Planning a trip to Victoria & Vancouver Island and need some inspiration? You’ve found the right resource! Clipper’s team of Pacific Northwest travel experts has compiled this great list of 150 ideas for exciting places to see and things to do in Victoria & Vancouver Island to kick start your next trip! Whether you are looking for an adventure, fresh Northwest fare or a relaxing beachside stroll, there is truly something for everyone. Get inspired and book your trip!

∗ = Add on one of these tours while booking

Butchart Gardens Holiday Lights Tour

It is holiday magic at The Butchart Gardens during their annual 12 Days of Christmas Holiday Lights display. Hop on the Clipper to travel from Seattle to Victoria and experience thousands of lights, carolers and ice skating at The Gardens!

Quintessential Victoria

1
The Butchart Gardens

No matter the season, The Butchart Gardens are sure to put on a show. Stroll through the Spring Prelude garden in winter, the tulips in spring, “Night Illuminations” fireworks on Saturday evenings from July 1 through September 2, and in the fall a stunning parade of red, russet and golden maples greet the eyes.

The Butchart Gardens brim with an array of flowers.

2
BC Parliament Buildings

Overlooking Victoria’s majestic Inner Harbour, the Parliament Buildings are a 19th century icon, and one of the finest commemorations of Canada’s independence.

3
Royal BC Museum

Discover authentic artifacts and specimens from distant times and places displayed in the Royal BC Museum’s interactive exhibits. Slide back into the Ice Age or stand next to grizzlies in a massive forest in the Natural History Gallery or check out intricately carved totem poles in the First Peoples’ Gallery.

See giant mammoths at the Royal BC Museum.

4
Abkhazi Gardens and Teahouse

Created in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, the gardens are known for their majestic trees and dynamic, evolving plantings. Stay for lunch or afternoon tea in the original home, where you’ll feel like a personal guest of the Abkhazis.

5
Historic Chinatown

Canada’s oldest Chinatown district has plenty to see, we suggest exploring by foot. Visit Fan Tan Alley, discover a maze of courtyards and pathways, and find everything from theaters to one-of-a-kind restaurants.

The historic Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest street in Victoria's Chinatown.

 

6
Gates of Harmonious Interest

The highlight of Chinatown, this landmark is modeled after the entrance gateway to the famous Dunhuang Caves in northwestern China. The two Chinese verses on the front of the arch mean “to work together with one mind” and “to help each other to achieve harmony.”

7
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours

Take a quick jaunt around the Inner Harbour or spend the afternoon exploring Old Towne or Beacon Hill Park. *Ride through Victoria on a Tally Ho Carriage tour.

8
Johnson Street

Hit up LoJo (that’s lower Johnson Street for the uninitiated) to check out great shopping boutiques and pick up some new threads.

9
Pickle Boat “Ballet”

When the Victoria Harbour Ferries were originally brought to Victoria in 1990, the Skippers were amazed at their maneuverability. Every Sunday from May to September and all weekend in July and August, these little boats put on an acrobatic display of beautifully choreographed sequences.

Victoria's Harbour Ferries glide through the Inner Harbour.

10
Miniature World

Often called “The greatest little show on earth,” Miniature World is a one-of-a-kind Victorian experience. The perfect activity for the young and young at heart, this little museum brings everything from historical battles to childhood fantasy lands to life in miniature.

6
Gates of Harmonious Interest

The highlight of Chinatown, this landmark is modeled after the entrance gateway to the famous Dunhuang Caves in northwestern China. The two Chinese verses on the front of the arch mean “to work together with one mind” and “to help each other to achieve harmony.”

7
Tally-Ho Carriage Tours

Take a quick jaunt around the Inner Harbour or spend the afternoon exploring Old Towne or Beacon Hill Park. *Ride through Victoria on a Tally Ho Carriage tour.

8
Johnson Street

Hit up LoJo (that’s lower Johnson Street for the uninitiated) to check out great shopping boutiques and pick up some new threads.

9
Pickle Boat “Ballet”

When the Victoria Harbour Ferries were originally brought to Victoria in 1990, the Skippers were amazed at their maneuverability. Every Sunday from May to September and all weekend in July and August, these little boats put on an acrobatic display of beautifully choreographed sequences.

