BC’s capital city, Victoria, offers visitors all manner of ways to spend a pleasant couple of days. With its oceanfront location on Vancouver Island, heritage architecture, world-class attractions and thriving dining scene, Victoria is a dynamic city that boasts a seamless mix of the past and present. Stroll along the charismatic Inner Harbour, a hub of activity and home to many of the city’s top sights. Admire the city`s renowned gardens, linger over an ocean-view meal at one of many innovative restaurants, or head out on the water in search of resident pods of Orcas. 48 hours in this fabulous city will leave you wanting more.
To help you decide how to spend your time in Victoria, we asked our Facebook fans to recommend their favourite things to do on a 48-hour trip to the city. Here are their top five picks:
Our fans’ number five pick is the venerable Fairmont Empress, perched regally on Victoria’s bustling Inner Harbour. This stunning hotel, designed by prolific BC architect Francis Rattenbury and built at the turn of the 20th century, stands as an enduring symbol of Victoria’s connection to its past. Not to be missed is their famous and decadent afternoon tea, arguably the best in the city. Delicate pastries and finger sandwiches are made in-house, and the hotel even boasts its own special blend of tea.
In the number four spot we have a tie. First up is Beacon Hill Park, a short walk from the Inner Harbour and the perfect place to unwind. Walk along nature trails that connect to neighbourhood streets; admire the manicured gardens, complete with charming pedestrian bridges and lakes alive with ducks and other birdlife; check out the children’s petting zoo; practice your putting skills at the park’s putting green; marvel at the 39-m (128-ft) totem pole (once the world’s tallest); and no visit is complete without stopping for a soft-serve ice cream at the Beacon Drive In across the street from the petting zoo.
4. Dallas Road
Tied at number four is the incredibly scenic Dallas Road, perhaps the city’s best vantage point from which to watch the sunset. Views out over the ocean include the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, which are stunning on a clear day. The Dallas Road waterfront area begins at Beacon Hill Park and those who are so inclined can walk, jog, cycle or rollerblade all the way to the neighbourhood of Oak Bay. Along the way, take in gorgeous views as the road travels alongside a dramatic, rocky coastline dotted with sandy beaches. In winter, watch the waves crash dramatically against the shore. The Ogden Point Breakwater is a popular spot to grab a coffee and admire the views.
Coming in at number two is the renowned Butchart Gardens. Formerly a rock quarry, this 22-ha (55-ac) site is home to some of the most beautiful formal gardens in the world. More than one million people from around the world flock here annually to be dazzled by stunning themed gardens, including the wildly popular sunken garden, the rose garden with more than 2,500 roses, and the serene Japanese Garden with its elegant ponds and bridges. During your visit, be sure to take a ride on the old fashioned carousel, and Saturday nights through the summer don’t miss the spectacular fireworks display. If you’re visiting around Christmas, take in the festive lights, holiday wreaths, carollers and ice skating – a fun family activity.
And our Facebook fans’ favourite place to visit on a trip to Victoria is the Royal BC Museum, the best place in the province to learn about BC’s natural and human history in a fun and engaging way. Allow at least a few hours to explore this remarkable museum as you are taken back in time via lifelike and interactive galleries. Stroll past a life-sized woolly mammoth; admire the incredible artistry on display in the First Peoples Galleries; wander down a cobbled street in Old Town; or climb aboard a replica of George Vancouver’s ship. The museum also hosts world-class travelling exhibitions, and is home to an IMAX theatre.
Did we miss any of your favourites? Tell us about them in the comments below!
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