Unusual Things to Do in Victoria BC: A Guide to Unique Activities and Hidden Gems

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 exploring hidden alleyways to visiting quirky museums, here are some of the most unusual things to do in Victoria, BC.

For a different kind of museum experience, check out the Royal BC Museum’s exhibit on the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest. You’ll find more than 500 indigenous artifacts, including totem poles, ceremonial masks, and artwork. Meanwhile, the Victoria Bug Zoo is a must-visit attraction, offering visitors a chance to view over 50 species of live exotic insects and arachnids.

If you enjoy exploring hidden gems, head to Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown, one of the narrowest streets in Canada. The alley dates back to the late 1800s and is packed with local shops, including a tea merchant and a crystal store. You can also explore the nearby Market Square and its unique shops, restaurants, and bars.

Visit the Electric Garden for a Dazzling Experience

Are you looking for a unique and mesmerizing experience during your visit to Victoria, BC? Look no further than the Electric Garden, a dazzling exhibition of light and art that will take your breath away.

Located on the grounds of the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific, the Electric Garden features a series of outdoor installations that showcase the beauty of light and color. As you wander along the pathways, you’ll encounter stunning displays of illuminated sculptures, glowing canopies, and vibrant projections.

One of the most enchanting installations at the Electric Garden is the Tunnel of Light. As you step inside, you’ll find yourself surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights that dance and shift in a dazzling display of color and motion. It’s a truly captivating experience that’s not to be missed.

Another highlight of the Electric Garden is the Glow Hive, a series of glowing orbs that create a hive-like structure. As you walk around the hive, you’ll be enveloped in a warm and inviting glow, making it the perfect spot for a photo op.

If you’re looking for a more interactive experience, be sure to check out the Audio Flowers. These stunning installations respond to sound, creating a dazzling display of light and color that’s synced with music. It’s an immersive experience that engages all of your senses.

Whether you’re a fan of art, light displays, or simply looking for a unique way to spend an evening in Victoria, the Electric Garden is a must-visit destination. Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this mesmerizing exhibition for yourself.

Explore the Enchanted Forest at the Butchart Gardens

If you’re looking to explore the natural beauty of Victoria, BC, a visit to Butchart Gardens is an absolute must. However, beyond the stunning flower gardens, the Butchart Gardens also offers a hidden gem that is often overlooked – the Enchanted Forest.

The Enchanted Forest is an immersive experience that takes you on a journey through interactive installations in a mystical woodland setting. As you wander through the forest, you’ll encounter giant toadstools, talking trees, and hidden pathways that will transport you to a world of wonder and magic.

One of the highlights of the Enchanted Forest is the Rose Carousel, a whimsical ride that takes you on a spin through a garden of dancing flowers. Each of the carousel’s 30 animals is unique and hand-carved, making for a truly one-of-a-kind experience.

Another must-see attraction in the Enchanted Forest is the Umbrella Tree Fountain, a stunning display of cascading water and colorful umbrellas. As you stand beneath the canopy of umbrellas, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to a magical rainforest.

Whether you’re young or old, the Enchanted Forest is a place that will capture your imagination and leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Take your time exploring this hidden gem at Butchart Gardens and immerse yourself in a world of enchantment.

Take a Tour of the Abandoned Military Fort in Victoria

In Victoria, there is a fascinating piece of history waiting to be explored – an abandoned military fort known as Fort Rodd Hill. Established in the late 19th century, this national historic site offers an immersive experience into the life of the soldiers and their families who lived and worked at the fort.

Here are some highlights of what you can discover during your tour:

  • Underground Magazine: One of the most unique features of Fort Rodd Hill is the underground magazine. This storage facility was built into the hillside and provided safekeeping for up to 200,000 pounds of gunpowder. Take a tour through this concealed structure and imagine yourself transported back in time to a crucial part of Victoria’s past.
  • Coastal Artillery Battery: Located on a bluff overlooking the entrance to Esquimalt Harbour, Fort Rodd Hill was home to a battery of guns used to protect the waters from enemy vessels. Take a walk along the gun emplacements and catch stunning views of the coastline and surrounding area.
  • Military Bunkers and Tunnels: Beneath the surface of Fort Rodd Hill, lies a network of underground tunnels and bunkers. These passages wind their way beneath the fort and are a highlight of the tour. You can explore the barracks, ammunition stores, and other military-related installations.

Visitors to Fort Rodd Hill can take a self-guided tour using an app or join a guided tour led by knowledgeable staff. Either way, you’ll get an intriguing look at the fascinating and sometimes eerie history of this decommissioned military fort.

With its combination of historic architecture, scenic vistas, and fascinating underground structures, Fort Rodd Hill is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Victoria.

Unwind at the Tranquil Victoria Butterfly Gardens

If you’re in search of serenity and beauty amidst nature, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens is the perfect attraction for you. Located just 15 minutes from downtown Victoria, this indoor tropical garden is home to over 4,000 butterflies, exotic birds, and a variety of plants.

