Victoria is one of the most remarkable cities in all of Canada. In part, this is because it is the capital of British Columbia, which is the westernmost of Canada’s ten provinces. However, it should also be noted that it occupies a prime location on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, which means that it is blessed with beautiful surroundings both on land and at sea. Combined, this means that Victoria has many sites of interest to offer to first-time visitors.
1. Butchart Gardens
Butchart Gardens are one of the most popular sites to be found in all of Victoria, which makes sense because it has 55 acres of botanical wonders. Suffice it to say, Butchart Gardens are home to a wide range of flowers and other plants that have been landscaped with care and consideration to create a feast for the senses.
2. Royal British Columbia Museum
Given that Victoria is the capital of British Columbia, it stands to reason that it would be home to the Royal Museum of British Columbia, which is one of the best cultural history and natural history museums in the entire country. In particular, it is an excellent place to learn about First Nations for those who are fascinated by their stories.
3. Fairmont Empress Hotel
As the name suggests, the Fairmont Empress Hotel continues to serve as a home away from home for a wide range of guests. Yet it is a famous landmark in its own right, serving as a reminder of a time before even the First World War. In addition, it is an excellent place from which interested persons can begin to explore the heart of Victoria.
4. Inland port
Speaking of which, Inner Harbor is also a historical site of interest, as it was once used for fishing and boat building. That said, it is also a setting of incredible natural beauty, adding to its appeal as a starting point for people interested in various water activities.
5. Cook Street Village
If you are looking for something reminiscent of historic Europe, there is Cook Street Village. In addition to its feel, it is home to numerous cafes, pubs, retail stores, restaurants, and other eating places that can provide interested people with plenty of opportunities to enjoy good food and good shopping.
On a related note, Victoria’s Chinatown is located next to Cook Street Village, making it easy for first-time visitors wanting to see both locations. Established by Chinese immigrants heading north from California to Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, it is the second oldest enclave of its kind in North America, serving as a lasting reminder of the cultural traditions that these individuals brought with them.
7. Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park is the most impressive of the parks found within the Victoria park system. Of course, it is a pleasant place to have fun outdoors, especially since it has an excellent set of facilities. However, the most remarkable thing is the views it offers of the surrounding region.
8. Craigdarroch Castle
Coal magnate Robert Dunsmuir commissioned Craigdarroch Castle for himself and his wife Joan. Unfortunately, he died before construction could be completed, which is why the Baronial mansion had to be completed by his sons Alexander and James. Today, the site has become a popular tourist destination for people who are curious to see what it was like.
9. Fort Rodd Hill
Fort Rodd Hill is a 19th century coastal fort, which was intended to cement British control of its surroundings by providing protection to the British presence. In particular, the place is interesting because it is located next to the Fisgard Lighthouse, which is the first lighthouse to rise on the western coast of Canada.
10. British Columbia Maritime Museum
The people who call British Columbia home have had a long relationship with the sea, so to understand them, it makes sense to visit the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. Its most famous exhibit might be the Tilikum, which is a small schooner-turned whaling canoe that was used to visit Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, South America, and then London, England, in the early 1900s.