Victoria shopping offers something for a wide variety of tastes and preferences. There are antique shops to satisfy that need for something old and special, and no shortage of souvenir shops. Add in the boutiques and the art galleries, and it becomes clear that the British Columbia capital can satisfy the shopping bug and then some.
The best Victoria stores are found in the downtown, Inner Harbour, and Old Town districts. These districts essentially combine to form one larger district, and this area is easy to walk around. In fact, walking is the very best way to get around Victoria whether you are doing some shopping or taking an interest in the city's other options for things to do. Buses are available and can come in handy when trying to cover larger distances, and this is a wonderful biking city as well.
When searching for the best Victoria stores, starting at the Inner Harbour and moving outward can be a good plan. From the Inner Harbour to Yates Street, which is a five-block distance, there are numerous souvenir shops that can be a joy to rummage through. Also found in the area are shops that offer items such as fine china, native art from the region, and linens from Europe, so it's hard to predict what shoppers might come across if they put some time into it.
Heading north from the Inner Harbour area, Victoria visitors come to the Old Town district, which is home to Market Square and a variety of trendy shops that occupy historic buildings. Staying on a northerly path, it doesn't take long to get to the Victoria Chinatown neighborhood, and it too is worthy of a shopper's attention. It might not be large, but Chinatown offers plenty of appeal. For shoppers, the neighborhood's ceramic shops are worth checking out, as are the art shops.
Many of the best Victoria stores are antique shops. In fact, this former British outpost is very well-known for its antique shopping opportunities. Many of the items at the local antique shops hail from Great Britain, and it shouldn't take long to find something special regardless the origin preference. Antique Row is the place to go when looking to do some serious antique shopping in Victoria. This stretch is found on the downtown area's eastern edge on Fort Street.
The Cowichan band of Vancouver Island makes fantastic wool sweaters, so shoppers who are based in Victoria might keep an eye out for them. Also worth considering are Oak Bay Village, Mattick's Farm, and the town of Sidney. Oak Bay Village is about a ten-minute drive from downtown Victoria and is known for its high-end shops. Mattick's Farm takes about 20 minutes to get to by way of car from Victoria, and it boasts some delightful specialty shops, while the town of Sidney is about a 30-minutes drive away and is best known for its bookstores.
Image: Deddeda Stemler