Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia in western Canada. It’s actually located on Vancouver Island very close to the US border, but it really is a completely different kind of place.
With much of the British colonization still present in the architecture, food, and beyond, Victoria is a truly beautiful city that everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
What to Do
Butchart Gardens is one of the most fascinating and stunning gardens you’ll probably ever see. Within them, there are five different gardens in different styles, so there is really enough wonder to mystify everyone. What’s even more wild about the gardens is that they somehow maintain their elegance and beauty even when they’re covered in snow, so going really still is a treat at any time of the year.
The Inner Harbor is a can’t-miss place when you’re in Victoria. The Inner Harbor is basically the hub for a lot of the cultural and political buildings in Victoria, but more importantly, it’s just a stunning harbor!
You’ll probably walk through it during the day, which you should, but the best thing is to come back at night when the Parliament building is all lit up, it really is a sight to be seen.
The Parliament of Victoria during the day is still really beautiful, and the inside of the building has many sculptures, beautiful architectural details, and gorgeous ceilings that are definitely worth looking at!
Hatley Castle is located inside the Hatley Park National Historic Site, and it is really magnificent. The castle was once a private home turned military college and is now open to the public! The residence was built over 100 years ago at the beginning of the 20th century, so if you love the grand turn of the century buildings, go to Hatley Castle.
One of the most interesting streets in Victoria is Lower Johnson Street, known to the locals as LoJo. This is probably the best shopping street in the city, with tons of local boutiques and artisan shops, but what’s most interesting is the buildings themselves. The whole street is extremely colorful since they’re all Victorian buildings, so you really feel transported to another time.
What to Eat
Since Canada is still a Commonwealth country, there are a lot of British influences in the food. One of the most prominent ones is fish and chips, especially since Victoria is on the island of Vancouver with lots of access to seafood. Arguably the best fish and chip restaurant in the city is called Red Fish Blue Fish. This restaurant looks right out onto the Inner Habor and the best thing is all the seafood is sustainably caught!
Fisherman’s Wharf is another place you have to go for all sorts of food and to see the floating homes in the marina. But, while you’re there, make sure you stop in at Jackson’s Ice Cream. All their flavors are made from a local dairy in Victoria, so you’re really getting a taste of the island!