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Unusual Things to Do in Victoria BC

Victoria, British Columbia may be known for its charming gardens and serene waterfront views, but there’s also an abundance of unique and unusual activities to explore. From walking the stunning Dallas Road, exploring hidden alleyways, visiting quirky museums, and visiting heritage sites in Greater Victoria, here are some of the most unusual things to do in Victoria BC!

When it comes to planning your next vacation to Vancouver Island the first step is to book one of the beautiful vacation rentals offered by EMR! With a large selection of stunning homes and properties to choose from, you’ll be able to find your ideal holiday home right here

Parks and Gardens in Victoria

Butchart Gardens

800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC | 250-652-4422

The Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site of Canada, is a world-renowned horticultural gem nestled on Vancouver Island’s southern tip. This botanical paradise boasts five distinct gardens: the Italian Garden exudes elegance, the Mediterranean Garden enchants with exotic flora, the Japanese Garden soothes with tranquil ponds, the Sunken Garden dazzles with vibrant blooms, and the Rose Garden captivates with a symphony of fragrances. Each garden is a testament to both the artistry of landscape design to the incredible, mild climate of Vancouver Island. In addition to the stunning gardens, Butchart offers a whimsical carousel that kids of all ages love and in the winter, an outdoor skating rink with twinkling lights above adds a touch of magic to the season. Visitors can also find a variety of food and beverage options from light snacks and ice cream at the Coffee Shop and Galeteria to sit down meals in the Dining Room and Blue Poppy Restaurant. At The Butchart Gardens, you can experience an immersive and enchanting experience that celebrates the beauty of nature throughout the seasons!

Victoria Butterfly Gardens 

1461 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC | 1-877-722-0272 

Nestled on the Saanich Peninsula, Victoria Butterfly Gardens is a unique and enchanting destination, and offers an unparalleled, year-round experience for visitors to step into an exotic, verdant world filled with incredible plants and animals! Teeming with thousands of vibrant butterflies visitors can explore stunning and exotic butterflies as they flit through the jungle. Plus, you can see fluorescent flamingos and parrots, graceful koi, unique frogs and lizards and gentle tortoises. For fans of creepy crawlies, the Insectarium offers guests a chance to get up-close and personal with some incredible insects and arachnids! Perfect for nature enthusiasts of all ages, the Butterfly Gardens offers a unique educational experience and a chance to witness these delicate creatures up close. 

Abkhazi Garden

1964 Fairfield Rd, Victoria, BC | 778-265-6466 

This stunning heritage site is the former home of Prince and Princess Abkhazi of Georgia who decided to move to western Canada and settled in beautiful Victoria in 1946. From the street, you would have no idea that behind the hornbeam hedge you’d find a garden that organically flows around the dramatic rocky slopes and crevasses, utilizing the depth of each groove to create beds of soil for larger plants like brilliant Japanese maples and voluminous rhododendrons. Whether you’re staying in Sidney, Sooke or right nearby in Victoria, you won’t want to miss this! 

Beacon Hill Park

100 Cook St, Victoria, BC | 250-361-0600

This 75 hectare park right on the edge of the ocean in downtown Victoria is a vast, horticultural wonderland! With endless gardens both wild and cultivated, waterways, orchards, rocky outcrops, open fields, and secret paths, this park is a stunning place to spend a sunny day in Victoria! With the addition of incredible playgrounds, a children’s petting farm and the second tallest totem pole this park is one that you’ll want to come back to again and again! 

Goldstream Provincial Park


If you’re looking for a fantastic place for everyone to get out into nature, this should be at the top of your list! This quintessential Pacific Northwest park is filled with hiking trails for every skill level, a fun nature house that kids will love, waterfalls and more! Whether you’re staying on the east coast of the southern island near Oak Bay or on the west coast near Sooke, this park is a great destination for a short road trip through Greater Victoria! 

