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What to See in Victoria During the Winter

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Travelling to Victoria in the winter is a genuine trip to Eden, no matter where you’re coming from. With its idyllically temperate weather and stunning scenery, it is befitting of its reputation as the ‘Garden City.'

It offers so much for visitors who want something different for their winter getaway. So whether you’re planning a small trip this winter after a long year, or already looking forward to next year’s winter vacation, here is a guide to what you can expect to see and do in Victoria during the winter.

Back In Time - Historical Spots

As one of Canada’s oldest cities, Victoria has so much to offer and explore when it comes to its rich history. And there is no better way to experience the city in all its glory than through the unique experience of the Tally-Ho Carriage tour.

This horse-drawn carriage ride literally transports you back in time, and it’s ideally suited to Victoria’s temperate winters.

Once you’ve gotten a feel for Victoria’s atmosphere at a leisurely pace, it’s time to head indoors and soak in some more of that history.

Some of our favourite spots include:

  • The Royal BC Museum
    Home to a rotating array of fantastic exhibits that have featured varied subjects, there are a number of permanent displays that are always worth seeing. Plus, During the month of December they decorate the Old Town up for Christmas - visit the wood-cobbled streets laced with festive garlands and see the shops decked with seasonal finery!

  • The BC Aviation Museum
    Take to the skies with this glorious aviation museum, allowing you to look at a number of restored and preserved aircraft and artifacts from throughout the 20th century.
  • Hatley Castle & Craigdarroch Castle
    To complete your historic experience, Victoria is home to two magnificent castles! First up we have Hatley Castle (as seen in the X-men movies) with beautiful gardens that are open to the public all-year-round. 
    Next, we have Craigdarroch Castle, modelled after the classic British style, it has had many guises over the years: hospital, school, and in its current form, a heritage site.

A Day In The Garden

As you’d expect from the “City of Gardens” Victoria has some delightful gardens that you can stroll around, taking advantage of the temperate weather.

While they’re more popular in the spring, Victoria’s gardens undeniably have plenty to offer to winter visitors.

Here are some of our favourite gardens for you to visit:

  • Butchart Gardens
    One of Victoria’s star attractions, Butchart Gardens is a great place to visit any time of year. During the winter, the garden also plays host to an annual 12 days of Christmas event with a number of seasonal attractions for visitors to enjoy. Unfortunately for 2020 their Christmas light display has been cancelled, but we hope it returns better than ever in 2021! 

  • Abkhazi Gardens
    This is a garden brought to life by royalty. Planted by the Georgian Prince and his wife in 1946, it remains a spectacular sight to this day. With a vertical design that showcases the natural trees and plants of the Pacific West Coast, it perfectly blends into its natural surroundings.

A Rich Culture

Victoria is more than just a scenic backdrop for history though. Its contemporary scene is thriving, and nowhere is that more apparent than in its exciting cultural output.

Art lovers simply must visit the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.

Located opposite a 19th-century mansion, this collection of seven modern art galleries houses the largest collection of art in British Columbia, with approximately 20,000 works of art.

If you’re looking for a special way to spend an evening, you can always catch a show at one of these wonderful theatres (most shows are cancelled or at severely reduced capacity for this winter):

  • Belfry Theatre
    Both a theatre and an associated theatre company, the Belfry Theatre specializes in contemporary theatre driven by the Canadian experience.

  • Royal & Mcpherson Theatres Society
    The Royal Theatre still has the original Renaissance Revival style design and seating from its original 1912 opening. The theatre is now home to both the Victoria Symphony and the Pacific Opera Victoria.

Tasty Treats & Restaurants

There is no better time for a spot of indulgence than winter, and there is no better place to find culinary wonders than Victoria, a city that is host to a wide range of delightful delicacies.

For a relaxing afternoon treat head over to Murchie’s Tea and Coffee, who have been providing tea and coffee to Victoria since 1984.

Or for something even more refined, sample the afternoon high tea served at the Empress Hotel.

If you’re looking to bring some food back to your RV — and with the views Salish provides why wouldn’t you — then you can’t go wrong with the Victoria Public Market and the bevvy of farm-grown produce it has to offer.

And if you’d rather let someone else do the work, Victoria has a great range of restaurants, including:

  • Il Terrazzo
    Il Terrazzo has the perfect ambience for the winter season, with its brick fireplace and old town courtyard setting, and a menu deeply inspired by the cuisine of Northern Italy.

  • Aura
    Take advantage of the finest winter seasonal ingredients at Aura, a restaurant that fuses modern techniques, globally flavours, and the finest locally sourced ingredients.

  • Saveur
    Victoria’s biggest name in fine dining offers a tasting menu experience you won’t forget, with contemporary french cuisine that balances playful invention and classical elegance spotlighting local ingredients.

Christmas Activities 

Victoria is a magical and beautiful place to spend the holidays, with plenty of lights and events throughout the city. Of course 2020 Christmas is vastly different to past years, but there are still a few notable events happening that are a tradition every year.

  • Festival of Trees
    The Bay Centre will be transformed into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees to raise funds for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation
  • Ghosts of Christmas Past Tours
    During December the Ghostly Walks team will present “Ghosts of Christmas Past,” a spooky route through Old Town that highlights some of the best seasonal ghost stories in their repertoire. Stories included will be: the haunted chocolate shop, a Christmas Eve assassination, the “Lady in White” who first appeared at Christmas 1861, a haunted Christmas book, and a First Nations legend.

  • Bastion Square Christmas Market
    Set in gorgeous and historic Bastion Square off of Government Street, this market features handmade gifts produced by local artisans.

If you’re looking to visit Victoria in the winter — look no further than staying at Salish. We are equipped to provide a comfortable experience for all sizes and types of rigs.

To find out more about our current and future availability, get in touch with us today.

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