Victoria's Harbour Ferries glide through the Inner Harbour.

10
Miniature World

Often called “The greatest little show on earth,” Miniature World is a one-of-a-kind Victorian experience. The perfect activity for the young and young at heart, this little museum brings everything from historical battles to childhood fantasy lands to life in miniature.

Off the Beaten Path

11
The Scenic Marine Route

Jump in the car or hitch a ride on a hop on hop off tour bus and take in the spectacular waterfront views along Victoria’s coastal roads.

12
The Galloping Goose Trail

Set up along a former rail line, this trail can be taken as far west as Leechtown and north up to Swartz Bay.

Bike along the scenic Galloping Goose Trail.

13
The Causeway

A bustling walkway circling the Inner Harbour, the Causeway is our go-to spot for people-watching and taking in Victoria’s stunning sunsets.

14
Victoria Harbour Ferry

Tour Victoria and the Gorge Waterway aboard a cheerful harbour ferry. The 45-minute narrated tour departs every 15 minutes.

15
Willows Beach

One of Victoria’s most popular swimming beaches, the shallow waters are perfect for small children and get quite warm in the summertime.

16
Fernwood Square

The artsy neighborhood of Fernwood radiates out from the intersection of Gladstone and Fernwood Roads, where you’ll find The Cornerstone Café, Belfry Theatre and night markets in the summer.

17
Helijet Helicopter Flights

Take an exhilarating flight aboard a Helijet helicopter from Vancouver to Victoria, and see the city from a brand-new perspective. 

A Helijet helicopter buzzes over Vancouver.

18
Cook Street Village

Tucked away in Victoria’s Fairfield neighborhood, this eclectic corridor is home to several organic food markets and coffee houses. Explore by foot and you’ll find antiques, reclaimed furniture workshops and accessories stores.

19
Whale Watching

Depart downtown Victoria on an exciting whale watching expedition in an enclosed, 40-person catamaran with above-deck viewing. Learn about wildlife from a knowledgeable onboard naturalist and meet the real locals in their natural habitat.

A humpback flies out of the water with a mighty breach.

20
Clover Point

Accessible via Dallas Road, Clover Point juts out into the Salish Sea, giving astounding, 360-degree views. Walk along the seawall for an immersive waterfront experience, and keep an eye out for hang gliders and windsurfers!

Culture & Attractions

21
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria

Browse impressive artwork displays at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Swing by the first Tuesday of every month for pay-what-you-can admission.

22
The Royal Theatre, McPherson Playhouse, The Belfry Theatre or Langham Court Theatre

All of these venues guarantee a memorable performance, be it a symphony, dance or play.

23
Outdoor Movies at Bullen Park

Head over to Bullen Park in July and August for select screenings of new flicks and cult classics under the stars.

24
Robert Bateman Centre

Discover the works of legendary Canadian wildlife and landscape painter Robert Bateman through his extensive collection at the Centre. Don’t forget to stop by the Gallery Shop for a unique selection of books and handmade pottery, woodwork and textiles by other local artists.

The Robert Bateman Centre sits on edge of Victoria's Inner Harbour.

25
Hermann’s Jazz Club

If a jazz night is what you’re looking for, check out Hermann’s Jazz Club, Victoria’s oldest live jazz venue. Located between Blanshard Ave. and Douglas Street, this downtown gem is the go-to for island jazz cats looking to get down with the groove.

26
Russell Books

The popular Russell Books is one of the best spots in Victoria to score a new or used book to enjoy on your trip.

27
Munro’s Books

You get the feeling you’re in a really good book store as soon as you set foot inside Munro’s. Settle in and you’ll feel right at home in their friendly, peaceful shop.

28
Music Festival

Vancouver Island is home to several annual music festivals, including the four-day Rifflandia festival in September, featuring over 150 artists. Come summertime, Rock the Shores and JazzFest entertain the ears across all genres.

29
Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Minutes north of Victoria, the tropical jungle of the Victoria Butterfly Gardens is home to thousands of butterflies – some 70 species to be exact! Inside you’ll also find lush gardens inhabited by exotic plants and fruits of the world.

Beautiful butterflies fill the Victoria Butterfly Gardens.

