Exploring Victoria with Teenagers: A Guide to Fun & Excitement on Vancouver Island

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

things to do in victoria with teens.

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.

afternoon high tea in Victoria BC.

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. Read more info on getting from Vancouver to Victoria.

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 OctoberThings to do in Victoria in NovemberChristmas in Victoria.

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