By Carissa Hickok
Victoria is the capital of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Here are some of Victoria’s must-see attractions.
The Inner Harbour is the center of Victoria’s tourist attractions. You can take a boat or ferry tour, take a stroll, stop by street vendors or buskers, watch whales play in the water, and see colorful floating homes. Around the harbour, you will find the Parliament Buildings (they light up at night) and Royal British Columbia Museum. The museum shows a comprehensive history of British Columbia in chronological order, including First Nations exhibits, colonial settlement replicas, and natural history showcases. The museum also has an IMAX theatre and rotating special displays.
Who says learning can’t be fun? Victoria Bug Zoo is located about a block from the Inner Harbour and you can learn all about the little crawlers you see everyday and others that live around the world. All the invertebrates are displayed in tanks. Best of all, you can hold the insects and feel and examine them up close (only if you want to, of course).
If you have ever wondered what it feels like to be a giant among dwarfs, Miniature World is the place to go. Miniature World offers multiple thematic displays in miniature diorama scenes. The exhibits include several trundling trains and an opportunity to see yourself on a diminutive movie screen. Picture “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” brought to life! Click here for more info.
Stroll the flower-lined paths in Butchart Gardens and be sure to bring a camera with you. During the summer, the gardens light up with festive lights and nightly musical entertainment. The park also offers boat tours around Tod Inlet and Brentwood Bay where you will learn about the beginnings of the gardens as well as spot wildlife in the water. On Saturdays during the summer, you can even catch fireworks starting after dusk. There is a children’s pavilion and a Rose Carousel.
Don’t let the name fool you, Victoria Butterfly Gardens offers a whole lot more than just butterflies. Step into a tropical jungle at Victoria Butterfly Gardens, where you will see tortoises, tropical ducks, poison dart frogs, iguanas, flamingoes, tropical birds, tropical fish, and tropical butterflies. The gardens also include tropical flowers, carnivorous plants, and fruits from around the world. Insectarium is the newest exhibit to join Victoria Butterfly Gardens.
Want to see how the wealthy lived during the Victorian era? Stop for a tour of Craigdarroch Castle and find out. The mansion is furnished with luxurious wood paneling and stained glass windows. Craigdarroch Castle was built in Romanesque architecture style, capturing Romanesque characteristics from 11th and 12th century France, Spain, and Italy. Climb 87 steps and you can get a beautiful (albeit distant) view of the Olympic Mountains.
Victoria is a very unique place to experience, especially for nature and history buffs!
Carissa enjoys traveling so much that she left the corporate world to work as a freelancer, which allows her to up and go on a regular basis. She lives with her dachshund, Daphne in central Florida.