Victoria, British Columbia. It doesn’t exactly inspire quivers down the spine as a vacation destination, does it? Sometimes, though, the unheralded places are the best. You might arrive expecting little, but equally you’re likely to leave seduced by the natural charms of the Vancouver South Island, and the assortment of chilled out attractions.
Nature is dominant here. Even the locals can’t seem to stay away from the water, with dragon boat racing, cruises, yachting, scuba diving and the exploring of saltwater lagoons all important parts of the Victoria experience. If you want to truly understand the allure of this district, in fact, time in the water is all but essential. You can even whale watch from the shore – French Beach is home to fantastic uber-mammal ogling picnic spots and sands that tempt despite the cold. If you prefer your fun a little drier, head for the fantastic footpaths of Galloping Goose Trail and explore the scenic hills.
Victoria’s annual festivals are also a big draw. The chocolate festival has the taste buds dripping, while a host of yearly sporting events – including sailing and running races – keep the athletic busy, especially in training for the striking marathon course. Langford hosts a Lavender Festival, Christmas sees a literary focus and Luxton has its own professional rodeo. You’ll not be short of draws year round, either, though come in winter and you’ll be fighting a notably frosty disposition.
A Butterfly Garden and a Bug Zoo take you through a microscopic take on wildlife, while the theme continues with miniature world, where you can discover over 80 different corners of the globe in scaled down replica. The Royal BC Museum gives a thorough overview of the backdrop to this exceptionally beautiful state, with an unsurprising focus on the more natural side of life.
Vitoria might be lacking one major tourist attraction, but a host of minor ones quickly sweep away any worries and replace them with a charming, slow-paced outlook on life. In other words, the perfect spot for an energetic but laid back holiday.
Victoria is also the perfect spot to begin your Vancouver Island holidays, whether you are travelling to the Gulf Islands, going up Island to Qualicumm Beach and Parksville or travelling further west to Tofino.
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