Victoria has the mildest climate in Canada and is surrounded by the rugged natural beauty of Vancouver Island‚ with its unspoiled forests, pristine beaches, mountains, lakes and rivers. Such features make Victoria a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts at any time of the year.
A fun way to discover the great outdoors of Victoria is to follow the many bicycle paths that wind through the city and surrounding neighbourhoods. The 70-kilometre Galloping Goose Regional Trail can lead to a cool dip in a swimming hole on a hot summer day, or take bikers for a quiet ride through the countryside. Tthe Goose begins in downtown Victoria and finishes at the site of an abandoned gold mining town near Sooke.
Hiking excursions in and around Victoria offer outdoor adventure in a wonderful diversity of landscapes. From paved footpaths along the shores to rugged hiking trails through old-growth forests, there is something for any age and any level of fitness. Favourite trails include the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, East Sooke Regional Park, Goldstream Provincial Park, and the Galloping Goose Regional Trail.
Victoria's place in the history of art was established by its most famous artist-in-residence, Emily Carr. Along with a broad collection of North American, European, and Asian art, many of her works are on display in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, one of Canada's leading art galleries. Private galleries throughout the Victoria area present works by local, national, and international artists.
Shopping in Victoria is second to none, and the most popular shopping area is just a stroll around the Inner Harbour from the Hotel Grand Pacific. Discover unique and charming boutiques on Government and Wharf Streets, go antiquing on Antique Row, or sample decadent chocolates in an 1893 confectionery.
Beacon Hill Park
The park has belonged to the city of Victoria since 1882. A trust was established for the 24.8 hectare / 62 acre site. Beacon Hill Park was originally called Meeacan (the Salish name for belly) by the First Nations people because from a distance, it looked like the belly of a large man lying on his back.
Victoria Government Parliament
Located on Vancouver Island in the Province of British Columbia, Canada , the BC Parliament Buildings in Victoria were constructed in 1893 by a 25 year old architect, Francis Rattenbury, in honor of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
A half hour drive from downtown Victoria on the Pat Bay Highway, the Butchart Gardens offers 22 hectare / 55 acres of wonderful floral display located in Greater Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Royal British Columbia Museum
Highly realistic and inviting displays, such as the Ice Age and Coastal Forest dioramas, provide visitors with a sense of having truly experienced the authentic settings of many exhibits.