What NOT to do in Victoria, BC
Victoria, British Columbia is a fantastic city to visit. This cosmopolitan city on Vancouver Island has preserved its historic charm and its connection with nature. By visiting the lesser-known sites in the city, travellers can get a different feel for this capital city. Here are a some things to do in Victoria to make your visit truly memorable.
- Don’t be satisfied with just the ferry ride.
Taking the ferry to Vancouver Island is a scenic highlight but it shouldn’t be your only experience at sea. In the summer and fall, take a leisurely day sail, a pleasant whale watching tour or a chartered fishing expedition with an experienced tour operator. For those less adventurous, try taking a water taxi tour and view the Inner Harbour from a waterfront perspective.
- Don’t just hang around the Inner Harbour
The Inner Harbour is the center of the tourist district and in the high season, the streets become clogged with visitor traffic, horse-drawn carriages and street performancers. Take a grand tour of the region for $2.50 on a double-decker city bus, one of the few cities in the world which still use them in regular operation. Many routes travel to the outlying areas, like Route 61 to Sooke, that meander on windy & scenic routes.
- Don’t shy away from the seafood.
Sure there’s plenty of North American cuisine on the menu (Asian and Indian too) but who wouldn’t enjoy the bounty of the sea when the ocean is so close? Daily catches are hauled from the north Pacific Ocean including mussels, crab, salmon and halibut.
- Don’t stick to one part of Victoria.
The city by the sea has many faces. Stroll along the uncrowded shores of Dallas Road and walk out on the Ogden Point breakwater, where aircraft carriers & cruise ships dock. Better yet, hop in the car and explore the southern shores of Vancouver Island including the Saanich Peninsula, the Malahat and Highway #14 up to Port Renfrew.
- Don’t miss nature.
One of the best kept secrets is only 40 minutes from downtown Victoria. East Sooke Park is a nature reserve offering expansive views of the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains. Hike the Coast Trail and maybe see a breaching whale. Stroll amongst large, rainforest trees on Pike Road and listen to a cacophony of bird songs. The park is a magnificent refuge to eagle, bear and cougar and is rarely visited by tourists.
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