Victoria, BC, Canada

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Victoria, BC, Canada

Find the best place to stay — Victoria

Past and present fuses in Victoria

Crowning the tip of Vancouver Island with its salmagundi of English architecture, leafy parks and sail-packed Inner Harbour, Victoria is the looker you've been led to expect. Founded as a trading outpost in the 1840s, it's known as the most British city in British Columbia. That unique story of European settlement is chronicled at the Royal British Columbia Museum, and the town's Scottish ancestry lives on at Craigdarroch Castle. Modern times have seen a youthful energy emerge, too. These days, yuppies whiz on bikes past elegant Beacon Hill Park, and Victoria vacation rentals nestle between vintage boutiques and fairtrade cafes.

Life by the ocean in Victoria

Bob between the forest of sails that is the Inner Harbour on guided tours and you'll learn all about the first English settlers that made the intrepid journey to this corner of British Columbia back in the 1800s. Go further out to sea, and there are whale pods waiting to be watched in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, not to mention an assemblage of seals and porpoises to boot _ talk about a marine safari. Then comes Greater Vancouver Island. Hop away from your Victoria vacation rental to discover wineries and wind-blasted surfing beaches there.

Some of BC's best in Victoria

Victoria is home to the acclaimed Royal British Columbia Museum. Some say it's the finest in the region _ sorry, Vancouver. Packed with hulking woolly mammoth statues and mysterious First Nation relics, it's the best place to while away rainy days. Victoria Bug Zoo means creepy crawlies and natural history that's great for the whole troop, while the duo of the Abkhazi Garden and Beacon Hill Park forms perhaps one of the most enthralling botanical attractions in Canada.

Victoria is a summertime playground

Orcas and humpback whales make an appearance in the waters around Victoria from March to October each year, while the weather here is certainly at its finest during the summer months of June, July and August. That means you should consider booking your Victoria vacation rental between May and September if you really want to make the most of the town's fusion of sightseeing and natural attractions. Winter visits will mean subzero temperatures and snow, but also a glimpse of the BC coast at its wildest.

A wild land around Victoria

Victoria caps the very southern end of Vancouver Island. It sits in a dip of the Coast Ranges, between the mighty rises of the glacier-topped Olympic Mountains to the south and the great Vancouver Island Ranges to the north. Protected reserves abound in the region, with the surf-washed Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park both within striking distance _ expect moss-covered old-growth rainforests, misty beaches and rugged rocks dotting the Pacific Ocean. In the sounds off the marina of Victoria, you'll be able to spot whales, seals, porpoises and more.