Top Things To Do In Victoria
The waterfront city of Victoria, located on the southeastern tip of scenic Vancouver Island, is a haven for culture, cuisine, and West Coast adventure. One minute, you’re taking in the rich heritage and culture of the historic city or sampling local food and craft beer. The next, you’re suspended high above the treetops looking out over spectacular vistas of temperate rainforest and rugged coastline. Discover must-do attractions, galleries, dining, and unforgettable experiences for adventurists of all ages.
Grab your bucket list. Here are our favourite things to do in Victoria and the surrounding area.
Stroll the Inner Harbour
Get a feel for the seaside city by spending time at Victoria’s iconic Inner Harbour, home to the BC Parliament Buildings and a picturesque oceanfront promenade. Be sure to swing by the vibrant Fisherman’s Wharf for fish and chips and quintessential harbour views.
Explore Songhees Canoe or Walking Tour
Victoria is located on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking and WSANEC Peoples. Learn and connect with the Indigenous culture of this area by taking a Songhees Canoe or Walking Tour, departing from the Inner Harbour. Cap off your excursion with casual Indigenous-inspired fare at the Songhees Food Truck.
Immerse yourself in the breathtaking splendour of the Salish Sea and Vancouver Island from your perch at 250 metres above sea level. We might be biased, but we think the Malahat SkyWalk (just 45 minutes from downtown Victoria) is one of Greater Victoria’s most spectacular attractions—and our guests seem to agree based on their reviews. Wander through Arbutus and Douglas Firs, then wind your way up the accessible 10-story Spiral Tower with observation decks that reveal 360-degree views of mountain, ocean, and forest. Hang out on the Adventure Net suspended above the centre of the tower or pause to reflect on the beauty and wonder of pristine nature. Meander back down the platform or take the spiral slide back down (the kids will love it).
Chinatown & Fan Tan Alley
Victoria’s historic Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and the second oldest in North America. The community grew as the Gold Rush of the late-1800s took hold in British Columbia. Today, the neighbourhood pays tribute to Victoria’s Chinese-Canadian heritage with several historical sites. Charming Fan Tan Alley, the continent’s narrowest commercial street, is a popular tourist destination lined with shops, restaurants, apartments, and galleries.
Royal BC Museum
Learn about the natural and human history of British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum. This top Victoria attraction features exhibits, installations, archives, photography, and artwork that showcase both Indigenous and settler culture.
Victoria Ale Trail
Sample brews from the self-proclaimed “cradle of the craft beer revolution.” Home to Canada’s oldest brewpub, Spinnakers, Victoria is a haven for beer aficionados, with plenty of fun things to do and delicious food and drink to indulge in. Take the Victoria Ale Trail, a self-guided tasting tour of the city’s top breweries and iconic Victoria attractions. Be sure to swing by Driftwood Brewery and sample their flagship, Fat Tug IPA.
Cycle through Victoria
Greater Victoria is a pedaling paradise, with bike lanes within the city and an expansive trail network on the outskirts. The 60 kilometre-long Galloping Goose Trail, which traverses from Victoria to the Sooke Potholes, is the perfect way to explore the area while staying active. Tip: Combine your love of bikes and food and take a cycling tasting tour of Victoria with The Pedaler.
The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden
Tea time is a must-do experience while you’re in Victoria. Visit the tranquil and intimate Abkhazi Garden for a stroll amongst fragrant blossoms and a high tea featuring garden-grown seasonal ingredients. Coined the “Garden that love built,” the property was originally owned by royalty from Abkhazia on the Black Sea.
Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Witness life unfold in the jungle at the popular Victoria Butterfly Gardens, where you’ll find flamingos, tropical insects, iguanas, exotic foliage, and even carnivorous plants. Located in Saanich Peninsula (about 30 minutes from downtown Victoria), this family-friendly garden is the perfect place to learn about the fascinating life cycle of butterflies from all over the world.
Country Bee Honey Farm
Taste local honey and observe the busy life of bees and other farm animals at the Country Bee Honey Farm. This quaint farm, also located on the Saanich Peninsula, has a cafe with vegan and gluten free options, picnic areas, a petting zoo and an apiary. Wander through the pollinator gardens and wildflowers and get a close-up view of the action in the observation beehive.
Vancouver Island’s culinary scene has a global reputation for fresh, seasonal ingredients and Victoria is the epicentre of gastronomic creativity. The city is located within a one-hour drive of the lush and fertile Cowichan Valley, home to an abundance of farms, cideries, and one of BC’s newest wine regions. Grab a designated driver (or book a tasting tour) and make your way to the valley for wine and cider tasting. Tip: The family-run Merridale Cidery & Distillery is a must-see.
Written by Amber Turnau
Amber is a freelance storyteller and outdoor adventurer who has spent more than a decade living in the beautiful Sea-to-Sky Corridor. When she's not writing, she spends her spare time snowboarding, hiking, biking, and SUPing her way through the wilds of BC. Fun Fact: Amber spent the first seven years of her life living on a sailboat and travelling the world with her family. Now, she has the best of both worlds, splitting her time between ocean and mountains—and loving every minute of it.