Come by float plane, ferry or plane to have "high tea" in the town of Victoria that is labeled "more British than the British", where almost 18% of the population is over 65 years of age hence the "newly wed or nearly dead" inference of the township. Think double-decker buses, formal gardens and plenty of tearooms for those decadent crumpets and cups of tea. Victoria was named after Queen Victoria and established in 1843. The town has an elegant cosmopolitan feel where the inner harbor surrounded by historical buildings is the heart of the city. A staggering 3.5 million tourists put their heads on a pillow in this town for at least one night, whereas another 50,000 tourists invade for a day, usually walking off one of the cruise ships that dock in the harbor. This is where you will find the narrowest alley in the whole of Canada and the second oldest Chinatown in North America.
The famous Butchart Gardens established in 1904 are simply spectacular in spring and draw an annual tourist horde of over a million people. Known as the "Cycling Capital of Canada" you can actually cycle the whole way from Schwartz Bay to downtown Victoria on a bike path so don't forget to lug your bicycle on the ferry crossing. With over 70 lush city parks to choose from, you are spoilt for choice for that time out moment. Beacon Hill Park is not only a fantastic viewing point across the Juan de Fuca Strait, but it is where you will find the sign post "Mile 0" for the 8,000 km Trans-Canada Trail. For the golfing fiend there are 18 golf courses to chase your little white balls and the whale watchers can grab a boat excursion to see these majestic creatures. You can hike, fish or fly a kite in Victoria but the best times to be in the city are during one of its festivals. There is the Victoria Flower and Garden Show for the green thumbs, the Tall Ships Festival for the mariners, the Victoria Marathon for the running junkies and the Canadian Beer Festival for swilling a bit of amber liquid.
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