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Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island – between the Juan de Fuca and Haro straits, and is a favourite spot for tourism. Victoria is the largest urban area on the island and is a beautiful city to visit, with the mildest climate in Canada, encouraging blooms to flourish all year round. There is a lot to see and do in the area; why not take advantage of the diverse historical and architectural sites? Its British heritage and colonial past can be seen in its architecture, museums, and English-style pubs throughout the city. Victoria BC attractions are vast, so if history isn’t your thing, you could always enjoy one of the stunning parks, gardens, exhibitions, festivals or shopping malls here. Victoria BC tourism has grown significantly in recent years, making it the perfect place to visit at any time of year.
675 Belleville St, Victoria, BC V8W 9W2 | 350 meters from Parkside Hotel & Spa
A great place to visit on any trip to Canada, the Royal British Columbia Museum (sometimes referred to as Royal BC Museum) includes The Province of British Columbia’s natural and human history museum as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. You will find three areas to explore: natural history, modern history, and local First Nations’ history. There are around 7 million objects here, including artefacts and specimens. You can also find some touring exhibitions here; in the past they have hosted artefact’s from RMS Titanic, Leonardo da Vinci, the Vikings, the British Columbia gold rushes and Genghis Khan. Take a stroll round and you will also come across the IMAX Victoria theatre, which shows educational films regularly. The museum is located beside Victoria’s Inner Harbour, next to the Legislature Buildings.
631 Courtney St, Victoria, BC V8W 1B8 | 650 meters from Parkside Hotel & Spa
If you or your kids love anything creepy-crawly, then the Victoria Bug Zoo is a great place to head for. It is a two-room mini zoo, which features 50 species of insects, arachnids, and arthropods. In fact, it is the largest tropical insect collection in North America. It also has Canada’s largest ant farm, which is fascinating to look at. In this ant farm are leaf cutting ants, which are a marvel to watch! Opening from 11am to 4pm most days, apart from weekends when it stays open until 5pm, visitors can come in and tour around themselves or can walk around with a tour guide. There is also the chance to hold different species of bugs, like tarantulas, scorpions, millipedes, and praying mantis.
500 Fisgard, Victoria, BC V8W 1R4 | 1.5 km from Parkside Hotel & Spa
British Columbia has the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America. It is well worth a trip there on your next visit. Although small, there is plenty to see and do there. It is conveniently just a few minutes away from other attractions, such as Bay Centre and Market Square. It is a popular area for tourists, with the main focus on the 500–600 block of Fisgard Street. This includes the narrow Fan Tan Alley, the old Chinese School and some other historic buildings and businesses. The district was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1995. The Fan Tan Alley has an ornate gate, The Gate of Harmonious Interest, which was built in Suzhou. It is well worth a look at this beautiful gate, and a photograph underneath it!
100 Cook St, Victoria | 1.5 km from Parkside Hotel & Spa
Beacon Hill Park is a huge (200 acres) park, so you can spend most of the day here on your next visit to Victoria. There is much to see and do there, including woodland walks as well as shoreline trails, two playgrounds, fields, a petting zoo, a waterpark, ponds, and landscaped gardens. If you enjoy a little sport, you will also find some tennis courts here. What is great about this park is that, although a lot of it has been landscaped, a great deal of the native flora has been preserved. If you enjoy nature, you can find some great items here, including arbutus, Douglas-fir, camas, trillium, snowberry and fawn lily. As for animals, there is a wide variety of raccoons, river otters, squirrels, and many types of birds that can be spotted. The ponds also contain turtles, Canada geese, and blue herons, as well as swans and ducks. Walking around, you will also come across the world’s fourth-tallest totem pole, (127 ft) erected in 1956.
12 Erie St, Victoria, BC V8V 4X5 | 2 km from Parkside Hotel & Spa
Fisherman’s Wharf, which is along the pier and next to Steveston Landing, is a perfect spot to visit on your next trip. Not only will you see incredible river views, but you can also check out the village’s commercial fishing fleet, which is the largest in Canada! This is where the catch of the day is unloaded, and you can buy a wide selection of fish. You can find anything from shrimp, to salmon, Dungeness crab, rockfish and spot prawns right from the fishermen themselves. The eastern end of Fisherman’s Wharf is populated by float homes. You can also see pleasure boats out in the harbour, why not book up a trip? Fisherman’s Wharf is located around the corner from Victoria’s Inner Harbour – a 10 minute walk from the Ogden Point cruise ship terminal.
1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5 | 2.6 km from Parkside Hotel & Spa
Craigdarroch Castle should be on your to-do list the next time you visit Victoria, British Columbia. It is one of the most historic sites you can visit in the country, and it was designated a National Historic Site of Canada, serving as a museum since 1979. This is a legendary Victorian mansion, owned originally by Robert Dunsmuir. The castle overlooks the City of Victoria, which was Robert’s way of showing the world that he was the richest and most important man in Western Canada. When he died in 1889, he left his entire estate to his wife Joan, who lived in the Castle until she died. The building has four floors of beautiful stained-glass windows, and walking around, you will also be able to admire the intricate woodwork and stunning furnishings. There are also many artefacts on show. Open daily from 10am, this attraction is perfect for families, couples, historians and everyone in-between.