With the waves of Victoria Harbour’s Selkirk Waters lapping just below their headquarters, Switch Bridge Tours’ staff leads bicycle and kayak tours of Victoria and Vancouver Island’s waterways. The business’s proximity to the Galloping Goose and Lochside trails facilitates tours on frequently tuned-up bikes that venture into the Cowichan Valley or along the Saanich Peninsula. Kayaks cease their giant kazoo impressions long enough to cut through the Tod Inlet and the Inner Harbour on beginner or advanced tours. Each experienced guide is certified in First Aid and CPR.
A city is like a walk-through history book with the stories scrawled along its streets and architecture. The sage-like guides of Hidden Dragon use their knowledge of that landscape to share the stories of Victoria. With that goal in mind, their menu of walking tours entices guests to join them through keystone locales that speak to the indigenous, British, and Chinese cultures that define the city, as well as the paranormal tales that comprise its folklore.
The Crown Victoria Native Island tour explores the indigenous people and British colonists that once inhabited the area. Guests walk past the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel situated beside the waters of Inner Harbour, totem poles, and the quaint historic shops of Old Town. The New World Old Chinatown tour inspired the Hidden Dragon name with journeys through the museums, courtyards, and concealed myths of Victoria’s Chinese community. For an alternative history of the region, guides divulge the stories of ghosts, witches, and demons found in the rooming houses and alleys of Dark Victoria.
Harbour Air boosts wingless beings with first-class flights on carbon-neutral aircrafts, boutique stratosphere accessories, and picturesque seaplane tours. Eco-friendly seaplanes furnished with first-class amenities such as leather interiors and hands-free cloud parallel parking launch daily and link Lower Mainland and the Islands through panoramic flights that last 20 to 50 minutes ($156.53–$563.38 round trip). The airline's auspicious boutique furnishes cloud gazers with flight-centric merchandise for gifts and seagull bribes. A small Beaver model plane ($41.99) carves its niche among collectibles with locally handcrafted western maple wood, and a Dax Wilkinson T-shirt ($34.99) celebrates Canadian aviation.
Seasoned charioteers at Black Beauty Line navigate winding routes past Victoria’s most picturesque locales. The average 30-minute tour circles the neo-baroque Parliament buildings that border the Inner Harbour and clip-clops toward historic James Bay Village. Riders can snuggle under provided quilts as buggies glide past sites such as the Heritage Homes, whose snowy veils on winter rides melt away for spring rides to reveal manicured gardens and groggy lawn ornaments. Along the way, charioteers impart tales and tidbits about the tour attractions, and good-naturedly pose for photos after the ride. The well-kept carriages are also available for private event rental, often for weddings. Owner Rebecca Spray brings 30 years of caring for horses to Black Beauty Line. As a member of Carriage Operators of North America, she ensures that horses are healthy, well groomed, and not actually a horse impersonator looking for real-world experience. Pets are welcome to come along for the ride, and everyone must make reservations before the tour.
During the warmer months, Victoria's streets teem with Big Bus Victoria's fleet, making their daily stops around the city's sites. Customers hop aboard for 90-minute hop-on-hop-off tours that trek down a route that wends past Victoria's most compelling attractions, enabling guests to create flexible sightseeing outings that proceed at a convenient pace. Tour captains take passengers past city landmarks such as Empress Hotel, Legislative Building, and Craigdarroch Castle, letting passengers spring out of their seats before picking up ticket-holders and tumbleweeds eager to make their way across the city.