Victoria is a beautiful city located at the Pacific Coast of Canada on Vancouver Island. This quaint and charming city enjoys the mildest climate in Canada. Golfing and gardening are a way of life for many residents, and outdoor activities can be enjoyed year round.
The city was named after Queen Victoria and its British heritage is apparent with many gift shops selling fine china, Irish lace, and woolens and tartans. There also are several tea rooms. A visit to the Empress Hotel at the waterfront to enjoy their afternoon tea is an experience many tourists don't want to miss. This hotel overlooks the Inner Harbour, the area where the Washington state ferries arrive, and across the street from the stately Parliament buildings which are brightly lit at night.
Ferries go from Victoria to the British Columbia mainland and Washington state many times a day and all year. The ferry trips are all very scenic as you enjoy passing by many small islands and the mountain views. Be prepared for possible long line ups, particularly on weekends and holidays.
Walking tours downtown are very popular, and you can also see the sights by taking one of the many horse drawn carriage tours. There is much to see and enjoy downtown all within short walking distance.
Thunderbird Park is small but is renowned for its native heritage and totem poles. Close by is Beacon Hill Park, absolutely beautiful in the spring with the rhododendrons, tulips and daffodils, but it can be enjoyed even in the winter months. Victoria has winter pansies, heather, and primrose flowers that time of year.
The Carillon bell tower chimes on the hour and is a gift to the city from the Netherlands marking Canada's centennial back in 1967.
Victoria's Chinatown is small but beacons the visitor with its ornate gate featuring two stone lions. It is the oldest in North America and has fine restaurants and shops.
There are many restaurants featuring every cuisine. Especially popular is salmon and shellfish, fresh from the Pacific waters. You may also enjoy Italian, Greek, and British among many others.
The world renowned Butchart Gardens is located about an hour away from downtown Victoria. The sunken garden is breathtaking and the gardens also feature roses, a Japanese garden, two fine restaurants and in the summer spectacular fireworks. The gardens are illuminated at night in the summer time.
Victoria is rated one of the world's favorite places and with good reason. With so much natural beauty, lots of activities to enjoy, pleasant climate and outstanding accommodations and dining it is a city that is not to be missed!
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