10+ Unique Things to Do in Victoria Now

Uncover the charm of Antique Row—the vintage haven awaits. But what timeless treasure whispers your name behind those old-world doors?
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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Ever wondered what it would be like to get lost in the quaint charm of a city where every corner whispers a different story? Well, buckle up, my friend, because it's high time you discovered the intricate tapestry of Victoria, where modern vibes meet old-world grace like the perfect brew of afternoon tea. This gem on Vancouver Island isn't just any city; it's a vibrant splash on the canvas of Canada, famous for its fragrant gardens, historic architecture, and, let's be clear, some seriously good vibes. But let's zero in on a real local treasure – Antique Row. You seriously haven't seen Antique Row shopping until you've meandered through Victoria's storied streets, right?

This isn't just another tick-the-box tourist trap; it's a goldmine of nostalgia where each item has its own tale. And if that doesn't tickle your fancy, just wait until you've perked up your inner historian at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, or swirled a glass during those must-do local Victoria winery tours. In this blog, we're spilling all the tea on the go-to activities that make Victoria so special – from the hidden melodies of Aboriginal cultural experiences to the tranquil embrace of nature parks and beyond. Pack your enthusiasm because Victoria's diversity is about to take you on an adventure of a lifetime!

Uncover the Secrets of Antique Row

Got a thing for treasures from yesteryear? Antique Row's got your back! This quaint shopping district is lined with stores each filled to the brim with items you won't find just anywhere. It's like a carnival for vintage enthusiasts, and you're the guest of honor!

Whether you're a serious collector or just someone who likes a good nosedive into the past, Antique Row will not disappoint. From retro fashion that's making a comeback to those funky kitchen gadgets grandma used to have, every shop is a treasure trove. The vibe here? It's as if you walked into a time machine and landed in the coolest era ever.

If you're itching to give those shopping muscles a workout, plan for at least half a day here. Trust me, time flies when you're rummaging through history! You'll be haggling for that Art Deco lamp or those vinyl records in shops that feel more like museums. And here’s a little pro tip: shopkeepers love a good chat, so don't be shy to ask about the story behind that vintage locket or mid-century modern chair.

And here's what really makes Antique Row shine—besides the old-timey lampposts. It's perfect for anyone! Solo adventurers, family antique hunters; everyone's welcome to join the antique fiesta. Not looking to buy? No problem! Just walking through these historic streets is a treat.

Alright, Antique Row might not give you an adrenaline rush but it does offer a sweet nostalgia high. Before you know it, you'll be carrying pieces of history with a smile as wide as that 1920s flapper dress you just scored. And remember to bring your bargainer A-game! Now, go forth and uncover those secrets that Antique Row has been keeping just for you!

Discover Fort Rodd Hill's Hidden Corners

Picture this: You're standing at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site, surrounded by history that whispers tales of the past century. It's a maze of secret bunkers and military relics that beg for exploration. Here, you're not just visiting; you're on a time-traveling adventure.

Fort Rodd Hill isn't just a chunk of Canadian history—it's a treasure trove that takes you back to the days of coastal defense. For the history buffs, you'll have plenty to geek over. Cannons that once stood guard, now rest silently, offering a poignant reminder of the past. But hey, it's not just for grown-ups; kids can scamper around, letting their imaginations run wild, playing soldier in hidden tunnels and fortifications.

Wrap your visit to the brutalist O'Toole Battery with its commanding views, or delve into the underground magazines where munitions were once stored. Each step in this historic site brings a new discovery. And let's not forget the lighthouse! Fisgard Lighthouse stands as the cherry on top. As the oldest lighthouse on the west coast of Canada—yeah, you heard that right—this beacon has been guiding seafarers since 1860.

You'll want to dedicate a good chunk of your day here, because, believe me, the acres of ocean-side trails and mysterious nooks and crannies will have you wishing there were more hours in the day. Solo explorers, couples, families—everyone's in for a treat. Just remember to bring your curiosity, maybe a picnic basket, and definitely your camera!