30
Victoria Food Tour

Treat yourself to the best of Victoria’s culinary scene on a two-hour guided walking tour. Discover the city’s secret hot spots as well as recipes provided by the chefs themselves and of course, samples!

31
Ghost Tour

Victoria is known as the most haunted city in BC, and there are plenty of spots to visit. Bastion Square, formerly a courthouse ruled by “the hanging judge,” Sir Matthew Ballie Begbie, is one of Victoria’s most haunted spots.

Explore Victoria's haunted spots.

32
Victoria Bug Zoo

Get up close and personal with live walking sticks, praying mantis and glow-in-the-dark scorpions! Discover 50 fascinating species, including Canada’s largest ant colony, at this must-see miniature zoo.

33
The Bay Centre

Covering one full city block, The Bay Centre is downtown Victoria’s premiere shopping destination. Fill your bags with gifts and goods from over 90 unique shops and boutiques.

34
Esquimalt Farmers Market

Just across the water, the Esquimalt Farmers Market is the best place to score local produce and art, as well as tasty eats from local food trucks. The outdoor market runs from May-September in Memorial Park.

35
Victoria Food Trucks

If you need a quick pit stop while exploring downtown Victoria, look no further than the city’s army of delicious food trucks. From sweet and savory waffles at the WannawafelCart to grilled cheese or macaroni at Grilled to the Mac, you’ll be tempted to try them all while you’re in town!

36
Hatley Castle

Originally serving as a dormitory for cadets at Royal Roads Military College, it is now the administrative center of Royal Roads University and offers daily tours.

Victoria's historic, ivy covered Hatley Castle.

37
Craigdarroch Castle

Take a tour of this ornate Victorian castle built by the coal baron Robert Dunsmuir between 1887 and 1890.

The stately Craigdarroch Castle is perched above Victoria.

38
Ford Rodd Hill and the Fisgard Lighthouse

At the edge of the Esquimalt Lagoon, this lighthouse was the first on Canada’s West Coast!

Soak in stunning ocean views from the the Fisgard Lighthouse.

39
Point Ellice House

Fully furnished with the O’Reilly family’s original and personal belongings, this Italianate bungalow presents one of the most complete collections of Victoriana anywhere in North America.

40
Government House

Built in 1860, the Government House is the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia. Green thumbs rejoice, the grounds’ 36 acres are divided into numerous zones according to plant life and garden style. A seasonal tea house is the perfect pit stop for a steaming cup of herbal tea and pastries.

41
Royal Theatre

An opera house and concert hall designed in 1912, the theater retains its original Rococo/Renaissance Revival style décor.

42
St. Ann’s Academy

An icon from the mid-1800s, St. Ann’s is a magnificent historic treasure older than both The Empress Hotel and the Parliament Buildings.

43
Emily Carr House

Discover the birthplace of Emily Carr and learn more about the painter and writer who was heavily inspired by the Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast.

44
Christ Church Cathedral

Looking more like the work of a 14th century Parisian architect than a cathedral, the Christ Church Cathedral was built in 1929. Open daily for tours, the building’s stone foundation is impressive both inside and out.

45
Gonzales Observatory

A weather station for 75 years, the observatory now stands as a scenic heritage building in the Gonzales Hill Regional Park. Toward sunset, make the quick walk up to the top for a breathtaking waterfront view.

46
Mile “0”

Located next to Beacon Hill Park, Mile “O” of the Trans-Canada Highway marks the start of the 8,000km road spanning the length of Canada.

47
Trial Island Lighthouse

An iconic waterside landmark, if you have a good eye, you might spot this iconic lighthouse off to the right as you enter the Inner Harbour. Once on land, the lighthouse is easily visible from Clover Point or Beacon Hill Park’s waterfront.

Sips and Bites

48
Tea at the Empress

For over 100 years, the Empress’ elegant Lobby Lounge has been the place to visit for an authentic British tea and pastry experience.

49
Tea at the Butchart Gardens

Get a taste for traditional afternoon tea at The Butchart Gardens paired with a selection of warm delicacies and house-made sweets while you gaze out at acres of beautiful blooming flowers

Sip tea at The Butchart Gardens.