Walking through the garden’s winding paths, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a lush rainforest with fluttering butterflies surrounding you. You’ll get up close and personal with some of the most vibrant butterfly species native to Costa Rica, Indonesia, and other tropical regions.

Aside from the butterflies, you’ll also encounter a variety of birds, including macaws, flamingos, and parrots. These birds roam free within the garden, so you’ll have the chance to witness them in their natural habitats. You can also watch in awe as they perform their daily flights and feedings.

Victoria Butterfly Gardens also houses a variety of plants, including colorful orchids, carnivorous plants, and a variety of fruit trees. If you’re lucky, you might even witness the staff feeding the fruit trees to the birds, creating a captivating spectacle of nature.

And for those who want to learn more about the garden’s creatures and plants, the garden offers educational tours and displays. You can learn about the butterfly’s metamorphosis and observe it first-hand in the garden’s extensive breeding laboratory.

In summary, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens is a serene place of peace and tranquility, encapsulating the beauty of nature. A visit here is an experience like no other, and a venture into a world of butterflies, birds, and vibrant flora.

Have a One-of-a-Kind Experience at the Miniature World

Looking for something unique to do while visiting Victoria BC? Look no further than the one-of-a-kind experience offered at Miniature World.

Located in the famous Empress Hotel, Miniature World takes you on a journey through time and space, featuring over 80 incredibly detailed dioramas that showcase historical and fantasy scenes. Here are just a few things you can expect to see on your visit:

  • Explore the Great Canadian Railway Take a step back in time to the early days of Canadian railroad history. Marvel at the intricate details of the miniature trains and watch as they chug along through the mountains and valleys of Western Canada.
  • Get Lost in Fantasy Worlds Let your imagination run wild as you explore a variety of fantasy lands, from fairytale castles to enchanted forests. You never know what magical creatures you might encounter along the way.
  • Travel Through History Experience historical moments come to life with recreations of famous battles, significant events, and iconic moments from the past. From the landing of the Mayflower to the moon landing, you can witness it all at Miniature World.

The attention to detail in each diorama is simply stunning, with every scene carefully crafted to ensure an immersive experience. And with new exhibits added regularly, there’s always something new to discover.

Whether you’re a history buff, a fantasy fan, or just someone looking for a unique and memorable experience, Miniature World is definitely worth a visit during your time in Victoria BC.

Try a Unique High Tea Experience at the Empress Hotel

If you’re a fan of high tea, a visit to Victoria, BC would not be complete without indulging in one of the most unique high tea experiences – the high tea service at the Empress Hotel. Established in 1908, the Empress Hotel is a famous landmark and boasts a long history of catering to royalty, celebrities and dignitaries.

The beautiful tea room, adorned with elegant chandeliers, plush furniture, and breathtaking views of the Inner Harbour, provides the perfect setting for enjoying a traditional high tea service with a unique twist. Here are some reasons why you should try this experience:

  • The Tea Selection The Empress Hotel offers a wide variety of fragrant loose leaf teas, ranging from classic black tea blends to unique herbal infusions, ensuring there’s something for every tea lover. The most popular tea blend at the Empress is their signature Empress Blend, which is a signature blend of premium Assam and Kenyan teas, with notes of citrus and vanilla, created exclusively for the Empress Hotel.
  • The Food The high tea experience at the Empress Hotel is not just about the tea, but also the delectable food served with it. The service includes an assortment of mouth-watering finger sandwiches, house-made scones with jam and Devonshire cream, and a selection of sweet treats such as macarons, fruit tartlets and lemon curd cake.
  • The Atmosphere The tea room at the Empress Hotel is a beautiful setting, with large windows providing stunning views of the Inner Harbour. The decor, which includes elegant white tablecloths, fine china, silverware and fresh flowers, adds to the overall ambiance of the experience. The live piano music adds to the relaxing atmosphere, making it a perfect setting for a romantic afternoon or a gathering of friends.

Overall, the high tea service at the Empress Hotel is a unique experience that gives you a taste of the hotel’s rich history and elegance. If you want to indulge in this experience, reservations are recommended as the tea service is very popular and often booked well in advance.

If you’re looking to discover some amazing local art during your time in Victoria BC, then you won’t want to miss out on a visit to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. This vibrant art hub is home to an extensive collection of over 20,000 works of art from various styles and mediums, showcasing some of the best of local and regional works.

Located in the picturesque Oak Bay area, this gallery offers a variety of exhibits and events throughout the year that are sure to inspire and engage you. With both indoor and outdoor installations, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria offers a unique and immersive experience for all art enthusiasts.

Some of the permanent collections include an extensive collection of Canadian and Asian art, Emily Carr’s exquisite oil paintings, and contemporary pieces by local and international artists. You’ll also find a range of rotating exhibitions which include everything from historic to modern artwork, photography, and more.

The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria prides itself on being open to all and strives to be a welcoming space for everyone. They offer many different programs, guided tours, and workshops that cater to all ages and skill levels. You can also enjoy a variety of events such as art auctions, lectures, and film screenings.