Located a short drive from Victoria's downtown, Fort Rodd Hill is the perfect escape from the city bustle. Whether you're a local playing tourist in your own town or a globe-trotter seeking off-the-beaten-path gems, this national historic site won't disappoint.

Immerse yourself in the echo of artillery fire, feel the chill of the gun batteries, and get ready to uncover stories etched in Canada's coastal defence at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site. Here's where history isn't just learned; it's lived.

Savor Moments at Local Victoria Wineries

Picture yourself sipping a crisp Chardonnay as you glance over lush green vines under the soft glow of the setting sun. Welcome to local Victoria wineries, where your spirit finds that perfect spot to unwind. From grape to glass, these local gems offer an intimate look into the beautiful marriage of soil and sun.

Among these, the Symphony Vineyard sweetens the deal with its harmonious blends that seem to echo the serene landscape. It's not just the award-winning wines that draw you in, it's the passion behind each bottle that fills you with delight. Wine connoisseurs and casual sippers alike will find something to adore here.

Spend an afternoon indulging in wine tasting, often paired with locally-sourced cheeses and charcuterie. A knowledgeable host will walk you through each varietal's unique profile — often with a story or two about the vineyard's heritage. Here's what you need to know:

  • Who does it appeal to? These tours are a sweet spot for everyone from couples looking for a romantic outing, to group gatherings basking in the art of winemaking.
  • What's nearby? Many of these vineyards roll into the bucolic countryside teeming with picturesque spots, perfect for snapping that idyllic photo or enjoying a rural walk in the surrounding area.
  • How long should you stay? Allocate at least a couple of hours to truly sip and savor the experience — no need to rush the perfect pour.
  • Any unique activities? Some wineries offer seasonal grape picking and stomping events—talk about a 'grape' way to dive into viniculture!

Whether you're a dedicated oenophile or someone who just loves a good wine in good company, the local Victoria winery tours infuse your trip with a palatable dash of culture and relaxation. Raise your glass to the good life and let the vibrant notes of Victoria's countryside dance on your palate. Cheers to making memories you can bottle up and take home!

Immerse in Aboriginal Cultural Experiences

Picture this: you're stepping into a world where every hue, every sound, and every movement tells an ancient story. Welcome to the vibrant Aboriginal cultural experiences in Victoria! It's more than education; it's about feeling the pulse of a civilization through its art, music, and traditions.

Victoria's indigenous history is alive and thriving. Here, you can join hands with local Aboriginal guides who invite you into their past and present. Through their heartfelt stories, you connect with the wisdom of their ancestors. Check out the immersive tours that often include traditional ceremonies, sacred sights, and even a chance to taste some indigenous flavors.

So, what's on the agenda? For starters, maybe you'll join a workshop and learn how to weave a basket the old-fashioned way. Or perhaps you'll end up rubbing elbows with an artist as they paint a story that dances across the canvas with as much life as a living being.

Nearby, there are community markets featuring Aboriginal crafts where you can snag a souvenir that holds the spirit of Victoria. And who knows, you might just find yourself spending a whole afternoon wrapped up in the cultural embrace of this remarkable chunk of humanity.

The Aboriginal experiences cater to all. Whether you're a solo explorer hungry for knowledge, a family looking to broaden horizons, or a couple seeking a shared spiritual journey, you're in the right place.

Before you know it, you'll be sitting by a fire, under a blanket of stars that have watched over this land for millennia, feeling like you've just discovered a piece of yourself you never knew was lost. Now, isn't that what travel is all about?

Just carve out a few precious hours from your schedule; trust me, the connection you'll forge with Australia's ancient heart will outlast every minute spent.

