Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is located at the southeastern tip of Vancouver Island. The city is equidistant from Seattle, Washington, and the city of Vancouver, on the British Columbia mainland. There are ferries which carry visitors to and from Victoria from either location. Victoria is a quintessential British city and is a delight to walk, especially around the Parliament Buildings which are regal and impressive, and throughout the area which includes Thunderbird Park, a spot that contains a number of totem poles recalling Victoria’s far distant past. .
Also in Victoria you will find the Royal British Columbia Museum and the nearby Crystal Gardens. To the north of the city, in the community of Brentwood Bay are the world-famous Butchart Gardens.
The Royal British Columbia Museum is a great starting point for an exploration of Vancouver Island and British Columbia, in general. It documents the history of the province, the ecology of the environment, and the culture of the native inhabitants, with artifacts and displays. The Main Street Exhibit details what life was like in the city in the 19th century. Other exhibits inform visitors about the explorers, primarily from Europe, who discovered and eventually settled the province. There is even a National Geographic IMAX Theater on site.
Butchart Gardens, in the town of Brentwood Bay, not far from Victoria, has numerous landscaped and flowering gardens and is open year round (winter brings holiday lights in place of the flowers). On the grounds, a former limestone quarry, are Japanese Gardens, a Rose Garden, ponds and statuary.
Gary’s Gem: Follow my walking tour of Victoria, posted on 1-19-09 for an up close and personal look at the city major attractions. I will be following this tour on 6-24-10 when I visit.