Victoria is not only a local favorite but an international favorite thanks to its charming walkable downtown, temperate climate, and plenty of things to do for families with teenagers! It is the provincial capital of British Columbia and a perfect place to explore whether it be its history, its attractions, or its outdoor adventures like hiking, kayaking, and whale watching.
A trip to Victoria with teenagers requires a bit of different planning compared to a weekend in Victoria with kids. Teens have different interests and abilities (and often attitudes). This post will give you all of the best things to do in Victoria with teens so you can plan the perfect getaway!
Things to do in Victoria with Teenagers
Go Whale Watching
If you are wanting to thrill your teens in Victoria, whale watching is a must-do! Head out of the harbor on a boat in search of the majestic orcas. This is a truly unique way to learn about whales and marine life in one of the best places on the planet! The best time is between April and October.
Book Online: here
Shop in Uptown or the Bay Center
Shopping? Need I say more? Ok, maybe not all of the members of our family love shopping but some might! Hit up the Bay Centre shopping mall and browse downtown shops. Oak Bay Village is also a nice place for shopping. Both places have plenty of Victoria souvenirs as well!
Book a Local Photoshoot
A super unique idea is to book a local photographer while your family is in Victoria! It is easy! If you believe that memories make the best souvenirs, then book a photo shoot before your trip! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot while in Victoria (or many other locations in BC)
Take a Food Tour
Do you have a foodie teen in the family? If your teenagers are as into food as you, book a food tour in Victoria and learn all about the diverse cuisine and restaurants in the city! The taste of Victoria tour is a 2 hour walking tour that begins at the Victoria Public Market and includes various stops including the Gates of Harmonious Interest, Fan Tan Alley, Market Square, Bastion Square, Tournce Alley, Government Street, and the Inner Harbour Causeway. There are 6 to 8 tastings.
Booking: Online here
Take a Bike Tour
Visit Craigdarroch Castle, a historic mansion that offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy elite in the late 19th century on a local castle bike tour! You will also see local neighborhoods including the Inner Harbour, Cook Street Village, and Chinatown. Enjoy fine views over the Dallas Road waterfront, Moss Rock Park and Beacon Hill Park, and Fernwood.
Booking: Online here
Tour the Parliament Buildings
If you have a teen who is into politics and government, take a tour of the Parliament Buildings. Your family will learn about the history of the province and its government. You may also run into a protest or two, but they are typically small and not obtrusive.
Enjoy High Tea
Enjoy a quintessential Victoria activity when you book an afternoon tea in Victoria. There are several places to choose from with the Fairmont Empress being the most well-known. Afternoon tea in Victoria can be traced back to the late 19th century when Victoria served as a bustling hub for the British Empire in North America.
Choose a Restaurant with a View
Teens tend to appreciate a good meal. Choose one of these Victoria waterfront restaurants for an evening out with stuning views!
Victoria Travel Tips for Families with Teenagers
How to Get to Victoria from Vancouver
Victoria lies on Vancouver Island and can be accessed by air or by ferry. There are flights from YVR Vancouver Airport to YYJ Victoria Airport and also Harbour Seaplanes that fly from Downtown Vancouver to Downtown Victoria. Helicopter service also exists with Helijet.
Ferry is the other option to get to Victoria from Vancouver. Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal is about 30 mins from downtown Vancouver and has several ferries per day (every hour at peak season). If you have a car you can drive on the ferry, you can take a bus from Vancouver that will continue into Victoria, or you can walk on and take public transit into the city.
Ferry reservations are currently recommended for vehicles. Otherwise, waits of up to a few hours are common.
Renting a Car in British Columbia
Rental Cars are very popular in British Columbia. There is just so much to see and there is not a train or bus network outside of Metro Vancouver or Victoria. To get around on Vancouver Island with teens is is easiest to have a car! Check out these aggregators: Discover Cars that offer several rental companies to compare
Where to stay in Victoria with Teens:
LUXURY: Delta by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe or Fairmont Empress or Sheraton Victoria
MIDRANGE: Accent Inn or Best Western Inner Harbour or Hotel Zed
BUDGET: Island Travel Inn or Ocean Island Backpackers
You can also check out our list of the best hotels in Victoria.
How long should you stay in Victoria with teens?
Victoria is a perfect weekend getaway in BC and even better for a long weekend! Three days in Victoria is a very popular amount of time to spend in the city but even if you can just squeeze one day in Victoria it will be worth it. Almost any Vancouver Island road trip includes a stop in Victoria because the city is so enjoyable!
Depending on when you plan on visiting also have a read of these seasonal posts. Things to do in Victoria in October, Things to do in Victoria in November, Christmas in Victoria.
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!