Reconnect with Nature at Victoria’s Nature Parks

Imagine the whisper of leaves, the chirps of hidden creatures, and the feeling of crisp fresh air filling your lungs – welcome to the nature parks of Victoria, BC. It's where the grass tickles your fingertips and panoramic views steal your breath away. Oh, and don't get me started on the feeling of pure freedom as you trek through trails with both friends and friendly squirrels!

First stop: Beacon Hill Park, a lush oasis right in the city's heart. Families, bring your picnics, and joggers, lace up those shoes because this place has it all. Want to up the ante on your zen meter? How about swan-filled ponds and a stone bridge that looks like it's straight out of a romance novel!

Next, Galloping Goose Trail beckons all you bikers and strollers out there. Pump those pedals or take that hearty stride along a route that spans from urban settings to jaw-dropping oceanfront vistas. You're gonna want to bring that camera for some selfie action with the backdrop of your dreams.

For the tree-huggers and eagle-eyed wildlife watchers – Goldstream Provincial Park is your jam! From autumn's salmon run to eagle sightings that turn everyone into a budding ornithologist, it's a slice of wilderness that's got your name carved in the bark.

Factor in about half a day in these green heavens to soak it all in – because why rush Mother Nature's show, right?

So, when did parks get this exciting? Probably about the same time that you decided to ditch your couch for some adventure. Get out here and let Victoria's nature parks give you the squeeze that every nature lover craves. Take it from me; nothing spells magic like the sound of a park bursting to life at the first light of day.

Stroll and Shop at Victoria Public Market

Picture yourself surrounded by the vibrancy of fresh produce, the aroma of baked goods straight out of the oven, and a tapestry of local artisans showcasing their crafts. That’s right, you’re roaming the Victoria Public Market, the hub of local culinary and artistic talent that never fails to enchant both savvy locals and wide-eyed visitors.

Revel in the atmosphere where every booth tells a story. Spend at least an hour here, and oh, the treasures you'll find! From the ripened sweetness of just-picked fruits to the hearty crunch of artisanal bread, it's a festival for your senses. This isn't just any market, it's a place where you can chat up the farmers who grow your food. Ask them about their favorite apple—their eyes will light up with the kind of passion only genuine growers have.

You're in for a treat if you adore one-of-a-kind pieces—imagine snagging a handcrafted necklace that whispers (not too loudly, we're not in a library) tales of the sea, or a handmade mug that feels just right in your palms. It's not about simply buying; it's about connecting and discovering the spirit of Victoria in every exchange.

Now, if you're wondering, "Is this place for me?" Well, are you breathing? If yes, then it's a resounding yes! The Victoria Public Market is perfect for families seeking an authentic slice of local life, friends on a leisurely day out, or even solo explorers looking for that perfect memento. It’s a place where everyone and anyone can find something that tickles their fancy.

When your bags are brimming and your stomach starts grumbling, it's time to indulge in some delectable eats. From an authentic Italian pizza that'll make you say "Mamma mia!" to a vegan wrap that even the most ardent meat-lovers would munch on happily, there's more than enough to please your palate.

What's nearby, you wonder? Well, once you step outside, you're but a gentle walk away from the waterfront, where the ocean greets you like an old friend. So take your goodies, find a bench by the water, and watch the world drift by. And remember, whether you’re a seasoned market-goer or a novice, Victoria Public Market welcomes you with open arms and fantastic finds.

Soothe Your Soul at Victoria's Spa Retreats

Imagine slipping into a cozy robe, your feet treading on smooth stones as you're greeted with a serene smile and the scent of eucalyptus wafting through the air. Spa retreats in Victoria are not just a luxurious escape; they're places where the outside world fades away, and self-care takes center stage.

Yes, whether you're achy from all the sightseeing, or just in need of some serious pampering, Victoria's spa havens are the perfect spot to unwind. And what makes these retreats unique? They're infused with that chill island vibe that makes you forget time, paired with a dose of first-class hospitality that Victoria is renowned for.

