Victoria, BC is a beautiful city situated on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Known for its charming downtown area, picturesque streets, and beautiful harbor, Victoria is a popular destination for travelers from around the world. Its walkable streets give visitors easy access to historic sites, local shops, and fantastic restaurants all within a short distance.
When it comes to finding a place to stay, Victoria offers a variety of locations catering to different preferences. From luxury hotels in the vibrant downtown area to quaint bed and breakfasts in historic neighborhoods like James Bay, there is something for everyone. You can even opt for a more local experience by staying in Burnside Gorge, one of the city’s popular residential areas that offers a taste of everyday life in Victoria.
No trip to Victoria is complete without exploring its fantastic outdoor options. The path along Dallas Road is perfect for leisurely strolls and amazing views of the ocean, while Beacon Hill Park is ideal for those looking for a serene escape in the heart of the city. Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a family adventure, Victoria promises to capture your heart and leave a lasting impression.
Where To Stay
Victoria, BC, offers a wide range of great neighborhoods for all tastes and budgets. In this section, we’ll explore some of the most popular areas, highlighting what makes them unique and worth considering for your stay.
Downtown Victoria is the heart of the city and home to numerous attractions, shopping opportunities, and dining options. Staying in Downtown Victoria means you’ll have easy access to popular spots such as the Royal BC Museum, Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and the Parliament Buildings.
- Fun Fact: Victoria’s downtown area features stunning historical architecture, including heritage buildings like the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel.
- Things to do: Explore the picturesque waterfront, visit the many art galleries, or enjoy a meal at one of the fantastic local restaurants.
Located just south of downtown, James Bay is an ideal choice for first-time visitors. This neighborhood is famous for its picturesque streets, beautiful Victorian-style houses, and proximity to major attractions such as Beacon Hill Park and Fisherman’s Wharf.
- Interesting Story: James Bay was once the home of British explorer James Cook. Today, it retains much of its historical charm.
- Things to do: Take a stroll along the scenic waterfront, visit the Royal BC Museum, or enjoy a picnic in Beacon Hill Park.
Fairfield is a quiet, tree-lined neighborhood about a 20-minute walk from downtown Victoria. It’s perfect for those who prefer a peaceful setting while still being close to the city center.
- Fun Fact: The beautiful Ross Bay Cemetery, located in Fairfield, is the final resting place of several notable historical figures, such as Sir James Douglas and artist Emily Carr.
- Things to do: Visit the nearby Gonzales Hill Regional Park for stunning city views or explore the beautiful gardens at Government House.
Fernwood is a vibrant, artsy neighborhood located east of downtown Victoria. With colorful murals, a lively arts scene, and a strong sense of community, this area is perfect for visitors looking for a more local vibe.
- Interesting Story: Fernwood Square is a popular gathering spot for locals, featuring numerous cafes, shops, and galleries showcasing local talent.
- Things to do: Explore the beautiful historic homes or visit the Belfry Theatre to enjoy a play or live music performance.
Oak Bay is an upscale residential neighborhood located east of Victoria’s city center. Known for its stunning coastal views, Oak Bay is characterized by its beautiful streets, picturesque parks, and a variety of recreational opportunities.
- Fun Fact: The Oak Bay Beach hotel features its own theater, which hosts movie screenings, live performances, and music events.
- Things to do: Stroll along the waterfront, explore Oak Bay village for great shopping and dining, or take advantage of the area’s beachfront trails.
Types of Accommodation
Victoria, BC offers a variety of accommodation options for travelers. From luxury hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and budget-friendly hostels, there’s something for everyone.
Downtown Victoria is home to several hotels that cater to various budgets and preferences. Visitors can choose from high-end options like Delta Hotels by Marriott™ Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Fairmont Empress, as well as more budget-friendly choices such as Strathcona Hotel and Red Lion Inn & Suites Victoria. Many of these hotels are located close to popular attractions, restaurants, bars, and shopping areas.
Bed and Breakfasts
For travelers looking for a more intimate and personal experience, bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) provide a relaxing and charming alternative to larger hotels. Ocean Island Inn | Backpackers | Suites is one popular option, offering comfortable rooms and a friendly atmosphere.
Vacation rentals provide travelers with the comforts of home, such as kitchen facilities, living spaces, and multiple bedrooms, making them perfect for families or groups. They’re available in various neighborhoods throughout Victoria, like James Bay, Oak Bay, and Rockland. Each area has its unique attractions, so visitors can explore different parts of the city while enjoying a comfortable stay.
Budget-conscious travelers will appreciate Victoria’s hostels, which offer affordable accommodation options without sacrificing quality or comfort. Ocean Island Inn | Backpackers is a popular choice, featuring a cheerful atmosphere, cozy rooms, and reasonable prices.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria is rumored to be haunted? Several guests have reported seeing the ghost of a former maid who worked there in the early 1900s.
Things to do: While staying in Victoria, BC, visitors can enjoy plenty of activities, such as visiting the Inner Harbour, taking a whale-watching tour, exploring the Royal BC Museum, and strolling through the scenic Butchart Gardens.
Considerations for Choosing a Place to Stay
When planning your trip to Victoria, BC, there are several factors you should consider when choosing a place to stay. This section addresses important considerations such as budget, transportation, attractions, and amenities to help you make an informed decision.
Your budget plays a significant role in determining where to stay in Victoria. The city offers various accommodation options ranging from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts. Some popular neighborhoods for budget-conscious travelers include Burnside Gorge. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a more luxurious experience, consider the upscale Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
Victoria’s downtown area is compact and walkable, making it a convenient choice for travelers without a car. If you prefer public transportation, the city has a reliable and efficient bus network. Staying in downtown, inner harbour, or James Bay areas will make it easier for you to move around without a vehicle.
