Victoria BC Hotels and Accommodation in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

 

Helm's Inn - Inn The Know

Explore the Neighbourhood | Downtown Victoria | Victoria Activities |
Beachfront Drive
Saanich Peninsula | Victoria Northeast | Outside Greater Victoria |
West Coast Activities

Explore the Neighbourhood

Explore the neighbouring area of the Helm's Inn,
these locations are mere footsteps away.

THUNDERBIRD PARK
Located behind the Royal British Columbia Museum this small park hosts an impressive display of totem poles. Next to these proud structures is a carving shed used in the summer months to create new totem poles. There is also a ceremonial long house that is used during special occasions such as the First Nations festival, usually in late summer.

HELMCKEN HOUSE
10 Elliot Street Square
361-0021
This local heritage house portrays three generations of Victorians through an interesting collection of antiques and furnishings. Right next to Thunderbird Park, Helmcken House is the oldest house in British Columbia and remains on its original site. This former home of Dr. Sebastian Helmcken and his spouse Cecilia, the daughter of Governor Sir James Douglas, is full of fascinating items from this historical era including a grand medicine chest and medical kit belonging to Dr. Helmcken. An engaging audiotape tour is available to guide you through the home.

EMILY CARR HOUSE
207 Government Street
383-5843
Visit the charming home of Canada's first most well known artist and writer. Here visitors can experience a similar ambiance the Carr family would have known during the 1870's. Even some of Emily's early sculpture and pottery are available for viewing! The People's Gallery, which features works by Canadian artist, is also open from May to September.

PICNIC IN THE PARK
Relax and take in the gorgeous scenery in Beacon Hill Park. Many lovely picnicking spots may be found any time of year. This could be immersed in a field of daffodils in the spring or a forest of wonderful reds and golds in the autumn! Bring something from a local bakery or deli and enjoy yourself!

BEACON HILL DRIVE-IN
Located on Douglas Street beside Beacon Hill Park, this drive-in features the ever- popular soft ice cream cones. Enjoy as you walk through the park!

TOUR THE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATIVE BUILDINGS
Experience B.C. history and enjoy some beautiful architecture. Tours of the Legislative Buildings every 20 minutes during summer months. Located just around the corner from the Helm's Inn!

LANTERN TOURS
598-8870
True stories from Victoria's Exciting Past.

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S IMAX THEATRE
Located directly behind the Helm's Inn is the 408 seat IMAX THEATRE offering state of the art film technology and exciting award winning films.

ROYAL BRITISH COLUMBIA MUSEUM
Located directly behind the Helm's Inn, the Royal BC Museum is showing "Emily Carr the Eccentric" from June 1st through April 7th. This is a first class exhibit! Come enjoy the unique presence of a spirited women who has become an international legend. More than 80 origional paintings and watercolours are exhibited in a totally unique and creative manner. 50 pieces of rare Emily Carr pottery are on loan from Bryan Adams' private collection.


Downtown Victoria

The heart of the city! Make sure you stop by these engaging points of interest, most are just a few blocks from the Helm's Inn.

INNER HARBOUR
Voted as one of best views in Victoria. In addition to the scenery there is also a variety of live entertainments (buskers) that takes place daily during summer months.

MARITIME MUSEUM
Locate in downtown's Bastion Square, this charming museum gives a comprehensive account of British Columbia's maritime history. All ages will find something interesting in this remarkable seafaring history!

STARFISH GLASSWORKS
630 Yates Street
388-7827
Monday to Saturday 10 AM to 6PM. Sunday noon to 6PM.
Visit this unique and colourful gallery and watch glass blowing free of charge.

Victoria Bug Zoo
631 Courtney St.
(250) 384-BUGS
9:30-5:30 Monday to Saturday 11-5:30 Sunday Both bug and people friendly, this live exhibit features fascinating examples of our multi-legged friends and also provides a great opportunity for knowledgeable staff to introduce your family to other interesting "families".

MARKET SQUARE
Situated on the corner of Johnson Street and Wharf Street. "The Heart of Old Town" is comprised of restored 19th century buildings that now host a very interesting collection of shops and eateries. For those who relish a unique shopping experience this is a great location to explore.

CHINA TOWN
A great area for investigating local history, shopping or a meal. This engaging part of old Victoria is based on lower Fisgard Street and is also where Fan Tan Alley (the narrowest street) in Canada is found.

