FOUR DAY SAMPLE ITINERARY
Victoria is deemed one of Canada’s most walkable cities. With a plethora of transit and transport options, it doesn’t take long to get from place-to-place with your family. If your getaway is a few days long and you are looking to adventure outside of Greater Victoria, renting a car is worthwhile to explore all that the southern island has to offer.
Walk or take public transportation down Fort Street – also known as Antique Row – to Craigdarroch Castle , a 1890’s mansion with exquisite stained glass windows, brilliant woodwork and period antiques. Built by wealthy coal baron Robert Dunsmuir, Craigdarroch Castle is a stunning demonstration of the careful craftsmanship of the Victorian era. Climb 87 steps on their spectacular oakstaircase up to the Tower, for some of the best views Victoria has to offer.
If you’re feeling hungry after the castle, dig into a juicy, sustainably-sourced burger at Big Wheel Burger. They have a kid-friendly menu boasting a “LittleWheel Meal Deal” for kids of all ages, and plenty of delicious quick-bite options for adults too!
After lunch, a great spot to spend the afternoon is the Royal BC Museum, where families can experience BC’s intriguing history. Unique rotating displays and galleries riddle the museum, some of its most popular exhibits being the Natural and Human History of British Columbia and its First Peoples. Realistic and inviting models provide visitors with the sense of having walked through authentic, historical settings.
Greater Victoria is connected to water in a way unlike other cities. The ocean runs through our core and permeates everything we do. The Victoria Harbour Ferry Company LTD. connects Victorians and visitors alike to our beautiful harbour and the eclectic neighbourhoods of our thriving city. There are so many ways to enjoy this iconic Victoria attraction, hop aboard at the Empress dock and take a ride out to the floating neighbourhood of Fisherman’s Wharf, cruise the harbour taking in the stunning architecture of the historic downtown core, or watch the water ballet as the aptly named “pickle boats” dart across our tranquil waters. Let the harbour ferry’s friendly skippers be your guide as you explore the harbour or gorge, or simply get you from A to B as you take advantage of their H20 Taxi Stops.
Finish your day off by heading down to Fisherman’s Wharf, where the colourful floating houses and marine life are sure to charm the whole family! Stop at Red Fish Blue Fish for dinner to enjoy some of the tastiest fish & chips dishes on the dock. Red Fish Blue Fish is an outdoor waterfront eatery in an up-cycled shipping container on the Inner Harbour. This casual dining experience at sundown is one you will boast about for years to come.
Start your morning off cycling around the bike capital of Canada on an ‘Eat.Drink.Pedal’ tour with The Pedaler Cycling Tours. On this bike-ride around Victoria, you’ll discover memorable landmarks, quaint and quintessential streets, rich history, and – arguably the most important – its food culture. This bike tour fuels you along the way with local charcuteries and cheeses, craft ice cream, and other culinary surprises. Make sure you work up your appetite!
Image: Bike Tour with The Pedaler – Destination Greater Victoria
After your two-wheel tour of eating around Victoria, sit back and enjoy a showing at the IMAX Victoria. You won’t just see a movie at IMAX – you’ll experience it. Whether you are immersing yourself in the colour and culture of an ancient land, or swimming alongside the planet’s largest creatures in the ocean, the IMAX experience immerses you in places and timespans that you could never otherwise go.
Next, be sure to crawl, fly, or wriggle your way into the Victoria Bug Zoo Inc. Home to an amazing world of insects, arachnids, and their many-legged friends, the Victoria Bug Zoo is a wonderful and educational source of entertainment for children and adults alike. Discover 50 species ranging from glow-in-the-dark scorpions to hairy tarantulas and even Canada’s largest ant colony. Victoria Bug Zoo’s knowledgeable guides offer a wealth of information on their ever-changing displays. Don’t miss this unforgettable, hands-on adventure.
After relaxing at the theatre, you may have built your energy up for active fun again. Make your way over to Axe and Grind to try out a quintessentially Canadian backyard sport – axe throwing. Trained coaches paired with a safe and fun environment cast the perfect setting for laughs and friendly competition with your family.
