Top 10 Things to do in Victoria, BC (& surrounding Area)

From VPO Victoria Staff

1. Regional Parks

These let you get away from it all in just a few minutes and there are tons of options. Our favourites are Devonian, Lone Tree Hill, Bear Hill, East Sooke and Mount Wells, but there are dozens more!

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2. Paddle the Inner Harbour

Rent a kayak or a SUP and paddle into the far reaches of the Inner Harbour water ways. You can cross under 5 bridges but be careful about the tides as you can get “caught” on the wrong side of the bridge and have a bit of a wait while the tide turns to let you get back.

3. Whale Watching

There are resident Orca pods that hang out pretty near to Victoria so you can ‘almost’ guarantee a siting if you go out with a whale watching boat. And if you aren't that lucky, then you will still have had a ride out on the Straight of Juan de Fuca.

4. Fishing

If you don’t care for the larger groups of whale watching tours, take a day or half-day and go fishing. Our favourite is Adam’s Fishing Charters. Tell him we sent you!

5. Biking

Mount Work Bike Trails is a nice collection of single track and fire road trails for all abilities. We also like our road biking in Victoria. You can even participate in the Tour de Victoria or ride the Victoria Gran Fondo. If that isn’t quite your cup of tea, you can still watch the Bastion Square Grand Prix Criterium.

6. Hiking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail

This is the little brother to the West Coast Trail and the new North Coast Trail [north end of the Island]. The JdF is a 3-4 day commitment with options to exit the trail at various points along the way, if the weather is nasty or you have just a couple of free days for your adventure. It is more demanding at the east end of the trail and as always with the marine trails, it is a good idea to have a tide table along so that you don’t get stuck on the beach with the tide coming in. Rain gear is a must!

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7. Golfing

Victoria has Canada’s mildest climate and so it makes sense that Canada’s oldest golf course is located here. That would be the Victoria Golf Club founded in 1893. Of course, there are over a dozen more to try out if you have a lot of spare golf balls.

8. The Downtown Core

Victoria is situated around the inner harbour and has many of her charms available within easy walking distance. The old buildings downtown are fun to see, interspersed with some newer ones, but The Empress Hotel and the BC Legislature are prime examples of our architectural history. Next door is the Royal BC Museum with an excellent permanent exhibit and some fine traveling exhibits if you time it well. Government Street is the main thoroughfare, but make a point to take in some of the side streets, too, for some hidden treasures. Chinatown is at the north end of the downtown core and worth a visit, including the famous Fan Tan Alley.

9. Float Plane

Harbour Air is the world’s largest Seaplane Airline and is also carbon neutral! If you can manage it, the trip from Victoria to Vancouver via float plane is really quite a treat and beats a long ferry line up any day!

10. Festivals

Victoria is host to a wide variety of festivals and events, so plan ahead and try to take in a few.

Tourism Victoria