Location matters when it comes to exploring Victoria’s best attractions. Do you want to be close to historical sites, museums, or parks? Choose a place to stay, keeping in mind the proximity to these attractions. For example, staying in Downtown Victoria or the Inner Harbour puts you close to attractions like the Royal BC Museum and the Parliament Buildings.
Lastly, consider which amenities are important to you when choosing a place to stay. If you are looking for a resort-style stay, you might want to consider accommodations that offer on-site restaurants, pools, gyms, and other facilities. Some resorts, like those in Victoria, take advantage of their proximity to the water, providing a memorable setting for your stay.
Remember to consider these factors when choosing a place to stay in Victoria, BC. It will help ensure that your trip is enjoyable and fits your personal preferences.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Victoria is known as the “City of Gardens”? The city boasts an impressive number of public and private gardens, with the famous Butchart Gardens attracting over a million visitors every year.
Things to do: Some popular activities in Victoria include visiting the Royal BC Museum, whale watching, strolling through the world-renowned Butchart Gardens, and exploring the historic neighborhood of James Bay.
Victoria, BC is a beautiful city to visit all year round. However, the season in which you choose to stay can make a difference in your experience. Here are some recommendations for summer and winter stays in Victoria.
Summer is the peak tourist season in Victoria, thanks to its mild climate and the abundance of outdoor activities. Some popular hotels and inns during this time include:
- The Oswego Hotel: A 4-star boutique hotel with spacious rooms, contemporary features, and elegant decor.
- Red Lion Inn & Suites Victoria: A simple hotel with kitchenettes and a seasonal pool.
During summer, visitors should not miss:
- Whale watching: An unforgettable experience as you encounter orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life.
- Exploring Butchart Gardens: A beautiful and vibrant garden showcasing a variety of flowers and plants.
Although winter in Victoria is relatively mild, it is less crowded and can provide a more relaxing, cozy experience. Some hotels to consider for your winter stay include:
- Days Inn by Wyndham Victoria Uptown: A traditional hotel with a pool in Burnside.
- Arbutus Inn: A classic, affordable motel just north of downtown.
Winter activities in Victoria might include:
- Visiting the Royal BC Museum: An excellent way to learn about British Columbia’s history and natural environment.
- Strolling along Inner Harbour: Enjoy the beautiful views and watch as the city lights up in the evening.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Victoria is known as the “City of Gardens” due to its mild climate that allows for a variety of plants and flowers to bloom throughout the year?
Things to do: Be sure to visit Craigdarroch Castle and explore its beautiful architecture and history, as well as the surrounding Rockland area filled with Arts and Crafts mansions.
Victoria, BC, offers a handful of fascinating heritage homes that have been beautifully renovated into accommodations that exude historical charm. One such option is the Fairmont Empress Hotel, a stunning property overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Its luxurious guest rooms boast elegant furnishings and offer views of the harbor or the downtown area.
Another popular heritage stay is the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, situated just a few minutes from the Inner Harbour. The hotel features 64 rooms and suites, adorned with dark wood furniture and floor-to-ceiling windows, offering magnificent city views.
For eco-conscious travelers, Victoria provides unique options prioritizing sustainability. One such option is the Fisherman’s Wharf Floating Bed & Breakfast. As the name suggests, this charming B&B floats near downtown Victoria, right by the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Stay close to food kiosks, whale-watching tours, and fishing vessels, all while experiencing a distinct marine escapade.
Other eco-friendly options can be found by exploring the surrounding regions of Victoria, such as this intimate 5-room accommodation located a short drive from Tofino or 3 hours from Nanaimo. Enjoy hikes at the Pacific Rim National Park, whale-watching adventures, and surfing while staying in this unique and affordable accommodation.
Fun Fact: Victoria is not only known for its unique accommodations but also its rich history and scenic beauty. For instance, the Fisherman’s Wharf Floating Bed & Breakfast is close to the famous Fisherman’s Wharf, where guests can spot seals and other marine life.
Things to do: While staying in Victoria, consider indulging in some of the activities it offers, such as:
- Exploring the city’s historic sites and museums
- Spending a day at the famous Butchart Gardens
- Taking a whale-watching tour
- Strolling the picturesque Inner Harbour
- Biking or hiking in regional parks
In Victoria, BC, travelers can find a variety of accommodations to suit their needs and budget. The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is a traditional hotel with a central location, perfect for a city break. On the other hand, Oswego Hotel offers an upscale experience in the peaceful James Bay area, within walking distance to downtown.
For budget-conscious travelers, James Bay offers various options, such as the James Bay Inn Hotel, Suites & Cottage, which has a simple, vintage atmosphere. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel would be an excellent choice, with amenities such as seaside mineral baths and ocean views.
For a unique experience, consider staying at Helm’s Inn, a reliable mid-range all-suite hotel that offers good value for money. Its location at the southern tip of downtown provides easy access to the inner harbor, James Bay, and Beacon Hill Park.
Victoria, BC, has plenty of attractions and activities to explore during your stay. Some highlights include:
- Visiting the historic Craigdarroch Castle
- Exploring the scenic Butchart Gardens
- Strolling around Fisherman’s Wharf
- Taking a whale watching tour
With such a vibrant city and beautiful natural surroundings, it’s no wonder that Victoria, BC is a popular destination for travelers. Enjoy exploring this coastal gem and can rest assured knowing that there are plenty of great accommodations available to make your stay comfortable and memorable. Happy travels!