10 hidden gems to discover in Victoria

Feb 5 2024, 5:30 pm

If you’ve run out of things to do in Vancouver, just hop on a ferry to Victoria to discover all the picturesque capital city has to offer.

Victoria is best known for its rich British history, lush gardens, magnificent architecture and vibrant cultural scene.

These are some of the best things to see and do in and around Victoria, beyond eating your way through the city.

Gonzales Regional Hill Park

Victoria is home to a variety of pristine parks and this is definitely one of them. Nestled in the heart of the city, the park features unparalleled views of Victoria, Juan de Fuca Strait, the Olympic Mountains and the Sooke Hills. It’s also a protected habitat for California quail, rare wildflowers and towering Garry oak trees. It’s a magical place to visit any time of the year, but especially in the spring months when the wildflowers bloom.

Goldstream Provincial Park

Discover this gem in Langford, just 17 kilometres from downtown Victoria. The provincial park is known for its annual fall salmon runs and large numbers of bald eagles that flock to the area to feed at that time. It also features an old-growth temperate rainforest, which is the perfect place to go for a leisurely stroll immersed in nature.

Willows Beach

Beach-goers can enjoy idyllic swimming conditions at this beach, which is about a 15-minute drive away from downtown Victoria. Its shallow and protected waters are suitable for young children, which makes it a great spot to spend some quality time with the family. It also boasts unsurpassed views of Discovery Island and Mount Baker.

The Moss Lady

Visitors may be surprised to find this massive sculpture hidden amongst the lush greenery in Beacon Hill Park. The Moss Lady is quite literally a statue of a sleeping woman covered in moss. The beautiful piece was constructed in 2015 and was reportedly inspired by Cornwall’s famous Lost Gardens of Heligan artwork.

Abkhazi Garden

The heritage home and garden is a place everyone should visit at least once. The Prince and Princess Abkhazi began creating their garden in 1946. Guests can soak up all the natural beauty of the 1.4-acre garden, which is home to rhododendrons, native rocks, serene ponds and a stunning teahouse.

Wheelies Motorcycles and Cafe


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Motorcycle enthusiasts will absolutely love this spot. The ’60s-inspired full-service motorcycle shop is also a gourmet cafe and eatery. The space is split up into two, with the restaurant on one side and the retail store and workshop on the other side. But you don’t have to ride motorcycles to go here, the family-friendly cafe has something for everyone.

Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Discover this whimsical place in the community of Brentwood Bay. The butterfly gardens offer a unique opportunity for people to get up close to a variety of different butterflies (up to 70 species), as well as poison dart frogs, tortoises, iguanas, flamingos, tropical ducks and free-flying birds. The vibrant jungle experience is about the size of three basketball courts.

Dino Lab Inc.


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This is an awesome spot for dinosaur enthusiasts of all ages to visit. Unlike other galleries and museums, Dino Lab offers a hands-on experience where guests can actually clean some of the fossils themselves. Or they can just walk around and explore the expansive display with a tour guide and learn all about the prehistoric reptiles.

Miniature World

You can feel like a giant by checking out this attraction in downtown Victoria that has been in business for 50 years. It features more than 85 miniature dioramas and displays, which all represent different historical times, as well as fictional worlds. It’s a fun spot for both kids and adults to check out when visiting the city.

Dragon Alley

You can’t visit Victoria without going to its historic Chinatown neighbourhood. Dragon Alley is just across the street from the more well-known Fan Tan Alley. It shares a similar history and feel to Fan Tan Alley, but is slightly more modern. Visitors will also find a coffee shop, emporium and other unique shops here.

This piece was originally published in August 2021.Ā 

Meagan GillMeagan Gill

+ Curated