B.C.’s capital city, Victoria, is known for its regal charm and low-key lifestyle, but there’s a world of high sea adventure waiting just offshore.
You can literally find yourself among orca pods, porpoises, and grey whales in the morning, and still be back in time for the famous afternoon high tea ceremony at the historic Empress hotel.
During my three-hour whale watching tour off Vancouver Island, I was taken aback by the sheer number of mammals just hanging out. Not long into our bumpy journey we spotted a large rock jammed with noisy, fat elephant seals. Beyond that, a pod of black and white killer whales dove in and out of the freezing waters of Juan De Fuca Strait, while overhead, three bald eagles soared. Pretty majestic stuff.
In the distance we even spotted a giant grey whale, or at least what we thought was the tail of a giant grey whale. Back on dry land, there was still time to visit Victoria’s most famous tourist attraction, the very colourful, and very huge, Buchart Gardens. You pretty much have to block out the better part of a day to navigate your way through the 55 acres of rare and exotic plants and trees. People come from all over to experience what is considered the world’s premier show gardens, and it isn’t a free ride. It costs adults 27 bucks for a chance to wonder among the flora. Still, if you’re into gardens, you’d be hard pressed to find anything this impressieve. I’m more of a whale watching kinda guy,
Seacoast Expiditions offers whale watching tours for 95 bucks for adults, and 59 bucks for kids.
Other Cool Things to Do in Victoria
Visit the Victoria Bug Zoo: Where else can you get up close and personal with multi-legged creatures from all over the world? Say hello to giant walking sticks, tarantulas, and glow in the dark scorpions, to name just a few.
Check out Victoria’s Butterfly Gardens: A 12,000 square foot enclosure houses 3,000 exotic butterflies, along with tropical ducks, flamingos and koi.