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From historic buildings to legendary harbors, you’ll find several distinct attractions and sites to explore around British Columbia any time of year. Many landmarks and attractions are open for tours while others can be explored with a self-guided tour. From Fisherman’s Wharf to the world’s largest glass beehive, you’ll discover wealth of natural, historic, and cultural attractions in every region of BC.
The BC Parliament Buildings in the capital city of Victoria are a fine example of Neo-baroque architecture. Tours of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia re offered daily and are free of charge.
If you want a taste of the great outdoors, make your way to northern Vancouver to set foot on the Capilano Suspension Bridge. The bridge has been open to the public since the late 19th century and is the perfect place to take in the breathtaking views of the forests and cliffs.
You can visit the Fisguard Lighthouse, a designated historic landmark and National Historic Site of Canada when visiting Victoria. This is also a popular destination for wildlife watching and picnicking.
As you explore Vancouver Island, make a pit stop at Fisherman’s Wharf in Victoria for the array of shopping opportunities and native cuisine at area restaurants. Whale watching and wildlife viewing are some popular activities here.
Spending the day at Miniature World in Victoria is a must for any visitor. It’s home to over 85 miniature displays and dioramas that tell the story of Vancouver Island over the years. You can also see a futuristic display and a representation of the World of Dickens.
For those who have a sweet tooth, a trip to Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie will make your day a little sweeter. It’s famous for its handmade chocolates, confections, macaroons, pastries, and cakes. It’s also a popular destination for food gifts.
Spend a few hours exploring the The World’s Largest Beehive at The Honey Place when you’re in northern British Columbia. The site is home to more than 1,200 colonies of bees and is the largest supplier of bee pollen in Canada.
You can get a taste of local culture and tradition at Inner Harbour, a popular destination for festivals in Victoria year round. The BC Parliament Buildings are located here and you can come here to see the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, Annual Classic Boat Festival and the Swiftsure Yacht Race.
Take a tour through Chinatown to see old Chinese buildings and to tour the entertainment and shopping district. This part of Victoria is always bustling with activity and you can sign up for a guided or interpretive tour for an in-depth experience.
When you’re exploring eastern British Columbia, enjoy a slice of nature at Okakangan Lake. This tranquil lake is home to the Ogopogo creature, a 15-metre sea serpent that was first sighted in 1872 and continues to be a local legend. Take a guided boat tour to learn more about Canada’s Loch Ness monster and enjoy the natural scenery.
Taking a harbor tour aboard the Victoria Harbor Ferry is another way to enjoy Vancouver Island. This is the place to watch the ferries dance in the Water Ballet every Sunday. You can also take a water taxi across the water to enjoy the view.
Whether you’re visiting Victoria, Vancouver Island, or the Okakangan region, you’ll find a wealth of unique attractions to explore during your trip. Stay at a Best Western hotel in British Columbia for easy access to some of the region’s most popular landmarks, legendary sites, natural attractions, and entertainment venues.
Set in British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings house the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the Inner Harbour.
A major attraction on Vancouver Island in western BC, the BC Parliament Buildings are a great example of Neo-baroque architecture.
The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia offers tours of the BC Parliament Buildings daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the summer, and Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. throughout the rest of the year. Tours are free to the public, and can be up to 45 minutes long.
Located in beautiful northern Vancouver, the Capilano Suspension Bridge has been delighting tourists with its dazzling views and thrills since 1889.
Aside from the impressive bridge, guests can also traverse the entirety of the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, featuring the Cliffwalk, Treetops Adventure, Story Centre, and Kia’Palano, each provide unique, thrilling experiences.
Aside from the outstanding views, the park also provides guided, group tours, with expert Capilano employees giving one-of-a-kind insight to the Suspension Bridge Park.
Additionally, be sure to stop by the gift shop and Logger’s Grill, for insatiable meals, ideal for satisfying an appetite the size of Canada.
Famous for being the first lighthouse on the west coast of Canada, the Fisgard Lighthouse is a National Historic Site of Canada built in 1860. Located just outside of Victoria, the site has become a must-see for Vancouver Island visitors looking to take in some history.
Designated a historic landmark in 1958, the lighthouse offers guests a variety of activates a well. Picnic near the base of the lighthouse, play board games at the top of the lighthouse, or do some wildlife watching in the surrounding area.
