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Guidebook for Victoria

Megan

Guidebook for Victoria

Food Scene
Located across the street, Habit was founded on the idea that coffee can be better – not just in terms of a drinkable product, but in terms of every step that coffee takes from seep to cup. habitcoffee.com
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Habit Coffee
552 Pandora Ave
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Located across the street, Habit was founded on the idea that coffee can be better – not just in terms of a drinkable product, but in terms of every step that coffee takes from seep to cup. habitcoffee.com
My personal choice for best restaurant. Great Italian food and wonderful atmosphere. http://www.zambris.ca/
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Zambri's
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My personal choice for best restaurant. Great Italian food and wonderful atmosphere. http://www.zambris.ca/
Mo:Lé frequently has a line up out the door and for good reason. This vegan-friendly cafe serves delicious, creative, organic breakfast & lunch dishes all day, plus weekend brunch. molerestaurant.ca
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Mo:Lé Restaurant
554 Pandora Ave
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Mo:Lé frequently has a line up out the door and for good reason. This vegan-friendly cafe serves delicious, creative, organic breakfast & lunch dishes all day, plus weekend brunch. molerestaurant.ca
Incredible food focusing on seasonal, locally available products cooked in a classic French-country style. www.lecole.ca
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Brasserie L'Ecole
1715 Government St
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Incredible food focusing on seasonal, locally available products cooked in a classic French-country style. www.lecole.ca
From their house made cashew milk to their famous signature drinks. Design and atmosphere. Jazz and funk. It's in the details. And it's these details that blend together seamlessly to create the sensory experience that is Hey Happy.
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Hey Happy
560 Johnson St
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From their house made cashew milk to their famous signature drinks. Design and atmosphere. Jazz and funk. It's in the details. And it's these details that blend together seamlessly to create the sensory experience that is Hey Happy.
Upscale chain with great, upbeat atmosphere serving gourmet burgers, global comfort food, cocktails, wines & beers.
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Browns Socialhouse Uptown
3680 UPTOWN BLV
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Upscale chain with great, upbeat atmosphere serving gourmet burgers, global comfort food, cocktails, wines & beers.
Enjoy fine Italian dining in an old town courtyard setting, featuring brick fireplaces and candle lit ambiance. A lively room full of industry professionals are here every night enhancing your dining experience. The menu is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine with a pacific northwest twist. They feature a diverse menu that has something for everyone. Their certified Sommeliers have created an amazing wine program to complement every dish. Il Terrazzo has been a landmark in the Victoria dining scene for more than 25 years.
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II Terrazzo
555 Johnson St
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Enjoy fine Italian dining in an old town courtyard setting, featuring brick fireplaces and candle lit ambiance. A lively room full of industry professionals are here every night enhancing your dining experience. The menu is inspired by Northern Italian cuisine with a pacific northwest twist. They feature a diverse menu that has something for everyone. Their certified Sommeliers have created an amazing wine program to complement every dish. Il Terrazzo has been a landmark in the Victoria dining scene for more than 25 years.
Gather at the bar for fresh-shucked oysters and craft cocktails. Unwind with friends over sharing plates in the lower brasserie. Savour a special dinner and elevated experience in the fine dining room. All menus feature local seafood, house dry-aged steak and local produce. Old world meets new at The Courtney Room. Just two blocks from the inner harbour The Courtney Room, has been recognized by enRoute Magazine as #10 Best New Restaurant in Victoria in 2018 and one of the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada in 2019!
The Courtney Room
619 Courtney St
Gather at the bar for fresh-shucked oysters and craft cocktails. Unwind with friends over sharing plates in the lower brasserie. Savour a special dinner and elevated experience in the fine dining room. All menus feature local seafood, house dry-aged steak and local produce. Old world meets new at The Courtney Room. Just two blocks from the inner harbour The Courtney Room, has been recognized by enRoute Magazine as #10 Best New Restaurant in Victoria in 2018 and one of the Top 100 Restaurants in Canada in 2019!
Jam Cafe is one of Victoria's busiest breakfast/brunch spots. Long lines can be seen at 9am, but the trick is to come when the turnover begins. Inspired by recipes from the south, their menu also includes a collection of family home style recipes that have been shared and passed down over generations. Needless to say Jam Café has options that can satisfy the most discerning of appetites. Their ever changing rustic and vintage decor adds to the warmth and welcoming atmosphere in our family-owned eatery.
