There are a number of reasons that over 92,000 people choose to call Victoria home. First and foremost, housing prices are generally lower than in most other parts of Canada. In addition, Victoria has access to some fantastic recreational opportunities including fishing, hiking, swimming, and golfing. Not to mention, it’s British Columbia‘s capital city and is just an hour away from Vancouver!
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About Victoria, BC
Victoria’s economy relies heavily on tourism and the public sector so it has quite a few attractions that bring visitors from all over North America, Europe, and Asia to come for vacation time or even to relocate their families. A great place to start when moving to the Victoria area is the Victoria Tourist Centre, which has information on all of Victoria’s attractions and can help you find accommodations or even a job if you’re looking for one here.
Victoria’s atmosphere is very laid back, and there are plenty of cafes to choose from if you’re looking for a place to try some new coffee or meet up with some friends. There’s no shortage of things to do throughout the city. From playing soccer or tennis at Beacon Hill Park to checking out some unique art galleries and museums downtown, Victoria has a little bit of everything. Victoria is a great place to live and work, with excellent access to the outdoors. With many natural attractions available from just a ferry ride away, you’ll have no problem settling into the beauty Victoria has to offer.
Victoria Real Estate Market
Victoria has a number of great neighborhoods including Oaklands (upscale and pricey), Fernwood (with lots of trees and bungalows), and Rockland (an excellent choice if you’re looking to buy a home on the waterfront). There are a number of condos being built throughout the city, including some designed by award-winning architects. Home prices in Victoria range from $300,000 to $900,000 and can go up to as much as $11 million. A majority of the homes in the Victoria area are traditional bungalows and Victorians.
Victoria, BC Transportation
Victoria is very walkable, with many attractions easily accessible by foot. If you’re looking to explore further outside of the downtown area, Victoria has a transit system that runs throughout the city and outlying suburbs. If the weather is nice then biking around town would be another option to explore on your own time. There are bike lanes throughout the city as well as designated side roads for cyclists. When it comes to driving through Victoria, the major routes are the Trans-Canada Highway and Victoria’s own Pat Bay Highway.
Distance to Nearby Cities
- 96km (59 miles) to Vancouver, BC
- 119km (73 miles) to Seattle, WA, USA
- 85km (52 miles) to Surrey, BC
- 92km (57 miles) to Burnaby, BC
Things To Do in Victoria, BC
The Victoria waterfront is a hub for all things to do in the area. There are plenty of restaurants, like The Blackbird Pub and Grill or Tacofino Commissary to satisfy any craving. Make sure that you check out the local breweries including Phillips Brewery, Spinnakers Brewpub & Distillery, Central City Brewing, and Victoria Caledonian Brewery. If breweries aren’t your cup of tea, then visit Beacon Hill Park where you can find beautiful gardens and a number of statues commemorating Victoria’s history. If you’re looking for a family-friendly destination, Victoria is the place to be as it has plenty of kid-friendly attractions including The Royal BC Museum, Butterfly Gardens at Hatley Castle, and Oak Bay Beach. You can also spend your time working on your swing in one of Victoria Golf Club’s satellite courses.
- Royal British Columbia Museum
- The Royal British Columbia Museum is the most well-known museum of natural history, art, and culture in Western Canada. The permanent exhibits range from wildlife dioramas to a life-size recreation of a Great War trench under glass. Not only that, but they have rotating temporary exhibitions, so be sure to check out their schedule before you go.
- Beacon Hill Park
- Beacon Hill Park is an expansive urban park that offers a variety of activities. This includes six tennis courts and over 30 kilometres of well-maintained trails. The park also has a children’s playground and two soccer fields which are home to Victoria’s only all-weather artificial turf field.
- Inner Harbour
- The Inner Harbour is one of Victoria’s most popular destinations. It features a wide variety of restaurants, shops, and attractions to suit all budgets. There are also live music events that take place throughout the summer, and if you want to spend a day by the ocean, you can catch a boat from one of the docks to explore Victoria’s coastline.
- Craigdarroch Castle
- Craigdarroch Castle is a 19th century mansion built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Located in Butchart Gardens, the castle offers tours of the house and gardens, which boasts over 200 different types of plants from all around the world.
- Legislative Assembly of British Columbia
- The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia is Victoria’s provincial parliament building. It houses the premier legislative library and a huge collection of paintings by 18th-century English artist Benjamin West. People love visiting this beautiful spot as it is also one of Victoria’s most popular wedding venues.
