Things to do in Victoria BC in 24 Hours

While living in Washington, I took advantage of traveling to other destinations in the Pacific Northwest. Unfortunately, most of the time, I usually had to limit those adventures to one day. Β When my mom came to visit me one of those times, we decided to do one day in Victoria BC.

This wasn’t exactly relaxed travel by any means, but we proved it can be done. Β I lived in Tacoma which is about 45 minutes southeast of Seattle. In order to get to Victoria, British Columbia from Tacoma, we had to drive two hours to Port Angeles, Washington and then take a 90-minute ferry to Victoria. Let’s take a look at some of the things to do in Victoria BC in just a day!

Looking to expand your trip to British Columbia? Here are some photos to inspire a visit to Vancouver Island.


Explore the Parliament Buildings

After arriving in Victoria, with no set plans, we started walking towards the Parliament building.

The Parliament buildings are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. There are free, year-round guided tours offered. You will find the guides out in front of the building or you can simply take a self-guided tour.

one day in victoria bc parliament building

Have Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel

After taking a walk through the Parliament buildings, we walked over to The Fairmont Empress Hotel which sits right across the way from the Parliament buildings. The hotel is a beautiful building that sits on the corner of the inner harbor and is well-known for its Afternoon Tea. Since 1908, kings, queens, celebrities, and dignitaries have been enjoying the Fairmont Empress for its Afternoon Tea.

What’s even better? Vegan afternoon tea in Victoria!

one day in victoria bc

Take in the Views of the Inner Harbor

At the corner connecting where the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Parliament Building sits the inner harbor. The day we visited, there just happened to be the Classic Boat Festival going on. I’m no expert on boats but they were definitely beautiful.

The Inner Harbour is arguably the most popular neighborhood in Victoria. The harbor home to many boats, street vendors, and cafes. This neighborhood also is home to the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Parliament Buildings.

Butchart Gardens

The Butchart Gardens have been around since 1904 and are absolutely stunning. You’ll find over 900 varieties of flowers on the 55-acre property.

one day in victoria bc butchart gardens


Chinatown is not too far away from the inner harbor as well. It is the oldest Chinatown in Canada and the second oldest in North America.


One Day in Victoria BC Overview

With having to catch a 90-minute ferry back to Port Angeles and then a two-hour drive back to Tacoma this was about all the fun we could manage in our one day in Victoria BC. I’m sure I will be back one day though as Victoria is a lovely place to visit.

Have you ever been to Victoria? Did you find it to be as charming a place as I did?

Ashley Hubbard

This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Mrs. Chasing the Donkey

    Hello there fellow co-host! I have never been to anywhere in B.C. Having only spent less than 3 months in the USA it never made the list. But it looks so lovely, especially that Parliament Building. See you next week πŸ™‚

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      You’ll have to make more time for the US in the future! πŸ™‚ Excited about next week already!

  2. Adelina

    I lived in Victoria for my uni years. It’s always fun to see it from a tourists perspective! I love the inner harbour area – its so picturesque and I can almost convince myself I’m in Europe. Almost. I went back a couple weeks ago after almost 4 years and it was the same and yet different from my memories.

    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      That’s awesome that you lived there Adelina πŸ™‚ It’s always weird coming back to somewhere you lived after being gone several years.

  3. Bob R

    I love totem poles. My day is now complete. Seriously. πŸ™‚

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Haha i love them too…glad I completed your day πŸ™‚

  4. frankaboutcroatia

    Hi Ashley,
    I am Canadian, but from the East Coast. Been to Victoria many times. It’s lovely.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      It is lovely for sure. This was my 2nd time…the 1st was for a couple days before an Alaskan cruise when I was 12, but we did Buchart Gardens and a couple other things and I hardly remember it.

  5. Mary {The World Is A Book}

    Victoria is so charming. We were there for a day during a cruise port stop a couple of years ago and followed your path too. One of these days we hope to go back and maybe stay at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Although, we can only probably afford one night πŸ™‚ What a lovely day trip from WA.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      I’d love to stay at the Fairmont Express as well, but it would definitely be a splurge haha…just walking around in it is fun until I have the money for that though πŸ™‚

  6. Angela

    Great post. I am excited for the Sunday Traveler link ups to learn more of travel options around the world.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks Angela! Glad you joined us and that you like it so far πŸ™‚

  7. Nancie

    That’s my kind of day! I love taking off and just seeing as much as possible. I took that ferry when I was very young and went to Victoria. The main thing I remember was in the gift shop – chocolate covered ants! I was amazed. haha Great post!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Thanks Nancie! I do enjoy days like that (when I have a base). I definitely couldn’t do that every day though haha.

  8. Lunaguava

    Victoria looks lovely – I get a bit of an Old World vibe from your photos, which I quite like. It’s funny, we’re so used to chicken buses and tuk-tuks in our travels that a Canadian city sounds very exotic to us πŸ™‚ Good luck, Ashley! 302 days to go!

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      Haha I bet it does…never really thought of it that way πŸ™‚ 302 days seems so far and so close at the same time! πŸ™‚

  9. Thanks for hosting the Link-up, it’s been a great way to get (even) more travel inspiration! I’ve been to BC once, but somehow we never made it to Victoria. It does look lovely though, maybe next time! πŸ™‚

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      No problem and I know what you mean…I’ve already added several more things to my list. Definitely put Victoria on your schedule next time around πŸ™‚

  10. Jess

    All I’ve seen of the Pacific North West is a couple short stopovers in Vancouver and Seattle. I loved it – but I’d definitely like to see more! Victoria looks like a beautiful place for a day trip.

    1. Ashley Hubbard

      The PNW is definitely beautiful and a must see. Really needs to be a road trip though, in my opinion. I lived there for almost 3 years and still feel like I hardly broke the surface.

  11. Pingback: 9 Memorable Day Trips Outside Seattle, Washington

  12. Travel Croatia

    Empress hotel looks stunning. Did you stay there? Photos are just amazing.

    Thank you for sharing this story with us.

Leave a Reply