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Jam Cafe
542 Herald St
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Jam Cafe is one of Victoria's busiest breakfast/brunch spots. Long lines can be seen at 9am, but the trick is to come when the turnover begins. Inspired by recipes from the south, their menu also includes a collection of family home style recipes that have been shared and passed down over generations. Needless to say Jam Café has options that can satisfy the most discerning of appetites. Their ever changing rustic and vintage decor adds to the warmth and welcoming atmosphere in our family-owned eatery.
Drinking sherry with your tapas is traditional and truly the right way to experience Spanish cuisine. There is a sherry for every kind of food and at Bodega and you can select from over a dozen classic sherry wines to pair with authentic Spanish tapas. Bodega offers a tapas experience that is relaxed and comfortable and the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner, or late-night cocktail and a few bites (pintxos).
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Bodega
1210 Broad St
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Drinking sherry with your tapas is traditional and truly the right way to experience Spanish cuisine. There is a sherry for every kind of food and at Bodega and you can select from over a dozen classic sherry wines to pair with authentic Spanish tapas. Bodega offers a tapas experience that is relaxed and comfortable and the perfect spot to enjoy a pre-dinner, or late-night cocktail and a few bites (pintxos).
From the back of a surf shop parking lot in Tofino, British Columbia emerged a concept – to infuse the experiences of a small family's travels with their West Coast roots, and bring them to life in their beachside surf town … and beyond. Delicious food, cheap prices... With so much hype, it’s rare that a place actually stacks up to the fanfare. This one does.
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Tacofino
787 Fort St
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From the back of a surf shop parking lot in Tofino, British Columbia emerged a concept – to infuse the experiences of a small family's travels with their West Coast roots, and bring them to life in their beachside surf town … and beyond. Delicious food, cheap prices... With so much hype, it’s rare that a place actually stacks up to the fanfare. This one does.
Drinks & Nightlife
This beer parlour focuses on Victoria's local craft beer and local, organic, fresh food served in a casual atmosphere. http://drakeeatery.com/
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The Drake Eatery
517 Pandora Ave
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This beer parlour focuses on Victoria's local craft beer and local, organic, fresh food served in a casual atmosphere. http://drakeeatery.com/
Enjoy one of the best waterfront locations, with timber frame and rustic brick architecture, as you share good times with your favourite people. Complete with a pub, lounge, dining room and scenic patio, they offer a vibrant and versatile atmosphere for both large and small gatherings. They offer housemade seasonal brews & bar eats, with a large patio and frequently showcase live music.
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CANOE Brewpub
450 Swift St
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Enjoy one of the best waterfront locations, with timber frame and rustic brick architecture, as you share good times with your favourite people. Complete with a pub, lounge, dining room and scenic patio, they offer a vibrant and versatile atmosphere for both large and small gatherings. They offer housemade seasonal brews & bar eats, with a large patio and frequently showcase live music.
The space is a tribute to classic cocktails bars of old, and the pioneering spirit of Victoria. Housed in the ca. 1907 Pacific Transfer Building, the interior is warm exposed brick and worn wooden pillars. Antique light fixtures are juxtaposed with industrial light bulbs, a library of spirited books and shelves of period glassware have found a new home here, and a wall of black cushioned banquettes and booths beckon to sink into. And oh the bar – three hefty pieces of end grain western maple, assembled on site and hand stained with Fernet Branca for the perfezione patina. Even the name, Little Jumbo, is tribute to the Little Jumbo Saloon in New York, founded in 1966 and owned by ‘the father of American mixology”, Harry Johnson.
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Little Jumbo Restaurant and Bar
506 Fort St
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The space is a tribute to classic cocktails bars of old, and the pioneering spirit of Victoria. Housed in the ca. 1907 Pacific Transfer Building, the interior is warm exposed brick and worn wooden pillars. Antique light fixtures are juxtaposed with industrial light bulbs, a library of spirited books and shelves of period glassware have found a new home here, and a wall of black cushioned banquettes and booths beckon to sink into. And oh the bar – three hefty pieces of end grain western maple, assembled on site and hand stained with Fernet Branca for the perfezione patina. Even the name, Little Jumbo, is tribute to the Little Jumbo Saloon in New York, founded in 1966 and owned by ‘the father of American mixology”, Harry Johnson.