Tick-tock, forget the clock! At these retreats, it isn't just about a quick massage; it's an immersive experience. Plan to spend at least a half-day to revel in the full array of treatments available—from rejuvenating facials to deeply soothing massages and detoxifying body wraps.

Great for couples seeking a romantic retreat or solos needing some quiet, stress-melting moments, you'll find that these spas cater to all. Don't even get me started on the views! Some spots offer vistas that could calm any stormy mood. Pacific blues and lush greens blend outside your window, complementing the tranquility inside.

And if you're worried about accessibility, don't! Victoria's spa retreats are sprinkled throughout the city, a hop, skip, and a jump from central locations, making it a breeze to go from shopping sprees at the Victoria Public Market to serene spa serenity in minutes.

So, who's ready for their slice of spa heaven in Victoria? Check out the local favorites and get ready to say "ahh" like you've never said it before. Because, trust me, after a day at one of Victoria's spa retreats, you'll feel like a brand-new person—with a smile so tranquil, folks might start mistaking you for a local too.

Enjoy Serenity at Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Imagine a place where vibrant colors flirt with your senses and delicate wings flutter in a dance of nature's own ballet. That's the magic of the Victoria Butterfly Gardens for you. Here, it's not just about gazing at pretty wings; it's where tranquility meets education, and you, my friend, are in for a treat.

This indoor tropical paradise is home to thousands of butterflies, but wait, there's more! You'll be sharing the space with flamingos that stand like feathery sentinels among the foliage, and tropical birds that sing tales of the jungle. It's the kind of place where every nook and cranny has a new marvel—look over there, is that a poison dart frog lurking among the leaves?

You won't need to bring any survival gear; this jungle is friendly and perfect for:

  • Families seeking a wondrous adventure.
  • Couples looking for a serene backdrop to their romance.
  • Nature enthusiasts eager to learn about biodiversity and ecosystems.

Spend at least an hour—or perhaps even two!—to truly take in the splendors of the gardens. Let yourself be mesmerized by the koi pond or the towering tropical trees that seem to whisper their ancient secrets. Venture through the gardens and discover why both tourists and locals can't help but return to this enchanting spot nestled in the heart of British Columbia.

Nearby, you'll find a host of other activities to either calm or energize you after your butterfly escapade. Whether you prefer to surround yourself with nature, or you're up for exploring the town after immersing in the butterfly haven, there's plenty to do.

Ready to flutter by? Check out a fluttering spectacle and witness the serene beauty of the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. It’s not just about observing; it's about experiencing a delicate slice of nature’s splendor, firsthand.

Experience the Charm of Horse-drawn Carriage Tours

Imagine the clip-clop of hooves on cobblestone, the gentle sway of the carriage, and the wind just breezing through—yep, you're on a horse-drawn carriage tour, and it's every bit as magical as it sounds. It's like you've been whisked back in time, right? Well, hold onto your top hats, because these tours are real-life time machines that show off the city's charm in the most enchanting way possible.

Now, just picture this: You're cozied up with a soft blanket over your lap, and you've got the best seat in town to peek at the historic buildings. You’re not just seeing the sights; you're actually part of the picturesque scene. It's no wonder locals and tourists alike are head over heels for this experience.

The charm of a horse-drawn carriage tour isn't just in the ride itself—it's the rich stories the guides share. And get this, these tours cater to anyone! Whether you’re solo, with your sweetheart, or wrangling a family – everyone’s welcome. They’re the kind of tours where you feel like royalty and get lots of 'oohs' and 'aahs' from passersby. So, if you’re all about those slow-moving, jaw-dropping moments, this is totally your jam.

Pro-tip: Check out Tally-Ho Carriage Tours for a classic horse-drawn carriage tour. It's like stepping into a living postcard, and these tours highlight the genuine essence of Victoria. Block out around an hour; it's enough time to get those fill-in-the-blank moments for your memory books.

