VICTORIA (British Columbia)
Set on the southern tip of Vancouver Island (although nowhere near Vancouver the city), Victoria (the city) is nowhere near Victoria Island. Confused?
Victoria may be Vancouver’s smaller sister in size but what it lacks in bright light big city bustle, is more than made up for by its fantastic foodie scene, historical background and its glorious natural surroundings. What’s more, stop any local and you’ll find a charming population, full of friendliness and pride for their city.
Easily walkable, Victoria is full of blooming gardens, coastal paths, engaging museums, and beautifully restored 19th-century architecture. Pods of friendly whales have been known to visit the harbour, attracted by the fertile waters. Three resident pods of Orcas live in the nearby Puget Sound, Gulf and San Juan Islands. Nothing beats the feeling of standing on the viewing deck, binoculars in hand, listening to the eerie communication of the beautiful black and white beasts.
Discovered by Captain James Cook in the 18th century, Victoria – and Vancouver Island – had long been home to many indigenous families. The city retains its roots to its First Nation culture, thousands of examples of which can be found in the spectacular collection housed at The Royal BC Museum. People flocked to the area after gold was discovered in 1858, bringing adventurers from as far afield as Australia. This diversity of population was further cemented in the 19th century when thousands of migrant workers were brought in to build the railway.