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Canada: Highlights of Vancouver Island


Canada: Highlights of Vancouver Island

story by: Mike Williams

On the southern tip of Vancouver Island an elegant reminder of the British Empire lives on as the capital of British Columbia. Victoria, with its iconic Provincial Legislature buildings and Empress Hotel, provides a remarkable contrast to the untamed landscapes that surround it.

Indulge in a traditional afternoon tea in the Empress’ Tea Lobby and stroll among the immaculate floral displays that make the Butchart Gardens one of the world’s best, while not far off shore pods of Orcas play. The Inner Harbour is the best place to begin enjoying the city’s charms. Once a bustling port of fur traders and dealers in legal opium sales, the old town brings the history of Victoria’s past alive. Uncover more local history at the Royal BC Museum, one of the world’s best small museums.
  • BUTCHART GARDENS – Victoria is known for the world famous Butchart Gardens. A designated National Historic Site, Butchart has 55 acres of magnificent gardens to explore.
  • ROGERS CHOCOLATE SHOP - No visit to Victoria is complete without visiting Rogers Chocolate shop. The first chocolates were made in 1885, and they haven’t looked back since. Try one of their many flavours or take some home as a gift.
  • WHALE WATCHING – The waters surrounding Vancouver Island are home to amazing marine life. Almost 100 Orcas live off Victoria’s coastline and are the focus of thrilling wildlife tours. 
  • DINING – With the second highest number of restaurants per capita in North America, Victoria is a culinary paradise. Many of the city’s top chefs focus their menus on products grown on Vancouver Island. 
  • SHOPPING – Four blocks along Government Street turn into Trounce Alley, one of Victoria’s best kept secrets. Fashion and gift shops await. Across the street is Bastion Square, once the site of Victoria’s Court House, a brothel and several hangings, and is now full with shops and restaurants. 
  • GHOST TOURS – Victoria is said to be one of the most haunted towns in British Columbia with over 5,000 years of Native History. Explore historic courtyards, alleys and other scary places.

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