Located at the southern end of Vancouver Island is Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. As if deliberately intent on countering the bustle and modern hip attitude of Vancouver, its neighbor across the Strait of Georgia, this "City of Gardens" is a laid-back and genteel place with an obvious British heritage. In fact, it is said to be "more English than England itself." Among the many reminders of its mother country are the double-decker buses that motor along flower-draped streets, and the High Tea served daily at the landmark Fairmont Empress Hotel. This isn't the city's only legacy, however, as you will quickly find while experiencing its distinctly Pacific Northwest flavor. Museums, cultural performances, restaurants, and lovely villages celebrate the ancient, nature-infused heritage of the province's First Nations.

Rated as the world's top city for environment and ambience, Victoria is alsothe starting point for an island-hopping adventure through the Gulf Islands. Visually stunning and full of attractions for all, this capital city deserves its high place among the country's preferred travel destinations. The mildest climate in Canada is perennially favorable and the surrounding wilderness provides endless possibilities, from whale-watching to Xtreme snowboarding, kayaking to hang-gliding, and just about anything you might have a bent to try. If you want a leisurely vacation of relaxation and indulgence in the finer things, then you'll find it among the top-notch galleries, boutiques, cultural arts, Antique Row, and leafy, bloom-filled squares. The 11 different neighborhoods offer enough diversion and variety to last as close to forever as you'll need in a lifetime!
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