A Visitor’s Guide to Spring in Victoria Harbour
The return of spring is always a joyous time in Victoria. The weather is warm, the days get longer and visitors and locals alike venture out to enjoy everything the city has to offer. There is perhaps no better way to welcome the warm weather than experience spring in Victoria Harbour. Thanks to its long history of seafaring, shipping, fishing and trade, the harbour has a story that reaches all the way back to the earliest days of the region’s First Nations peoples, develops through the beginning of the ingress of European settlers and continues to this day.
Planning a trip to Victoria, British Columbia this spring? Here are some great tips to get you started.
The Royal BC Museum has been educating and enlightening visitors since 1886. Each of the exhibit’s three primary galleries (Natural History, Becoming BC and the First People’s Gallery) focuses on an important part of the story of the region via the display of more than seven million individual pieces. And don’t miss the adjacent Thunderbird Park, featuring impressive works of native art as they were meant to be seen — outdoors.
Bring Your Appetite
Hungry? Inner Harbour is home to some of Victoria’s most celebrated restaurants. From the fresh-caught seafood and water views at Steamship Grill & Bar to the classic dockside steakhouse cuts plated at Nautical Nellie’s to the celebrated décor, progressive drinks program and ever-evolving menu at Little Jumbo, the area’s food and beverage options offer a plate to please every palate. No matter what you’re craving, head to the harbour!
At “The Greatest Little Show on Earth,” you won’t find any imposing exhibits. Visitors will instead discover incredibly detailed tiny tableaux depicting Victoria-area activities, shrunk down to an impossibly minuscule model of reality. You’ll see the world’s smallest working sawmill, a small-sized railway that makes even standard scales look massive by comparison, fantasy scenes full of fantastic creatures and characters, and even historical recreations.
Insects are fascinating creatures. That’s why they’re the focus of the whimsically educational Victoria Bug Zoo. Whereas many comparable collections of these tiny animals are pinned in dusty drawers or labeled lightboxes, every insect at the Victoria Bug Zoo is very much alive and kicking — or crawling. Kids of all ages love checking out these tiny titans and hearing their awe-inspiring entomological stories from the dedicated keepers on staff.
Founded by the noted nature artist and living legend Robert Bateman, this inspiring gallery features a collection that both promotes and showcases his important ecological ideals. The museum is dedicated not just to displaying his actual physical works, but also supporting his ongoing dedication to the work he and his team continue to undertake in the area of environmental preservation and education efforts. The artist is often in residence, as well.
Once the location of an imposing structure overlooking Victoria Harbour, the site of the old 19th-century Victoria Fort is now a lovely public park space commemorating the original building. The footprint of the fort is preserved, as are two bastions, a palisade and three of the antique mooring rings. Because the fort is designated as a National Historic Site of Canada, you’ll find historical plaques detailing the site’s rich history.
In addition to all of the above, Inner Harbour is also home to an ever-changing schedule of events, festivals and other fun happenings. Be sure to check out the Harbour Authority Events Calendar when you’re ready to experience spring in Victoria Harbour!