Top things to do

Gardens in Brentwood Bay

Butchart Gardens

A 30-minute drive from Victoria, the farmlands of Brentwood Bay are also home to this immaculate, green-thumbed attraction. Divided into separate gardens where there's always something in bloom, the tour buses roll …
Aquarium in Sidney

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre

Sidney's kid-luring highlight, you'll enter this aquarium through a dramatic Disney-style entrance that makes you think you're descending below the waves. Then you'll step into a gallery of aquatic exhibits, includi…
Gardens in Brentwood Bay

Victoria Butterfly Gardens

These gardens offer a kaleidoscope of thousands of fluttering critters, from around 75 species, in a free-flying environment. As well as watching them flit about and land on your head, you can learn about ecosystem …
Park in Sooke & Around

Sooke Potholes Provincial Park

A 5km drive from Hwy 14 along River Rd (the turnoff is east of Sooke), this relaxed park has been a favorite natural hangout among the locals for generations. With rock pools and potholes carved into the river base …
Cafe in Port Renfrew

Coastal Kitchen Cafe

For a respite from campground pasta, this laid-back, locally-loved hangout serves hearty comfort grub from breakfast to dinner (add a glass of BC craft beer to the latter). The dish to have here? Miss the halibut an…
Cafe in Sidney

Red Brick Cafe

A popular coffee-stop hangout among the locals, this neighborhood cafe also does a brisk lunchtime trade in soups, chili and thick sandwiches. Its New England-style seafood chowder is a house specialty – add some co…
Park in Sooke & Around

Juan de Fuca Provincial Park

A rough and rugged wilderness swathe with a wave-crashing coastline where whales, otters and a multitude of marine life thrives. Old-growth forest, waterfalls and log-strewn beaches add to the appeal while camping i…
Books in Sidney

Beacon Books

A multi-room town center bookstore piled high with used tomes, all guarded by a house-cat who may or may not let you stroke her (probably not). Look out for the collection of vintage postcards then send one home, pr…
Books in Sidney

Tanner's Books

You can easily spend a leisurely afternoon perusing the selection at this cavernous corner bookshop with its large array of magazines and comprehensive travel-book section. They also organize evening book readings, …
Sculpture in Sidney

Seaside Sculpture Walk

A dozen or so photo-friendly sculptures dotted around the town's waterfront, look out for the surfing bulldog (you can buy it for a cool $10,500).