Victoria – ideas for free time

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Victoria’s is home to a range of historic and cultural buildings. The Royal British Columbia Museum is widely considered to be the province’s best museum, with natural history exhibits, a recreated early colonial Victoria street-scene, and an excellent, in-depth exhibit on the culture of the First Nations peoples of Vancouver Island. The Legislature Building and Government House are worth a visit for those interested in the political landscape of the city and the Art Gallery of Great Victoria houses some wonderful local and international artwork.

For outdoor lovers then a wildlife watching or sightseeing trip is a must. Be whisked away by boat or seaplane to view sweeping ocean landscapes and hopefully spot some iconic marine mammals. Trips depart from the Inner Harbour, dominated by the grand and historic Fairmont Empress Hotel and flanked with pretty gardens and a walkway which skirts the waterfront. Around the corner from the harbour you will find the colourful floating homes of Fisherman’s Wharf where you can wander along the docks, watch the fishing vessels offload their catch and enjoy an ice cream or coffee from one of the kiosks.

Nearby Butchart Gardens is a particularly colourful place to visit in the spring and summer, with thousands of flowers in bloom across the various floral display gardens, which in turn attract a wealth of butterflies, bees and birds.

Victoria is also home to ‘Mile 0’, being the ‘starting’ point of the 7,821 kilometre Trans-Canada Highway, the ‘end’ point being on the east coast of Newfoundland. It may take you some time to traverse the whole distance but get your photo taken at this end and perhaps dream of, one day, making it to the other.


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