Vancouver Island Attractions

Vancouver Island Attractions
Home to a diverse ecosystem that includes rainforests, mountains and lakes, Vancouver Island draws thousands of visitors each year. Combined with its rich cultural history and many great tourist attractions, this colorful and diverse part of British Columbia appeals to a wide variety of people and interests.

The Royal British Columbia Museum

Situated in downtown Victoria, the Royal British Columbia Museum features exhibits on the natural history of the region. It has a collection of several million artifacts and documents, ensuring that you have something new to see every time you visit its three main galleries. Walk through the Modern History Gallery to discover how traders first landed in Canada from Europe. Explore the wilder side of Canada in the Natural History Gallery, with displays of native wildlife in stunning tableaus. The detail put into the layout of the galleries is second to none; details include a cobbled street, interactive displays about climate change and, in the First Persons Gallery, the house of a Kwakwaka'wakw chief. There is also an IMAX cinema which shows wildlife films on a daily basis, along with major box office movies. The opening times to the Museum are Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.. The IMAX Theater is open between 10:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. Monday to Sunday. As of January 2010, admission charges to the museum are CAN $15 per adult and CAN $9.50 per child aged 6 to 18 years. Children 5 years and under get in free. Tickets for the IMAX are CAN $11 and CAN $9.50, respectively, with an additional CAN $5 for children of 5 years or less.

Royal British Columbia Museum
675 Belleville St.
Victoria, BC V8W 9W2
(250) 356-7226

Fisgard Lighthouse

One of the area's many national historic sites, Fisgard Lighthouse is a genuine 19th-century lighthouse. Although it is now fully automated, it still attracts hundreds of daily visitors who are interested in seeing how an authentic 19th-century lighthouse operated. Built by the British in the late 1800s, the Fisgard Lighthouse looks out upon the Esquimalt Harbour, and is still used as a guiding light for the Royal Canadian Navy. Inside is an exhibition that retells the history of the lighthouse and details the life of a lighthouse keeper in the 1800s. The lighthouse is maintained by the Fisgard Lighthouse Preservation Society and is open between 10:00 a.m. and 5.30 p.m. daily in the high season, and between 9:00 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. in the low season. As of January 2010, entrance fees are CAN $3.90 for adults (17 to 64 years old), CAN $3.40 for seniors (65 years and older) and CAN $1.90 for children (6 to 16 years old). Children 5 years and under enter free.

Fisgard Lighthouse
603 Fort Rodd Hill Road
Victoria, BC V9C 2W8
(250) 478-5849

Butchart Gardens

Originally the site of a quarry pit, Butchart Gardens is an expansively landscaped area of flowers, plants and water features. Set over 50 acres, the gardens offer a day of serene strolling through its lush greens and vibrant colors. Walk through the Japanese Garden, and you will feel as if you have been transported to the Far East, with ornamental benches and a pond complete with a footbridge adding the final touches. You can also take a boat tour in the summer on a 12-person electric craft; you'll learn about the local sea life, such as seals and egrets, as you cruise Tod Inlet and Brentwood Bay. Within the gardens, there is also the Blue Poppy Restaurant, where you can take afternoon tea before the investigating the neighboring greenhouse and its seasonally changing plants As well as the many landscaped gardens, there are also many events on the grounds, including firework displays and ice skating, and you may even see a wedding celebration. Butchart Gardens is open at different times throughout the year, with later houses in summer. Hours are 9:00 a.m. until 3.30 p.m., except from June to September, when it opens from 9:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. Admission is CAN $15.48 for adults (18 years and older), CAN $7.86 for youths (13 to 17) and CAN $1.90 for children (12 years and under) in winter, and increases to CAN $28.10 for adults, CAN $14.05 for youths and CAN $2.86 for children in summer.

Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Ave.
Brentwood Bay
Victoria, BC V8M 1J8
(866) 652-4422

Article Written By Rina Shah

Rina Shah is a law student with degrees in psychology and business administration from the University of Texas and a Master of Science from the London School of Economics. She has worked in law, nonprofits, information technology and teaching. Shah has over five years of experience writing for various purposes on the job and more than 10 years of academic writing.

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