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How to Spend 1 Day in Victoria

How to Spend 1 Day in Victoria

A ferry ride—and a world—away from busy Vancouver, British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria can feel like a time warp. This is where locals gather for high tea, stroll blooming rose gardens, and take to the sea to spot whales and bald eagles cruising over the whitecaps. Here’s how to make the most of one day in Victoria.  

Morning: History on the Harbor

Some of Victoria’s most elegant architecture is packed into the area around the harbor, making it easy to check out the highlights in a morning of exploring. Cars are impractical in the compact center, so ride a bike, set out on a walking tour, or step aboard a horse-drawn carriage for the full royal treatment. Victoria cafes are packed with old-world charm, and after you’ve seen the sights, be sure to snag a sidewalk table for a steaming cup of tea. 

Afternoon: Garden Walk or Whale Watch

Now that you’ve covered local history, spend an afternoon in the natural world. Choose between two of Victoria’s most beloved experiences: Board a boat for a whale-watching tour or head to Butchart Gardens’ endless rows of colorful flowers. With just half a day in Butchart Gardens, plan your time carefully to see the areas that interest you most; you need multiple days to see the entire grounds. When choosing a whale-watching tour, check the weather and choose accordingly. Options range from stable, big-boat cruises with enclosed and heated cabins to outings in open speedboats that offer a more exciting (and saltier) experience. 

Night: Salish Sea Sunset

Evening light transforms the coast, so head to the water to catch sunset in Victoria. Simply find a perch at a seaside cafe, or bundle up for a sunset cruise or evening whale-watching tour. If you’re returning to Vancouver, one way back is by seaplane. An evening flight from Victoria to Vancouver gives you the chance to see the island from the air, spot marine wildlife in the water below you, and see Vancouver’s glittering skyline before you touch back down.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Victoria Tours

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Victoria to Vancouver Seaplane Flight

Victoria to Vancouver Seaplane Flight

star-4.5
Enjoy swift travel and breathtaking views over British Columbia on this Victoria to Vancouver seaplane flight. Hop aboard your seaplane in Victoria’s Inner Harbour and take to the skies with your pilot. Enjoy panoramic views over local landmarks including Ogden Point, the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the BC Parliament Buildings. Soar over the Gulf Islands’ sandy beaches and dense forests, and look out for the mighty Lion’s Gate Bridge and Brockton Peninsula.
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  • 35 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$174.27
From
$174.27
Taking safety measures

Victoria Whale and Wildlife Cruise

Victoria Whale and Wildlife Cruise

star-5
Get up close with the killer whales on the Salish Sea with this guided, 3.5-hour whale-watching cruise from Victoria. Climb aboard a covered or open boat equipped with hydrophones to hear the whales and bring the underwater experience to light. Every voyage is led by a certified marine naturalist with a passion for the area’s marine wildlife. In addition to humpback, killer, minke and gray whales, see other wildlife like porpoises, sea lions, seals, otters and marine birds. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.
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  • 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$117.84
From
$117.84

Butchart Gardens Tour from Victoria

Butchart Gardens Tour from Victoria

star-4.5
Take a sweet-smelling stroll through Victoria’s famous Butchart Gardens, spanning 55 acres (22.2 hectares) of beautifully designed flower beds, lily ponds, footbridges, and thematic landscapes. With a convenient pickup location and a flexible return shuttle schedule, it’s an easy way to experience one of Victoria’s most popular attractions. Visit during summer or holiday season evenings to witness special luminous displays that add an extra touch of enchantment to the gardens.
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  • 3 to 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$56.36
From
$56.36
Taking safety measures

Victoria City and Butchart Gardens Private Half-Day Tour

Victoria City and Butchart Gardens Private Half-Day Tour

star-5
Explore the beautifully historic center of Victoria, then trade downtown streets for the flower-lined paths of Butchart Gardens on a half-day, private tour of the city. You'll start with a trip to Fisherman's Wharf, then see the Parliament Buildings, the Empress Hotel, Beacon Hill Park, and Craigdarroch Castle, following scenic roads through the Vancouver Island countryside. With departures throughout the day, this tour of Victoria highlights is priced per vehicle, and can be tailored to your private group of up to seven people.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$352.53
per group
From
$352.53
per group
Taking safety measures

Victoria Guided Food and History Tour

Victoria Guided Food and History Tour

star-5
Explore Victoria's history and culinary scene on this walking tour of the British Columbian city. Follow a guide to highlights such as the Parliament Buildings, the Inner Harbor Causeway, Trounce Alley, Bastion and Market squares, Fan Tan Alley, the Harmonious Gates of Interest, and the Victoria Public Market. Along the way, stop for between food tastings of craft beer, chocolate, tea, tapas, cheese, bread, olive oil, and other local products.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$50.36
From
$50.36
Taking safety measures

Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists

Whale-Watching Cruise with Expert Naturalists

star-4.5
Hit the waves with expert naturalists in search of Canadian sea-life on this whale-watching cruise from Victoria. Hop aboard your whale-watching boat and head out into the rolling seas with your guide. Gaze out over Victoria’s attractive coastline and watch the waves for sightings of graceful orcas. Listen as the two expert naturalists onboard explain the life cycles of the majestic creatures, and learn of their pivotal role near the top of the marine food chain. Enjoy fine views from the seating areas both inside and on-deck. 
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$73.65
From
$73.65
Taking safety measures

Zodiac Whale Watching Adventure from Victoria

Zodiac Whale Watching Adventure from Victoria

star-5
Admire native marine wildlife in the waters of British Columbia on this 3-hour whale-watching adventure in Victoria. Hop aboard your open-top boat in Victoria Harbour and cruise out into the rolling waves with your guide. Your vessel, a zodiac speedboat, is built with stability in mind and remains buoyant even in rough seas. Cruise through the Haro Straight to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Watch the water for sightings of humpback whales, minke whales and orcas breaching the waves, and learn of their life cycle and migration habits.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$121.92
From
$121.92
Taking safety measures

60-Minute The Royal Carriage Tour

60-Minute The Royal Carriage Tour

star-5
Feel like you’ve stepped back in time to vintage Victoria with a 1-hour tour through the city’s most splendid neighborhoods aboard a horse-drawn carriage. Beginning at the illustrious Empress hotel, admire sailing ships in the Inner Harbor and trot through the leafy gardens and lawns of Beacon Hill Park. Pass stately Victorian mansions and other local landmarks like the Trans-Canada Highway Mile 0 marker, and take in fantastic views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca during the stylish ride. 
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  • 1 hour
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$171.87
per group
From
$171.87
per group
Taking safety measures

Victoria Castles and Neighborhoods Bike Tour

Victoria Castles and Neighborhoods Bike Tour

star-5
Spin through downtown Victoria on two wheels and discover top city attractions with ease on this Victoria castles and neighborhoods bike tour. Hop onto your bike and follow your guide through the city streets. Learn of Victoria’s colorful past through its historic buildings, and explore districts including the Inner Harbour, Cook Street Village, and Chinatown. Enjoy fine views over the Dallas Road waterfront and admire the eery Craigdarroch Castle. Cycle through Moss Rock Park and Beacon Hill Park, and soak up the artistic atmosphere in leafy Fernwood.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$46.76
From
$46.76
Taking safety measures