From the whispers of history that dance through the air to the heartfelt clippity-clop rhythm—you're not just touring; you’re making memories that stick. So embrace it! Snuggle up and let these majestic creatures guide you through an unforgettable slice of city life that's got a whole lot of heart and heaps of old-world charm.

Paddle Through Adventure on Victoria Kayak Excursions

Imagine slicing through the shimmering waters as the city skyline shrinks behind you. That's the thrill of Victoria kayak adventures! Suitable for families, couples, or solo explorers, these excursions offer an immediate escape from the hum of city life.

On these tours, you'll glide past stunning coastal scenery and have the chance to spot local wildlife. Seals lounging on the rocks, possibly an otter family playing tag – it's an immersive way to reconnect with nature.

Depending on the pace you're after, you can choose between a serene paddle or push the limits on a more intense trip. Each excursion varies in length, but to truly soak up the experience and strike the right balance, around a 2-hour tour hits the sweet spot. Plus, it's a fantastic workout! Ever tried kayaking? Your arms will definitely remind you tomorrow.

And don't worry if you're new to this – the guides are as calm and helpful as the serene waters you're about to explore. They ensure both rookies and pros have an amazing time.

Here's a sizzle for the adrenaline junkies: picture you and your friends racing across the harbor, water splashing, and adrenaline pumping. Yeah, it's not just a quiet paddle; it's whatever you want it to be. Exciting, right?

Before you rush off to plunge your paddle in the waves, you can check out more details and book your adventure with Victoria Kayak Tours. It's perfect for everyone from the peace-seeking yogi to the thrill-seeking adventurer.

Remember, this isn't a mere recommendation; it's the key to unlocking a side of Victoria you've never seen before. Whether you paddle under the warm kiss of the sunrise or as the sunset paints the sky – it's a memory in the making. Now, go ahead, dip that paddle in the water, and let the adventure begin!

Indulge in Victoria's Artisanal Food Tours

Victoria isn't just about the postcard-perfect views or the quaint cobblestone streets—it's a paradise for your taste buds, too. Imagine weaving through the bustling markets, with the vibrant colors of fresh produce all around and the air filled with the tantalizing aroma of baked goods. That's not a dream, friend; that's what you get to experience on one of Victoria's artisanal food tours.

Food tours in Victoria offer a delicious array of what the city's culinary scene has to offer. How long should you spend on a food tour? We'd say, at the very least, dedicate a stomach-ready afternoon to this delectable adventure. Trust us, you'll want to take your time savoring each bite.

Oh, and don't fret about fitting in. These tours are perfect for everyone—singles, couples, and families. It's like a buffet that moves! Whether you're a hardcore foodie or just someone who loves to eat (and who doesn't?), you'll fit right in.

Not only will you learn about local specialties and the stories behind them, but you'll also stroll by nearby sights and historic landmarks, making it a cultural feast for the eyes and the palate. And yes, you'll be walking off the calories as you go—that's the best kind of multitasking.

Your guide won't just be some robot reciting facts; they're local food experts passionate about sharing their love for Victoria's edible treasures. So, lace up those walking shoes, and make sure you wear your stretchy pants. These are the sorts of days that vacation legends are made of, and you'll return home with more than just memories—you'll have new favorite foods and stories to go with them.

You're already drooling, aren't you? Check out Victoria's artisanal food tours and taste your way through the city's most delectable delights!

Embark on a Guided Historical Walk in Victoria

Imagine stepping back in time as you stroll through the vibrant streets of Victoria, exploring tales that have shaped this charming city. That's right, you're about to dive into a treasure trove of stories with a guided historical walk. You'll be mingling with the ghosts of the past and witnessing landmarks that have stood the test of time.

What's unique and awesome about these guided walks? They're not just a mundane march from one old building to another – oh no! These tours are juicy with scandalous tales of yesteryear, moments of triumph, and whispers of the Victoria that once was.

