At Victoria’s Inner Harbour you can join wildlife-spotting tours and see historical buildings, enjoy waterfront walks and a boat festival. This lively harbor stretches from Laurel Point Park to Songhees Point, in the Victoria West district.
There is no lack of water-based activities at Inner Harbour. Join a whale-watching tour for the chance to spot orcas and humpback whales. Learn about the history of Victoria and look for seals on a guided kayak tour. Rent a kayak and paddle independently up the Gorge Waterway. You can even board a seaplane and enjoy aerial views of the harbor and Olympic Mountains.
Walk along the Inner Harbour Pathway to Johnson Bridge to enjoy views of the harbor and Gorge Waterway. Cross the bridge to the Songhees Walkway, a waterside path that will take you to Lime Bay Park. Keep watch for seals and birdlife, including eagles and the great blue heron.
Some beautiful buildings overlook the harbor. Learn about British Columbia’s legislative history on a free tour of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. Nearby is the chateau-style Fairmont Empress hotel. Stop by this hotel for a traditional afternoon tea to experience what has been a popular event since 1908.
If you happen to visit Victoria during Canada’s Labour Day weekend, don’t miss the Classic Boat Festival. Watch rowing demonstrations and dory boat races and step aboard the ships to have a closer look. Visit the festival’s official website for a schedule of events.
Combine a visit to the harbor with a walk to Victoria Fisherman’s Wharf around the corner where you can see a floating village and sample fresh seafood, such as crab and oysters.
Located at the western edge of downtown Victoria, the Inner Harbour is a short walk from major city attractions. Most free parking spaces in the area have a time limit, but pay-and-display parking is available nearby if you want to stay longer. Public buses and water taxis stop at the harbor’s main places of interest.