The Butchart Gardens has to be seen to be believed. Spread out over 22 ha (55 acres), the gardens change appearance with the seasons, making it the perfect place to return again and again. Winter visitors will also be captivated by the Magic of Christmas with its decorations, expansive lighting and outdoor ice skating rink. 

Christmas at The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC
Image by The Butchart Gardens

 

Plan your extraordinary adventure to Greater Victoria with a few thousand of our closest friends.

 

 

Cover image by @emilybeekscreative & @emily_kirsch Via Instagram