On the southern tip of Vancouver Island, off Canada’s Pacific coast, is the city of Victoria – the capital of British Columbia. The city is situated 100 kilometres or 62 miles from British Columbia’s largest city, Vancouver, on the mainland. Victoria is named after Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom and, at the time, British North America; and is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. Climate in the city is described as temperate, with mild, rainy winters and cool, dry, and sunny summers.
What to see & do
Dating back to the British settlement, many of the historic structures in Victoria have been retained; some of the most famous landmarks include the British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel. Another major attraction in the city is the Chinatown, the second oldest in North America next to the Chinatown in San Francisco. As an attractive city that boasts of various flowers blooming during the winter and early spring, as well as many rare, native plants, Victoria is also known as “The Garden City”. Beautiful and rugged shorelines and beaches can also be enjoyed in Victoria, as well as whale watching tours at the Inner Harbour. Regional public events like the Canada Day fireworks displays, Symphony Splash, and many other music festivals and cultural events take place at Downtown Victoria, dotted with night clubs, theatres, restaurants, and pubs. Victoria is also a host for many popular international sporting events including the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, the Tall Ships Festival, and the Vic-Maui Yacht Race – the longest offshore sailboat race on the West Coast. Shopping in the city can be done at Bay Centre, Hillside Shopping Centre, Mayfair Shopping Centre, and Tillicum Centre. Victoria’s main urban green space is the Beacon Hill Park near the city’s southern shore. The park covers several playing fields, gardens, exotic species of plants and animals, and spectacular views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in Washington. Other noteworthy points of interest in Victoria also include the Victoria Police Department Station Museum, the gothic Christ Church Cathedral, and the Royal British Columbia Museum, which displays large exhibits about local Aboriginal settlers, natural history, and modern history, as well as travelling international exhibits. In the core of Downtown Victoria are the Emily Carr House, Victoria Bug Zoo, Market Square, and the Pacific Undersea Gardens. The city also has facilities for rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, golf, and water sports.
How to get around within Victoria
The city has hundreds of kilometres of bicycle paths, bike lanes, and bike routes, for which Victoria is also referred to as the “Cycling Capital of Canada”. Local public transportation in Victoria is managed by the Victoria Regional Transit System, which operates the double decker buses that became an icon for the city. Getting between the tourist attractions in Victoria is easy, as the roads in the city wind around hills, parks, coastlines, and historic neighbourhoods. Rental cars are offered by many companies in Victoria, while pedicabs offer guided tours of the city.
How to get there
Get to the city of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada by air via Victoria International Airport. Located 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres or 14 miles) north-northwest of the city, the airport is served by Air Canada, Air Canada Express, Alaska Airlines, Air Transat, Island Express Air, Orca Airways, Pacific Coastal Airlines, Sunwing Airlines, United Express, WestJet, and WestJet Encore. The airlines at Victoria International Airport handle domestic flights and flights to and from the United States, as well as seasonal flights to and from destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. BC Ferries, and cruise ships. Boats from the United States also have trips to Vancouver Island and Victoria.
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Airports near Victoria
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