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Victoria BC Attractions

Sandman Hotel Group features properties located within a rich mosaic of neighbourhoods and surrounding areas, each with a distinct, welcoming personality. We have compiled a list of useful information below to enhance your stay.

Sightseeing

The capital city of British Columbia, Victoria boasts many historic buildings and some of the most fascinating museums in Western Canada.

The city benefits from one of Canada's mildest climates, which allows its residents to pursue outdoor pleasures all year round.

Victoria enjoys some of the country's most exhilarating scenery: there's an ocean or mountain vista around every corner, while the city's flower gardens are famous the world over.

Whether your taste runs to golfing, hiking, biking and fishing or you're more the shopping, dining and theatre type, there are no end of delights for you and your family in Victoria – the city was included in the Top 10 Family Vacations in Canada in the TripAdvisor 2011 Travelers' Choice awards. 

Sightseeing Victoria

Transport

The capital of British Columbia as well as a major tourist destination, Victoria has long welcomed visitors from all over the world.

Its transportation systems are well developed, making it easy to get there, whether you're flying in on a connecting overseas flight or making your way after spending time on the mainland.

An international airport operates just 30 minutes away, while floatplanes and helicopters constantly fly in and out of the downtown harbour during daylight hours.

Rail and passenger/vehicle ferry services are also available.

Transport Victoria

Activities

There are always things to do in Victoria. An urban oasis surrounded by ocean waters and mountainous wilderness, the city offers the best of both worlds: fabulous shops, restaurants, museums and city parks complementing world-class golf courses, ski hills, hiking trails and fishing expeditions.

What's so amazing about having such a variety of settings in such close proximity is the opportunity to have a number of wildly different experiences in a single day: golf in the morning and ski in the afternoon, visit Victoria Bug Zoo and walk through Butchart Gardens followed by an evening at the symphony, or venture out on a historic driving route through the surrounding area. The possibilities are endless!   

Activities Victoria

Entertainment

After seeing the flora and the fauna, the parks and the Parliament buildings in Victoria, what's left? Entertainment. From stand-up comedy to symphony, from dining and shopping to sports, there's no shortage of entertainment options in Victoria.

Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island off of the West Coast of British Columbia, Victoria is a haven for visitors from the world over looking for a little surcease from the hustle and bustle of big-city life with a slow-down taste of West Coast flavour.

Victoria is known as the "City of Flowers" and there is a flower count every February, when the city gets out to count the spring blossoms - somewhere between one and three billion blooms - in February, in Canada!

Yes, Victoria is known for having the best climate in Canada - and the residents cannot help but agree! We invite you to visit what we like to call "The Best Bloomin' City in the World!"

Shopping

Victoria has a superb shopping scene, with anything that would be found in a larger city, plus a few things that wouldn't.

So many artists and artisans call this place home that unusual and one-of-a-kind items are everywhere. Aboriginal art, crafts and foodstuffs are also widely available.

What's more, Victoria has a love-affair with all things British: scores of shops specialize in imported British wares, textiles or food. Many stores also operate in well-preserved Victorian or  Edwardian buildings.

Government Street, Trounce Alley and Bastion Square

Victoria's British heritage is very much in evidence in the shops along Government Street. Lots of English woollens and bone china, Scottish tartans and Irish lace are available here, while a restorative cup of tea is never far away. Government Street also has many stores that specialize in Canadiana, First Nations art, original jewellery and fashion.

Both Trounce Alley and Bastion Square can be accessed from the same section of Government Street. Turn down Trounce Alley for European fashions and gift shops or cross the street and head for Bastion Square for more shopping, restaurants and great views of the Inner Harbour. Government Street is located in downtown Victoria, between Johnson and Humboldt Streets.

Chinatown

Victoria's Chinatown is the oldest in Canada, and the second oldest in North America (after San Francisco). Most of the buildings date back to the 19th century. Browse the shops and artists' studios along Fan Tan Alley and imagine them as the illegal gambling dens of yesteryear.

The restaurants in Chinatown serve delicious and authentic Chinese dishes, while grocers stock a wide variety of Asian cooking ingredients. Chinatown is located in downtown Victoria.

Fort Street

Fort Street is also known as "Antique Row." Find a wonderful array of items here, much of it British in origin: silver, military memorabilia, rare prints, fine china, antique furniture and Victorian bric-a-brac.

The street is also home to art galleries and auction houses that hold regularly scheduled auctions for fine art, antiques and collectibles. Fort Street is located in downtown Victoria.

Old Town

Old Town was built up between the 1860s and the 1890s. This is the oldest section of Victoria. It encompasses a number of popular shopping districts, including Market Square, Johnson Street, Chinatown and Bastion Square.

Market Square is a block of particularly charming heritage shop fronts surrounding an open public square where festivals and other events are held throughout the year.

On Johnson Street, flower boxes hang from the rooflines of shops carrying local and international fashion, British and First Nations merchandise as well as specialty baked goods. Old Town is located in downtown Victoria.

Oak Bay Village

The genteel enclave of Oak Bay Village has been described as "more English than England." Its charming main street boasts an array of high-end shopping choices ranging from art, antiques and Vancouver-Island-made crafts to fashions, giftware and imported sweets.

Recoup and refuel after a day of shopping in one of Oak Bay's many tea rooms, restaurants, cafés or pubs. Oak Bay Village is a 10-minute drive east of downtown Victoria.

Mattick's Farm

Mattick's Farm caters to urban tastes in a rural setting. Lush lawns, plantings and towering Douglas-firs make shopping here a uniquely tranquil and relaxing experience. Specialty shops cater to gardeners, chefs and wine lovers.

Art lovers flock to the Gallery at Mattick's Farm, which specializes in original artwork by Canadian and international artists and also sells distinctive jewellery, ceramics and glasswork. Mattick's Farm is a 20-minute drive north of downtown Victoria.

Sidney (Book Town)

It's rare to find 10 bookstores within a four-block radius. It's even rarer to find such a cluster in a small town. That's why the town of Sidney has come to be known as "Book Town."

Like the original "Booktown" in Hay-on-Wye, England, Book Town, Sidney, caters to a wide range of tastes and budgets. Whether it's a rare edition or a bit of light summer reading, chances are good visitors will find something of interest browsing the shelves in Book Town. Sidney is a 30-minute drive north of downtown Victoria.

Restaurants

Shark Club Bar & Grill

Victoria's premier Sports Bar and Grill, Shark Club features dozens of TVs, multiple satellite feeds and pay per view events, pool tables, video games, and awesome event nights.

The food is a masterful blend of Asian, Italian, and Midwest Canadian influences (and of course traditional items like burgers and wings). Plus cool cocktails, premium liquors and a major league selection of beers.

Shark Club Bar & Grill