Self-drive Victoria to Nanaimo


The inner harbour in Victoria BC bustles with activityThere’s lots to see and do in BC’s capital city of Victoria. Attractions ranging from lush gardens, pathways, and expansive parks, to museums, galleries, and restaurants are available to travelers with mobility considerations.

The Cowichan Valley, located between Victoria and Nanaimo, offers great wine touring opportunities, and the city of Nanaimo is home to a beautiful waterfront and many don’t-miss food and drink options.

Visit Victoria's Inner Harbour

The Fairmont Empress hotel stands as a monument to days gone byVictoria’s iconic Inner Harbour is home to a flat waterfront path (accessible via a ramp on either end) with views of boat and seaplane traffic, great people-watching opportunities, and an ideal vantage point to check out the heritage buildings that surround the harbour. The mountains of Washington State can be seen in the distance.

Don't miss Butchart Garden

Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC are alive with color all year roundButchart Garden is one woman’s vision that forever transformed our notion of a garden. This former rock quarry is bursting with colour year round, and in the summer, the splendour of the garden is enhanced by live performances and fireworks. Christmas lights at the gardens are an excellent draw, and a decadent afternoon tea adds to the experience at any time of year. Most public areas are wheelchair accessible; some pathways are narrow and have a steeper grade.

Explore Duncan & Chemainus

The murals in Chemainus BC depict historical scenesHead north to Duncan, known as the City of Totems. Each pole has a story to tell, and you can see more than 40 of them all along a self-guided tour.

Twenty minutes north of Duncan, the community of Chemainus is best known for its collection of murals depicting local history. Follow the yellow footprints that mark the path to the murals, or pick up a self-guided tour map at the Visitor Centre, which also houses a museum.

Enjoy the Nanaimo Harbour

The Nanaimo waterfront is alive with seaplanes coming and going all day longNanaimo is a lovely harbour city with many wheelchair-accessible pathways perfect for watching seaplanes take off and land, and boats come and go. Browse your way through the Old City Quarter, with its boutique stores housed in the heritage buildings. Watch for the plaques that tell the stories of Nanaimo’s colourful past.

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