The 10 Things You Must Do in Victoria, CA

Ready to see whales in their natural habitat or tour some amazing vineyards? Check out some of the best things to do in Victoria, British Columbia.

Situated at the southern edge of Vancouver Island, Victoria is simply one of the most mesmerizing cities in Canada. 

Named after the legendary Queen Victoria, the city has attracted visitors from all over the world since the mid-19th century. And the mild climate throughout the year earned Victoria the nickname of “The Garden City”. 

There’s plenty of exciting things to do in Victoria, and here are some of them. 

#1 – Walk Around Butchart Gardens

The flora found at Butchart Gardens is hard to match. 

This Canadian National Historic Site sprawls over 55 acres and features more than 900 varieties of plants. The place employs 50 gardeners and there are 26 greenhouses where you can see some of the more exotic plants. 

Just strolling around the place is already a fantastic experience, though the gardens really have more to offer. 

There are boat tours that can give you different views of the gardens and also evening entertainment events. And if you visit on a Saturday, you might even get to see firework displays.

#2 – Feast at Fisherman’s Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a picturesque neighborhood close to Inner Harbour. Many consider it Victoria’s hidden gem for the unique stores and restaurants. This is where you get to eat some of the freshest seafood in the city and pick up souvenirs to bring home. 

And if you’re considering non-touristy things to do in Victoria, Canada, this may be the right place for you. The neighborhood is full of floating homes, some of which offer lodgings so you can have a first-hand experience of what it’s like to live there. 

#3 – Watch the Whales

During the warmer months, Victoria is a great place to see killer whales as they swim past the city’s coastline. You may watch the whales directly from the city, but there’s actually a better way. 

Take a tour to Port Renfrew, just a few hours from Victoria, and see the orcas up close and personal. These sea mammals in the wild are the definition of majesty, especially when seen against the lush forests of the neighboring woods. 

#4 – Check Out the Bug Zoo

Yes, all kinds of creepy crawlers have their own designated dwelling space in Victoria. This mini zoo stands out as one of the best places to see spiders and insects from all over the world from a safe distance. 

The zoo has about 50 species of multi-legged critters, but the highlight might be the biggest ant colony in Canada. You can also marvel at glowing scorpions, praying mantises, and giant walking stick bugs. 

If you’re traveling with your children, this is undoubtedly the place to visit. 

#5 – Stroll Down Victoria’s Chinatown

Many cities around the world have a Chinatown, but the one in Victoria is a bit different. 

It’s the second oldest in North America, established when Chinese immigrants made their home there over 150 years ago. The area stands out as an homage to the varied traditions and cultures that have stood the test of time. 

Not to be missed is the Fan Tan Alley, which is among the narrowest streets in British Columbia and certainly not anything most Americans are familiar with. You’ll love the unmistakably Chinese colorful architecture and unique landmarks.  

#6 – Explore the Smaller Islands

All around Vancouver Island are plenty of smaller islands to explore and unwind. 

If you wish to find really cool things to do in Victoria, rent a boat and sail to Thetis, Gabriola, or Salt Spring Island. Of course, there’s also an option to take an organized tour or the ferry. 

Once you land on any of the islands, you can go hiking or biking and relax at one of the local eateries. There are also beautiful beaches where you can just lounge around all day long. 

#7 – Kayak in Victoria

Whether you’re a pro or a novice, know that Victoria is among the best destinations for kayaking. 

You’ll get a great view of the city and the harbor, possibly the marine wildlife, too. And since Victoria is surrounded by water, there are also options for more adrenaline-infused kayaking. 

Start at the inner harbor and paddle your way to the quick-moving currents off the city’s coastline. And besides kayaks, there are also rental canoes and paddle boards you can use. 

The best time to enjoy these water sports is April to October. But the mild British Columbia climate makes these activities possible throughout the year. 

#8 – Take the Food Tour

This is a walking tour that takes you through the iconic neighborhoods and streets where you’ll find some of the tastiest foods in Victoria. One could say that this is a tour that brings the city to life for any given visitor. 

It will take about 3 hours and there’s an unending variety of foods to try. Some of the highlights include perogies, Italian pastry, homemade ice cream, and mouth-watering meatballs. 

#9 – Visit Craigdarroch Castle

It’s known as a bonanza castle, i.e., an oversized home for the affluent entrepreneurs of the industrial age. 

The Craigdarroch Castle was built in the late 19th century and its perch on a hill affords visitors an amazing vista of the surrounding area. 

But the really cool stuff can be found within the castle. You might find yourself staring agape at the tall stained-glass windows, original Victorian furnishing, and artisanal woodwork. 

#10 – Stop by Miniature World

This special attraction has over 85 displays and dioramas. Some of the highlights include a model of the Great Canadian Railway, one of the largest of its kind in the world, and the smallest sawmill. 

Miniature World is also home to a couple of the biggest dollhouses there are. Believe it or not, these have more than 50 furnished rooms and they’ve been around since the 19th century. 

Brace Yourself for a Victorious Holiday

By now, you should have picked out at least a couple of exciting things to do in Victoria. But feel free to venture out on your own as the city has so much more to offer.

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The 10 Things You Must Do in Victoria, CA