50
Murchie’s Tea & Coffee

Established in Canada in 1894 by John Murchie from Scotland, the store is a Victoria icon.

51
Silk Road Tea

Since 1992, they’ve been creating fine, fresh organic teas, as well as sweetly-scented skin and body products.

52
Terroir Tea Merchant

Sample one of their 27 farm-to-shop teas in a minimalist café with a modern vibe.

Check out Terrior Tea Merchant's unique brewing method.

53
Three Hour Definitive Craft Brewery Tour

Travel on the brew bus and taste regional brews from three unique breweries. At each stop, get a behind the scenes tour and the chance to learn local brewery history as well as the art of craft beer from the best brewers in the business.

54
Sea Cider

Located on the beautiful Saanich Peninsula, Sea Cider is housed on a beautiful piece of farmland where their cider apples are grown.

Sip on a refreshing glass of cider at Sea Cider.

55
Hoyne Brewing Company

A local favorite, Sean Hoyne’s signature brews are as flavorful as they are sudsy.  

56
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

One of Victoria’s original brewpubs, Spinnakers marries delicious handcrafted brews with a menu full of exceptional, locally grown treats.

57
Bard and Banker

Opened in 1885 as the Bank of British Columbia, the building now serves as a historic Scottish-style pub pouring whiskey and drafts.

The historic Bard and Banker is the perfect place to grab a brew.

58
Irish Times Pub

Named one of the top Irish pubs outside of Ireland by the Irish Times newspaper, this is one of the best places in Victoria to tuck into for a Guinness and bratwurst, hands down.

59
Hey Happy Coffee

Using exact measuring instruments and unique in-house recipes, the folks making your coffee here are more bartender than barista.

60
Discovery Coffee

At once welcoming and accessible, “Disco” coffee is a local favorite, with four locations sprinkled throughout the city.

61
Habit

Featuring beans roasted by Bows & Arrows Coffee in Victoria, Habit’s business model vocabulary is dotted with terms like “locally sourced,” “community involvement” and “sustainability.”

62
Red Fish Blue Fish

The quintessential seafood joint in Victoria, this waterfront walk-up eatery is a modern take on the old fish ‘n’ chip shop.

63
OLO Restaurant

Translating to “hungry” in Chinook Jargon, this restaurant will leave you anything but, with plentiful fresh, farm-to-table dishesFeast on delicious eats at Inn at Laurel Point's AURA Waterfront Restaurant.

64
Kid Sister & Cold Comfort

On a hot day, there’s nothing better than a frozen treat to cool off with. Head down Fan Tan Alley and you’ll find Kid Sister, specializing in fruity popsicles and rich, small batch ice cream. Cold Comfort is another local favorite, with deliciously unique flavors of ice cream as well as other delicious sweets.

65
Rogers Chocolates

For the sweet of tooth, Rogers’ Chocolates is the perfect answer to your sugar craving. As Canada’s first chocolatier, they know a thing or two about crafting irresistible treats.

66
Jam Café

A hip but homey little spot, Jam Café is one of the top spots in the city for an all-important weekend brunch. Pulled pork pancakes and Bailey’s infused French toast? Say no more.

67
Grilligans

If you’re spending a leisurely afternoon exploring Victoria’s Inner Harbour by kayak, paddle up to Grilligans, the only seaside restaurant offering a paddler pick up window!

Shopping

68
Hold General

Just across the harbor in Victoria West, Hold is a home store carrying practical goods crafted by local artists.

69
Flavour Upstairs

Thrift vintage gems at great prices at this men’s and women’s retail clothing shop on lower Johnson Street.

70
Citizen Clothing

From seasonal handpicked clothing selections to craft scents and fragrances, Citizen is the go-to for a man in need of some fresh threads.

Johnson Street's stylish Citizen Clothing boutique.

71
Still Life

Arguably Victoria’s foremost fashion retailer, Still Life has both “for him” and “for her” boutiques on Johnson Street.

Pick up an array of trendy clothes at Still Life Boutique.

72
Milkman’s Daughter

Located in Victoria’s Chinatown neighborhood, here you’ll find beautifully crafted ceramics, skin care products and clothing curated by Smoking Lily.

