Victoria & Vancouver Island

Once touted as the most English city in North America, Victoria is a growing metropolis. 360,000 people call Victoria, BC home.

In the early part of the 1850s, there were only a few hundred people, meaning this city has a recent history. Museums around town are a wonderful treat for the person who is looking to really get a feel for the timeline.

Cruise ships frequently stop at the port of Victoria. One of the most undertaken excursions by those short-term visitors are the Butchart Gardens. Completed in 1921, this national historic site has been ranked by international news and outdoors media is one of the top Canadian destinations to visit. Remember, this is English territory. Tea in the garden is not to be missed.

Victoria is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. The island, at 290 miles long and 50 miles wide, is the largest in the North Pacific. Large mountains and a rain forest can be found throughout. Thriving wildlife are to be encountered at almost every turn. Be careful, some of them are rather large predators! It is a sparsely populated island, in terms of human population, but there are cities and roads through and around.

The Eastern edge of Vancouver Island sits against a straight with thousands of islands. Marine economy dominates. A person can go whale watching, fishing, kayaking to explore, or just take in the vistas. The western edge of Vancouver Island six along the Pacific coast. Several inlets and large reefs mean the water here is still not as ferocious as less protected stretches in the United States.

After spending a couple of days familiarizing yourself with the city, maybe rent a car, a boat, or a plane to check out one of the wildest islands in North America. Take your raingear if you plan on being outside, as it is mostly a rainforest. Keep an eye out for bear, cougar, and the mythological Sasquatch. Each demands heavy doses of cultural respect.