Entertainment & Activities
Experience the West Coast from the trees! This outdoor adventure is suitable for those 5 years and up. www.adrenalinezip.com
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Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours
5128 Sooke Road
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Experience the West Coast from the trees! This outdoor adventure is suitable for those 5 years and up. www.adrenalinezip.com
Eagle Wing Tours is a locally owned and family operated Whale Watching company voted #1 since 2007 on TripAdvisor.
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Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Tours
1 Dallas Rd
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Eagle Wing Tours is a locally owned and family operated Whale Watching company voted #1 since 2007 on TripAdvisor.
Their guided bike tours showcase the local food and beverage culture, Victoria’s landmarks and historic sites, amazing scenic vistas, and the distinctive neighbourhoods that make cycling here so enjoyable.
The Pedaler Cycling Tours
321 Belleville St
Their guided bike tours showcase the local food and beverage culture, Victoria’s landmarks and historic sites, amazing scenic vistas, and the distinctive neighbourhoods that make cycling here so enjoyable.
The Victoria Bug Zoo is a two-room minizoo with informative staff and large variety of insects to see and interact with.
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Victoria Bug Zoo
631 Courtney St
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The Victoria Bug Zoo is a two-room minizoo with informative staff and large variety of insects to see and interact with.
The Greatest Little Show on Earth! Miniature-themed dioramas & displays representing historical times & fictional worlds. The review below nails this experience! "I went to Miniature World for the first time awhile back, and I was blown away. At first when I heard about it, I thought it would be a place that wasn’t super interesting or entertaining, but I was very wrong. All the displays and so intricate and intriguing, down to the finest detail. I love the displays that are interactive and move, it really adds to the whole exhibit. If you’re visiting Victoria and you’re looking for a fun, indoor tourist attraction, I would highly recommend checking out this place. I’ve only been once and I want to go back! It’s money very well spent!" - Jared, Local Guide
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Miniature World
649 Humboldt St
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The Greatest Little Show on Earth! Miniature-themed dioramas & displays representing historical times & fictional worlds. The review below nails this experience! "I went to Miniature World for the first time awhile back, and I was blown away. At first when I heard about it, I thought it would be a place that wasn’t super interesting or entertaining, but I was very wrong. All the displays and so intricate and intriguing, down to the finest detail. I love the displays that are interactive and move, it really adds to the whole exhibit. If you’re visiting Victoria and you’re looking for a fun, indoor tourist attraction, I would highly recommend checking out this place. I’ve only been once and I want to go back! It’s money very well spent!" - Jared, Local Guide
Parks & Nature
Mystic Beach is part of the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and accessible off Highway 14 north. The beach marks the end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, or the beginning depending on which direction you’ve been heading. The beach is located a the end of a moderately difficult 45 minute hike from the parking lot, crossing a suspension bridge; but, at the end of the trail awaits white sand beach, walkthrough rock arch at low tide and a waterfall – well worth the trek.
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Mystic Beach
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Mystic Beach is part of the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and accessible off Highway 14 north. The beach marks the end of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, or the beginning depending on which direction you’ve been heading. The beach is located a the end of a moderately difficult 45 minute hike from the parking lot, crossing a suspension bridge; but, at the end of the trail awaits white sand beach, walkthrough rock arch at low tide and a waterfall – well worth the trek.
Located 21 kilometres west of Sooke on Highway 14, and just 5 kilometres east of Jordan River, French Beach Provincial Park offers sandy beaches, a provincial campground and full amenity park facilities. This 59 hectare park is situated on Strait of Juan de Fuca and features private campsites and surf-side picnic areas. This particular stretch of beachfront offers ideal marine wildlife and whale watching conditions, including Orcas, bald eagles, and ospreys, as well as seals and sea lions. Along the spectacular trails you’ll come across native vegetation, like the groves of second growth of Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedars, as well as Sitka spruce.
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French Beach Provincial Park
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Located 21 kilometres west of Sooke on Highway 14, and just 5 kilometres east of Jordan River, French Beach Provincial Park offers sandy beaches, a provincial campground and full amenity park facilities. This 59 hectare park is situated on Strait of Juan de Fuca and features private campsites and surf-side picnic areas. This particular stretch of beachfront offers ideal marine wildlife and whale watching conditions, including Orcas, bald eagles, and ospreys, as well as seals and sea lions. Along the spectacular trails you’ll come across native vegetation, like the groves of second growth of Douglas fir, western hemlock and western red cedars, as well as Sitka spruce.
