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1-0899-Carmanah
Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park
(JF Bergeron photo)

Vancouver Island

Museums

Antiques in a window (David Gluns photo)

Antiques in a window (David Gluns photo)

Museums on Vancouver Island celebrate Aboriginal culture, maritime exploration, forestry, beachcombing and even fossils.

The U’mista Cultural Centre (in Alert Bay) is home to a significant First Nations potlatch collection, while the Quw’ustun’ Cultural Centre (in Duncan) brings history to life with traditional dancing demonstrations.

Learn about industries such as logging, fishing and the railway at the BC Forest Discovery Centre (in Duncan), Alberni Maritime Museum (in Port Alberni) and the Museum at Campbell River.

Prefer something that’s off the beaten path? Billy’s Museum at Echo Bay is home to a collection of random objects that have washed ashore.

Visitor Centres have information on local museums and historic sites. Check the hours of operation for museums, as they may vary by season.

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18 Museums in Vancouver Island

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11

Craigdarroch Castle - Victoria

1050 Joan Cres
Victoria, British Columbia
V8S 3L5
Toll-free
Phone250-592-5323

Victoria's legendary landmark. Experience the lifestyles of the rich & powerful at the end of the 19th century. Completed in 1890, the Castle is now a historic house museum. Lavish Victorian era furnishings & decor, exquisite stained glass & detailed woodwork carved by artisans of days gone by... These all combine to create a warm & expansive entertainment experience. When you're finished, take time to browse the Gift Shop & relax in the beautifully restored grounds before moving on to your next destination. Open daily for self-guided tours.

12

Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site - Victoria

603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd
Victoria, British Columbia
V9C 2W8
Toll-free
Phone250-478-5849

Located 15 minutes west of downtown Victoria, these adjacent national historic sites offer acres of meadows & spectacular views of Esquimalt Harbour & Juan de Fuca Strait. Stroll along the ramparts of 3 coast artillery gun batteries built over 100 years ago. See original guns, intriguing underground magazines & camouflaged searchlight emplacements. Step inside Canada's oldest West Coast lighthouse. Play with its brand-new interactive exhibits. While the kids investigate our tide pools or enjoy our new hand held spy game program, it's time to sit back & enjoy the moment. Check out our many special events throughout the year.

13

Landsea Tours & Adventures - Vancouver

Toll-free877-669-2277
Phone604-255-7272

Landsea Tours offers daily scheduled half-day & full-day mini-coach sightseeing excursions to include Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler & more - maximum of 24 guests per bus. See it all: Stanley Park, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island Market, Alaska cruise ships, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain & Butchart Gardens. Combine a Victoria tour with whale watching or a floatplane flight, or a Whistler tour with the Whistler Mountaineer train by Rocky Mountaineer. Driver/guides create memorable sightseeing experiences by sharing their extensive knowledge of area history, geography & current events & in answering guests' individual questions.

Private tours & transfers are also available: SUVs, Mercedes Sprinter Vans & Mini-Coaches available.

14

Parksville Museum & Archives - Parksville

1245 E Island Hwy
Parksville, British Columbia
V9P 2E5
Toll-free
Phone250-248-6966

Situated on the the beautiful grounds of Craig Heritage Park, the Parksville Museum & Archives is a gateway to the past. The museum is home to eight restored heritage buildings (including a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse & the town's original firehall) as well as hundreds of artifacts that help bring the past to life. The museum is also host to an extensive archival collection chronicling the lives of early pioneers in the area. With fun activities for all ages, including seniors & children, the Parksville Museum & Archives is a unique & exciting destination where the past comes alive!

15

Point Ellice House - Victoria

2616 Pleasant St
Victoria, British Columbia
V8T 4V3
Toll-free
Phone250-380-6506

Historic house museum built in 1861; home of the O'Reilly family for 3 generations. Original furnishings & personal effects displayed as in the 1890-1920 period. Early Victoria pioneers. Heritage garden presently being restored to original plan. Afternoon tea served on the lawn overlooking the water 5 days a week May-August. Visitors can arrive by Harbour Ferries from Inner Harbour to our dock for $5. Admission to house & gardens is $6 (adults), $4 for students, $3 for those 6-12. Tea includes tour; $25 plus tax. Site available for wedding & other special event rentals.

16

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre - Sidney

9811 Seaport Pl
Sidney, British Columbia
V8L 4X3
Toll-free
Phone250-665-7511

Sidney's waterfront aquarium is home to over 3,500 marine animals from the unique local habitats of the Salish Sea. Come face-to-face with octopus and jellies; tickle a sea cucumber or shake hands with a sea star. Open daily from 10 a.m. Visit our website for special programs and activities and to learn more. The Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is located in the beautiful seaside town of Sidney. Only minutes from the Victoria International Airport, Washington State ferry terminal (Anacortes/San Juan Islands) & the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay, gateway to the Gulf Islands and Vancouver.

17

The Robert Bateman Centre - Victoria

470 Belleville Street
Victoria, British Columbia
V8V 1W9
Toll-free
Phone250-940-3630

Located in the restored historic steamship terminal in Victoria's Inner Harbour, The Robert Bateman Centre displays the largest exhibit of original works by the world's greatest wildlife artist.

From the wilderness of Africa to Canada's Arctic, this exhibit of over 100 pieces unleashes the full scope of Robert Bateman's work.

Travel through the galleries with Bateman's personal multi-media commentary, & hear stories about his life & the nature he has so closely studied.

The net proceeds from the Robert Bateman Centre gallery & the Thinking Like a Mountain gift shop support the work of the Bateman Foundation, a national public charity working to enable a worldwide movement that cherishes naturea a a fundamental key to human survival & happiness.

18

Victoria Bug Zoo Inc. - Victoria

631 Courtney St
Victoria, British Columbia
V8W 1B8
Toll-free
Phone250-384-2847

Welcome to the amazing world of insects, arachnids, and their many-legged relatives. A visit to this must see mini-zoo provides visitors with an opportunity to view and experience bugs from around the world. Discover over 40 species including beautiful praying mantis, giant walkingsticks, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, and Canada's largest ant farm. Knowledgeable tour guides provide insight into the lives of these amazing animals and a safe, fun bug handling experience for the more bold. Don't forget your camera. The gift shop carries unique gifts for the whole family. From local art, educational books, toy bugs, space-age ant farms, to edible bug snacks! While in Victoria, make sure you don't miss the Bug Zoo.

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