Accommodation in Victoria

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Victoria Hotels

Exploring Victoria

The British Columbia provincial capital sits on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and is a fun, midsized place to spend time in. Most arrivals to Victoria come in from Vancouver and it even makes that laid-back city look hectic. The ‘Garden City’ is noted for its parks and gardens and partial ‘Mediterranean climate’, plus it boasts stunning vistas over the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Victoria is most apparent in its relaxed vibe, in tune with the more discerning type of visitor, with grand architecture all around and best seen in the Royal British Columbia Museum. There are many traffic-free streets for unhindered shopping and sightseeing and a huge number of excellent hotels, from which you have a great base to explore the rest of this huge island.

Sights nearby

There is more to see in a more compact area than in Vancouver itself. Simply stroll the streets of downtown and marvel at the grand buildings and places to stay, or head out slightly and enjoy the waterfront and many parks and gardens. The Royal British Columbia Museum is one of the best on this continent.

Butchart Gardens
These stunning waterside gardens on Brentwood Bay (north of town) are a major go to point in the summer especially. They were put together on the site of a disused quarry and now feature hundreds of species of flowers and shrubs—many exotic. Be sure to check out the Italian and Japanese gardens and see the Saturday fireworks and concerts. Buses run from town regularly, while those staying at the Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa have close access.

Beacon Hill Park
Just south of downtown is this most pleasant of city parks. It has lawns right out of England, complete with ponds, flowerbeds and benches and the views of town and sea from its lookouts are spectacular. There are also miles of paths in here along with side attractions such as a petting zoo (in the Beacon Hill Children's Farm) and a massive totem pole.

Royal British Columbia Museum
One of the top museums in the country, Royal British Columbia Museum near the ferry terminal boasts amazing collections and exhibits. It relays the history of British Columbia through a trio of galleries: the First Peoples, Modern History and Natural History. There is also an IMAX theatre on site, along with numerous totem poles in the associated Thunderbird Park.

Eating and drinking and shopping nearby

Head for downtown and the waterfront for the best of the restaurants and English pubs in Victoria; there are literally hundreds. Fisgard Street has a Chinatown and many international eateries surrounding it. Head to nearby Government Street for the best of the shopping—the harbour end is the most touristed, while the pedestrianised Market Square is good for boutiques. Two good accommodation options in the thick of it are the three-star Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites and four-star Inn at Laurel Point.

Public transport

You can get to Victoria from Vancouver via passenger or vehicle ferry/bus combination through BC Ferries. They dock at Swartz Bay Terminal, about 30 minutes from town by bus. Getting around town itself is easy enough on foot and is the best way to explore downtown and the harbour area, which is close-knit and some of the streets are traffic-free. The town is also bike-friendly with miles of lanes and many bicycle rental shops, while scooter hire is also fun. BC Transit buses run to the environs.

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