The Dallas Road waterfront trail is ideal for walking, jogging and picnicking. Many paved sections of the route are baby stroller and wheelchair friendly as well. The Dallas Road waterfront connects to Beacon Hill Park and continues along sidewalks, side streets, and some sandy beaches to Oak Bay. Along the Dallas Road waterfront, you'll find areas with sightseeing benches and access to stairs leading down to the rocky and sandy coastline.
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Dallas Road Waterfront Trail
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The Dallas Road waterfront trail is ideal for walking, jogging and picnicking. Many paved sections of the route are baby stroller and wheelchair friendly as well. The Dallas Road waterfront connects to Beacon Hill Park and continues along sidewalks, side streets, and some sandy beaches to Oak Bay. Along the Dallas Road waterfront, you'll find areas with sightseeing benches and access to stairs leading down to the rocky and sandy coastline.
Enveloping you in lush greens and colourful blooms, The Butchart Gardens is a must-see oasis, growing in Victoria, British Columbia for over 100 years.
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The Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Ave
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Enveloping you in lush greens and colourful blooms, The Butchart Gardens is a must-see oasis, growing in Victoria, British Columbia for over 100 years.
Massive trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering river that meets the sea, flowers, birds and fascinating fish are but a few of the attractions that draw people to Goldstream Provincial Park, a mere 16 km from downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island. It’s a world that seems far removed from the urban adventures of British Columbia’s capital city, whether the visitor is a hiker seeking inspiration from this magnificent example of the great outdoors, or a naturalist looking to add to their notebook. There’s something new, different and exciting every month of the year at Goldstream Park. Goldstream’s numerous trails criss-cross through the dramatically different terrain of two distinct vegetation zones. The park is home to 600-year-old Douglas fir trees and western red cedar, mixed with western yew and hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple and black cottonwood. On the drier ridges visitors can find flowering dogwood, lodgepole pine and arbutus. The arbutus, with its thick leathery evergreen leaves, red-dish trunk and peeling bark, is Canada’s only broad-leafed evergreen and is found exclusively on Vancouver Island and on the southwest coast of British Columbia. In the spring and early summer, Goldstream overflows with colourful wildflowers, including the shade-loving western trillium and the calypso, a delicate orchid of the mossy forest glades. Trails range from easy, wheelchair-accessible walks to strenuous hikes and track along creeks, through forested uplands and past abandoned gold diggings from the days of the Gold Rush. More adventurous hikers can climb to the top of one of the highest points in Greater Victoria – Mount Finlayson, a recent addition to the park in 1994. Another trail leads you to stunning Niagara Falls, which cascades 47.5 metres down a rock cliff into a crystal clear canyon pool below. The park is also the site of an annual chum salmon spawning run, which draws thousands of salmon – and visitors – every year. Riverside trails and observation platforms provide extraordinary opportunities to view this natural phenomenon, which also attracts Bald eagles, who swoop down to devour the bodies of the spawned out salmon. Park naturalists are available at the Freeman King Visitor Center, which offers interpretive programs and informative lectures about the area’s natural history for individuals and groups. The park also features a large picnic area with shelters, as well as vehicle accessible camping and group sites.
