Things to Do in Victoria - page 2
Perched on a rocky promontory off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, the red and white tower of the Fisgard Lighthouse is immediately noticeable from the water and makes a popular photo opportunity for visitors cruising the coast from nearby Victoria. The Lighthouse is more than just a navigational landmark, though – Fisgard has been guiding ships into Victoria harbor since 1860, making it Canada's oldest West Coast lighthouse and now an important national historic site.
Looming behind the lighthouse, Fort Rodd Hill is another significant site, dotted with the remains of the 19th and 20th century coastal defenses that once protected Victoria and the neighboring Esquimalt Naval Base. Visitors can explore three artillery batteries, plus the command posts, guardhouses, underground magazines and barracks, where multi-media displays and interactive exhibitions bring the historic site to life.
Arriving in Victoria by ship is a fantastic introduction to the British Columbian capital city and the Victoria Cruise Port is now the busiest cruise ship stop in all of Canada. Conveniently situated at Ogden Point, not far from downtown and Inner Harbour attractions, Victoria Cruise Port is the ideal jumping-off point for exploring British Columbia.
Dotted around the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, are the laid-back Gulf Islands. Come to browse farmers markets, visit artist studios, and experience nature—from woodland trails to pebbled beaches—all of which draw Vancouverites fleeing the city.
Victoria BC is known as a wildlife viewing paradise, but no tour is complete without a trip to Race Rocks Ecological Reserve.
Race Rocks Ecological Reserve is Canada’s first Marine Protected Area and is home to an abundance of marine life including California sea lions, harbor seals and elephant seals. Orcas and humpback whales have also been observed from Race Rocks.
The Race Rocks Ecological Reserve was established in 1980 thanks to the work and commitment of teachers and students from Lester B. Pearson College. The college monitors and conducts research in cooperation with other organizations. Thanks to an agreement with BC Parks, it also operates the former Race Rocks light station facilities as an education center.
Three cameras webcast 24 hours a day from Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. One from the top of the lighthouse tower, another from the north side of the island and a third fixed underwater camera is mounted off the docks below the water.
Canadian modernists, Asian art, and works by Emily Carr anchor the impressive collections at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, where holdings go from fiber art to sculpture and oil paintings. The art gallery is housed in the historic Spencer Mansion, whose manicured gardens are a tranquil setting for a Japanese Shinto shrine.