May through September 2013
When: Every Sunday until Labour Day Weekend at 10:45 AM
Where: Victoria’s Inner Harbour. The best vantage point is from the Causeway in front of the Empress Hotel or just past Pacific Undersea Gardens.
Victoria Harbour Ferries Celebrate 20 years of Dancing in Victoria’s Inner Harbour
Locals and visitors are invited to come down to Victoria’s Inner Harbour every Sunday throughout the summer to watch the Victoria Harbour Ferries perform their world famous water ballet. Don’t miss the ferries perform weekly to the music of the Blue Danube Waltz. Each Sunday the skippers take the famous pickle boats through the paces in a precision water ballet. This is an event for the whole family- for locals and visitors. As locals continue to think about summer activities that are close to home, viewing the Victoria Harbour Ferry Ballet is just one of the many things they can do along the harbour and in their very own backyard.
Victoria’s “Hidden Treasure” - Fisherman’s Wharf
Just around the corner from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria is a jewel waiting to be discovered. You’ll find fathoms of fun for the whole family, and it’s all just a few minutes away from downtown. Catch a harbour ferry from one of the many locations around the harbour to Fisherman’s Wharf. Have fish and chips at Barb’s or The Fish Store, or tacos at Puerto Vallarta Amigos. Grab an ice cream cone at Jackson’s Ice Cream before heading out on a kayak excursion with Kelp Reef Adventures! Eagle Wing Whale Watching will take you and your family out to see spectacular wildlife. Wander the docks and check out funky float homes, and see the resident harbour seals right up close!
Royal B.C. Museum is located in the heart of downtown Victoria, near the Inner Harbour. Allow yourself at least 90 minutes to visit.
The Royal BC Museum Corporation is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world. The museum was founded in 1886; the archives in 1894. In 2003 these two organizations integrated to become British Columbia’s combined provincial museum and archives, collecting artifacts, documents and specimens of BC’s natural and human history, safeguarding them for the future, and sharing them with the world.
The Maritime Museum, downtown in Bastion Square offers a fascinating insight into Victoria’s marine history.
The Maritime Museum of BC first opened its doors to the public in 1955 as a naval museum located on Signal Hill just outside the gates of the HMC Dockyard in Esquimalt. By 1965, the museum had outgrown the original location and found a new home in the former Supreme Court building in Bastion Square − the oldest surviving Courthouse in the province and still in operation today!
The Butchart Gardens. Rent a car or take a bus out to see the gardens; a self-service style cafeteria is available for lunch, or a dining room for dinner (reservations needed for dining room). If you are in Victoria over a Saturday make sure to see the evening fireworks (get there early). Allow yourself 90 minutes to tour the gardens as well as 45 minutes travel time each way from downtown.
High tea can be enjoyed at The Fairmont Empress Hotel (reservations required and there is a dress code) or at Point Ellice House, an historic home on the Gorge Waterway. Take the Victoria Harbour Ferry to their dock (reservations needed on weekends in July and August). Allow yourself at least 90 minutes for tea and a tour of the house.
Beacon Hill Park is a short walk from downtown. Stroll through the rose garden, visit the children’s petting zoo or watch a game of cricket. Continue through the park to the waterfront, walk along the path or visit the beach where you can rest and watch the ships pass by. This can take all day if you fall asleep on the lawn after a picnic in the shade of the trees.
China Town – Be brought up-close and granted exclusive access to the heart of Old Chinatown. Explore Canada’s Chinese heritage first hand. Discover the ancient cultures that continue to enrich life here. Absorb Old Chinatown; a LIVING MUSEUM.
The Design District - This is where lazy afternoons offer the perfect excuse to enjoy a relaxed lunch or early dinner in one of the many cafés, brewpubs and fine restaurants. Indulge your sense of style in this dynamic neighbourhood of shops, boutiques and design businesses where you’ll find unique treasures for your home and garden. Discover your treasure today.
Galloping Goose Trail / Barnard Park
Galloping Goose Trail / Barnard Park offers a fun way of exploring Victoria and its surrounding area while leaving the car at home.
Victoria has the distinction of having more restaurant seats per capita than any other city in North America. There is a wide variety of cuisines and prices. Seafood is a specialty for many and of course you must have fish & chips wrapped in paper. There are also many excellent in-house brewpubs for anyone who likes to sample beer.
RV Parks & Camping
Victoria has some of the best RV Park on Vancouver Island.
Beachcomber RV Park is within a few minutes drive to downtown Victoria, Butchart Gardens, BC Ferries…. http://www.beachcomberrv.com/
All prices are in Canadian Funds. To get the best exchange rate, either change your currency at a bank (most of which have branches located on Douglas Street) or use your Visa or MasterCard, many businesses also take American Express. Almost all services or products are subject to HST (Harmonized Sales Tax 14%) a refund can be applied for the HST, so keep your receipts and obtain a form at any Currency Exchange office.
Length of Stay
You should plan on staying for at least 2-3 nights. If you arrive in the mid afternoon, get settled, see the downtown shopping area, visit Butchart Gardens or the Royal BC Museum, have dinner, your day is then over. Think about using Victoria as your “base camp” and heading out to other parts of the Island on day trips.
You really need a full day to get out and see the sights, walk around the waterfront, see the gardens and some of the attractions. Victoria is the city of Gardens, it also has a popular downtown core, so make time to escape from the crowds; stroll through Beacon Hill Park and have an ice cream cone while sitting on a bench watching the ships pass by.