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Home > Tourism Victoria Blog > What to See & Do in Burnside Gorge: Victoria’s Up and Coming Neighbourhood

What to See & Do in Burnside Gorge: Victoria’s Up and Coming Neighbourhood

Posted on November 4, 2019

Just a 20-minute walk from the Inner Harbour, the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood is quickly emerging as one of the best places for some uniquely Victorian experiences. Step away from the hustle and bustle of downtown and relish the unique mixture of industry, natural scenery and heritage charm. Read on to discover what you can do in this up-and-coming area.

 

Follow the BC Ale Trail

The BC Ale Trail is your ultimate guide to craft beer tourism in British Columbia. Seven unique routes, including one in Victoria, will give you insight into breweries, pubs, and beer-related activities and attractions you can experience in regions across the province. Boasting more than five breweries and brewpubs all within walking distance, Burnside Gorge is the epicentre of Victoria’s craft beer scene and an integral part of the Victoria Ale Trail.

Start the trail by stopping by Phillips Brewing & Malting Company. As the only craft brewer in Canada to malt their own barley, Phillips is known for their inventive flavours which you can try for yourself in their tasting room. They even have their own line of craft sodas for non-beer drinkers! Just up the road is Vancouver Island Brewing, one of the oldest craft breweries in Victoria. Stop by their recently renovated tasting room for a flight or fill up a growler to take home. Other options nearby, such as Driftwood Brewery and Hoyne Brewing, are also great places to check out for a taste of the local flavours. Moon Under Water Brewery & Pub has a full menu of delicious food to pair with your house-brewed beer.

Insider tip: Want someone else to be the designated driver? Join one of West Coast Brewery Tours’ fully guided craft beer tours to get a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process and get tastings at several different breweries in the area.

 

Beer flight from Hoyne Brewing Co.
Image credit: Hoyne Brewing

 

See the Gorge by Boat

Acting as a border for the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood is the Gorge Waterway, a narrow tidal inlet extending from the Victoria Harbour. From Indigenous legends to early British settlement, the rich history of the region is best learned on Victoria Harbour Ferries’ Gorge Tour. This 75-minute excursion departs from the Inner Harbour and takes you on a round-trip guided tour aboard an eco-friendly, ten passenger electric boat. Your captain will tell you stories of the region’s past, guide you through beautiful scenery (you might get a chance to see the reversing falls under the Tillicum Bridge if the tides are right), and maybe even point out some local wildlife like otters and seals.

The water taxi service also has several stops around the Burnside Gorge area to make transportation easy and fun. Victoria Harbour Ferries operate seasonally.

 

Victoria Harbour Ferry boat
Image credit: @itimbracken

 

Discover a National Historic Site

Overlooking the picturesque Gorge Waterway, Point Ellice House Museum & Gardens is a historic home that now operates as a museum of Victoria’s early days. It includes many of the original possessions of the O’ Reilly Family, who had owned and lived in the house for four generations before turning it over to the Vancouver Island Local History Society. Enjoy the beautifully landscaped gardens or enter the house to see one of the largest collections of late Victorian and early Edwardian objects in their original setting.

Insider tip: Victoria Harbour Ferry offers a water taxi stop right at the Point Ellice House dock for easy access by water!

 

Point Ellice House
Image credit: @pointellicehouse

 

Grab a Bite

During your day of exploring, make a pit stop at one of Burnside Gorge’s wide selection of eateries. If it’s inspired waterfront dining you’re looking for, Glo Restaurant + Lounge is your go-to spot. Relax on their patio with a refreshing cocktail and enjoy watching the dragon boaters and paddlers go by. Or, if it isn’t patio season, the floor-to-ceiling windows will give even an indoor seat a gorgeous view of the waterway. Their menu features everything from casual favourites like fish & chips and thin-crust pizzas to high-end steaks and seafood. Make sure you don’t miss their weekend brunch special!

Vintage motorcycles and gourmet food may not immediately come to mind as a likely combination, but Wheelies Motorcycles & Café has got both areas covered. The old automotive shop-turned-café now boasts a menu filled with inventive dishes inspired by local ingredients, specialty coffee and craft beer alongside their retail and workshop area for vintage Harley choppers. Live music is also available on select nights to entertain you as you sip a creative cocktail or contemplate buying that new ride.

As one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in the city, Wing's Restaurant has cemented itself as a Victoria staple. Whether you’re looking to take-out, dine in or explore your options at the buffet, Wing’s is sure to satisfy your craving for Chinese cuisine.

 

Wheelies Motorcycle Cafe
Image credit: Dean Azim

 

Explore Nature

Victoria is known for its many parks and natural spaces, and the Burnside Gorge area does not disappoint. All the waters of the Gorge Waterway and Harbour are part of the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary, the oldest established migratory bird sanctuary on Canada’s West Coast! This area is chock-full of numerous species of birds who call the estuaries and shorelines home or use it as part of their migration route. The shallow tidal waters, mud flats, and tree-lined shorelines are perfect habitats and feeding grounds for species like heron, cormorants and eagles. Take a walk through Gorge Park and you‘ll be sure to spot some local feathered friends. Just be sure to keep your distance and respect their natural ecosystem.

The park also has a playground for children, public art and horticultural displays, a community garden and a scenic waterfront walking path.

 

Image credit: @j_w_tphotography

 

Hit the Trail

Starting just across the water, the Galloping Goose Regional Trail is one of Victoria’s most well-loved cycling and walking trails. Originally the route of the Canadian National Railway, the trail was converted into a multi-use path in 1987 to connect Victoria to Sooke and beyond. Start your ride or walk by crossing the gorgeous Selkirk Trestle and taking in the views over the Gorge Waterway before following the trail through the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. Continuing onward, the trail meanders through urban settings, rural countryside and wilderness, traversing many more scenic bridges and trestles. On weekdays, you will find many morning commuters on bikes making their way towards downtown. Further along the trail it’s not unusual to see horseback riders as you travel through the more rural Metchosin area.

Insider Tip: Trek Bicycle Store of Victoria conveniently has a location at the head of the Galloping Goose Trail to fill all your bike rental, purchase and service needs before you start your ride.

 

Cyclist on the Selkirk Trestle
Image credit: Deddeda Stemler