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Inner Harbour
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Trip Ideas

Victoria Vacation

Victoria is British Columbia’s easy-going, pedestrian-friendly island city and you’ll find a mix of art and wilderness, urban style and small-town charm here. Spend a few days exploring the Inner Harbour and historic Chinatown, take to the ocean for whale watching and kayaking, or choose from an array of afternoon tea spots.

Things to Do

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(Tourism Victoria photo)

Victoria's Inner Harbour

Be charmed by Victoria’s Inner Harbour: stroll along the harbour causeway, browse for crafts and watch street entertainers as floatplanes, yachts and whale watching boats come and go against a backdrop of19th-century architecture. Or clip-clop your way through historic Victoria from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. There’s lots to explore at the Royal BC Museum including a real Big House which is a traditional northwest coast First Nations building. After the museum head to nearby Old Town, where eclectic independent shops fill century-old storefronts.

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(Destination BC photo)

Whale Watching in Victoria

Fancy seeing a whale breaching in the wild? From the Inner Harbour, head out to sea to meet some of the Orca pods residing just offshore. Choose from a fast-moving inflatable Zodiac or comfortable covered boat; either way, you’ll probably see sea lions, seals and sea birds as well as whales in nearby waters.

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Prince of Whales Whale Watching - Victoria

Prince of Whales Whale Watching has been sharing premiere whale-watching & marine-wildlife experiences with the world for over 20 years! With year-round departures from Vancouver & Victoria, we have welcomed more than 250,000 guests to our local w...
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Springtide Whale Watching & Charters

SpringTide's 18 m (61') 84 passenger Ocean Cruiser "Marauder IV" provides the perfect platform for whale viewing & photography with 360° viewing decks. Expert biologists provide informative lectures while you enjoy free hot beverages, comfortable ...
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(Tourism Victoria/Sheila Matheson photo)

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman’s Wharf is a 10-minute scenic walk from the Inner Harbour, or you can hop on a ferry from one of many Inner Harbour pick-up spots. It’s a good place to meet harbour seals, have fish and chips on the dock, and check out the houseboats and fishing boats.

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Cycling in Victoria

In Victoria, join locals for a pedal along the car-free Galloping Goose and Lochside regional... Read more trails or the Seaside Touring Route. BC’s island capital is, after all the cycling capital of Canada with more riders per capita than any other city in Canada. And no wonder: the trails are flat and easy and the landscape is delightful (think rustic trestles, farmland, lakes, forests and seashore). Need some wheels? Cycle BC, Sports Rent, and CycleTreks in downtown Victoria, can set you up.

Surfside Adventure Tours

Surfside Adventure Tours is Victoria's top rated professional private tour guides and transportation service. We offer luxury transportation in a seven passenger SUV or a 14 passenger touring Van. We offer narrated sightseeing tours in and around ...
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Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill Park is an urban oasis that draws both locals and visitors alike with its open vistas of Juan de Fuca Strait and a wide variety of landscapes and activities. A favourite spot for stormwatching when the weather gets wet and wild, this park offers hours of exploration. Check out wildflower meadows, cliff-lined beaches and rare Garry Oak trees and totem poles; explore the kids water park and watch courtside activities like tennis, lawn bowling and cricket.

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Festivals and Events in Victoria

Festivals abound in Victoria. If you’re here on Labour Day weekend, celebrate Victoria... Read more with a splash, when the Victoria Symphony plays from a floating stage in the Inner Harbour; some music fans even take in the show from kayaks. Music lovers can also groove to the beats of the Vancouver Island Blues Bash, while the 10-day Victoria International JazzFest will be sure to get your toes tapping.

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Places to Eat

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Victoria Dining

Foodies love Victoria. Try the Italian-inspired fare at livelyCafe Brio, or the classic... Read more French-country style food at Chinatown’s Brasserie L’Ecole. For cheap eats, try Red Fish Blue Fish, an eco-conscious take-out on the waterfront, or hop a Victoria Harbour Ferry to Fisherman’s Wharf for outdoor halibut and chips. Don't forget to sample some delectable Rogers' Chocolates at their beautiful heritage store on Government Street. The must-do Victoria meal: afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress Hotel. Night life? Perhaps a martini at trendy Veneto Tapa Lounge or microbrews at Swans or Canoe brewpubs.

Afternoon Tea

Whether you’re sipping Earl Grey beneath a chandelier, or sampling herbal blends in a... Read more corner café, Victoria is the place to enjoy a proper cup of tea. Book a formal afternoon tea, complete with freshly baked treats including scones, in the tea lobby at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, or head to Chinatown’s Silk Road Tea & Aromatherapy Company to learn about tea from a Chinese-trained tea master. For a British Columbian spin on the tea tradition, try the West Coast Afternoon Tea at the Hotel Grand Pacific, where single estate brews and curated blends are served with house-baked croissants and Dungeness crab cakes.