DISCOVERY STATION
526 Discovery Street
389-6182
Visit local artists' workspace gallery and café. You will find metal sculptors, woodworkers, musicians and exhibits of over 50 local artists. A great location to find unique gifts such as pottery, stained glass, candles, paintings, soaps, wine racks and furniture or simply relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy the atmosphere!

VISIT THE SONGHEES
Walk across the blue drawbridge (Johnson Street) and stroll along the scenic Songhees to West Bay Marina. You will perceive a lovely vista including an alternative view of the Inner Harbour.

POINT ELLICE HOUSE
2616 Pleasant Street
387-4697
This lovely local heritage house portrays three generations of Victorians through an interesting collection of antiques and furnishings.

ANTIQUE ROW
Located along Fort Street just up from Blanshard Street is a lovely collection of shops selling their wears of antique furniture, books and collectibles.

THE ART GALLERY OF GREATER VICTORIA
1040 Moss Street
384-4101
There are many other art galleries in Victoria that feature a large variety of artists and exhibitions. Consult a gallery guide or a Helm's Inn innkeeper for further information.

GOVERNMENT HOUSE
Rockland Avenue
The beautiful and well-manicured gardens surrounding the home of British Columbia's Lieutenant Governor are open year round to the public from dawn to dusk.


Victoria Activities

Why not investigate these varied and interesting activities while getting to know Victoria better?

TAKE A WALKING TOUR
950 Wharf Street
361-2619
The Haunted Walk of Victoria
Get to know the hidden secrets of Victoria!

ARCHITECTURAL WALKING TOURS OF VICTORIA
Tours depart Tuesday through Saturday at 1PM and 2:30 PM from July to September. All tours depart at G6-1001 Douglas Street in the Sussex Building Courtyard. This is a public service provided free of charge by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia.

TAKE A STEP BACK IN TIME!
382-4455
Tour Victoria's fascinating history on foot with Danda Humphreys -Times Colonist writer and storyteller/guide. Tours start outside the Wax Museum on Belleville Street. Departure times vary so be sure to call ahead for the current schedule.

VICTORIA BY SCOOTER
950 Wharf Street
885-2453
Rent a scooter, motorcycle, bicycle or a pair of rollerblades and visit the sites!

BREW PUBS - Spinnakers
308 Catherine Street
386-2739
Visit Canada's first in-house brewpub and experience the production process of local all natural real ales. Tours are available by calling ahead.

BREW PUBS - Swans
506 Pandora Avenue
386-2739
Located in the heart of old downtown Victoria, Swans features 12 unique brews. Call for scheduled tours free of charge.

BREW PUBS - Vancouver Island Brewery
2330 Government Street
361-0007
Public tours are scheduled on Fridays and Saturdays at 1 and 3 PM. investigate the innovative process of this local microbrewery.

TEA TIME
While in Victoria, be sure to take in an afternoon tea! Some very good choices are:
The Empress -384-8111
The Bleathering Tea Room- 598-1413
Murchies- 383-3112

CHOCOLATE CRAVINGS
To find some of the best chocolate in town try the following (prevention is the best cure!):
Roger's Chocolates-913 Government Street
Purdy's - Eaton Centre and Hillside Shopping Center
Bernard Calibeau- 623 Broughton Street

BREW PUB - Christie's Carriage House
1739 Fort Street by the Jubilee Hospital
598-5333
"Home to the largest selection of Cottage Industry Micro-Brews in Canada", Christies is described as the best Neighbourhood Pub in Victoria. Housed in a magnificently renovated, turn of the century home, Christies is definately a "do not miss this one" place

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Beachfront Drive

Begin at Mile 0 and head straight down Dallas Road towards Cadboro Bay for a lovely walk, bike or drive and take in the breathtaking scenery. The following locations are great rest stops!

CLOVER POINT
Located along Dallas Road, enjoy a great ocean view and bring your kite. On a blustery day this is the prime spot for kite flying!

ABKHAZI GARDEN
Just a slight detour up Foul Bay Road to Fairfield is the "garden that love built". This is an exquisite heritage garden created in the 1940's by Prince and Princess Nicholas Abkhazi. Open from March 1st to September 30th. Wednesday through Sunday 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

OAK BAY MARINA
Beach Drive
Enjoy a relaxing breakfast, lunch or dinner, take a casual walk or feed harbour seals in this lovely oceanic atmosphere seven days a week.

WILLOWS BEACH
Just off of Beach Drive before Cattle Point is the best sun tanning beach in Oak Bay. Play volleyball, build sandcastles, have tea in the Kiwanis Tea House, windsurf, or simply relax and enjoy the beautiful view of the ocean and neighbouring Olympic Mountains.


