12 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Victoria, Canada

non-touristy things to do in victoria bc
| 6 min read

Greater Victoria is a middle-sized city located on Vancouver Island. One of the most fantastic things about this super gorgeous city is its proximity to nature. Greater Victoria is home to a lot of beaches, mountains, and a big forest cover. The most amazing fact about these natural wonders is that all are just at a distance of five minutes from each other. This place is an ideal vacation spot for nature lovers. I am sure you will be in love with the place as soon as you reach it. Those planning to explore off-the-beaten-path Victoria, keep reading to find out about the best non-touristy things to do in Victoria, Canada.

1. Take a magical walk through the forest (from USD 37.0)

If you’re looking for unusual things to do in Victoria, why not take the chance to get back in touch with nature on this marvelous walk through the rain forest? You’ll feel your mood lift and your energy rise, and a positive mindset will surely take hold while you walk among the trees. There will be exercises to participate in so you can become more grounded. You’re also going to practice some nature mysticism that should heighten your sense of awareness, and you’ll even get a chance to see a 650-year-old Douglas fir tree. This is one tour that is full of positivity.

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Mystical Rainforest Tour / Forest Magick

Duration: 2.5 hours

171 reviews

2. Go on a delicious food tour (from USD 54.0)

One of the most unique things to do in Victoria is a real treat. This food tour of downtown Victoria avoids the tourist traps and will, instead, bring you to the best local eateries. You’ll hear the stories of the people who make up this multi-cultural community while also filling up on delicious baked goods, macarons, tacos, and more. Make sure you come hungry!

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The Tastiest Downtown Foodie Tour

Duration: 2 hours

225 reviews

3. Go on a fun kayak tour (from USD 93.0)

This is another great, off-the-beaten-path activity you can do in Victoria that guarantees plenty of sun, surf, and exercise. This tour will have you paddling your own kayaks and visiting the islands nearby. From the seal colony to bald eagles, you’ll learn all about the local wildlife that inhabits the area. This activity will work up your appetite, so it’s a good thing that a lunch of delicious sandwiches is included in the tour.

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West Coast ecology Kayak tour

Duration: 4 hours

77 reviews

4. Go hiking through Mt. Douglas Park

View from Mt. Douglas
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Madereugeneandrew used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The hikers here get a chance to walk on the lush green trails embraced by ferns and wildflowers. They are further towered by Fir and Cedar trees that give you a welcoming feel. If you manage to get to the top, then you are sure to witness a mesmerizing 360-degree view of Victoria City and the beauty of the ocean. You can even use the miners’ cave while hiking as it is fun to crawl. In case you face trouble in hiking then there is also an option to drive to the top if you want to reach the viewpoint.

Mt. Douglas Park

Address: 4500 Cedar Hill Rd, Victoria, BC, Canada

Website: Mt. Douglas Park

Opening hours: 7am - 11pm (daily)

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5. Check out the haunted side of Victoria

Craigdarroch Castle just after sunset - view from the south, Victoria, Canada
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michal Klajban used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The local people of this city are of the opinion that Victoria is the most haunted place in British Columbia. You know what, the claim is even supported by Tourism Victoria website. In case you believe in ghosts or want to see one then there are many places for you to explore. I am sure this is one of the best non-touristy things to do in Victoria BC. Just wander through the streets of downtown Victoria, and if you are lucky, then a ghost will surely appear before you. You may opt for a tour or take a self-guided walking tour, and the city is sure to chill your nerves with the ghosts and haunted locations.

Craigdarroch Castle

Address: 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5, Canada

Website: Craigdarroch Castle

Opening hours: 10am - 4:30pm (daily)

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6. Explore giant mansions at Uplands

12 best non-touristy things to do in Victoria
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user US Mission Canada used under CC BY 2.0

Uplands is the place where you can find one of the largest mansions in Victoria. This place is owned by the super-rich people who shuttle between city life and the outskirts. A walk down the Beach Drive and wander along the side roads is a great way to find some calm and fun time for yourself. You are sure to witness impressive houses. All of them have the presence of exceptional elegance and inspiration when it comes to architecture and interior design. They are sure to provide you with a real feel of English country homes and beautiful views that will steal your heart. For those on the lookout for unique things to do in Victoria, a visit to Hatley Castle should be right up your alley.

