Victoria celebrates its status as the capital of British Columbia with its historical architecture, museums and gardens. The Parliament Buildings light up the harbour, while The Fairmont Express Hotel, another of architect Francis Rattenbury's creations, delivers Gothic architecture and luxury décor.
Vancouver Island is a famous spot for whale watching enthusiasts. A chance to see migrating gray whales as close to five kilometres from the shore is not to be missed from March to May, whereas killer whales can be spotted further north until Autumn.
Pacific Rim National Park
If it is uninterrupted natural landscapes you are looking for, a Victoria holiday offers day trips to Port Renfrew, which acts as a starting point for the 48-mile West Coast Trail. The Pacific Rim National Park has shorter strolls as well, one being the Sandbar Trail that passes through the douglas fir plantation.
The Royal British Columbia Museum makes use of wildlife exhibits and cultural artifacts in its permanent exhibitions, while The BC Experience offers geographical exhibits depicting Victoria through time.
Canadian artist Emily Carr's work is permanently displayed in the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, while a visit to Thunderbird Park brings artwork outdoors with an array of totem poles depicting adventures of tribes from the north-west coast.
Restoration projects have also given rise to quaint boutiques and popular cafes in Bastion Square. A re-established Market Square accompanies The Bay Centre shopping mall, all a short walk from the harbour.