  • Leave the modern world behind: Just for a moment, as you meander past ornate Victorian architecture, let the expert storytellers enrapture you.
  • Discover hidden gems: There are little nooks and crannies teeming with history that you'd simply miss without a knowledgeable guide.
  • Perfect for history buffs: If you love to soak up some history, this is your jam.
  • Great for all ages: Whether you're a solo explorer or rolling with your family crew, everyone will find something to fascinate.

You'll want to set aside a solid 1-2 hours for this adventure. Trust me, the time will fly as you're lured into tales of historical intrigue. Plus, these walks strike just the right balance – insightful yet light-hearted enough to keep you entertained the whole way through.

And hey, you're walking - it's not just good for your brain, it's ace for your health too. Getting a little hungry from all that knowledge? Not to worry, there will be plenty of cozy spots to grab a nibble nearby once you've worked up an appetite.

Finally, who's this for? If you're curious about the past and want to experience Victoria's layered history up close, or if you want to impress your date with some brainy outings, this is totally your scene. After soaking up the ambient history of Victoria, you'll see this pretty city in a whole new light.

So, ready to hit the cobblestones and uncover the backstory of every brick and lamppost? Book a guided historical walk and get ready to step through the pages of Victoria's history!

FAQ

Q: What are some unusual things to do in Victoria, BC?

A: Discover hidden gems like the little-known Fan Tan Alley or embark on a ghostly walking tour for a spooky thrill.

Q: What can you do in Victoria, BC today?

A: Check out the Royal BC Museum or stroll through the Butchart Gardens for today's dose of culture and nature.

Q: What things are there to do in Victoria at night?

A: Experience Victoria's nightlife at local pubs, enjoy a moonlit walk on the Inner Harbour or catch a show at The Belfry Theatre.

Q: What are some cheap things to do in Victoria?

A: Visit the BC Parliament Buildings, hit up a free event at Centennial Square, or enjoy the Beacon Hill Park without spending loads.

Q: What things are there to do in Victoria, BC this weekend?

A: This weekend, you can explore local farmers' markets, attend a festival, or take a scenic drive along the coast.

Q: What are fun things to do in Victoria with kids?

A: Kids will love the Victoria Bug Zoo, Miniature World, and splashing around at the Beacon Hill Children's Farm.

Q: Is Victoria Canada worth seeing?

A: Absolutely, with its stunning landscapes and rich history, Victoria is a must-visit for travelers. Don't miss it!

Q: Can you do Victoria in a day?

A: Yes, but it'll be a rush. Focus on top spots like the Inner Harbour and the Empress Hotel to make the most of one day.

Q: How many days is enough for Victoria?

A: Aim for at least three days to experience Victoria's highlights without feeling too hurried.

Q: What is Victoria BC well known for?

A: Victoria is famed for its beautiful gardens, historic architecture, and as the capital of British Columbia.

Final Words

Alright, you've just cruised through a treasure trove of adventures, from scoping out the unique finds on Antique Row to sipping on exquisite wines. You've tapped into the rich Aboriginal heritage and recharged at breezy nature parks, giving those new Instagram filters a run for their money. Plus, you've had your taste buds whisked away on artisanal food tours and felt like royalty on horse-drawn carriage rides. What's not to love?

Your journey doesn't stop here. There's a whole world of experiences just waiting to fill your story with unforgettable moments. So, keep these gems in mind for those gotta-have-sunshine days or when you're itching for something extraordinary. Whether you're kayaking under the city's glow or unraveling history step by step, these are indisputably the things to do in Victoria that will have you coming back for more. Here's to living your best life—one spectacular Victoria adventure at a time.

Meet the Author
Aria Ohlsson
Aria Ohlsson, the Instagram storyteller extraordinaire, takes you on adventures through her enchanting narratives. An avid hiker, she scales peaks and weaves tales of mountaintop triumphs. When she's not conquering trails, you'll find her immersed in classic novels, finding inspiration for her next tale.
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