Where to Stay in Victoria - Waterfront Hotels, Family-Friendly Motels, and Heritage Homes
If you want to stay in the middle of the action, choose one of the numerous hotels in downtown Victoria. Many are on the waterfront, meaning you can spot floatplanes taking off or head straight out for a whale-watching adventure. Downtown is compact, so if you've left your car at home, staying here puts you within walking distance of museums, shops, bars, and restaurants. The British Columbia Parliament Buildings, steps from the Inner Harbour, are an impressive sight, day or night.
Downtown Victoria accommodation ranges from glitzy 4- and 5-star hotels overlooking the Inner Harbour to contemporary boutique lodging steps from hip shops and eateries. There are plenty of affordable motels and backpacker hostels, too. Families with fussy little eaters in tow can opt for aparthotels with full kitchens.
Victoria's oldest neighborhood is a walkable grid of quiet streets lined with colorfully painted heritage homes. It's an easy stroll or a 5-minute harbor-ferry trip into downtown. You can explore Fisherman's Wharf's floating homes, walk the Ogden Point breakwater, and nibble scones in a tearoom. From May through early October, the James Bay Market sells crafts, baked goods, and fresh produce.
Accommodation in James Bay includes upscale waterside hotels, no-frills motels, and cozy bed-and-breakfasts. You might sleep in a sleek spot with a pool and a pampering spa or a century-old inn with antique furnishings.
A peaceful neighborhood just a 5-minute drive from downtown, Rockland rises up on a hill and is home to Victoria's grandest heritage mansions. Staying here puts you within easy reach of Craigdarroch Castle, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and the immaculate gardens of Government House. The weekly Moss Street Market, with more than 90 vendors, is a short walk away.
Staying in Rockland, you can imagine the life of a wealthy merchant from the early 1900s. Vast homes have been converted into elegant B&Bs, many with individually decorated rooms and large gardens.
A short drive from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal near the tip of the Saanich Peninsula, Sidney is a quiet seaside town 27 km (17 miles) north of Victoria. Independent shops, a waterfront sculpture trail, and an aquarium make it popular with families. Visitors also appreciate the small-town environment somewhat removed from the crowds. Thursday evenings from May through August, shoppers pack Beacon Avenue for the Sidney Street Market.
If you book accommodation in Sidney, you could find yourself in a chic ocean-facing hotel close to waterside pubs. Alternatively, you can pick a family-friendly motel or cozy up in a snug B&B.
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