For people from Vancouver, Victoria is the place where tourists go to die. It is the stop on every itinerary from cruise ships to tour buses to solo travelers, but what has it really got to offer? Well, not a lot.
Victoria is the capital of the province of British Columbia and has a nice looking hotel that has being taken over by moss. The waterfront is picturesque and is nice for a stroll on a sunny afternoon. Victoria is one of those places that people go to tick off their list, but find themselves wondering how it ended up on their list in the first place. Victoria offers a variety of touristic activities, some of which are bearable. The others are catered to the cruise ship variety of travelers.
Visit miniature world. A serious amount of imagination has gone into building these mini towns, mini historical scenes, fairy lands and much, much more. Nestled in behind the Empress Hotel it is easy to miss, but it will delight and inspire and make you wish you had the patience and tiny fingers to build yourself. Entrance costs around $15 + tax. It takes 30-45 minutes to see all the exhibits.
The Butchart Gardens are a nice way to spend the way the afternoon. The gardens are quite large and spring is the perfect time to admire the newly blooming flowers. There are also occasional car shows hosted in the gardens, showcasing cutting edge supercars, and older models that have been restored.
What you should not do in Victoria is venture out of the main center. The main shopping district is only a few streets deep. If you fancy taking your life in your hands, head directly away from the water and look for the beaten-up houses and decrepit buildings. They make for a lovely tale of survival.
If you do choose to venture into the dark side, then you will really want to take my next piece of advice. Take a float plane back to Vancouver. Not just to get the hell out of there the quickest way possible; it also makes for quite the scenic adventure. The flight to downtown Vancouver is barely 25 minutes. If you take public transit and the ferry to Victoria it can take the best part of a day. It is a nice trip on the ferry, with lovely scenery, but the return trip is definitely more enjoyable from 3,000 feet in the air.