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Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island

Devote a day to Victoria's picturesque Inner Harbour. Here you'll find popular sites like the Parliament Buildings and the Royal British Columbia Museum, as well as cafés and restaurants boasting wonderful views of the water. After you've exhausted central Victoria, get a feel for British Columbia's natural side: Spend some time at the renowned Butchart Gardens, hike through Goldstream Provincial Park or enjoy a ferry ride to nearby Sooke (and keep your eyes peeled for whales). Just make sure you save an afternoon for the Cowichan Valley, where dozens of small vineyards offer tours and tastings.

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How We Rank Things to Do
#1
Cowichan Valley
Wineries/Breweries, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 5.0

Why go: British Columbia is peppered with vineyards, but strict distribution laws mean you won't find BC wine outside the province ... read more»

#2
Parliament Buildings Free attraction
Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The British Columbia Parliament Buildings are hard to miss. These neo-baroque structures with their impressive blue dome face off against ... read more»

#3
Goldstream Provincial Park Free attraction
Hiking, Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Located about 10 miles northwest of Victoria, Goldstream Provincial Park houses a stunning array of flora and abundant natural beauty ... read more»

#4
Inner Harbour Free attraction
Sightseeing, Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: The Inner Harbour is Victoria's primary tourist neighborhood. The harbor itself -- home to various fishing boats and colorful floating ... read more»

#5
Sooke
Neighborhood/Area | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: This little community on the southwestern tip of Vancouver Island makes for a quaint and quiet alternative to Victoria. Sooke ... read more»

#6
Royal British Columbia Museum
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Heralded as one of the best small museums in the world by many travel professionals, The Royal British Columbia Museum ... read more»

#7
Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Recreation, Skiing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Sitting on the eastern edge of Vancouver Island's Strathcona Provincial Park, the Mount Washington Alpine Resort is one of ... read more»

#8
Butchart Gardens
Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: These world-renowned gardens have been wow-ing Victoria visitors since 1904. Resting on 55 acres about 14 miles north of the ... read more»

#9
Fairmont Empress Hotel
Cafes, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.5

Why go: Challenging the Parliament Buildings from across the Inner Harbour is the elegant Fairmont Empress Hotel. Built in the early 20th ... read more»

#10
Juan de Fuca Provincial Park Free attraction
Hiking, Parks and Gardens | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: It's not sandy shores that draw visitors to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park on Vancouver Island's southwest coast ... read more»

#11
Victoria Bug Zoo
Museums, Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: If you're traveling to Victoria with kids in tow, many recent visitors recommend a stop at the Victoria Bug ... read more»

#12
Craigdarroch Castle
Historic Homes/Mansions, Sightseeing | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 4.0

Why go: To sample the Victorian highlife, head about a mile east of the Inner Harbour to Craigdarroch Castle. This impressive site ... read more»

#13
Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Parks and Gardens, Zoos and Aquariums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: While you wouldn't normally relate Canada with the jungle, the tropical wetlands thrive in the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Like ... read more»

#14
Miniature World
Museums | Map It

Overall Rating: Rating: 3.5

Why go: Miniature World continues to delight the young and the young-at-heart with its numerous tiny worlds. Sitting just a short walk ... read more»

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Victoria & Vancouver Island is Ranked...