Downtown Victoria BC is a delightful mix of past and present, and thanks to its compact size, navigating the streets by way of foot is arguably the way to go. Visitors will also find the city's downtown area to be very bike friendly, and public buses provide additional transportation options. Many of the Victoria tours are boating tours, and they tend to leave right from the Inner Harbour docks.
However visitors choose to get around downtown Victoria, there is no shortage of wonderful places to go. The downtown core adjoins the Old Town and Inner Harbour districts, and together, they essentially form the general downtown region. Found within this region are attractions to suit a wide range of preferences, not to mention a number of top hotels that can have visitors in the heart of it all. Among the attractions is the as the Maritime Museum of British Columbia, which calls Wharf Street Victoria home. One of the top museums in town, the Maritime Museum offers wonderful insight into the shipping and boating history of Victoria and the rest of the British Columbia province.
Wharf Street is one of the main avenues in downtown Victoria BC. Found on the western side, it runs along the Inner Harbour waters and is a major focal point. Victoria visitors might drop by the tourist information center that can be found on Wharf Street. Situated opposite the renowned Empress Hotel at 812 Wharf Street, this center can provide info on all the area attractions, not to mention the downtown area hotels and the Victoria tour options.
The core of the Inner Harbour is a good place to start when taking a tour of Victoria's downtown area. After a walk along the waterfront causeway, some afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel can be a good way to cap things off.
Taking a tour of the Victoria Parliament Buildings is also an option. Found on the southern side of the Inner Harbour core, this governmental complex is open to the public, and free tours lasting around 40 minutes can be enjoyed, but even if you don’t go inside, this is one of the top places to take a photograph in this area of town. At night, the building is decked out in lights.
Unfolding on the eastern shores of the Inner Harbour are the downtown core and the Old Town district. Many of the best Victoria shopping opportunities can be had in these combined districts, and it is also an area that boasts many good restaurants and nightlife hangouts. Government Street, which is a main avenue in downtown Victoria, runs right through the prime shopping and dining areas. One street over is Douglas Street, and it serves as the main business strip in town.
Walking tours in Downtown Victoria BC can be very rewarding, and there's always the option to duck into the historic neighborhood of James Bay while making the rounds. In downtown and Old Town, heritage buildings mix with museums, shops, and restaurants, providing no shortage of options for things to do. Guided walking tours are available for those who are interested, and they cover all the main sights and areas, including the tiny, two-block district that is the Victoria Chinatown.
As for James Bay, it unfolds on the southern side of the Inner Harbour and downtown Victoria. The tree-lined streets in this neighborhood are a joy to stroll, thanks largely to the Victorian-era homes that line them, and on the neighborhood's eastern edge is wonderful Beacon Hill Park. Other downtown area attractions such as the Royal BC Museum and the Helmcken House are found within the James Bay borders, and the hotels that call the neighborhood home can make for fantastic Victoria vacation bases.