Most Famous Places
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British Columbia, Victoria Guide (A): Most Famous Places

Take this tour for the consummate experience of British Columbia's capital city, Victoria. Orient yourself to the city's most famous cultural landmarks. Stroll through its living history and its unique beauty. Overlook the island city's vistas and even go underwater of its famous Inner Harbour! If you take just one tour of Victoria, this is the one.
This article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on iTunes App Store and Google Play. You can download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the attractions featured in this article. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Walk Route

Guide Name: Most Famous Places
Guide Location: Canada » Victoria
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 11
Tour Duration: 4.0 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.4 km
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Emily Carr House   Parliament Buildings   Pacific Undersea Gardens   Royal BC Museum   Empress Hotel   Chinatown   Christchurch Cathedral   Greater Victoria Art Gallery   Craigdarroch Castle   Government House   Abkhazi Garden  
Author: Brett Featherstone
Author Bio: My name is Brett Featherstone-Price but some call me Lady Brett. I live, write and dance in places as far-flung as Africa and Alaska. A graduate of UCLA’s World Arts and Culture’s Department, I now live with my family on a sailboat named Simplicity up and down the West Coast of North America. With an eye for the extraordinary, I’m always on the lookout for inspiring and meaningful points of interest for you.
1
Emily Carr House

1) Emily Carr House

The renowned artist and Canadian icon Emily Carr (1871-1945) spent most of her young life in this house. She was born here, in fact. It was originally commissioned by her father in 1863 in the Italianate architectural style. A lasting love for her family's house followed Miss Carr all her life and made its way into her artwork. Carr's original style of painting and writing left a profound impression on the art world. The Carr House is now a National and Provincial Historic Site. You...
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2
Parliament Buildings

2) Parliament Buildings

The Parliament Buildings are British Columbia's seat of government. The buildings house the body of elected officials chosen to represent British Columbians known as the Legislative Assembly. Their doors first opened on February 10, 1898, replacing the original Colonial Administrative Buildings. The steps and the lawn facing the Inner Harbour have been ground zero for many protests over forestry, First Nations legislation, human rights and other matters close to the hearts of British...
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3
Pacific Undersea Gardens

3) Pacific Undersea Gardens

The Pacific Undersea Gardens are a chance to see and touch vibrant and surprising Pacific Northwest marine life. All ages are delighted here. An admission fee less than $10 puts you in a room underwater where you can experience a different world! Instead of diving underwater, walk downstairs to peer into the world of sea stars, kelp, colorful ocean fish, crabs and more in eye-level aquariums plus other plants and animals in the tidal touch tank. Shows are held throughout the day in the special...
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4
Royal BC Museum

4) Royal BC Museum

The Royal BC Museum itself is home to artifacts and natural specimens that inspire wonder and curiosity. Put aside a few extra hours during or after this tour to explore the museum itself. Being one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world, you won't be disappointed. If you don't have time, you can also check out the National Geographic Store, the IMAX theatre, a fantastic museum gift shop full of original art and high quality items, the museum café and the video display in...
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5
Empress Hotel

5) Empress Hotel

The Fairmont Empress is a glittering jewel that greets visitors as they arrive into Victoria's Inner Harbour. It is one in a string of worldwide Fairmont Hotels that Conde Naste's readers have recognized as the best in the world for location, activities and outstanding customer service. Since its doors opened in 1906, the Empress has entertained kings, queens, Hollywood celebrities and many other famous people in an atmosphere that, renovation after renovation, has never departed from...
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6
Chinatown

6) Chinatown

Gaze up at the "Gate of Harmonious Interest" from Government St, turn left onto Fisgard and enter the first Chinatown in Canada. In 1858 with the beginning of the Gold Rush, a thriving center of Chinese culture made its home here and never left. This is the second-oldest on the West Coast after San Fransisco's Chinatown and the longest-living Chinatown in Canada. Although it may look small, it held the honor of being the largest Chinatown in Canada for 50 years. Browse the shops,...
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7
Christchurch Cathedral

7) Christchurch Cathedral

Christchurch Cathedral is the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of British Columbia. Construction of the building began in the 1920s. It was consecrated in 1929. The quarry that provided the magnificent stone for this cathedral is located on Newcastle Island very close to Nanaimo, BC, just an hour and a half drive and a short boat ride north of Victoria. Behind the cathedral on Vancouver st. Sits the Christchurch Cathedral School for Kindergarten through grade 8 students. It is the only...
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8
Greater Victoria Art Gallery

8) Greater Victoria Art Gallery

The first thing you'll notice about the Greater Victoria Art Gallery is the the green and red Queen Ann style mansion situated in the center of the property. With facilities, programs and presentations dedicated to the appreciation and study of the visual arts, the GVAG houses 17,000 works of art - the largest public collection of art in B.C. In addition, you'll find a Gallery Shop stocked with local, original arts and crafts. The public can buy or rent pieces of art through the...
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9
Craigdarroch Castle

9) Craigdarroch Castle

Originally a private residence for a coal baron, Craigdarroch served as a military hospital, and then a college before a historical society sought to preserve it in 1979. Craigdarroch Castle today is open to the public as a historic house museum. Restored to its original 1880's splendor inside and out, visitors are encouraged to walk through its exquisite rooms and hallways to view the historical decor and interpretive signage. Craigdarroch is not a true castle but a Victorian era mansion...
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10
Government House

10) Government House

The Government House of British Columbia you see today is the third incarnation of the building that houses the Queen's representative in B.C. The first two houses fell victim to fire. The first burned down in 1899 and the next in 1957. The current Government House officially opened in 1959. Many people from around the province donated pieces of fine furniture, artwork, china and silver to the new House to show their support and allegiance to the Queen. Those pieces remain in the House to...
Image by Andrew Tawker under Creative Commons License.
11
Abkhazi Garden

11) Abkhazi Garden

The Abkhazi Garden is an inspiring and restful place where you can meander woodland paths, bright lawns and even follow tributatries of the "Yangtze River." Peggy Pemberton Carter recognized the uniqueness of Southern Vancouver Island's landscape and wanted to create a living work of art - a garden - that honored and protected it while embracing Chinese principals of reflection and composition that she learned from the gardens of her former home near Shanghai. Inside, you can...
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