73
Oak Bay Village

Just a ten-minute drive east of Victoria, the small seaside town of Oak Bay offers a surprising variety of boutique shops, art galleries, coffee shops and restaurants, as well as miles of beach.

74
The Old Country Market

Located in the cozy Up Island town of Coombs, the Old Country Market is famous for international foods, imported gifts, in store baked goods and delicious family restaurants. Keep your eye out for the four-legged critters overhead, the market is famous for its rooftop-dwelling goats!

75
Antique and Thrift Stores

Victoria has many treasures for you to discover. Johnson Street, Pandora Avenue and Yates Street are all prime spots for well-stocked thrift shops.

76
Victoria Public Market at the Hudson

Constructed in 1912, the Market now features soaring concrete ceilings and is home to a coffee shop, hot yoga studio and, of course, local artisan tables and an acclaimed farmers market.

77
Bastion Square Public Market

Stretching from the waterfront to downtown’s Government Street, this open-air market brings vibrancy to Bastion Square every Thursday-Sunday from May to September.

Colorful flower baskets line Victoria's Bastion Square.

78
Ship Point Night Market

On select summer weekends, wander down to the Ship Point Pier (Inner Harbour) for a taste of Victoria’s local foods and craft community.

 

Active & Outdoors

79
Kayaking in the Inner Harbour

Enjoy a leisurely day paddling the calm, protected waters of the Gorge as well as the world’s most photographed harbor, Victoria’s Inner Harbour. 

Kayakers in Victoria's Inner Harbour.

80
Golfing

Jutting rocks, roaring rivers and panoramic mountain and ocean views at Bear Mountain Golf Club & Academy provide a jaw-dropping backdrop for the perfect golfing getaway.

81
Zip Line Adventure

AdrenaLINE is, as the name suggests, the heart-pumping outdoor adventure that whisks you above the tree canopies along a seven-stop course.

82
Paddle Boarding

Learn the basics of stand up paddle boarding in Victoria’s Inner Harbour with a three-hour introductory course. See the city from the sea!

Paddle boarders cruise under Victoria's Johnson Street Bridge.

83
Bicycle Tour of Castles, Hoods & Legends

Journey through Victoria by bicycle! Take a two-hour guided tour past iconic landmarks of Chinatown, Beacon Hill and Cook Street Village.

Bike to Victoria's historic Craigdarroch Castle.

84
Beacon Hill Wind & Kite Surfing

Birds aren’t the only thing in the air on a sunny Victoria day. Head to Beacon Hill’s waterfront and watch as adrenaline junkies take to the skies.

85
Mount Washington

Three hours Up Island, Mount Washington is home to a beautiful mountaintop ski resort. After a day of skiing or hiking (the lifts are open year-round) head to the water for a seaside bicycle ride or scuba diving in Vancouver Island’s famously crystal-clear waters.

86
Holiday Lights at The Butchart Gardens

On December 1st, watch as the switch is thrown and The Butchart Gardens is transformed into an illuminated, twinkling array of lights. Throughout the month, enjoy ice skating, carousel rides and the 12 days of Christmas displayed throughout The Gardens

87
Kinsol Trestle

Also known as the Koksilah River Trestle, the Kinsol Trestle provides a spectacular crossing of the Koksilah River north of Shawnigan Lake.

88
Goldstream Trestle

A popular hike in Goldstream Provincial Park, this impressive bridge was once a functioning railway trestle.

89
Breakwater at Ogden Point

A spectacular walkway jutting out about 800 meters from the shore, this is the go-to spot for catching the perfect Victorian sunrise.

Ogden Point in Victoria is the perfect place to catch a sunset.

90
Mill Hill Regional Park

Not too far out of town, Mill Hill Regional Park is an easy 200-meter climb.

91
Thetis Lake and Matheson Lake

Come summer, there’s nothing better than a refreshing swim in one of the region’s many lakes. Thetis Lake and Matheson Lake are a couple local favorites.

92
Beacon Hill Children’s Farm

A farm in the middle of the city awaits within beautiful Beacon Hill Park. Children can get up close and personal with pigs, donkeys, chickens and peacocks. Catch the “running of the goats” at 10 a.m. daily and witness a furry, bleating stampede underfoot!