Located in Victoria, Fisherman's Wharf is a unique tourist attraction on Vancouver Island. This marine destination has something for the whole family – experience the food kiosks, unique shopping, and native wildlife just underneath your feet as you traverse the docks.
You'll find plenty to eat at Fisherman's Wharf. Visit Gilligan's BBQ, Barb's Fish and Chips, or Moka House Coffee & Bistro for a variety of native cuisine. To further explore the region, take in a whale watching adventure or try your hand at Kelp Reef Kayaking.
Paying homage to stories like “Gulliver’s Travels,” Miniature World is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s located in downtown Victoria. This TripAdvisor approved attraction features over 85 miniature displays and dioramas – each telling a unique story to Vancouver Island newcomers.
The colorful walkthrough houses specific historic and fantastical exhibits like Space 2201; a futuristic display, World of Dickens; representing the works of Charles Dickens, Circus World, and many more. Hours and openings vary by season, so be sure to research visiting times before visiting.
One of Vancouver's best little-known secrets, the Thomas Haas Fine Chocolates & Patisserie crafts delicious chocolates, macaroons, confections and cakes. Customers also enjoy the cafe's variety of desserts, sandwiches, and breakfast pastries. If you choose to eat inside, portholes offer viewers the chance to see pastry chefs in action creating their exquisite plates.
Both stores (one in Kitsilano, the other on the North Shore in North Vancouver) are open Tuesday through Saturday, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. However, the company is not just limited to retail. Catering, wholesale, and corporate gift options are also available to chocolate-loving clients in British Columbia.
The World's Largest Glass Beehive is located at The Honey Place, south of Fort St. John and east of Hudson's Hope, in northern British Columbia. The Honey Place began their beekeeping business 50 years ago with a few colonies of bees and is now home to more than 1,200 colonies of bees. Visit this beautiful acreage and farmland, to see the large glass beehives and the busy bees working inside.
The active bees carry the pollen from Alfafa and wildflowers into the hive. The bees are also busy making honeycomb, where the queen bees lay their eggs. The resulting sweet honey is a powerful, natural antibiotic. After a day of fun at Canada's largest supplier of bee pollen, enjoy a comfortable Best Western guest room.
Victoria’s hot spot for festivals, outdoor recreation, and tourism, the capital city’s Inner Harbour is a must-see during any visit to Vancouver Island.
Home to the BC Parliament Buildings, Inner Habour features the Provincial Shields and Coats of Arms, not to mention kayaking and boat tours.
Don’t miss the Annual Classic Boat Festival at Inner Harbour, plus other yearly festivities including the Swiftsure Yacht Race, the Vic-Maui Yacht Race, and the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival.
Spend your days exploring the activity in Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and your nights at a Best Western hotel in Victoria.
Flanked by the distinctive Gates of Harmonious Interest, Victoria's Chinatown boasts an influx of history, shopping, and cultural entertainment. Centered around the 500 to 600 block of Fisgard St, the historic area preserves narrow Fan Tan Alley, the old Chinese school, and several buildings and businesses that once formed Canada and Vancouver Island's oldest Chinatown.
Visitors also drop by the more modern and larger area along Government Street, Herald Street, Store Street, and Pandora Avenue, which has now been designated a National Historic Site of Canada. The district contains many restaurants, souvenir shops, produce markets and night time entertainment; tours and interpretative guides are available.
Beneath the waters of tranquil Okakangan Lake lies a mysterious, perhaps fearsome creature, Ogopogo, the Okanagan Lake monster (or so the legend goes). Assumed to be 12 to 15 metre sea serpent, Ogopogo was first sighted way back in 1872 and has continually perplexed residents, tourists, and enthusiasts to this day.
If you find yourself on the shores of this eastern British Columbia lake, you will easily find opportunities to learn more about the monster and its history - anecdotal signs are posted around the lakes and there is a honorary statue in Kelowna. And for those who just have to see, there are plenty of guided boat tours across the lake - just make sure you have your camera ready. You never know.
Founded in 1990, Victoria Harbour Ferry today operates a range of services and transportation across Victoria Harbour and Vancouver Island. Visitors can embark on harbour tours, take a water taxi, experience the Pickle Pub Crawl, or watch the harbour ferries dance in the Water Ballet each Sunday.
Experience a tour of Victoria from the water with knowledgeable captains as your guide. Operating hours are generally from 10 or 11 a.m. to 5 and 9 p.m.. Operating season lasts from March to October.