The Pacific Northwest is regarded as home to some of the most beautiful scenery in the U.S., but the same is true if you make your way north of the border. British Columbia retains much of the natural charm of its neighbors to the south and is the perfect way to add some international intrigue to your travels without having to go too far. There are a few cities in particular you should visit, but Victoria is arguably one of the best and is home to a long list of appealing attractions.
Arguably the most spectacular places in British Columbia, Butchart Gardens offer somewhat of an oasis located just 20 minutes outside of Victoria's center. The garden features long stretches of intricately manicured floral arrangements, relaxing fountains and gorgeous scenery. While it's appealing during the day, in the summer it gets even more impressive once the sun sets. The soft illuminations create an entirely different atmosphere, and if you're lucky enough to be there on a Saturday night you'll be treated to the much-anticipated fireworks display.
Get out on the water
Thanks to being on the coast, Victoria not only offers impressive views of the surrounding harbor, but it affords visitors the opportunity to get out on the water themselves. And lest you think hopping on a boat simply gives you the chance to take a short cruise, the whale watching is often extraordinary off the coast of British Columbia. Most notably, the B.C. coast is one of the best places on Earth to see orcas?, otherwise known as killer whales.
Marvel at the architecture
Victoria has more than just natural appeal, it is also home to a number of impressive pieces of architecture. For one, the Christ Church Cathedral is one of the most recognizable structures in the province and the original church dates back to the 1860s. There is a long list of other notable landmarks as well, including the stunning Empress hotel, which contains more than 475 rooms as well as four separate restaurants. Even if you're not staying there, it's hard not to admire its imposing stature. As a final stop, make sure to visit the B.C. Parliament buildings, which are located in a waterfront compound.
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