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Goldstream Provincial Park
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Massive trees, majestic waterfalls, a meandering river that meets the sea, flowers, birds and fascinating fish are but a few of the attractions that draw people to Goldstream Provincial Park, a mere 16 km from downtown Victoria on southern Vancouver Island. It’s a world that seems far removed from the urban adventures of British Columbia’s capital city, whether the visitor is a hiker seeking inspiration from this magnificent example of the great outdoors, or a naturalist looking to add to their notebook. There’s something new, different and exciting every month of the year at Goldstream Park. Goldstream’s numerous trails criss-cross through the dramatically different terrain of two distinct vegetation zones. The park is home to 600-year-old Douglas fir trees and western red cedar, mixed with western yew and hemlock, red alder, big leaf maple and black cottonwood. On the drier ridges visitors can find flowering dogwood, lodgepole pine and arbutus. The arbutus, with its thick leathery evergreen leaves, red-dish trunk and peeling bark, is Canada’s only broad-leafed evergreen and is found exclusively on Vancouver Island and on the southwest coast of British Columbia. In the spring and early summer, Goldstream overflows with colourful wildflowers, including the shade-loving western trillium and the calypso, a delicate orchid of the mossy forest glades. Trails range from easy, wheelchair-accessible walks to strenuous hikes and track along creeks, through forested uplands and past abandoned gold diggings from the days of the Gold Rush. More adventurous hikers can climb to the top of one of the highest points in Greater Victoria – Mount Finlayson, a recent addition to the park in 1994. Another trail leads you to stunning Niagara Falls, which cascades 47.5 metres down a rock cliff into a crystal clear canyon pool below. The park is also the site of an annual chum salmon spawning run, which draws thousands of salmon – and visitors – every year. Riverside trails and observation platforms provide extraordinary opportunities to view this natural phenomenon, which also attracts Bald eagles, who swoop down to devour the bodies of the spawned out salmon. Park naturalists are available at the Freeman King Visitor Center, which offers interpretive programs and informative lectures about the area’s natural history for individuals and groups. The park also features a large picnic area with shelters, as well as vehicle accessible camping and group sites.
Arts & Culture
When it first opened in 1951, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibited art in the historic 1889 mansion that is now adjacent to its seven modern galleries. With almost 20,000 works of art, the Art Gallery has the largest public collection in BC and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria's artist community.
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Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
1040 Moss Street
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When it first opened in 1951, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibited art in the historic 1889 mansion that is now adjacent to its seven modern galleries. With almost 20,000 works of art, the Art Gallery has the largest public collection in BC and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria's artist community.
Founded in 1886, the Royal British Columbia Museum consists of The Province of British Columbia's natural and human history museum as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. The "Royal" title was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and bestowed by HRH Prince Philip in 1987, to coincide with a Royal tour of that year. The museum merged with the British Columbia Provincial Archives in 2003. The Royal BC Museum includes three permanent galleries: Natural History, Becoming BC, and the First Peoples Gallery. The museum’s collections comprise approximately 7 million objects, including natural history specimens, artifacts, and archival records. The natural history collections have 750,000 records of specimens almost exclusively from BC and neighbouring states, provinces, or territories. The collections are divided into eight disciplines: Entomology, Botany, Palaeontology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Herpetology, Mammalogy, and Ornithology. The museum also hosts touring exhibitions
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Royal BC Museum
675 Belleville St
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Founded in 1886, the Royal British Columbia Museum consists of The Province of British Columbia's natural and human history museum as well as the British Columbia Provincial Archives. The "Royal" title was approved by Queen Elizabeth II and bestowed by HRH Prince Philip in 1987, to coincide with a Royal tour of that year. The museum merged with the British Columbia Provincial Archives in 2003. The Royal BC Museum includes three permanent galleries: Natural History, Becoming BC, and the First Peoples Gallery. The museum’s collections comprise approximately 7 million objects, including natural history specimens, artifacts, and archival records. The natural history collections have 750,000 records of specimens almost exclusively from BC and neighbouring states, provinces, or territories. The collections are divided into eight disciplines: Entomology, Botany, Palaeontology, Ichthyology, Invertebrate Zoology, Herpetology, Mammalogy, and Ornithology. The museum also hosts touring exhibitions
Shopping
If you’re looking for local boutiques that offer one-of-a-kind merchandise, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find the latest fashion trends; home accessories; locally made jewelry; fun gift ideas and more. Choose from a variety of tasty dine-in and take-out restaurants – authentic Belgian waffles, a vegetarian buffet, Neapolitan pizzeria, curries, Mexican, Indonesian, a coffee shop and craft beer eatery.
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Market Square
560 Johnson Street
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If you’re looking for local boutiques that offer one-of-a-kind merchandise, you’ve come to the right place. You’ll find the latest fashion trends; home accessories; locally made jewelry; fun gift ideas and more. Choose from a variety of tasty dine-in and take-out restaurants – authentic Belgian waffles, a vegetarian buffet, Neapolitan pizzeria, curries, Mexican, Indonesian, a coffee shop and craft beer eatery.
Getting Around
National Car Rental
2898 Douglas St
Budget Car & Truck Rental
724 Douglas St