If you’re looking to take a piece of local art home with you, be sure to visit the Gallery Shop. It is stocked with unique and creative items from local artists and makers, including jewelry, pottery, hand-blown glass, and much more.

Admission to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is affordable, with adult admission costing CAD $13.00 and free admission on Tuesdays. They also offer discounted rates for students and seniors.

In conclusion, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria is essential for anyone looking to discover Victoria’s local art scene. Whether you’re a seasoned art collector or simply interested in exploring different mediums and styles, their diverse collection and range of events offer something for everyone. Don’t forget to check out the Gallery Shop for unique gifts and mementos of your visit.

Get Spooked on a Ghostly Walking Tour

Looking for something eerie to do in Victoria BC? Look no further than a ghostly walking tour! You’ll get to explore the spooky side of the city, from haunted hotels to ghostly alleyways. Here’s everything you need to know about taking a ghostly walking tour in Victoria:

What to Expect

When you sign up for a ghostly walking tour, get ready to embark on a journey through Victoria’s most haunted spots. You’ll stroll through the city’s streets at night, hearing spooky tales and eerie legends from your guide. Some tours even take you inside haunted buildings, giving you a chance to feel the hair-raising presence of ghosts.

Where to Go

There are a number of ghostly walking tours in Victoria that offer unique experiences. Some of the most popular include:

  • Ghostly Walks: This tour company has been providing ghostly tours for over 20 years, offering a variety of themed tours depending on what you’re interested in.
  • Discover the Past: This company takes you on a journey through Victoria’s history, including its haunted past.
  • Victoria Ghostly Walks: With knowledgeable guides and intriguing stories, this company promises a hair-raising experience.

Tips for Taking a Ghostly Walking Tour

  • Dress appropriately: You’ll be walking around at night, so make sure to bring warm clothes and comfortable footwear.
  • Bring a flashlight: Even though your guide will have one, it’s always good to have your own light source just in case.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions: Your guide is there to answer any questions you have, so make sure to take advantage of their knowledge.

Final Thoughts

A ghostly walking tour is a unique and unforgettable experience that you won’t want to miss out on. From haunted hotels to ghostly alleys, you’ll get to see a side of Victoria that you never knew existed. So gather your friends and family and get ready to be spooked on a ghostly walking tour!

Are you planning a trip to Victoria, BC and looking for unique things to do? Look no further than the Royal BC Museum, which offers an incredible journey through the history of this beautiful city and the province of British Columbia.

Learn About Victoria’s History at the Royal BC Museum

At the Royal BC Museum, you’ll discover fascinating exhibits that showcase the natural and cultural history of the region. The museum’s collection includes over 7 million objects, ranging from fossils and rocks to artifacts and works of art.

Here are a few highlights of the museum’s exhibits:

  • First Peoples Gallery: Learn about the First Nations communities of British Columbia, including their cultures, traditions, and contributions to the province’s history.
  • Natural History Gallery: Discover the region’s diverse flora and fauna, including interactive exhibits that allow you to explore ecosystems like beaches and forests.
  • Modern History Gallery: Explore the stories and events that have shaped British Columbia, including the gold rush, the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, and the province’s role in World War II.
  • Temporary Exhibits: The museum regularly features special exhibitions that delve deeper into specific themes or events.

In addition to exhibits, the Royal BC Museum offers guided tours, educational programs, and workshops for all ages. You can also visit the museum shop, which features unique gifts, souvenirs, and books about the region and its history.

The museum is located in the heart of downtown Victoria and is open daily. Admission prices vary; children 5 and under are free.

Don’t miss the opportunity to learn about the rich and interesting history of Victoria and British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum.

Please find the conclusion section for the article below:

Conclusion: Experience the Unexpected in Victoria, BC

Victoria, BC is a unique and beautiful city with plenty of activities and attractions to explore. But don’t limit yourself to the usual tourist hotspots! The city has plenty of offbeat experiences that are just waiting to be discovered. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Explore the hidden alleys and street art of Fan Tan Alley
  • Take a stroll through the gardens and landscapes of Hatley Castle
  • Grab some local brews and relax at a cozy pub like The Drake Eatery
  • Visit the mini worlds and exhibits of Miniature World
  • Take a water taxi to Fisherman’s Wharf to sample the seafood
  • Join a group for a ghost tour of Victoria’s past
  • Walk through the West Coast rainforest at Goldstream Provincial Park
  • Taste local wines and spirits on a guided tour of Victoria’s vineyards and distilleries
  • Learn about the turbulent history of the city on a Chinatown walking tour
  • Uncover the history of BC’s First Nations people at the Royal BC Museum

So, whether you’re a visitor or a resident, it’s time to step outside of your comfort zone and uncover all the wonders that Victoria, BC has to offer. Experience the unexpected and create memories that you’ll never forget!

Featured Image Credit: Julian Worker