Victoria Activities You Need to Do
Posted by Niels Madsen on
Victoria is a wonderful city to live in and explore, with vibrant gardens, stunning coastlines, incredible restaurants, and a rich cultural scene. Which is a great reason for you to host friends and family and give them a memorable experience, especially if you’ve recently moved in. Or, if you’re a new resident and want to make the most of your settling in period and see all the quintessential sights, you’ll want to check out this list of all the best activities that showcase Victoria at its best!
No matter the season, Butchart Gardens is a stunning location to visit. Consisting of acres and acres of finely curated floral and plant displays, it’s a beautiful place to take a leisurely stroll through. And if you’re looking for a special day out, on Wednesday – Saturday nights from June 30 to September 2 you can take in a live performance from the outdoor stage on the Concert Lawn.
These little boats have been connecting locals and visitors to Victoria’s waterfront neighbourhoods, parks, and communities for over 30 years. Available as a taxi or for a tour of the Inner Harbour, a ferry trip is a fun and unique way to get around downtown by water.
Surrounded by coastal landscapes in Colwood, you can tour through Fort Rodd Hill, a 19th-century west coast artillery fortress that was on active duty from 1895 to 1956, then step inside Fisgard Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse on Canada's west coast. All while embracing the history and personal stories of the people whose lives passed through the area.
Ogden Point Breakwater and Dallas Road
The Ogden Point Breakwater is a 762-metre long granite and concrete wall at the beginning of the Dallas Road Waterfront trail that offers stunning water views, and sometimes wildlife. It’s especially great during the summer where you can take in an iconic sunset.
A self-guided walkway around the Harbour promoting the artistic, historical, and cultural contributions of the Coast Salish people, there are seven bronze markers, created by Coast Salish artist Butch Dick, at culturally significant sites. The markers, known as the Signs of Lekwungen, depict enlarged versions of traditional spindle whorls, a tool used by Coast Salish women to spin wool. These were considered the foundation of a Coast Salish family. Through visiting these markers, you can learn about the land, its original culture, and the spirit of its people.
Beacon Hill Park
With roughly 740,000 square metres of parkland, Beacon Hill Park is the crown jewel of Victoria's park system. There are natural areas, manicured flower beds, footpaths and many sports and play features for the whole family to enjoy.
Ross Bay Cemetery
Ross Bay Cemetery has the oldest surviving formal landscape design in BC and is a superb example of a Victorian-era burial ground. Its combination of unusual trees and plantings, winding carriageways, graves with intriguing marble, sandstone and granite monuments, all bear witness to the people buried here, and offer a visually and emotionally moving experience.
The waters around Victoria are teaming with marine and land animals, including the orca, and gray, humpback, and minke whales. Other aquatic neighbors include sea lions, seals, porpoises and many marine birds. Cruise with local certified naturalists and experts for a guided marine adventure to discover, observe, and learn about these enchanting creatures up close.
Experience one of Victoria’s most popular ghost tours, featuring murder, hangings, romance, and hauntings. Ghostly Walks tours weave together Victoria’s ghosts and the stories behind them, bringing the dark history of the city to life. It’s guaranteed to be spell-binding, entertaining, memorable, and most of all spine-tingling!
A little bit outside of Victoria near Shawnigan Lake, the Kinsol Trestle is one of the largest and most spectacular rail trestles in the world. Standing 44 meters above the Koksilah River, it spans 187 meters and has amazing views. Open to the public, it is a must-see part of the Island.
Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature: a steep, forested mountain, high above the Salish Sea. Previously, only agile explorers could enjoy such experiences of the wild. Now the Malahat SkyWalk offers the ultimate Island experience where explorers of all ages and abilities can enjoy breathtaking views and adventure, high among the trees and surrounded by the sea.
The exterior of the Legislature is an iconic part of the city, but did you know you can go inside too? Tours are available daily, and when the Legislative Assembly is sitting visitors can even observe proceedings. There is also a restaurant available to the public in an old-fashioned style dining room, but you must book in advance.
Royal BC Museum
This summer there are two must-see exhibitions at the museum: Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia, which has 120 spectacular artworks and original artifacts from ancient Angkor, never before seen in Canada, and Dinosaurs of BC where you can follow the footsteps of tyrannosaurs and ankylosaurs, see beautifully preserved marine fossils, and meet the BC-born and bred Buster, the museum’s reigning resident ferrisaurus.
Featuring 85 different displays and dioramas, at Miniature World it is as if you suddenly became a Gulliver-like giant among the tiniest of villages. From historical events to space to stories, this is the Greatest Little Show on Earth.
Visit and you’ll encounter poison dart frogs, tortoises, large iguanas, flamingos, tropical ducks, free flying tropical birds and more. Stroll through and marvel at the lush gardens including tropical flowers, carnivorous plants and fruits of the world.
A visit to this must-see mini zoo offers an excellent opportunity to view and experience live tropical bugs from around the world. Discover roughly 50 fascinating species including giant walking sticks, beautiful praying mantis, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, hairy tarantulas, and Canada’s largest ant colony.
Craigdarroch Castle is an archetypal Victorian experience. It is a shining example of a “bonanza castle” — massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age. Today it houses a rich collection of Victorian-era furnishings, photographs, collections, and a stunning interior that transports you back in time.
If this whets your appetite for the idea of living in Victoria, get in touch with us to start your property journey. It’s a fantastic city to live in, with an array of wonderful municipalities to choose from. And if you want help figuring out which municipality is right for you, check out our previous blogs on the topic: West Shore, Metchosin/Saanich/Sidney, and Victoria/Esquimalt/Oak Bay.