Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is easily accessible for a day trip, thanks to the ferry or seaplane. Named in honour of the great Queen Victoria upon the arrival of her Majesty's subjects in the 1840s, there is still a cultivated spirit of Great Britain.
From the imposing Parliament of British Columbia to the City Hall and the sumptuous facade of The Empress Hotel, its architecture reflects the splendour of the British Empire. As you wander between traditional teahouses, the beautifully ornate gardens of Beacon Hill Park, cosy cottages (some of which are also bed and breakfasts) and the invigorating sea, you might think you are in the English countryside.
Do not miss Victoria's Chinatown, the oldest in Canada and the sumptuous Butchart Gardens in Saanich, about a half-hour by bus from downtown. And if you want to whale watch, organise your departure from here as these mammals have a soft spot for the waters around Victoria.