Located at the southern tip of the biggest island on North America's Pacific Cast, the City of Victoria enjoys a mild climate that supports many beautiful parks and gardens and a quiet and genteel lifestyle. Without the tall skyscrapers of most modern cities, much of the city retains its British heritage with pride.
The Inner Harbour is home to many Victorian buildings, well-manicured parks, double-decker buses, and bright blue lamp standards. People meet at the Empress Hotel for afternoon tea. Some people say the Port of Victoria is more British than the United Kingdom, making it a popular tourist destination. The Port of Victoria offers many attractions and activities for visitors, far more than can be described in this article. Please visit the city's tourism website for more details.
The Port of Victoria enjoys some of the most temperate weather in Canada, with a lot of sunshine and low humidity. It has distinct dry and rainy seasons, with almost 66% of its rain falling from November to February. It has limited snowfall. The mild climate of the Port of Victoria encourages the growth of many rare plants that are not found elsewhere in Canada. Temperatures range from an average low of 6.5 °C (44 °F) in January to an average high of 21.8 °C (71 °F) in July and August.
In the early 20th Century, Robert Pim Butchart started planting a large garden in what had been a limestone quarry. By 1920, more than 50 thousand people were coming to see the beautiful gardens he and his family created. Today, the public areas of the Port of Victoria's Butchart Gardens cover 22 hectares and they contain one of the world's most beautiful gardens. Almost a hectare of the land is covered by 26 greenhouses. Featuring a range of styles, visitors delight to English, Japanese, and Italian gardens. Butchart Gardens is a definite must-see for anyone coming to the Port of Victoria.
The Port of Victoria boasts one of the biggest small cities in the world in Miniature World. Particularly popular with children, adults are in awe of its amazing collection of dolls, miniatures, and scenes from famous fairy tales. Among the more than 80 displays are re-creations of famous battles, a tiny Canadian Pacific Railway crossing a tiny Canada, Old London in the World of Charles Dickens, and a complete three-ring circus. Other delights include relatively huge intricate dollhouses and castles, Space 2001, and the world's tiniest operational lumber mill.
The Port of Victoria's Royal British Columbia Museum tells the story of British Columbia, focusing on the period from 1850 to 1920. The museum features three permanent galleries covering modern history, the First Nations, and natural history. One of only two "Royal" museums in Canada, it contains fascinating exhibits that will occupy at least half a day. Near the Port of Victoria's Inner Harbor, the museum is near several other popular attractions like the Helmcken House, St. Ann's Schoolhouse, and Thunderbird Park.
The Modern History Gallery tells a story that begins with the arrival of the first European explorers and fur traders. The First Peoples' Gallery depicts the First Nations' cultures both before and after Europeans arrived in the area. The Natural History Gallery offers a journey through time and dramatically different environments as visitors go from scenes of tropical forests to ice-bound tundra to the present rainforest.
Visitors who want some outdoor adventure will want to try some whale-watching while in the Port of Victoria. Several whale-watching companies operate out of the Inner Harbour offering trips as long as three hours that visit the three resident Orca pods and treat passengers to gray and humpback whales, sea lions, eagles, and many marine bird species. Other tours include visits to Hot Springs Cove, tours to see bears, and fishing trips.