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Victoria, Canada travel tips


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So I've been wanting to plan a summer trip to Victoria Canada. We live in the states and have never been there so we have no clue what to expect, we just want to go see something new and different. Does anyone have any tips? I know there's some Canadians on here and travel bugs. 

Would we need to rent a car?

it seems like there's a lot to do there is it super crowded and touristy?

is it an expensive city? 

Are the beaches like our beaches? For exsample, could we plan a day at the beach to relax?

we just never had many opportunities to travel before and we have no clue how or where to start. 

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Victoria is a small city (Downtown population about 85 000, Metro Victoria about 350 000) with a reasonable amount of things to do for a city of its size. I've always liked it as a day trip or overnight from Vancouver, but nothing wrong with staying in Victoria or touring a little of the rest of Vancouver Island for a longer vacation. 

I wouldn't know what to recommend for you to see or do since I don't know what your interests(or budget) are like.  Google is your friend to get you started on that. There are plenty of sites that list best things to do in any city.  Trip Advisor is one, but there are plenty of others. Read the suggestions there and make your own shortlist.

Renting a car is up to you.  You may not need a car as long as you are willing to take a taxi or transit anywhere that you think is too far to walk. The downtown core isn't that large.  It really depends on what you decide to see.  

Downtown Victoria, particularly the Inner Harbour area is full of tourists all summer. Having said that, it's not New York City crowded. A nice place to visit still,  but definitely touristy. 

Expensive? That's a subjective question. I have no idea what things cost where you are from, so I can't really answer that for you.  I don't find it a particularly expensive city with a few exceptions  (don't be thinking that Tea at the Empress is going to be any thing but an expensive rip off (particularly since the new owners did a gaudy reno and jacked up the prices), but you can find things at most price points. .  Again, a little looking on the Internet will help you figure that one out.  Look up prices on a few hotels of the type you usually stay at.  Maybe Google prices at a few restaurants and admission prices for any attractions you are interested in.  

Beaches?  Again, not sure what you are looking for. Victoria isn't Hawaii. There certainly are beaches, a few sandy ones, some rocky, many wother gorgeous views. Some where you can swim on a hot day, some better for a walk along the water.  I know I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but just look up best beaches in Victoria BC and do some research until you see something that sounds good to you. Personally I like just walking out from the downtown on Dallas Rd, which runs along the water, on a windy day. You get a great view from there. I know people who prefer the beaches on some of the small lakes in Sanich, but that's only an option if you have a car. 

If you arrived in Victoria by ferry from Vancouver, then you will have had a chance to see some of the scenery of the area already.  If you flew into Victoria directly, then you might want to get out onto the water.  Lots of whale watching cruises take the tourists out for a couple of hours. 

Basically, you need to spend some time doing your homework. Figure out what sounds good/affordable to you. Still confused after that?  Come back with more specific questions at that point! 




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I live in Seattle and Victoria is a great day trip or overnight from here on the Clipper. There’s a finite amount of stuff to do in the immediate harbor area. Butchart Gardens is a tourist trap so I do not recommend. You can go further afield by renting a car and heading around the island — there are spas/resorts and such. It depends on your interests/budget. If you are doing Victoria in conjunction with Vancouver the possibilities are pretty unlimited for a lovely Canadian vacation. We did a weekend in Vancouver a few weeks back and had a blast. Check back in and tell us what you decide!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Victoria was always a secret getaway spot for my mother and me growing up. I would recommend renting a car as traveling around the island is great for finding hidden beaches and getting away from the hustle and bustle that Victoria can be. 

It's busy, but not exceptionally crowded, and prices an be quite okay. I personally would recommend high tea at the Empress as a "must do" for Victoria, but it is a lot of money for little sandwiches so you do need to weigh whether that's worth it for you or not. 

I'm a politics nerd so I really enjoyed touring around the legislative buildings. And the wax museum has an impressive collection of British royals. 

I admit that this (my) post was probably not very helpful!

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