Featured Photo - Fairmont Empress - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada

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Canada’s city of Victoria makes for a wonderful day trip with multiple daily sailings by ferry from Vancouver and Seattle, Washington. Tourists can board a ferry in the morning, enjoy the majority of the day exploring Victoria, and sail back in the evening. Spend your day wandering the streets of Victoria, taking in sights such as the Fairmont Empress, Chinatown, and BC Legislature. Visit Victoria for yet another slice of what British Columbia has to offer visitors.

The Start of Your Day in Victoria

A good spot to begin your day at in Victoria is at the British Columbia Legislature. These impressive buildings house the Parliament for this region of Canada. The buildings are open to the public during the weekday. Walk into the building to admire the ornate stained glass windows and colorful murals adorning the inner lining of the rotunda. Inside the building you will see artifacts such as the Coat of Arms of British Columbia and a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Once back outside walk around the grounds in front of the BC Legislature for various statues and a Totem Pole.

From the BC Legislature, museum and history buffs will want to visit the Royal BC Museum. This museum is known for its extensive collection of artifacts from the First People of Canada. Behind the main building for the Royal BC Museum you will find a grove of Totem Poles. Near the Totem Poles are the historic sites of Helmcken House and St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, both managed by the Royal BC Museum. Helmcken House was home to a prominent politician in Canadian history, Dr. John Sebastian Helmcken. Within the Helmcken House you’ll see colonial age furniture. Next-door to Helmcken House is St. Ann’s Schoolhouse, one of the oldest log cabins in western Canada.

After visiting BC Legislature, the Royal BC Museum, and the other historical sites nearby, walk three minutes on Government Street to the Fairmont Empress. Ever since opening in 1908 this fancy hotel has welcomed guests to stay in their ornate rooms or spend time enjoying afternoon tea. Across from the Fairmont Empress you will find the official tourism office for Victoria. The Victoria Visitor Centre is a good place to pick up maps and specific information on sights found in Victoria.

Downtown Victoria

The Fairmont Empress is next to the Downtown district of Victoria. You’ll reach the main section of Downtown by staying on Government Street. Around Government Street and the surrounding streets you will find different types of artwork, statues, and historical buildings such as St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Besides the sights Downtown is home to many restaurants and shops and is a great place for souvenir shopping. Among the shops and restaurants you’ll find Canadian specific brands, such as the clothing store Roots and the fast food restaurant Tim Hortons.

When you’re ready for a food break if you are by the water head to Red Fish Blue Fish. Fans of seafood will find this shack off Wharf Street a great place to eat. Order from a menu that includes fish and chips, fish sandwiches, and tacones. For the uninitiated tacones are hand rolled tacos made with fresh tortilla and your choice of seafood such as salmon or tuna. The fish sandwiches center around a bread roll reminiscent of a hot dog bun, filled with your choice of salmon, fried oysters, tempura cod, or tempura salmon. While you eat your scrumptious meal enjoy the view of the water, boats, and wharf.

Chinatown

Stretching back as far as 1858, Victoria is home to Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Located north of the Fairmont Empress, Chinatown centers on Fisgard Street. Here you will find more shops and restaurants to explore. A popular tourist sight in Chinatown is Fan Tan Alley. Between Fisgard Street and Pandora Avenue, Fan Tan Alley is the narrowest street in Canada. Tourists enjoy walking through Fan Tan Alley and taking photos of themselves and others touching both sides of the Alley’s walls. Besides shops and restaurants you’ll find many coffee and tea houses to choose from if you’re ready for a drink and a break.

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Victoria - Canada

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BC Legislature: 48.419617, -123.370285
Royal BC Museum: 48.419811, -123.367450
Helmcken House: 48.419630, -123.367024
St. Ann’s Schoolhouse: 48.419952, -123.366691
Fairmont Empress: 48.421667, -123.367847
Victoria Visitor Centre: 48.422834, -123.368810
St. Andrew’s Cathedral: 48.425384, -123.363310
Red Fish Blue Fish: 48.424363, -123.370325
Fan Tan Alley: 48.428543, -123.367918
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BC Legislature
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
British Columbia Legislature, Belleville Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Royal BC Museum
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Royal BC Museum, Belleville Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Helmcken House
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Helmcken House Pioneer Doctor's Residence, Victoria, BC, Canada
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St. Ann’s Schoolhouse
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Helmcken House Pioneer Doctor's Residence, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Fairmont Empress
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Fairmont Empress, Government Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Victoria Visitor Centre
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Visitor Centre - Tourism Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada
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St. Andrew’s Cathedral
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
St. Andrew's Cathedral, View Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Red Fish Blue Fish
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Red Fish Blue Fish, Wharf Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
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Fan Tan Alley
Spending the Day in Victoria, Canada
Fan-Tan Alley, Victoria, BC, Canada
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