Saanich Peninsula

In addition to the famous Butchart Gardens, the Saanich Pennisula is full of many intriguing locations. Just follow Blanshard Street (directly across from the front door of the Thunderbird building) to many possibilities for excellent adventures!

ELK AND BEAVER LAKE
Elk Lake and Beaver Lake are two beautiful adjoining lakes just off of the Patricia Bay Highway (#17). They host a superb location for a walk, run or a picnic. A 10 kilometre marked trail surrounds Beaver Lake, a Kiwanis concession stand is available during summer months and a lovely lake view may be admired year round. Elk Lake is probably best known for its rowing facilities. Visit the waters local world class rower Silken Lauman has spent many hours fine-tuning her superb athletic ability!

SAANICH COMMONWEALTH PLACE
4636 Elk Lake Road
727-5300 - 24 hour info. line
Originally designed for the 1994 Commonwealth Games, this recreation centre includes a 50M pool, waterslide and wave pool.

DOMINION ASTROPHYSICAL OBSERVATORY/
West Saanich Road
363-0001
Observatory is open Monday to Friday 9:15AM to 4:30. No charge for admission. From April to October look through one of the world's largest reflecting telescopes Saturday nights 7PM to 11PM.

INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCE AND PACIFIC GEOSCIENCE CENTRE
9860 West Sannich Road
363-6578
Call about tours as they are offered on specific days only.
Investigate a federal research centre and discover information on pacific coast oceanography including fisheries and ocean research, environmental science and hydrography.

B. C. AVIATION MUSEUM
1910 Norseman Road, Sidney
655-3300
Travel through aviation history from 1910 to the present.

SIDNEY SPIT
727-7700 (for rates and schedules)
Climb aboard Sidney's foot passenger ferry and take a 15 minute voyage to the nearby marine park featuring 400 fascinating hectares of fields, forests and sandy beaches. Swim, bird-watch and picnic at your leisure.

SIDNEY MUSEUM
9801 Seaport Place, Sidney
656-2140
Explore two informative and distinct collections. One gallery features the biological evolution of whales in the marine mammal gallery and the second investigates the history of Sidney and North Sannich and highlights the lives and traditions of the Coast Salish, European and Asian peoples.

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Victoria Northeast

Traveling in a northeastern direction leads the visitor to these lovely locations featuring some of Victoria's best outdoor scenery.

MOUNT TOLMIE
Walk or drive to the top to witness this spectacular panoramic view of Victoria, Haro Strait, and Mt. Baker, the pinnacle of the Cascade Mountains.

FINNERTY GARDENS
Located the University of Victoria campus, the Finnerty Gardens provide a diverse and beautiful display of flora and foliage many of which are marked. There are many great trees to admire on the campus in addition to totem poles and a large fountain near the library which seems to be appreciated by local ducks as much as by the students!

MOUNT DOUGLAS
Explore 25 acres of hiking trails networked around picnic, beach, and playground areas.

SWAN LAKE NATURE SANCTUARY
Situated between the Patricia Bay Highway (#17) and Saanich Road, this beautiful nature sanctuary is just minutes from downtown Victoria. Visitors can take in a refreshingly serene view while walking around the lake.

HORTICULTURAL CENTRE OF THE PACIFIC
505 Quayle Road
479-6162
Open year round. Visit the spectacular Winter Garden, Takata Japanese-style garden, rhododendron and heather collections, garden and teaching centres. This is an ideal spot to explore for those who delight in serious gardening and for those who simply cherish a peaceful atmosphere.


Outside Greater Victoria

There are many wonderful locations to visit outside of Greater Victoria as well. Going west out of town (via Douglas Street is probably the easiest route) will lead you to them. These areas will be certain to make your visit to Victoria a very well rounded and enriched experience.

BRENTWOOD BAY-MILL BAY FERRY
386-3431 or 1-888-223-3779
This scenic cruise is both relaxing and interesting, whether you are travelling up or down Vancouver Island or are looking to take in some beautiful scenery. The crossing of the Saanich Inlet only takes 25 minutes and you may walk on or bring your car or bicycle. The M.V. Mill Bay has been making this journey for over 42 years and, along with her friendly crew, helps make travelling a very enjoyable experience.

