- The scenic way to get to downtown is a drive along the waterfront all the way from here. Left on Central, left on Transit, right on Beach Drive and follow your nose along the coast!
- Walk around the harbour. This takes close to 2 hours walking – there are several places for refreshments along the way. To avoid retracing your steps (another 2 hours) take the harbour ferry from West Bay Marina to Fisherman’s Wharf acrosss the harbour entrance. We usually park (free) in the Songhees, somewhere close to Spinnaker’s Brew Pub and the ferry is easier if you do the walk anti-clockwise. The ferry also does tours up through the working harbour to the head of the Gorge which have good commentaries on the points of interest and history. These tours leave from in front of the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
- Walk through Beacon Hill Park and people watch. Kids always enjoy feeding the ducks, the petting zoo and there is an adventure playground with a small water park. Don’t miss the tallest totem pole in the world at the SE corner of the park.
- Visit China town (around Fisgard Street) which is small but authentic.
- Visit the Royal BC Museum – an ideal way to spend a cool or wet day. The Museum is excellent and specialises in BC Natural History and First Nations exhibits. There are often “special” exhibits and they have an IMAX Theatre.
- Go whale watching – most of the boats leave from the inner harbour. This link provides a very comprehensive list of what is available with TripAdvisor ratings. Note that there are two types of boat – inflatables in which you are dressed in survival suits and may well get drenched – and more conventional small boats where you can stay in the cabin while traveling. Sightings of killer whales (Orcas) are almost guaranteed.
- Visit the BC Legislature – particularly if they are in session.
- Visit Emily Carr house and/or Point Ellice House for some of BC’s relatively short history.
- Have Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel. However, to be honest we personally think this is a much over-rated and over-priced passtime, but many, many people do it!