Hatley Castle

Address: Hatley Park and Royal Roads University in Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC

Website: Hatley Castle

Opening hours: 8:30am - 4:30pm (daily)

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7. Drink at the Churchill

Victoria, BC - The Churchill
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joe Mabel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

So, you don’t come to Victoria for party time. No worries, even the city is not much known for its nightlife. But you are sure to find Churchill which is the best pub in the town. Dwell yourself in its variety of drinks such as beer, cocktail, wine, and whiskey. These are some of the excellent spirits that have been fermented and distilled with persuasion. The best thing is that all the drinks are priced reasonably and come with a varied selection of meals and snacks. It also offers a bit darker décor and intimate spaces that echo the Garrick’s Head’s beer hall. This is on account of its long bar and high stools.

The Churchill

Address: 1140 Government Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1Y2

Website: The Churchill

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 1am; Sun: 11am - 12am

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8. Witness the beautiful sunset from Ogden Point

Ogden Point Breakwater Lighthouse, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michal Klajban used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This is one of the logical stops and also one of the most beautiful non-touristy things to do in Victoria. Before or after the railings, this spot is still the number one and draws tourists from all over the world. This is the best point in the city to watch the sunset. Submerge yourself in the beautiful and cool breeze followed by taking a mesmerizing view of harbor entrance as well as the boats passing by. With the Olympic Mountains in the background, I am sure if given a chance you will happily look at this view for the rest of your life. So what are you waiting for? Visit the spot and head out to the vast ocean with your loved ones.

Ogden Point Sundial

Address: 211 Dallas Rd, Victoria, BC V8V 1A1, Canada

Opening hours: 8pm onwards

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9. Shop at the historic Market Square

Market Square, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Michal Klajban used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You can have a fun and exciting shopping experience in Market Square. It is time to browse your way through a set of unique and local boutiques that are present in the heritage brick buildings and are surrounded by an open-air courtyard. Other than shopping you can also take a break and enjoy lunch in the outdoor region.

Market Square

Address: 560 Johnson St, Victoria, BC V8W 3C6, Canada

Website: Market Square

Opening hours: 10am - 6pm (daily)

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10. Sample drinks from the best craft breweries (from USD 60.0)

If you are in Victoria, then don’t miss the opportunity to raise a mug to the city’s craft beer culture. It is best to join a local beer-loving guide to get access to the most exquisite boutique and small-batch breweries of the city. You can even ride aboard a ‘brew bus’ and discover the best spots in the town where locals enjoy the beer and taste a few of them. But do keep in mind that beers are quite expensive in the city. Hence be prepared to come up with a reasonable budget when you go on for your brewery hopping. There is a high tax on alcohol which is not less than 7 CAD (5.24 USD) a pint. It all depends on the place and style of beer you are consuming.

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Victoria Craft Brewery Tour and Tastings

Duration: 4 hours

53 reviews

11. Indulge in adventurous activities (from USD 43.0)

This adventure is suitable for all kids and families. The west of downtown Victoria is there for you. It offers a world full of treetop adventure that can be enjoyed by the visitors who are five years of age and older. You can get on an adventurous drive on the forest zip lines and wobbly bridges. This place offers you a fun and problematic forest challenge from 6 feet (1.8 meters) to 45 feet (13.7 meters) above the ground. You can also pitch a tent along the lake or ocean or even within the rainforest and spend an adventurous night there.

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Victoria Classic Adventure Course

Duration: 2 hours

12. Learn the local history and satisfy your sweet tooth (from USD 56.0)

Those who have a sweet tooth will love this tour. The hosts are knowledgeable and they won’t take you to any of the regular tourist traps. Instead, you’ll visit gorgeous churches to appreciate the architecture, meet some locals and hear their tales, and learn all about the history of Victoria. Of course, for chocoholics, the highlight of this tour is dropping by two of the best Canadian chocolatiers where you can indulge in chocolates so sinful you’ll feel like confessing to a priest right after.

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Chocolate & Churches Food Tour

Duration: 2 hours

12 reviews

Welcome on board for a fun vacation

All in all, Victoria is an ideal place for adventure enthusiasts, honeymoon couples and also for families. I am sure you will feel warm and welcome in this multicultural city. I am sure this list is enough for you to spend a joyful and adventurous time in the city. If you have been to Victoria before and can think of any more such places, then do mention in the comment section. You can even ask us if you have any questions about the areas mentioned above. We will be happy to share a detailed insight.

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Sameeksha Jain is a passionate travel writer. Known to weave captivating tales for over six years, each of her sentences is a ticket to destinations painted in prose. Her love affair with travel...Read more

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