From high tea to whale watching, the best of this British Columbia port


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For shopping in Victoria, B.C., visit Government Street or Lower Johnston Street (LoJo).
A city that feels more like England than Canada, Victoria exudes old-world charm while offering new-world experiences, historical sightseeing, and fabulous outdoor activities.
 
City Landmarks
Head to picturesque Inner Victoria – not only is it beautiful, but it’s home to some of the city’s best sights. Highlights include the over 100-year-old Parliament Buildings – particularly lovely when they are lit up at night – the impressive and grand Fairmont Empress Hotel, Beacon Hill Park’s lovely trees and gardens, Bastion Square, and the Royal British Columbia Museum. Nature lovers will want to visit the 50-acre Butchart Gardens,  resplendent in spring and summer. Craigdarroch Castle is also worth a visit, a lavishly decorated mansion with spectacular views. Chinatown is another good place to explore – though small, it is the oldest in Canada and full of unique shops.

Outdoor Activities
Known as a year-round destination for outdoor recreation, Victoria is a great place to get out in nature. Whale watching is a popular activity, thanks to local pods of orca whales, while fishing and kayaking are other water-based options. Meanwhile, there are tide pool beaches along the coastline, and old-growth forests to the north and west of the city that make for scenic hikes. Cycling is another great active choice, as the city has many lovely bicycle paths – try the Lochside Trail or Seaside Cycling Route. Golfers can also enjoy the area’s numerous picturesque courses at almost any time of the year.

Noteworthy Dining
Afternoon tea at one of the city’s salons is a must while in town, with reliable choices including the Fairmont Empress or The White Heather Tea Room. Fish and chips is another prevalent local specialty, and comes in a variety of styles. For an upscale meal, Ulla Restaurant is one of Victoria’s hottest eateries, serving an innovative menu crafted by top chefs. Café Brio is another good choice, filled with art and dishing out local, organic cuisine – the charcuterie is even made on site!

Explore Victoria and the West Coastclick here to plan your cruise!