With SO MANY things to do in downtown Victoria, it is one of the reasons I love to call this town home. Our busy, vibrant and beautiful town centre never disappoints.
No trip to Victoria is complete without a visit to the Inner Harbour – it is the hub of the city! If you fly here on a seaplane or come on either of the US ferries - the vehicular ferry Coho or passenger ferry Clipper, you will arrive in the Inner Harbour. It is one of the most beautiful and busiest harbours in the world.
Known for their grand stature and prominent location in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings welcome visitors year-round. A special treat is having lunch in the Parliamentary Dining Room. Check the schedule for hours of operation.
The iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel takes centre stage in Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Enjoy the luxurious Willow Stream Spa, indulge in the grand tradition of afternoon tea or simply stroll through the building and admire the majestic 1908 architecture.
The Robert Bateman Centre is located in the former steamship terminal at the Inner Harbour and houses the Steamship Grill & Bar (one of the best view restaurants in Victoria) on the first floor and the Robert Bateman Gallery on the second and third floors.
For a cultural experience unlike any other, a visit to the Royal BC Museum is one of the best things to do in downtown Victoria. The museum was founded in 1886 and is home to archives, artifacts, documents and specimens that tell the story of British Columbia’s history and its people. The permanent galleries are the First Peoples Gallery, the Modern History Gallery and Natural History Gallery. Travelling exhibits are also hosted at the gallery periodically; check their website for details.
Excellent shops and restaurants – many housed in well preserved and maintained circa 1880s buildings - line Government Street and Bastion Square. A very walkable district that is sure to impress historians and architectural enthusiasts alike. Plus, there’s lots of chocolate, a really cool book store, awesome Indigenous art and locally made unique gifts – something for everyone.
The Victoria Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America behind San Francisco. It is a vibrant neighbourhood, designated a National Historic Site in 1995 and still proudly showcasing excellent examples of Chinese architecture and culture.
Thunderbird Park sits beside the Royal BC Museum and is home to a significant collection of totem poles. Each of the towering cedar carvings depicts a unique story that represents the ancestry of a particular individual or family. Learn more about Indigenous Culture at the First Peoples Gallery at the Royal BC Museum.
Beacon Hill Park is a 200+ acre park located just outside of downtown Victoria. It is a magnificent example of woodlands, shoreline trails, landscaped gardens and much, much more.
We are blessed with fantastic weather, beautiful scenery and an incredibly long and diverse list of things to do in downtown Victoria and in the region. Book your West Coast adventure now.
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The Royal BC Museum: Don't miss your opportunity to experience this Canadian cultural treasure.