Time for dinner! Your new family favourite restaurant is the Old Spaghetti Factory Victoria. A beautiful building steps from the Inner Harbour, Royal BC Museum, and Parliament Buildings, welcomes guests to one of Victoria’s best pasta joints. The Old Spaghetti Factory offers big portions of fresh food made daily with only quality ingredients at reasonable prices. All meals are served with crisp green salad, sourdough bread, coffee or tea, and spumoni ice cream at no extra cost! This delicious family restaurant serves up Victoria’s best dining value.
Open your senses and explore the jungle at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. The 12,000 square footage enclosure was designed specifically to showcase the life cycle and free-flight of tropical butterflies and moths. The gardens erupt in ariot of tropical colour, aromas and personalities. Stars of the show include the butterflies themselves – 3,000 of them fluttering amongst the flora – but they arenot the only ones. Other cast members include tropical ducks, poison dart frogs,flamingos, tortoises, rare tropical birds and koi fish, each co-existing harmoniously in the lush jungle space. Enjoy a voyage of discovery in this living, breathing feast for the senses.
Drive for 5 additional minutes on Benvenuto Avenue to reach the famous Butchart Gardens. At this National Historic Site of Canada, you will find fifty-five acres of floral finery as you stroll along meandering paths and expansive lawns of explosive colour. Initiated in 1904 by Robert and Jennie Butchart in an effort to beautify a worked-out quarry, their endeavour became a family commitment to horticulture and hospitality, spanning over 100 years and delighting visitors from around the world. From the exquisite Sunken Garden to the charming Italian Gardens, this horticultural wonder maintains the gracious traditions of the past in one of the loveliest corners of the world. Children will love riding the Rose Carousel adorned with hand-crafted animals and carriages and the tasty gelato offered seasonally in the Italian Garden.
Just one more short drive away is Country Bee Honey Farm. Explore the farm and meet the pollinators and animals that call this beautiful acreage on the Saanich Peninsula home. Country Bee offers more than just local, premium honey. Their onsite petting zoo allows your younglings to meet sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, peacocks and more – better yet, you can feed them too! Take your time at Country Bee and savour the delicious snacks in their bakery, wander the pollinator garden, and follow the journey from field to table by visiting their observation hive, and filling up your own jar at their BYOJ (bring your own jar) honey tap.
Have you ever wanted to soar over a lush West Coast forest? At AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours, experience an exhilarating ride up to 60km/hr as you soar off the ground on eight unique zipline courses – ranging from 150 feet to an unforgettably scenic 1,000 feet. The professionally trained guides emphasize safety and comfort while ensuring a ride full of thrills, jaw-dropping beauty and a collection of fond memories with your family. As you descend over the beautiful Sooke Hills, your guides will also provide educational commentary on the local ecology and wildlife.
Don’t have time to leave the city? Wilplay Element Parks invites you into our island’s rugged woodlands for a highly tactile experience of exploration and discovery as you climb, twist, and balance your way through aerial obstacle courses, ziplines, and suspended games. Challenge your fears and grow your confidence to new heights as you conquer tree-top obstacles. The skilled and friendly guides will ensure your experience safely combines thrills, laughter, and a sense of awe for the magnificent beauty of Victoria’s forests.
After forest-bathing in the treetops, why not pair the experience with a visit to Victoria’s waters? The waterways surrounding the city are home to an abundance of marine wildlife, made perfect for whale watching. Humpback and orca are the primary whale species found in the area, but gray, and minke whales can also be seen in certain seasons. Sea lions, seals, porpoises and avariety of marine birds also call our waterways their home. Here in Victoria, you can join a local certified naturalist for a guided marine adventure tour to see and learn about these animals first-hand. Choose between a zodiac or covered boat to host your expedition – Victoria’s whale watching tour operators will provide you with a wildlife experience of a lifetime.
Finish off your evening with a spooky ghostly evening tour featuring tragic romance and intriguing hauntings around Victoria! These entertaining walking tours reveal all, weaving together Victoria’s haunted settings and dramatic storytelling to bring the dark history of our city to life. It’s guaranteed to be entertaining, memorable, and most of all spine-tingling!