Beacon Hill park petting zoo.

93
Ross Bay Cemetery

The grounds make for a beautiful walk, so be sure to have your camera ready. Keep an eye out for the graves of some of Victoria’s famous citizens (Emily Carr! Judge Begbie!).

94
Fisherman’s Wharf

Stroll between colorful houseboats and be sure to visit the playful harbor seals!

Harbour ferries cruise through Fisherman's Wharf.

95
Mt. Finlayson

Enjoy the gorgeous ocean view atop the 4km roundtrip trail. Be sure to bring plenty of water and use caution, this trail can get very steep.

96
Niagara Falls

Located in Goldstream Provincial Park, this waterfall is especially impressive in the fall. Time it right and watch the salmon run, likely followed by an eagle looking for a feast. This is the Northwest at its best!

Vancouver Island's stunning and impressive Niagra Falls.

97
Thunderbird Park

Next to the Royal BC Museum, Thunderbird park is home to many totem poles and other First Nation monuments. On a sunny day, it’s a peaceful slice of Zen in the heart of downtown Victoria.

98
Songhees Walkway

Cross the Johnson Street Bridge and take the trail just across the bridge to the beautiful walkway to the West Bay Marina. Soak up the views from across the Inner Harbour, then take a Harbour Ferry if you don’t want to walk for your return trip.

99
Langford’s City Centre Park

On a sunny day, Langford’s City Centre Park is packed with amusements like 18-hole mini golf, an outdoor water park and an indoor play-zone for the kiddos. In the winter, an ice arena transforms the park into a glimmering winter wonderland.

100
Lone Tree Hill

This regional park is one of the best viewpoints on the island. Enjoy vistas of the Malahat, the Highlands, Victoria and the distant Olympic Mountains. The hilltop is an excellent spot for bird watching, keep an eye out for bald eagles, ravens and turkey vultures riding the winds.

101
Mt. Tolmie Park

Spend a few hours in the bush without leaving the metropolis with a hike up the small (debatably a large hill), Mt. Tolmie. The summit gives sweeping, wraparound views of the city as reward for little physical effort.

102
Mt. Douglas

At 188 hectares, Mount Douglas Park contains the largest urban forest on the Saanich Peninsula. Discover forest wildlife on 21 kms of trails of varying difficulty. Enjoy a view of the water from the top, and watch for passing seals and orcas!

Beyond Victoria

103
Campbell River

The coastal town of Campbell River is known as the salmon capital of the world! In addition to being a boon to fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts will have plenty of luck hiking and camping in this beautiful and remote forested region.

Fish the scenic Campbell River.

104
Galey Farms

Just north of Saanich, this family farm offers up all kinds of fun, attractions such as a petting farm, produce market and their famous corn maze scavenger hunt!

105
Witty’s Lagoon

Not far from Victoria, this oceanfront park features forest trails with stairs and benches along the way. A huge hit with the kids!

106
Horne Lake Caves

Explore Vancouver Island’s impressive underground cave system, formed by water actively flowing throughout it. Tours are offered daily and include all equipment.

107
Botanical Beach Provincial Park

Best known for its tide pools teeming with marine life, Botanical Beach is an other-worldly arrangement of unique rock formations, forested wooden walkways and rugged coastline.

108
Elk and Beaver Lake Regional Park

In the summertime, the Saanich Peninsula is the place to be. Just North of Victoria, Elk and Beaver Lake Regional Park is the local favorite, where swimming, canoeing, kayaking and water skiing are all popular ways of cooling off. Both have sandy beaches, perfect for relaxing in the shade or tanning in the island sun.

109
Circle Tour

If you’re really trying to get out of town, take the day and travel up the Malahat Highway (Hwy 1) toward Mill Bay, taking time to soak in the views along the way. Enjoy a dockside lunch at Bridgeman’s Bistro before hopping on the Mill Bay Ferry across Saanich Inlet. Once you’re on the Saanich Peninsula, take Highway 17A to the Butterfly Gardens at Keating Cross Road, and work your way back to Victoria, stopping by the farms on Oldfield Road.

110
BC Aviation Museum

One of the most popular family attractions in Sidney, the museum has more than 20 unique aircraft on display!

