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Where to Stay in Victoria, B.C.

Updated on March 17, 2017

When coming to Victoria on vacation, you’re faced with a number of decisions to make for where to lay your head at night. Most visitors choose the Inner Harbour for a number of reasons, but there are plenty of other stunning areas of Victoria you may not want to overlook. Read on to find the perfect place for you.

Victoria's Downtown Inner Harbour
Victoria's Downtown Inner Harbour | Source

1. The Downtown Inner Harbour

Not only is it the most iconic feature of Victoria, but also the downtown Inner Harbour is the most convenient location from which to explore the city. Surrounded by many of the top attractions, you won’t have to wander far, even for dinner – downtown hosts most of Victoria’s best restaurants. Without the need for a car, or parking, you’re free to explore wherever and whenever in the city. You can expect to find mostly hotels in this area to stay at. Of course, there are always some minuses to being located in the heart of the action.

Part of the Dallas Road Walkway near James Bay
Part of the Dallas Road Walkway near James Bay | Source

2. James Bay

This area is just around the bend from the bustling Inner Harbour. Still within walking distance of Victoria’s main attractions, it also features beautiful ocean vistas. Beacon Hill Park is nearby, a Farmer’s Market runs most weekends and the infamous Dallas Road Walkway and Ogden Point are within reach. Fisherman’s Wharf, a unique highlight of Victoria is also located there. Although the major hotels tend to surround the side of James Bay that faces the harbour, there are plenty of B&Bs to be found on the Dallas Road side of things. Accommodation here will also likely cost a bit less than being right downtown on the harbour.

Overlooking Oak Bay from the Lookout.
Overlooking Oak Bay from the Lookout. | Source

3. Oak Bay

Across from downtown you’ll discover the quaint Oak Bay Village. It boasts beautiful ocean and marina views, its own selection of amazing restaurants, and close proximity to Willow Beach. With everything you need tucked into an adorable village, but with a more laidback pace, it’s the perfect destination to get away from the touristy side of downtown. Buses run regularly between Oak Bay and the Inner Harbour, but it is also a pleasant forty-five minute walk. A lot of the Oak Bay accommodations are B&Bs and vacation rentals vs. hotels, adding to that intimate vibe of the village.

The Cook Street Village is central, yet quiet.

A markerCook Street Village -
230 Cook St #101A, Victoria, BC V8V 3X3, Canada
get directions

4. Cook Street Village

Closer to downtown than Oak Bay, but on a bit smaller scale is the Cook Street Village. It’s an easy twenty-minute walk to the harbour. The quirky little village is filled to the brim with amazing restaurants, great cafes and a contagious, easy-going vibe. Backed by Beacon Hill Park, going for a stroll is a pleasant affair. You can also easily reach the Dallas Road Walkway, as well as Ogden Point. There’s even a weekend Farmer’s Market nearby. With no major hotels nearby, your best shot for accommodation here is a B&B or vacation rental. The Cook Street Village is a great option to pick up on a local vibe while being within distance of both James Bay and Downtown.

Looking out from the top of Mount Doug.
Looking out from the top of Mount Doug. | Source

5. Cordova Bay

Cordova Bay is a bit of a trek from downtown, but it opens doors to several underrated aspects of Victoria. Compared to other areas of the city, Cordova Bay can be quite upscale and yet, hotels are often cheaper because of its distance to downtown. Far from being isolated, however, buses run between the two areas every thirty-minutes or so, and it’s about a twenty-minute drive. Staying in Cordova Bay is perfect if you want to be surrounded by nature, while enjoying a top-notch ocean view. Backed by Mount Douglas and Elk Lake, there are plenty of spots to take off on a hike. A stone’s throw away is UVic, and the Saanich Peninsula is close by along the other side. Cordova Bay is equidistant between everything you would want to see in Victoria and is a great way to get the best of both worlds – peacefulness and tourism.

The Bevan Pier in Sidney.
The Bevan Pier in Sidney. | Source

6. Sidney

Sidney is the perfect destination for those who still want access to Victoria, but neither the cost nor bustle of a city. With all the same activities available, such as fishing, whale watching, diving and biking, Sidney is a destination on its own. Unfortunately, this gem is often overlooked despite being only a thirty-minute drive from the city. It’s even closer to the Butchart Gardens than Victoria. Plenty of fantastic restaurants can be found in this “city,” along with a distillery, an infamous fish market and even an aquarium. The Lochside Trail is right nearby for biking and walking, too. Sidney sees regular public transportation due to its proximity to the airport and ferry terminal. Beautiful hotels and even a resort and spa help make up the accommodation available, although B&Bs and vacation rentals come with no shortage, either. For a slower pace with stunning views and fantastic amenities, while still within reach of the city, Sidney and its beautiful pier are a great choice.

Sandcut Beach, just outside of Sooke.
Sandcut Beach, just outside of Sooke. | Source

7. Sooke

Sooke is a destination for the explorers and nature lovers coming to Victoria. About forty-five minutes away, heading to the city for the day is still a viable option. Those seeking the city will definitely be off-put by the distance, but for those who want to explore Vancouver Island’s parks, beaches and rugged coastal features, Sooke is a gateway to glory. Its town offers some great restaurants and a charming art community, while just outside of Sooke are some of the most beautiful beaches to be found on the South Island. Follow the West Coast Road for one of the most scenic drives to be found in B.C. Surfers will also delight in the notorious surfing beaches just outside of the town such as Jordan River and Sombrio. Stunning and secluded, Sooke is a perfectly intimate escape into nature and relaxation, or adventure.


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    • Laurissa profile image

      Laurissa Marion 13 months ago

      It just keeps getting better and better! Sounds like a visit is definitely in order, Kathleen! :)

    • Kathleen Cochran profile image

      Kathleen Cochran 13 months ago from Atlanta, Georgia

      Every bit as lovely as it was last time I was there: 25 years ago!