Go to the very beginning of the Trans Canada Hwy which is the southern tip of Douglas Street and take the Marine Scenic Drive, one of the most popular routes, and follow the well marked signs east along Dallas Road and around Oak Bay. Continue north through Cadboro Bay and around Cordova Bay and follow the road up the peninsula to Sidney.
Sidney has a reputation as a book town - many used and rare book stores along with over a 100 interesting shops and impressive art galleries. Port Sidney Marina has breathtaking views and some very impressive yachts.Whale watching cruises are available as well as fishing charters. Also worth a visit are the Sidney marine mammal exhibit and Mineral world - the Scratch Patch is sure to be a hit with the kids.
Returning from Sidney, explore the Saanich Peninsula. Tour the Ocean Sciences Centre, a federal government facility devoted to studying Canadian coastlines, oceans, lakes and rivers, also stop off at the Dominion Astrophysical Observatory and view the stars.
Malahat Drive on the Trans-Canada Highway No. 1 - takes you north past ancient forests and along mountainsides with several panoramic viewpoints along the way.
Stop at Goldstream Park, where salmon spawn in the fall just yards from the road. Find massive trees, majestic waterfalls and a meandering river that meets the sea in Goldstream Provincial Park.
The Malahat Chalet is a good stopover for lunch - has spectacular views and a pleasant atmosphere.
Take Highway 1 from Victoria and exit at the Thetis Interchange following the signs to Colwood. Stroll the peaceful grounds at Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Park, a coastal defense site from 1878 to 1956. Visit the oldest working lighthouse on the West Coast.
If antiques and collectibles are of interest you must not miss Sally's Trading Post, Antiques & Collectibles - 14,000 square ft. and 10 shops - great prices!
Just past Colwood in Metchosin, a range of activities are available. Rent a boat from a local marina and fish for salmon, or visit Witty's Lagoon.
Matheson Lake Regional Park is excellent for hiking along nature trails or swimming.
Take Sooke Road through the countryside past farms and seaside homes to Happy Valley Road to East Sooke Regional Park. Numerous hiking trails, beaches, and picnic areas.
Take Highway 1 from Victoria to Highway 14, also known as the West Coast Road which leads to truly spectacular beaches - French Beach with picnic and camping facilities, China Beach with its stunning views and Botanical Beach near Port Renfrew known for its tide pools rich with intertidal life.
Plan to make many stops along the way to stroll the nearly deserted beaches, and take in the incredible ocean views. Cozy seaside restaurants and bed & breakfasts along the way.
Follow the signs off Highway 1 onto Cowichan Bay Road for a scenic 5 mile loop through farmland, country meadows and the estuary of the Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers. Explore the habitats of under-sea creatures - 12 aquaria at the Marine Ecology station, Pier 66.
Sightseeing, fishing and dinner cruise charters operating from Pier 66 as well as sailing tours on a luxury yacht, full or half days. Explore the gift shops and galleries with original and unique pottery, sculptures and paintings. Cherry Point Vineyards is open daily and offers tours by appointment.
Highway 1 to Duncan, the City of Totems. Start at the Duncan Station Museum and follow the yellow footprints for a self-guided tour of the totem poles, including the world's widest totem pole. Enjoy a look at the world of the Northwest Coast Natives at the Native Heritage Centre -200 Cowichan Way, Duncan 250-746-8119
Watch massive totem poles take shape, enjoy traditional weaving, beading, and spinning. Gallery full of original carvings, jewelry and art. Two minutes north of Duncan, along Highway 1, ride a steam train through the 100-acre park at the fabulous BC Forestry Museum and view the outstanding displays of early logging techniques.
Drive to Chemainus and view the 33 gigantic exterior murals depicting the early history of the area. A perfect place for an afternoon visit or few a few days at a seaside bed & breakfast. Many excellent restaurants, cafes and tea houses, art galleries & craft shops. BC Ferries operates a service from here to Thetis and Kuper Islands which offer hiking, marinas, fishing, cruising and a great place for a weekend escape.
Sightseeing via Bus with BC Transit in Victoria. Pick up a free BC Transit "Popular Destinations Guide" and day pass for a self-guided bus tour. Attractions, scenic spots, galleries & museums, markets & shopping plus parks & beaches are indicated, as well as the bus number, rates & schedule. Call the BC Transit information line at 382-6161 for more info.