Image courtesy of Tourism Victoria
Welcome to Victoria!
Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is the provincial capital and a true coastal city! The downtown core is located on the traditional lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations.
Renowned as the City of Gardens, the largest city on the island is also known for world-class cold-water diving, a mild climate, and a vast array of cultural activities. Victoria is a major player in BC’s tourism industry, welcoming approximately 240 cruise ships and 550,000 cruise passengers from April to October. Not to be outdone, The Butchart Gardens alone welcomes over one million visitors each year!
Victoria’s micro-climate location and mild weather means guests to the city can enjoy outdoor activities all year, from cycling the hundreds of kilometres of bike paths to bouncing across the waves on a whale watching tour. Learn more about Victoria here.
Cultural attractions in Victoria’s downtown core include the Royal BC Museum (founded in 1886), the provincial museum and host organization for this conference, The Robert Bateman Centre, and the Maritime Museum of British Columbia. Just up the road, visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to see the 2nd greatest collection of Asian art in Canada, or stop by Craigdarroch Castle to see the immaculately restored 1890’s mansion built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir. Victoria is also home to many National Historic Sites and other cultural sites of interest.
Taking a walk around Victoria? Stop by Fan Tan Alley, the narrowest street in Canada in the heart of the Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Watch float planes take off and land in the Inner Harbour – yes, Victoria’s harbour is also an international airport. Grab a bite surrounded by scenic float homes at Fisherman’s Wharf, or eat a meal at one of Victoria’s countless restaurants – Victoria is second only to San Francisco for most restaurants per capita in North America. If you’re more interested in a liquid meal, there are dozens of bars, brewpubs, and nightclubs within walking distance of downtown. For something quieter, sip one of the 500,000 cups of tea served annually at the Fairmont Empress.
Victoria is an internationally renowned heritage city, having been awarded the Prince of Wales Prize for its dedication to preserving the City’s heritage buildings and districts. Take a walking tour to learn about the architecture – or the ghosts that inhabit the districts.
Want to enjoy the great outdoors? Beacon Hill Park, a 154-acre public park donated to the city by Sir James Douglas, is located just a 15 minute walk from the Inn at Laurel Point. In the park you will see the world’s largest totem pole, a free putting green, carefully-tended gardens, a duck pond complete with romantic stone bridge, a wild Garry Oak meadow ecosystem, and even some peacocks. You can also walk around the Inner Harbour on the David Foster Harbour Pathway (go a bit farther and you’ll reach the Ogden Point Breakwater) or hop on a Victoria Harbour Ferry to float across the harbour or up the Gorge Waterway.