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Sights in Victoria

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and is home to many natural attractions such as Butchart Gardens and Abkhazi Garden and Teahouse as well as interesting museums and historic sites.

  • Abkhazi Garden and Teahouse—a beautiful one-acre garden that was formerly a private garden and is known for its design that has plants such as Garry Oak trees, Japanese maples, and rhododendrons; 1964 Fairfield Road
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria—attached to an 1889 mansion, this art gallery is home to one of Canada’s largest collections of Asian art with a Japanese garden in between that features the only real Shinto shrine in North America; 1044 Moss Street
  • Beacon Hill Park—a 154-acre park that connects the downtown area to the waterfront with sprawling lawns that provide views of the Pacific Ocean, Olympic Mountains, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca and ponds, walking paths, flowers and gardens, a cricket pitch, and a petting zoo; Bordered by Douglas Street, Southgate Street, and Cook Street
  • Butchart Gardens—a 55-acre garden and National Historic site that has been frequented since 1904 and has the 70-foot Ross Fountain, a formal Japanese garden, an Italian garden with a gelato stand, an old-fashioned carousel, a plant identification center, seed and gift shop, two restaurants, and a coffee shop; 800 Benvenuto Avenue
  • Craigdarroch Castle—a turreted mansion with Gothic rooflines that was the home of one of British Columbia’s richest men, Robert Dunsmuir, who died a few months before the castle was completed in 1889, and is now a museum that depicts life in the late 19th century with 39 rooms that have Victorian furniture, stained glass windows, carved woodwork, and a painted ceiling in the drawing room; 1050 Joan Crescent
  • Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites of Canada—the world’s best preserved coastal artillery fort dating back to 1895 and Canada’s oldest West Coast lighthouse that includes a lighthouse keeper’s house, guardhouses, and a fortress plotting room; 603 Fort Rodd Hill Road
  • Goldstream Provincial Park—a 1,180-acre wilderness park located 10 miles north of downtown Victoria with eagles, bears, and three salmon species as well as picnic areas, walking paths, and a skills-development trail for mountain bikers; Hwy. 1 at Finlayson Arm Road, Langford, Victoria
  • Government House Gardens—the residence of British Columbia’s lieutenant governor, Queen Elizabeth II’s representative in British Columbia, which has 35 acres of formal gardens and the 19th century Cary Castle Mews which includes an interpretive center, costume museum, and tearoom; 1401 Rockland Avenue
  • Hatley Park National Historic Site—a 40-room ivy-covered manor conceived by James Dunsmuir, a former premier of British Columbia and the son of Robert Dunsmuir from Craigdarroch Castle, that was built in only 18 months and is now part of Royal Roads University so only guided tours are allowed; there are also Italian, Japanese, and English rose gardens; 2005 Sooke Road, Colwood, Victoria
  • Legacy Art Gallery Downtown—a downtown art gallery with rotating exhibits from the University of Victoria’s art collection and Canadian art shows; 630 Yates Street
  • Maritime Museum of British Columbia—situated in Victoria’s original courthouse, this museum has two floors of model ships, weaponry, ships’ wheels, and photographs as well as handmade boats like the Tilikum that sailed from Victoria to England between 1901 and 1904; 28 Bastion Square
  • Market Square—a pedestrian square with cafes and boutiques that sell gifts, jewelry, and local art and feature open-air art shows, flea markets, and street entertainers in the summer; 560 Johnson Street
  • Miniature World—an attraction with over 85 miniature dioramas including space, castle and fairy tale scenes and one of the world’s largest model railways as well as dollhouses and animated models; Fairmont Empress Hotel, 649 Humboldt Street
  • Mount Douglas Regional Park—a park with a path and a road that lead to the 758-foot summit of Mount Douglas giving you a view of Victoria and the Saanich Peninsula as well as the Gulf and San Juan Islands; there is also a long beach, evergreen forests, hiking trails, and wildflower meadows; Off Cedar Hill Road
  • Parliament Buildings—designed by 25-year-old Francis Rattenbury who also designed the Fairmont Empress Hotel and completed in 1897, the stone buildings have a central dome with a gilded statue of Captain George Vancouver, the first European to sail around Vancouver Island, and a statue in the front of Queen Victoria; inside are stained-glass windows, moldings, and historic photographs as well as a public gallery for when the legislature is in session; 501 Belleville Street
  • Royal British Columbia Museum—one of the top sights in Victoria, this museum depicts several thousand years of British Columbian history with a First Peoples Gallery that has a real native house, an exhibit on First Nations languages, and a collection of masks and other artifacts; a Natural History Gallery that shows the landscapes of British Columbia from prehistory to the present and has an “Ocean Station” exhibit that allows children to run a submarine; a History Gallery with a replica of Captain Vancouver’s HMS Discovery and a re-created frontier town; and an IMAX theater; 675 Belleville Street
  • Shaw Centre from the Salish Sea—a marine interpretive center where you are able to go on a simulated ride underwater in a deep-sea elevator and see jellyfish, starfish, wolf eels, rockfish, and octopi as well as children’s activities and touch tanks; 9811 Seaport Place, Sydney, Victoria
  • The Robert Bateman Centre—opened in 2013, this small art gallery has over 100 works from etchings to paintings that span 70 years of Canada’s most well-known wildlife artist with one gallery featuring paintings matched to bird songs; 470 Belleville Street
  • Victoria Bug Zoo—this small zoo is home to the largest collection in North America of live tropical insects including walking sticks, scorpions, millipedes, and a pharnacia (the world’s longest insect at 22 inches); 631 Courtney Street
  • Victoria Butterfly Gardens—an indoor garden with thousands of butterflies including 70 different species and also is home to orchids and carnivorous plants, tropical fish, flamingoes, tortoises, geckos, poison dart frogs, and 30 types of free-flying tropical birds; 1461 Benvenuto Avenue
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