About Victoria BC
Victoria, nestled jewel-like at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, offers a banquet of pleasures – and a warm welcome – to all visitors. The first thing to note is the superb setting. Bounded by water on three sides, with enchanting marine vistas and the far-off snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, Victoria is set amidst a gently rolling landscape that still remains much of its original pastoral charm. With its balmy Mediterranean climate that is the envy of the rest of the country, a pedestrian-oriented downtown whose nineteenth century buildings are attractively built to a human scale, and a full range of sophisticated urban amenities, Victoria is the quintessential island retreat.
Long known for its laid-back West Coast lifestyle, Victoria has in the last few decades emerged as a very cosmopolitan destination. There are several hundred restaurants, featuring a lot of ethnic diversity. Local and regional wines are proudly promoted, and there is a thriving cocktail scene featuring many talented mixologists. The shopping is eclectic and international, but also includes many unique local businesses. We have the legendary Munro’s Books, co-founded by Nobel Prize winning author Alice Munro in 1963, which has been called “the most magnificent bookstore in Canada.” Right across the street is the equally famed Rogers Chocolates, whose seductive Victoria creams are shipped worldwide. Another key part of the historic core of the city is our exotic Chinatown, the oldest one in Canada. Friendly, safe, memorable, and appealing, downtown Victoria offers many hours of pleasant diversion to the urban explorer.
Victoria is also very cultured and cultivated. We have a great symphony orchestra, one of the best opera companies in Canada, several resident theatre companies, the superb Royal BC Museum, sophisticated art galleries, and a wide array of live local music that ranges from bluegrass to flamenco, jazz to blues. And the jewel in the crown in this “city of gardens” is world famous Butchart Gardens, which is pretty much the most visited tourist attraction in the entire province.
The great world of nature is also right at hand, as well as a number of authentic eco-adventures available for those willing to travel outside the city. From kayak rentals to whale watching tours, lake swimming to a number of hiking trails in well-maintained regional parks, surfing to hang gliding, there is always lots to do. Victoria also has a well-deserved reputation as a year-round golfer’s paradise. People who like lots of adrenaline with their outdoor activities have a couple of “zip line” and “outdoor adventure” options to choose from. And some of the best sailing and fishing charters you will ever experience ship out from Victoria and nearby Sooke and Sidney. This is a city with a lot to offer, and it’s yours to enjoy . . . all year round!