Tour Heritage Military Sites in Victoria

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse 

603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC | 250-478-5849

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, offers a captivating glimpse into Canada’s rich maritime history. Fort Rodd Hill, a coastal artillery fortress built in the late 19th century, stands as a testament to Canada’s military past. Today, Fort Rodd HIll is a stunning park with lush and vibrant native flora and visitors can explore the underground bunkers, artillery emplacements, and historical exhibits on their own or opt for a guided tour that vividly narrates the site’s role in defending the Canadian coastline. Adjacent to the fort, the iconic Fisgard Lighthouse is Canada’s first west coast lighthouse, guiding ships since 1860. Its striking red and white exterior and picturesque setting on the Esquimalt Harbour make it a popular attraction. Visitors can climb the tower, learn about the life of a lighthouse keeper, and absorb the breathtaking coastal views. Together, these sites offer a captivating journey through Canada’s maritime heritage, blending history, natural beauty, and cultural significance.

Macaulay Point Park 


Macaulay Point Park, is a charming waterfront gem that encapsulates the region’s natural beauty and historical significance. This coastal park offers visitors a peaceful escape with stunning vistas of the Juan de Fuca Strait and Olympic Mountains. The park’s dog-friendly rugged shoreline, winding trails, and lush greenery is a great place for a peaceful walk with fresh ocean breezes. But what really sets Macaulay Point Park apart is its rich history! It was once a strategic defence site during World War II, complete with bunkers and gun emplacements. Today, remnants of these wartime structures remain, allowing visitors to explore the park’s historical significance while enjoying its scenic surroundings.

Maritime Museum of British Columbia

744 Douglas St, Victoria, BC | 250-385-4222

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia, houses a diverse collection of artefacts, exhibits, and historical documents that highlight the deep connection between British Columbia and the sea. Visitors to the museum can immerse themselves in the maritime history of the region, from the indigenous peoples’ ancient seafaring traditions to the more recent eras of exploration, trade, and naval history. Through engaging exhibits, interactive displays, and educational programs, the Maritime Museum of BC provides an enlightening and entertaining experience and showcases a wide range of maritime artefacts, including model ships, navigational instruments, and personal stories of seafarers. 

British Columbia Aviation Museum 

1910 Norseman Rd, North Saanich, BC | 250-655-3300

Just north of Victoria near the little town of Sidney, you’ll find the British Columbia Aviation Museum–a fascinating testament to the history of aviation in Canada’s westernmost province. This dynamic museum offers an extensive aircraft collection that spans decades, from vintage biplanes to modern jets, illustrating the progression of aviation technology and its impact on British Columbia. Visitors can immerse themselves in the stories of aviation pioneers, pilots, and engineers who played pivotal roles in shaping the region’s aviation history. With interactive displays, flight simulators, and informative exhibits that engage visitors of all ages, this museum is an educational and entertaining way to spend an afternoon! 

Unique Adventures on the Water

Adventures by HIP

2027 Maple Avenue South, Sooke, BC | 250-818-1093

Discover the thrill of orca encounters with Adventures by HIP’s whale watching tours! Paddle through the stunning waters of Sooke in a kayak, and get up-close to the incredible marine creatures of the Pacific Northwest! Whether you’re seeing orcas fins slicing through the surface, sea lions sunning themselves on the rocks, intelligent octopi and curious sea otters in their natural habitat, let the beauty of Victoria BC’s coast captivate you!

Pickle Boats 

327 Harbour Rd, Victoria, BC | 250-708-0201

Victoria’s Harbour Taxis, also affectionately known as ‘pickle boats’, are a delightful and distinctive aspect of the Inner Harbour! These charming, diminutive vessels, known for their unique design and easy manoeuvrability, are a great way to explore the scenic waterways of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. They provide an intimate and eco-friendly experience, allowing passengers to appreciate the city’s picturesque coastline, historic landmarks, and marine life up close! A ride on a pickle boat is not only a fun and educational adventure but also a memorable way to connect with the maritime heritage that is so integral to Victoria’s identity.

