On Wednesday, July 18th, we will invite you to join your fellow conference participants in exploring the city of Victoria – in whatever way you choose! Kick back and relax, explore leisurely activities, or plan a fun-filled evening – the choice is yours! We have listed a few suggested activities for you below. Stop by the Conference Information Table for more information, personal experiences and even more suggestions!
We have made dinner reservations at several local, uniquely “Victoria” restaurants in the downtown area for Wednesday evening. Visit us at the Conference Registration/Information Table on Monday night to sign up for one of our reserved tables. Coming to the conference alone? We would be happy to match you up with others who are looking for some great dinner company!
*Note: all reservations will be released back to the restaurants on Tuesday afternoon – contact us before the Conference if you are interested in learning more about timing and options, or visit us when you check-in on July 16th.
An Introductory Walking Tour of early Victoria
Congregating at the Cenotaph on the grounds of the British Columbia Legislature Building, walk back in time to the days of the early settlers and beyond into the world of the indigenous Salish people, exploring the geography, sociology, architecture, art, flora, fauna and history in and around James Bay, the oldest residential neighbourhood in the west.
The tour will walk through urban parks with gentle slopes and meandering pathways, lush foliage and scenic vistas into relatively quiet blocks of houses and cottages steeped in local history. The walk will take approximately 2.5 hours, concluding at the Empress Hotel.
*Note: A limited number of spaces are available. Contact us prior to the conference to reserve yours!
Timing: 7:00pm – 9:30pm
The Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens is a truly classic Victoria attraction and features a breathtaking 22 ha (55 acres) of gardens year around. You’ll be saying “wow” when you experience their summer Rose Garden, evening entertainment and subtle night illuminations.
Cost: $17.50 (this is a special conference rate – 50% off the regular admission!)
*Note: A limited number of tickets are available. Contact us prior to the conference to reserve yours!
Transportation: The Gardens are approximately 40 minutes away from downtown (by car).
- Option 1: Travel by taxi ride. The fare is approximately $120 round trip (share the fare with 3 friends, for $30 each – we can even help you find 3 friends, just speak to the Information Desk volunteers)
- Option 2: Travel by public transportation. This economical option costs only $2.50, but takes 1 hour and 15 minutes (take the #75 from the Legislature Terminus Bay directly to the Gardens)
- Option 3: Travel by private vehicle. If you have a vehicle and are willing to take out of town guests to the Gardens with you – let us know! And if you are interested in heading out to the Gardens, but need a ride – let us know! We will do our best to connect you.
Just around the corner from the Inn at Laurel Point, Fisherman’s Wharf is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. This unique marine destination offers park space, food kiosks, unique shops and eco-tour adventures in a working harbour setting.
Distance from Inn at Laurel Point: 10 min walk
Hours: various businesses – hours will vary
Cost: various businesses – cost will vary
Miniature World is “The Greatest Little Show On Earth!™” Over 85 great little attractions that include the World’s Smallest Operational Sawmill, and one of the longest model railways. See Circus World, Space 2201, Frontier Land, Fantasy Land, King Arthur’s Camelot, Circus World, The Fields of Glory, The World of Dollhouses plus much more!
Distance from Inn at Laurel Point: 15 min walk
Hours: open until 9:00pm
Approximate Cost: $16
The Pedaler Cycling Tours – Private Evening Cruise
Discover Victoria by Bicycle on a “Castles, Hoods and Legends” city highlights tour, which focuses on the history and architecture of Victoria’s distinctive neighbourhoods.
Hours: custom private tour departs as late as 6:30pm (2 hour tour)
Approximate Cost: $280 for 4 people
Victoria Harbour Ferry Tour
What better way to see Victoria than by boat!! Two options include a 45 minute guided tour of the Harbour, or a 75 minute tour up the historic Gorge Waterway. Both feature historic landmarks like the Parliament Buildings, First Nation sacred territories, floathome communities and amazing views of seaplanes taking off and landing. You may even catch a glimpse of an otter or a harbour seal!
Distance from Inn at Laurel Point: 5 min walk (Schedule and purchase your Harbour Tour at the Empress Dock)
Approximate Cost: $30
Victoria Harbour Ferry Water Taxi
Water taxis run on a leisure schedule, just head down to any ferry stop and they will pick you up and take you on a leisurely trip to your chosen destination. Stops include Chinatown, the Old Town, the Empress Hotel, Fisherman’s Wharf, and many others (see website for full list).
Distance from Inn at Laurel Point: 2 min walk (closest ferry stop is at the Coast Hotel)
Hours: ferry runs until dusk
Approximate Cost: $6 – $24 (depending on distance traveled)
Contact either of the below companies for an unforgettable experience:
Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours
Whale watching is a major attraction for many visitors coming to Victoria and Eagle Wing Tours has been the #1 rated whale watching company on Trip Advisor since 2007 & the #1 top sustainable whale watching business in Canada. Victoria is at the center of the world’s highest concentration of Killer Whales (Orca / Blackfish) and other whale (cetacean) species, such as: Humpback Whales, Gray Whales, and Minke Whales! With a success rate of over 95%, Eagle Wing consistently provides the thrill of a lifetime for environmentally conscious travelers from around the globe.
Hours: evening ‘sunset’ tours departing at 6pm and 7:30pm
Approximate Cost: $100-$120
Orca Spirit Adventures Ltd.
Orca Spirit Adventures is Victoria’s largest whale watching company offers you the city’s original and premier whale watching experience in the clear nutrient rich waters of Juan de Fuca and Haro Strait. This amazingly rich and diverse ecosystem has been rated the best place to view Killer Whales in the wild. 95% success rate of spotting orcas!
Distance from Inn at Laurel Point: Complimentary shuttle pick up and drop off (at downtown hotels)
Hours: last zodiac tour of the day departs at 5:00pm
Approximate Cost: $130