111
Seaside Sculpture Walk

Beginning in Beacon Park and continuing along the waterfront toward the ferry terminal, this outdoor art gallery uses Mount Baker and the Salish Sea as its backdrop.

112
“Booktown”

With a dozen bookstores scattered in a five-block area around Beacon, there’s no short supply of reading material for bookworms.

113
Quince Café & Ice Cream

Duck into this small walk-in shop winter or summer, and indulge in with handmade goodies, and delicious coffee and ice cream.

114
Toast Café

A fun and funky Vancouver Island gem, Toast Café is adorned with rock-n-roll posters and serves chocolate whipped cream on their coffee drinks. Need we say more?

115
Sidney Pier

Sit and take in the sunset and watch as the waves crash on the shores of “Sidney by the Sea.”

116
Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea

Part aquarium, part cultural center, the Shaw Centre brims with 160 species of marine life, as well as unique, regional Coast Salish art.

See a vibrant array of fish at the Shaw Center for the Salish Sea.

117
Cowichan Valley Wine Country Tour

Unwind Up Island with a Cowichan Valley Wine Country Tour. Whether it’s a romantic date escape or a girls’ weekend getaway, a visit to the valley’s world-renowned vineyards along roads with awe-inspiring viewpoints will surely leave you feeling refreshed.

Sip on award-winning wines in the lush Cowichan Valley.

118
The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre

An active community-based maritime museum operated by the Cowichan Wooden Boat Society. Learn about traditional boat building techniques and restorations with exciting hands-on courses.

119
BC Forest Discovery Centre

The BC Forest Discover Centre is a 100-acre, open air museum with an operational railway operating both steam and gas locomotives. Hop aboard and enjoy a tour of the grounds. A great destination for the kids and young at heart, be sure to stop by during the holidays for the Christmas train.

120
Old Stone Butter Church

Located on picturesque Comiaken Hill, the original mission church for the Cowichan Indian tribe was built in 1870, but has been abandoned for more than 100 years. Its name comes from the sales from the dairy herd on the mission’s farm, which funded the construction of the church.

121
Hill’s Native Art

Pick up a genuine Cowichan sweater handmade by Coast Salish Knitters.

122
South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club

One of the oldest lawn tennis clubs in the world and the oldest club in Canada are still playing on grass.

123
Cowichan Bay

A small, seaside village, Cowichan Bay is the perfect pit stop on an Up Island road trip. Stop in at the Maritime Centre, admire the nearby boats and floating homes in the marina, and then grab a bite at True Grain Bread bakery.

124
Chemainus

Located halfway between Duncan and Nanaimo, this small seaside town of about 3,000 people is best known for their 39 world-famous murals.

125
Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre

Take a “hawk walk” or an “owl prowl” and experience the winged wildlife of the Pacific Northwest up close. Staffed by knowledgeable biologists, you’ll learn all about bird conservation and how humans and birds coexist on the island and across the Northwest.

126
Duncan

With plenty of cool small-town shops and outdoor resources, Duncan has something for everyone. Be sure to check out the awesome Kinsol Trestle pedestrian bridge on the way there!

127
Malahat Drive

Also known as “The Malahat,” this 15-mile portion of the Trans Canada Highway 1 runs along the west side of Saanich Inlet and is home to some downright breathtaking views. Along the highway, pullouts allow for scenic rest stops as you make your way Up Island.

Vancouver Island's Malahat Drive offers up amazing views.

128
Tigh Na Mara Seaside Spa Resort

A destination unto itself, there’s no better place to stay than Tigh Na Mara when embarking on an Up Island road trip. Located just north of Nanaimo in beautiful Parksville, Tigh Na Mara’s unique log constructed units are set amid 22 forested acres beside the ocean.

Tigh Na Mara's Grotto Spa is the perfect locale for a relaxing soak.

129
Petroglyph Provincial Park

Get a glimpse back to a time more than 1,000 years ago, when First Nation peoples created these traditional carvings.

130
Nanaimo Bar Trail

Take a self-guided adventure through the streets of Nanaimo in search of the many delicious and creative interpretations of the famous Nanaimo Bar. Stretching from Lantzville to Yellow Point, the trail features 39 businesses offering their take, from Nanaimo bar ice cream martinis to chocolate-y coconut Nanaimo Bar spring rolls.

