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Victoria attractions from a bed and breakfast in Victoria BC

Victoria attractions downtown and in surrounding areas - here are some suggested places to visit when staying at our bed and breakfasts.

   Inner Harbour Victoria BC  Downtown Victoria hanging basket

Victoria BC attractions

Many of Victoria's principal heritage attractions, museums and gardens can be seen at www.heritagevictoria.org.

BC Parliament Buildings in the Inner Harbour is the seat of the provincial government. Join a tour and see the restoration in all of its late 19th century glory - see below photos of the exterior with Christmas lights and the interior of the dome.

Parliament Building at night   BC Legislature interior   Emily Carr House

Across the street from the BC Parliament Buildings is the Royal British Columbia Museum at Royal BC Museum675 Belleville Street, Victoria. This is a superlative museum packed with realistic west coast displays and famed for its Pacific Northwest aboriginal art collection. Allow at least two or three hours for your visit. The Museum is also home to the National Geographic IMAX Theatre. For more First Nations art, including totem poles, walk next door to Thunderbird Park.

Pacific Undersea Gardens at 490 Belleville Street - walk beneath the Inner Harbour for a different way to view the marine life of this coastal region.

Miniature World - "The Greatest Little Show on Earth" has over 80 miniature exhibits with tiny treasures at 649 Humboldt Street, Victoria.

While in the Inner Harbour enjoy a stroll along the walkways, either south from the end of Belleville Street to Fisherman's Wharf (there to enjoy whale-watching and Barb's Fish and Chips), or north from the blue Johnson Street bridge to the West Bay Marina. Look out for seals, otters and herons. In summer evenings the Causeway in front of the Empress Hotel comes alive with local artists and the lights of the Parliament Buildings are impressive.

A wide variety of walking tours are available, select from www.discoverthepast.com, www.walkabouts.ca and www.dandahumphreys.com.

Regally overlooking them all is The Empress Hotel, worth poking around to enjoy the magnificent carved wood and stained glass from Edwardian times - use the southern entrance. One of several venues in Victoria for high tea.

Walk north past the Information Centre to the Maritime Museum of BC with its galleries related to the seafaring life. It is at 28 Bastion Square, the original heart of Victoria when it was a fur-trading fort, built in the 1840s before Gold Rush fever in the later 1800s. The Hudson's Bay Co. fort disappeared to be replaced by neighbourhoods such as Chinatown, a living museum in itself – look out for tiny Fan Tan Alley.

Victoria, Western Canada's oldest city, has also managed to preserve several homes that date from the mid to late 1800's. Three which are open to the public (see: www.tsa.gov.bc.ca) are : 
- The home of Emily Carr, an "English Gingerbread" house built in 1864 that also provides insight into Canada's first well-known artist and writer, Emily Carr (photo above right).
- Helmcken House, beside the Royal BC Museum, is the oldest historic house in the province, built in 1852.
- Point Ellice House, is an Italianate Victorian family home where high tea is served. It can be reached by the charming little Harbour Ferries and h2otaxis which you will see criss-crossing the Inner Harbour also connecting spots like Fisherman's Wharf and the Gorge Waterway.

Craigdarroch Castle in the Rockland area of Victoria   Craigdarroch Castle interior

The most magnificent home of all is on a hill overlooking Victoria's downtown. Craigdarroch Castle (above) furnished lavishly by the Dunsmuir family in the 1890s is a striking example of what money can buy. 1050 Joan Crescent.

See other Victoria area attractions.

 
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