Best known as the “City of Gardens.” Named after the British Queen Victoria, the City of Victoria became the provincial capital when British Columbia joined the Canadian Confederation in 1871. Compare to Vancouver, Victoria has a milder climate. With the rainy season upon us, Victoria gets twice as much sun and half as much rain as Vancouver. Therefore, it made gardening a year round activity which has resulted in an abundant array of gardens world-renowned for their individual charm and everlasting beauty. As early as March and April every year Victoria enjoys billion blooms and holds an annual cherry blossom festival to display it.
We invite you to join us in visiting some of the private gardens that have been known worldwide for their rich history and unique charm. The Garden City is filled with world-class restaurants, local craft shops, and bookstores. Our personalized tours will introduce you to local attractions and engaging activities in an extremely relaxing but enriching atmosphere. So bring your camera, wear enough sun-block lotion and comfy shoes, and come along for the special ride only designed for you. Visitors who have enjoyed our tours have ranged from young family with kids to elderly couples. Enjoy a few hours or the entire day capturing the best experience to highlight your trip to Victoria.
“Without visiting the Garden, how to realize the color of spring is like this.” Quote this line from the Kun Opera Classic “Peony’s Pavilion” to describe the beauty of the Butchart Gardens is very much appropriate! The world renowned Butchart Gardens was founded in 1904 by the Butchart Family to restore an exhaust limestone deposits. Little by little, the quarry blossomed into the spectacular Sunken Garden. Between 1906 and 1929, the Butcharts commissioned a Japanese Garden on the seaside, created an Italian Garden and later a beautiful Rose Garden next to their former tennis court. Today the only existing section of the original cement factory is the tall chimney hiding from the Sunken Garden lookout. In 2004, two 30-foot totem poles were installed to celebrate the Gardens’ 100th anniversary, and the same year, it was designated as a National Historic Site of Canada.
As one of Victoria’s most popular tourist destinations, every year from March to October, the Gardens has nearly over one million flowers are in full bloom. In here, thousands of visitors can still see some of the original blossoming cherry trees, the two giant handkerchief trees by Janet Butchart. The Butchart Gardens opens all year round to welcome its visitors from all over the world, with activities all season around, such as summer concert and fireworks. Come along with us to visit the Gardens, where you can immense yourself freely into the twenty-two hectares of flower world.
Home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the Parliament Buildings were officially opened in 1898. The grand scale of its 500-foot (150 m)-long facade, central dome and two end pavilions, the richness of its white marble, and its use of the currently-popular Romanesque style contributed to its being seen as an impressive monument for the new province at that time. The Parliament Buildings and surrounding areas are located in the traditional territories of the Lekwungen people. Now known as the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations, these Coast Salish people have a rich culture and history dating back thousands of years.
The Fairmont Empress is one of the oldest hotels in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, facing the inner harbor, the Empress has become an iconic symbol for the city of itself. The hotel was designed by architect Francis Rattenbury (1867 – 1935), completed in 1914 and in 2011 was designated as a National Historical Heritage Site of Canada. With more than 460 rooms some overlooking the inner harbor, it offers the most spectacular view along with world class luxury accommodation and dining experience. During the summer time, the lobby offers Victoria style afternoon teaand English muffins, while tea can also be enojoyed overlooking the Inner Harbor.
The Royal BC Museum is one of Canada’s greatest cultural treasures. Founded in 1886 and located beside Victoria’s Inner Harbor, the museum consists of The Province of British Columbia’s largest natural and human history, as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. It also includes three permanent galleries: natural history, modern history, and local First Nations’ History.
The museum’s collections comprise approximately 7 million objects, including natural history specimens, artifacts and archival records. The natural history collections have 750,000 records of specimens almost exclusively from BC and neighboring states, provinces, or territories. The collections are divided into eight disciplines: Entomology, Botany, Paleontology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Herpetology, Mammalogy, and Ornithology. The Royal BC Museum partners with and houses the IMAX Victoria theatre, which shows 3D educational films in laser technology as well as commercial entertainment.
Constructed in the late 1800s as a family residence for the wealthy coal tycoon Robert Dunsmuir, the Craigdarroch Castle has 39 rooms and over 25,000 square feet. Unfortunately, Robert died a year before the completion of the castle, leaving only his widow Joan Dunsmuir, three daughters and two grandchildren had lived in this building until Joan passed away in 1908. The castle was later used as a Military Hospital, the Victoria College (formerly Victorian University) and the Victorian Conservatory. The building is now owned by The Craigdarroch Castle Historical Museum Society, which attracts about 100,000 visitors each year.
As one of Canada’s finest stately home attractions, this elegant furnished mansion illuminates the lives of the city’s Victorian-era super-rich. Lined with intricate woodwork paneling and stained-glass windows, the rooms are teeming with period antiques, giving the impression the residents have just stepped away from their chairs. Climb the tower’s 87 steps for panorama views of the entire city. The castle is definitely one of the must see tourist’s destinations, with its annual visitors of more than 150,000.
Just 10 minutes walk along the Inner Harbor unveils you to this hidden treasure to be discovered. The unique marine destination offers the best and fresh fish and chips in town, unique craft shops and eco-whale watching tours and adventures in the heart of the busy harbor. Wander down the docks with your ice cream, buy seafood fresh off the boat, see more private vessels and floating homes, and watch the seals catching their food. What a fun and relaxing excursion to spend the whole afternoon with your family.
Beacon Hill Park was named for the two beacons on Mount Beacon. It is a 75 ha (200 acre) park located along the shore of Juan de Fuca Strait in Victoria, British Columbia, about ten minutes walk down Douglas St. from downtown Victoria. The waterfront park offers free admission to the general public, and it is ideal for feeling the breeze in your hair.
You’ll find a gigantic freestanding totem pole (30 metre, 127 foot 7 inch) carved out from a single cedar tree by the First Nation’s craftsman Mungo Martin in 1956. “Mile 0” of the Trans-Canada Highway locates at the south-west corner of the park, alongside a status of Canadian legend Terry Fox. If you’re here with kids, the children’s farm in the park offers a goat petting area, which encourages children be compassionate toward living creatures. Make sure to be there when the farm opens, so that your kids can participate in the daily goat stampedes!
Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in Canada. It had its beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, and flourished during the period of “Gold Rush.” At the time, it was known for its maze of alleyways and courtyards, containing everything from theatres and restaurants to gambling dens.
The present day Chinatown remains an active place and continues to be popular with residents and visitors, is it now surrounded by cultural, entertainment venues as well as being a venue itself. Chinatown is now conveniently just 10 minutes away from downtown Victoria down the government street. It becomes to a popular tourist destination with many small shops in the world’s narrowest Fan Tan Alley.