Brasserie L'ecole

Lat: 48.42981
Lon: -123.36678
French
111 reviews
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Cafe Brio

Lat: 48.42404
Lon: -123.3576
Italian
77 reviews
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ReBar Modern Food

Lat: 48.425792475866
Lon: -123.36830214752
Vegan, Vegetarian, Breakfast & Brunch
190 reviews
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Victoria Craft Brews

Traditional — and not so traditional — pubs are alive and well in Victoria, with... Read more many brewing their own beer and creating new twists on pub fare. For house brews, great food and harbour views, hop on a Harbour Ferry to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, on the waterfront. Live music and a fabulous First Nations art collection are draws at Swans Brewpub, while Canoe Brewpub’s waterfront patio is a top summertime pick. Enjoy Irish music nightly at the Irish Times, or admire the sumptuous décor at the Bard & Banker Public House, set in a 150-year old bank building downtown.

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Places to Shop

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Shopping in Victoria

Local fashionistas love the silk-screened tops at closet-sized Smoking Lily and the indie... Read more designer frocks at Still Life (his and her boutiques are located across the street from one another), all on LoJo (that’s short for lower Johnson Street). A block north, shops in the Design District have gorgeous goodies for the home; the lush fabrics and lavish furniture at Chintz & Company will keep design-types happily distracted. Fort Street boasts a mix of antique shops and boutiques. Check out Not Just Pretty, where clothes are sustainable and stylish, and The Good Planet Company for eco-conscious gifts and housewares.

Rogers' Chocolates Heritage Store

Lat: 48.4239
Lon: -123.36786
Chocolatiers & Shops
42 reviews
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Silk Road Tea

Lat: 48.429148
Lon: -123.3672482
Coffee & Tea
40 reviews
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Places to Stay

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Fairmont Empress Hotel

Recognized on the Condé Nast Gold List, The Fairmont Empress majestically rises over Victoria's Inner Harbour. With turn of the century architecture & timeless beauty, this luxury hotel showcases Vancouver Island in grand style. Award-winning Will...
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Humboldt House B&B

The Humboldt House is an elegant & private Victorian B&B, located two blocks from Victoria's Inner Harbour. Guest rooms include large jetted tubs; wood-burning fireplaces; bathrobes; stereos; gourmet in-room breakfasts; sparkling wine & chocolate ...
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Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Allow us to welcome you to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel - Victoria's first true luxury waterfront resort. Our exclusive partnerships & access will connect you to unrivalled Pacific-Northwest experiences, so that you can enjoy a comfortable pace & appre...
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Getting Here and Around

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Getting to Victoria

Getting to Victoria is a big part of the adventure. From Metro Vancouver, choose from ferry,... Read more plane, floatplane, helicopter or whale watching boat. Options from Seattle include commercial flights direct to Victoria, floatplanes or the foot passenger-only Victoria Clipper ferry.  The journey, through the scenic Gulf or San Juan islands, can take 30 minutes to 3 hours, depending on your mode of transport. Car ferry service is available from Port Angeles, a 2.5-hour trip.

Victoria Clipper

Clipper Vacations is a locally owned, full-service travel provider based in Seattle, WA. Since 1986, we have been your experts for travel in the Pacific Northwest and Western Canada, offering transportation, hotel packages and group travel. The Vi...
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Black Ball Ferry Line

Black Ball Ferry Line operates the MV Coho providing daily vehicle & passenger ferry service with a scenic 90 minute crossing between Victoria, BC & Port Angeles, WA. Enjoy the views from the Strait of Juan de Fuca & Olympic Peninsula from our exp...
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BC Ferries

From the countless inlets of the Southern Gulf Islands to the untamed wilderness of the rugged North, BC Ferries is the gateway to your next coastal BC journey. Sail through spectacular scenery aboard one of our modern, well-appointed vessels, ser...
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Flying to Victoria by Floatplane

Floatplanes, or seaplanes, provide harbour to harbour service and can be one of the most... Read more memorable parts of a trip to BC.  Floatplanes fly from downtown Vancouver, taking off from a dock near Canada Place, and from the Vancouver International Airport, where they moor in the Fraser River. Either way, the 30-minute flight to Victoria’s Inner Harbour offers a breathtaking eagle’s eye view of Vancouver, the North Shore mountains, and the island-dotted Strait of Georgia, before splashing gently down in front of Victoria’s grand Fairmont Empress hotel.  It’s an unforgettable way to arrive.

Helijet

One of a kind, spectacular, scenic helicopter service.

While the Strait of Georgia reaches out below you, majestic mountains and towering skyscrapers beckon on the horizon, Helijet's spacious helicopters fly you to your destination in som...

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Kenmore Air

Fly with Kenmore Air from Seattle to over 45 spectacular Northwest destinations. Year round daily scheduled seaplane flights leave from Seattle's downtown Lake Union to Victoria's Inner Harbour. Our seasonal flights (April to September) fly from S...
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(Tourism Victoria photo)

Victoria Harbour Ferry & Water Taxi

Get a whale’s eye view of Victoria on Victoria Harbour Ferries. This fleet of tiny foot passenger ferries criss-crosses Victoria’s harbour, with stops at the Fairmont Empress hotel, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and more. Take a short hop, or stay aboard for a narrated tour of the waterways. The ferries run every few minutes, daily, year round; private water taxi service is also an option. On summer Sundays, the ferries, affectionately known as pickle boats, gather for a water ballet, manoeuvering to music in the Inner Harbour.

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Victoria International Airport

Victoria International Airport (Airport Code: YYJ) is the 10 busiest airport in Canada with over 1.5 million passengers per year. Victoria is well served with more than 120 daily flights.

The airport is situated approximately 25KM (15.5...

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