Unique Things to Do Downtown Victoria 

Miniature World

649 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC | 250-385-9731

Miniature World is a unique and captivating attraction that allows visitors the chance to take a peek at the diverse array of meticulously crafted dioramas and miniature scenes. From historic battles to bustling cityscapes, space scenes and natural wonders, each exhibit offers a glimpse into different facets of our world, downsized to astonishing precision. The attention to detail is nothing short of awe-inspiring, drawing visitors of all ages into a realm where curiosity and fascination thrive. It’s a place where the grandeur of the world is distilled into miniature marvels, making Miniature World a must-visit gem in Victoria, BC!

Tea at the Empress 

721 Government St, Victoria, BC | 250-384-8111

Tea at the Empress is an iconic and time-honoured tradition in Victoria! Hosted within the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, the afternoon tea experience exudes elegance and charm. With stunning harbour views that provide the perfect backdrop, guests are welcomed to step back in time and get a taste of a quintessentially British tradition.

Ghost Walking Tours

812 Wharf St, Victoria, BC 

Whether it’s the ghostly apparitions at the funky Fan Tan Alley or the eerie mysteries of Bastion Square, these walks blend history and the supernatural, leaving visitors both entertained and intrigued. Victoria’s well-preserved architecture and Victorian-era ambiance create the perfect backdrop for these haunting narratives, making Ghostly Walks an unforgettable and atmospheric way to experience the city’s darker side.

Royal BC Museum

675 Belleville St., Victoria, BC | 250-356-7226

This world-class institution boasts a diverse range of exhibits, where guests can learn more about the heritage of the Coast Salish First Nations people in the First People’s Gallery and Thunderbird Park and colonial history in the Old Town to captivating displays of the province’s unique flora and fauna, including the famous woolly mammoth, in the Natural History gallery. The museum’s attention to detail and cutting-edge technology like the IMAX theatre, make each visit an engaging and educational experience! 

Parliament Buildings

501 Belleville St., Victoria, BC | 250-387-3046

Built in the late 1800s by Sir Francis Rattenbury, this ornate, domed building is one of the most recognizable buildings in Victoria! Located in the beautiful Inner Harbour, these buildings offer a great background for some vacation photos and if you’re interested in the political system of BC and Canada, you can take a tour and watch the Legislature while it’s in session! 

Harbour Air Seaplane Trips

950 Wharf St, Victoria, BC | 250-384-2215

If you’re looking for a wonderful and unique thing to do while you’re staying in Greater Victoria, you might want to look into planning a day trip to a nearby city with Harbour Air! With quick flights to Vancouver, Tofino, Nanaimo and elsewhere, you can explore much of BC’s beautiful coast on these unique airplanes!  


500 Fisgard St, Victoria, BC 

If you’re exploring downtown Victoria, you must check out Victoria’s charming Chinatown! As the second oldest Chinatown in North America, Victoria’s Chinatown is a unique place to explore for incredible gifts, delicious authentic food and boasts one of the narrowest streets, Fan Tan Alley where you can find eclectic shops, cafes and more! 

Victoria Bug Zoo

631 Courtney St, Victoria, BC | 250-384-2847

This unique attraction in downtown Victoria is one of the best hidden gems for kids of all ages! With creepy crawlies of all shapes and sizes from all over the globe, visitors can learn more about these unique creatures, and even hold them! 

Fisherman’s Wharf

1 Dallas Rd, Victoria, BC |

This colourful houseboat community on the edge of downtown Victoria is a great place to pop by on a sunny day! With floating counter service eateries serving up delicious food and ice cream, friendly harbour seals that pop up to say hello and a large grassy park that is perfect for a picnic Fisherman’s Wharf is a must when you’re in Victoria! 

Other Historic Buildings

Craigdarroch Castle 

1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC | 250-592-5323 

Hatley Castle

2005 Sooke Rd, Victoria, BC | 250-391-2600

No matter what you are planning to do in the capital city, Victoria BC is a unique and beautiful place that has plenty of offbeat experiences that are just waiting to be discovered!