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- Fisherman’s Wharf is a five-minute, picturesque walk away from Victoria Harbour. The wharf features many restaurants that serve fresh seafood, shops along the bayfront boardwalk, and fishing boats anchored in the harbour. This area offers beautiful views of Victoria’s iconic Inner Harbour and is a popular spot for visitors and locals alike to watch the sunset.
- Scenic Marine Route
- The Scenic Marine Route is a cruise past many of Victoria’s most iconic sights. The ticket for a Victoria Scenic Cruise is relatively inexpensive and includes admission to all of the attractions: Fisherman’s Wharf, Victoria Harbour, the Inner Harbour and Empress Hotel, the Parliament Buildings, Christ Church Cathedral, Victoria’s Chinatown District.
- Miniature World
- The Miniature World is a free attraction that allows visitors to experience Victoria on a miniature scale. With replicas of the Empress Hotel, Parliament Building, and other notable landmarks at an approximate ratio of one inch to every 12 feet, it’s possible for visitors to walk along these structures like giants or roam through them as if they were in real life. The exhibit is open daily, so it’s worth stopping by for a unique Victoria experience.
- Abkhazi Garden
- The Abkhazi Garden, also known as the Victoria Japanese Gardens, is a tranquil escape from daily life. The garden is a collaboration between Roy Suzuki and Dr. Tetsunari Inouye set in a three acre space that includes both Japanese influences and other Asian touches. The garden is open year-round, making it an excellent spot to enjoy during any season.
- Oak Bay Beach
- Oak Bay Beach is a popular area for Victoria locals and visitors to spend some time. The public beach offers an easy escape from city life and often has many summer events such as concerts, fireworks displays, surfing lessons, kayaking sessions, etc.! The Oak Bay Beach rises up next to Victoria’s southernmost point and you can walk along the coastline for miles. It’s also a popular spot to watch Victoria’s famed Tall Ships during their stay at Clover Point. The beach offers a variety of restaurants, shops, cafes, and hotels that have all been built in harmony with nature which makes them an inviting place to relax with the family.
Victoria, BC Day Trips
If you’re looking for a day trip out of Victoria, head over to Victoria’s neighboring city, Seattle. Getting there is easy with a short ferry ride and you’ll be rewarded for the trip with amazing views of Mount Rainier National Park. Another day trip out of Victoria is to the Vancouver Island town of Cowichan Bay which offers a number of natural attractions from lakes, to fishing opportunities, and plenty of water activities. If you want to see the natural beauty of Victoria, then head over to Butchart Gardens and be sure not to miss Craigdarroch Castle while you’re there.
- Butchart Gardens – The Butchart Gardens are Victoria’s number one tourist attraction and they can be found about 45 minutes outside of the city. The garden is an all-year destination with a wide variety of gardens to explore, from summer favourites like the English Rose Garden which boasts acres filled with beautiful flowers in every hue imaginable, to winter favorites like the Japanese Garden with its 13 acres of tranquil, Zen-like beauty.
- Sooke – In Sooke, you’ll find beautiful beaches and a variety of things to do. Spend the day at Mill Bay Beach with the family or take in the views on top of Mount Washington for an unparalleled panorama that will leave you speechless. If you’re looking for something more adventurous, spend some time exploring East Sooke Park or take a dip in the Sooke Potholes (if you can make the hike, it’s worth it!). Sooke has a lot to offer, from shopping for antiques along Sooke’s “Antique Alley”, to fishing in the ocean, to hiking Victoria Peak with its awe-inspiring views of Victoria Harbour.
- Saanich, Peninsula – With views from the ocean and multiple bays, this beautiful spot is home to endless attractions. Our favorite beach for gazing at the view? Island View Beach. This expanse of sand overlooks Mount Baker and is home to trails, nature, and spectacular sunsets. Before heading to the beach, stop by a farmer’s market like Peninsula Country Market or North Saanich Farm Market during summer to stock up on fresh snacks made locally.
- Cowichan Bay – A small town with a large population of musicians and artists, Cowichan Bay is the perfect place to relax on one of its many beaches. It’s also home to some great restaurants like The Narrows Cafe which offers views of Cowichan Bay from their waterfront patio while you enjoy your food. Cowichan Bay has a beautiful downtown area with a variety of shops and restaurants. Whether you are looking to spend a day at the beach, or explore some fun dining and shopping options, Cowichan Bay is the perfect day trip out of Victoria.