131
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Plunge into the clear waters surrounding Nanaimo and slip into a different world. Explore nearby sunken ship wrecks inhabited by rock fish, octopus and sea stars. If you prefer to be less submerged, go for a dip with the playful harbor seals found in the shallow waters just off the coast.

132
Cathedral Grove

A rare and endangered remnant of an ancient Douglas fir ecosystem, the largest of these massive trees tower an impressive 75 m (250 ft.) high and are about 800 years old.

133
Saturday Market

Every Saturday, June through October, local artists and food producers descend on the island for a day of live music and a chance to browse some truly unique gifts.

134
Ruckle Provincial Park

A southeast gem with ragged shorelines and gnarly old-growth forests. Yeo Point Beach is a great spot for a waterfront picnic, and a stroll up to Yeo Point yields a great spot to relax with a view.

135
Salt Spring Island Ales

Specializing in brews made from water piped straight from the region’s spring, this local brewery serves up some of the freshest suds around. Be sure to visit their “tasting loft,” which is like a little cabin in the woods.

136
Whiffen Spit

To one side, the beautiful, protected Sooke Basin and to the other side, the open waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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Sombrio Beach

A popular spot for surfing as well as windsurfing, and there are two designated camping areas for those looking to spend a night under the stars.

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Mystic Beach

Located at the end of a moderately difficult 45-minute hike from the parking lot, white sands, a rock arch and a waterfall await.

Great Blue Heron takes off with a large fish by Mystic Beach.

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Sooke Potholes

Deep, polished rock pools with crystal clear water make this a wonderful spot for a picnic and a quick dip.

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East Sooke Park

The beach and forest trails of this huge, 1,422-hectare park offer hikers everything from casual strolls to challenging, full day treks.

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Sea Lion Caves

For the truly adventurous, an hour-long tough hike to the ocean from Loss Creek culminates in a rewarding view of two sea lion caves and a suspension bridge above the creek about 20 minutes further. The sea lions are usually gone for the summer but return for the fall and winter.

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Cox Bay

In the summer, it’s the perfect spot for surfing. In the winter, hunker down and storm watch, as 20-foot swells roll in toward the shore.

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Tofino Inlet

With plenty of kayak tours to choose from, novice paddlers can easily paddle Tofino Inlet’s calm waters.

A kayaker paddles through the Salish Sea,

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Meares Island

The magnificent backdrop to Tofino Village, Meares Island is a haven for outdoor adventurers. Walk along Big Tree Trail or try your might on the demanding but rewarding Lone Cone hike.

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Hot Springs Cove

Discover Tofino’s untouched, natural hot springs located in the Maquinna Provincial Park.

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Tacofino

A favorite all around BC, Tacofino’s food truck in Tofino is your best bet for a quick taco or two before hitting the road again.

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Tofino Brewing Co.

Stop by for a cool brew or even a handsome refillable growler and you’re ready to hit the beach!

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Merge, Tofino

If you’re looking for a souvenir from your trip, Merge is your place. With handmade ceramics, local magazines and other textiles, there’s no shortage of goodies to choose from.

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Surfing Lessons

Tofino’s reputation for great surf is known across the island, and the town caters to beginning surfers with a handful of fantastic surf schools. A drive along North Tofino’s Campbell Street should turn up more than a few options for getting you out into the swell. Cowabunga!

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Pacific Rim National Park

This expansive conservation area includes the sandy Long Beach between Ucluelet and Tofino and the Broken Group Islands, an archipelago of more than one hundred islands and rocks. It’s also home to the West Coast Trail unit, a 47-mile backpacking route along temperate rainforest, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, caves, sea arches and beaches.

A kid peers into tide pools on one of Tofino's beaches.

Traveler Specials

Clipper trips to Victoria and Seattle and whale watching are discounted for active and retired US or Canadian military personnel, children and seniors.

Traveler Specials

December Events in Victoria

December – January 2Festival of Trees
December – January 29th Annual Gingerbread Showcase
December 1 – 31Christmas at the Market
DecemberFree Horse-Drawn Trolley Rides

Victoria Overnight Packages