Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum

Woolly Mammoth

Woolly Mammoth

On the southern tip of Vancouver Island, the capital city of Victoria is equidistant from Seattle and Vancouver, BC (a little over 60 miles from both cities). The city is an easy getaway from both cities, as well as from Port Angeles on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.  Victoria is also a port of call for cruise ships traveling the Pacific Coast waters.  One of my top recommendations on things to do in Victoria is to visit the Royal British Columbia Museum, located at the corner of Belleville and Douglas Streets, in the downtown area.  The Parliament Building and the Empress Hotel are right nearby, giving you other things to do during your time, and there are plenty of pubs and restaurants nearby for eating out.

The Royal BC Museum presents exhibits is a way that appeals to all the senses in a way that I’ve not experienced in other museums.  The visually stimulating exhibits are further developed with temperature drops (in the Ice Age exhibit), the sounds of seagulls and the smell of creosote (in the modern history exhibit), and beating drums and music (in the First People’s exhibit).

Here’s a little about what you can expect on a visit:

  • Natural History Gallery – A journey across time and through dramatically changing environments, this gallery gives you an opportunity to visit lush tropical forests, frozen tundra, rainforest, and a rocky shore, as you learn how the movement of earth, ice, and water has created this part of the world.  You’ll view creatures of all the habitats, past and present, but the fierce looking wooly mammoth (in photo above) is probably my favorite.
  • Modern History Gallery – Moving forward to the era of fur trading, this gallery gives you the sights, sounds, and smells of the time when European explores began the fur trade with coast First Nations Peoples.  Exhibits include a replica of Captain George Vancouver’s sailing ship, a pioneer homestead, and street scenes replicated from this era.
  • First Peoples Gallery – With displays representative of the First People before and after the arrival of European settlers, this gallery features ceremonial masks, a ceremonial house, and a variety of artwork.

The Royal British Columbia Museum also features traveling exhibits, and is the home to the B.C. Archives, the records of the provincial government, that are accessible for public research.  There is also an IMAX Theater.

The museum is open daily, 10 am – 5 pm, with extended hours during the summer season.  Admission is $14.29 for adults; $9.06 for seniors (ages 65+), youth (6-18), and students (19+ with ID); children 5 and under are FREE.  An annual pass is available, which is a good value if you plan to visit more than twice a year.  Admission rates increase during peak tourism times – spring and summer.

Photo credit:  Rob Pongsajapan via flickr

For more information about visiting Victoria, and other destinations in British Columbia, visit My British Columbia Destination Info.

Note:  This post was sponsored by My Destination Info; the opinions expressed are those of the author.


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

You’ll Never Want to Leave: Pantai Inn, La Jolla

For much of the northern hemisphere, January is winter and with it, the cold – often brutally cold – rain, […]

Introducing the Travel Reading List Challenge

Today I’m excited to announce the first of a couple of new projects that I’m launching for 2018 – the […]

2017: A Year of Travel in Review

While 2016 was a big year for international travel, 2017 represented a year spent enjoying destinations and activities closer to […]

A Most Wonderful Time of the Year at Universal Orlando Resort

Holiday magic is a real thing. A feeling deep in your soul. A feeling that brightens your smile, lights up […]