GOLDSTREAM PARK
Located approximately 30 minutes north of Victoria along the Island Highway (#1) is Goldstream Provincial Park. The outdoor enthusiast can hike up Mount Finlayson for a spectacular view and there are other trails for the less adventurous as well. Stop in at the Nature House and talk with knowledgeable naturalists, observe the remarkable salmon run during the months of October and November and witness the exceptionally large numbers of Bald Eagles (especially in November) at this marvelous park. See amazing Westcoast flora and fauna at its finest!

BUNGY ZONE
Nanaimo, B.C.
1-800-668-7771 or 1-888-668-7874
Visit the "adrenaline centre" just south of Nanaimo. The Bungy Zone features three new attractions and is located in a beautiful West Coast setting.

HATLEY CASTLE
Royal Roads University (Monday to Friday. 1-4PM.)
642-2849
Visit beautifully manicured Japanese and Italian Rose gardens alongside historical Hatley Castle. Castle tours are by donation.

WITTY'S LAGOON REGIONAL PARK
Located on the scenic Saanich Peninsula, visitors experience marshes, sandy beaches, and a great venue for bird watching. This park is located just outside of Victoria along Metchosin Road.

METCHOSIN
Metchosin is a beautiful, rural area just west of the city of Victoria. The My'Chosin Café is a delightful stop to make for a meal or a snack.

SOOKE HARBOUR HOUSE
1528 Whiffen Spit, Sooke
642-3421
Experience memorable cuisine nestled in the heart of some of Vancouver Island's most beautiful scenery. Offering only fresh locally grown ingredients and featuring local organic seafood, this unique spot has been rated one of the top ten restaurants in Canada for ten years.

BOTANICAL BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK
Just 3 km outside of Port Renfrew and then a 45 minute walk through amazing West Coast forest brings visitors to the tidal pools this beach is so well known for. Low tides are best for viewing this diverse display of flora and fauna; consult the Tofino tide table.

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West Coast Activities

For those West Coast visitors looking for something a little off the beaten path, each of the following activities are great suggestions.

GALLOPING GOOSE
Try this amazing 60 kilometre trail on foot, rollerblades, or by bike. This trail is named after the passenger car that once ran along this abandoned CNR line. The trail leads to many wonderful locations. Heading west leads to the Sooke Hills where breathtaking landscape of ocean and forest awaits and also to Matheson Lake where visitors can relax lakeside or take a refreshing dip; especially appreciated after a long bike ride! This trail is a popular location and will certainly enhance your Westcoast experience.

VISIT A LOCAL FARM
There are a large and very interesting variety of farms in the Victoria area from vegetable to honey to deer! All are well worth a visit- please ask a Helm's Inn innkeeper for more information.

TRY OCEAN KYAKING
A beautiful way to discover supernatural Vancouver Island! Both the experienced and the novice can explore Pacific waters with some of the local companies.

COASTAL CONNECTIONS
Victoria, B. C.
480-9560 or 1-800-840-4453
This company specializes in Vancouver Island's offshore islands. Minimum of five persons

WILD HEART ADVERNTURES
Victoria, B. C.
722-3683
This group offers a variety of kayak adventures around Vancouver Island's coast.

COOPER'S LANDING
Pender Island, B. C.
629-6133
Explore the breath-taking Gulf Islands!

TOUR THE WESTCOAST BY AIR
1-800-347-2222
West Coast Air Float Plane Adventures
Reservations: 606-6888
Tour the Sunshine Coast, Butchart Gardens, Glacier and Alpine Lakes and even fly by the world-renowned Whistler Mountain Resort. There are various packages and rates available and all provide a fabulous aerial view of the West Coast, which, undoubtedly, is an uplifting experience!

TAKE A DAY TRIP
There are many interesting locations near Victoria for the Vancouver Island visitor to explore and make the West Coast experience even more meaningful!

CHEMAINUS
North along the Island Highway you will find this wonderful community which is most well known for its beautiful murals. Chemainus also is home to the award winning Chamainus Theatre that offers many entertaining and vibrant productions throughout the year.

GULF ISLANDS
Although there are over 300 islands in the Gulf to explore there are a few most prominent. Salt Spring Island is the largest and provides many engaging possibilities for nature and art lovers; be sure to visit the Saturday Market in Ganges! Galiano Island is a scenic and memorable meeting of ocean and forest. North and South Pender Islands are a great retreat with their marinas and resorts. Also, Mayne and Saturna Islands are ideal for a relaxing get-away. Be certain to visit the East Point Light Station on Saturna Island while you are there. All the Gulf Islands are easily accessible by B.C. Ferries.

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Helm's Inn is a proud member of Tourism Victoria, Tourism Vancouver Island, Tourism BC and the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
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