The Victoria BC museums offer a considerable amount of quality between them, and this only serves to make the British Columbian capital such a fine place to visit. Most of the city's museums are close to one another, and thus they are easy to include on a multiple-stop itinerary, and there are also plenty of historic sites in and around town as well.
One of the very best museums in British Columbia calls the city of Victoria home. It is the Royal BC Museum, and you can find it just a short walk from the Inner Harbour waters at 675 Belleville Street. At this wonderful institution, both the human history and the natural history of the British Columbia region is the main focus. Among the highlights is the First Peoples Gallery, which offers amazing insight into the art and culture of British Columbia's native inhabitants. Complementing the great exhibits is the impressive Victoria IMAX theater, and time should be reserved for the totem poles found outside in Thunderbird Park.
Another Victoria museum that gets its fair share of visitors is the Maritime Museum of British Columbia (pictured). Housed in a beautiful nineteenth-century building at 28 Bastion Square, this museum offers exhibits about the maritime history of Victoria and the BC province in general. The collection pieces include gear and weapons, and you can adequately make your way around in about an hour's time, even if you stick around to watch one of the films in the onsite theater. It should be noted that the Maritime Museum of British Columbia building was formerly a provincial courthouse. As such, some of the exhibits relate to the BC province's legal history.
Those who enjoy a visit to the Maritime Museum of British Columbia might also enjoy a trip to the CFB Esquimalt Base. At this base is where you will find the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum, which focuses on four Canadian military groups. These groups are Canada's Navy on the West Coast, the Canadian Women's Army Corps, the Women's Royal Canadian Naval Service, and the West Coast Defenses. Various displays and exhibits tell the story of these groups, and the museum also offers a library archive that can be of great interest. Documents, photographs, and navigation charts are just some of the things that can be examined at the library.
Many cities around the world have aviation museums, and such is the case with Victoria. Found next to the Victoria International Airport at 1910 Norseman Road, the British Columbia Aviation Museum is a plane enthusiast's delight. In a small hanger, both original and replica airplanes await, and there are also helicopters to admire. Perhaps the most interesting piece that is on display is the first aircraft of Canadian design to ever fly.
The city of Victoria is home to a variety of historic sites that essentially double as museums. Among them is the Emily Carr House. Formerly the childhood home of one of Canada's most renowned artists, this Victorian-style abode was built in the 1860s. Carr herself was born there in 1871, and the house has been restored to how it looked at that time. Tours of the interior can be enjoyed, and as far as where you can find the Emily Carr House, it is situated at 207 Government Street in the lovely James Bay neighborhood.
Other historical sites and landmarks that are worth adding to a Victoria museums list are Craigdarroch Castle and Hatley Castle. Both of these beautiful castles were products of the Dunsmuir family, which originated in Scotland and made its fortune in British Columbia. Both are open to the public and can be toured, and there are museum exhibits that provide extra insight into things such as the castle designs and the former owners. Craigdarroch Castle overlooks the Oak Bay neighborhood from its 1050 Joan Crescent address, while Hatley Castle sits on Esquimalt Bay at 200 Sooke Road.
The Parliament Buildings complex is just one more Victoria attraction that deserves special mention, and if you have time to spare, a ferry trip over to Vancouver might be in order. The largest city in British Columbia, Vancouver offers some wonderful museums and historical sites of its own. The ferry ride from Victoria to Vancouver takes about an hour and a half, and thanks to the beauty of the British Columbia scenery, it is by no means boring. You might even see some whales, not to mention a variety of other interesting creatures.