You’ve probably already heard of Victoria’s well known and much loved attractions, from Beacon Hill Park’s friendly peacocks, to Dallas Road’s panoramic views of the Olympic mountains, to the quaint and colorful houseboat community at Fisherman’s Wharf. But you may not be familiar with some of the lesser known places to see and things to do in and around the city. Here are a few of Victoria’s hidden gems worth getting out and exploring,

Fernwood

An artsy area, Fernwood is speckled with hip stores. In Fernwood Square you can find vintage clothing, vinyl records, and laid-back restaurants and cafes serving delicious pizza and house-roasted coffee. Take a coffee to go and stroll through the streets lined with colourful early-1900s homes and whimsical hand-painted telephone poles. Bring your dog along for a game of fetch in one of the neighborhoods many small parks. For a fun night out, grab drinks at the local pub before catching a contemporary drama at The Belfry Theatre. There really is something for everyone in this unique part of town.

Horth Hill Regional Park

Tucked away in North Saanich is the beautiful Horth Hill Regional Park. From the CRD website, “Enjoy a vigorous climb through varied forest communities on one of several trails in this 36-hectare hilltop park. Rich in native plants and mushrooms, every season boasts a charming display for nature lovers. For spectacular ocean views and open sky, follow the summit trail and take in panoramic views of the Saanich Peninsula, Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands.” Hiking through this magnificent park there’s a chance you might even run into a Royal.

Niagara Falls

On your way up the Malahat to explore the rest of Vancouver Island make sure to stop and check out the falls in Goldstream Provincial Park. At 47.5 metres, Vancouver Islands Niagara Falls is almost at high as its famous namesake and cascades down a mossy cliff into a crystal clear pool below. Especially spectacular in the spring when it becomes a roaring waterfall, you’ll want to take lots of pictures to remember this special place year-round.

We hope you’ll carve out some time this week to check out one or more of these hidden gems. You won’t regret it!