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Live like a Tourist. Spend like a Local

Published Feb 13, 2016 | Updated Feb 19, 2020

ATTENTION VICTORIA RESIDENTS! Do you want to live like a tourist, but spend like a local? If so, we highly encourage you to check out our article about the "Be a Tourist in your own Hometown" event happening right here in Victoria. P.S. We are giving away 4 VIP tickets.

Every year over 3 Million tourists take the time to visit Victoria and for a valid reason. Who wouldn’t want to go for a walk down Dallas Road, sip high tea at the Empress, or simply enjoy the city’s natural beauty. As the saying goes, “the grass truly is greener” on the Island.

Although tourism is great for local businesses and for putting Victoria on the map it often deters locals for actually enjoying all the attractions that the city has to offer. This is especially the case for families who are on a budget. So you can guess how excited we were when we heard about the “Be a Tourist in your own Hometown” event hosted by Attractions Victoria. This event is literally such an amazing deal! In fact, it is almost too good to be true. For the small price of $15 participants receive a VIP Card that gives them an all access pass to more than 40 of Greater Victoria’s best attractions and activities (See list below). With the sweet list of local businesses participating we can see why the pass is valued at over $500.

In order for you, your friends and your family to take full advantage of this fun filled weekend ChatterBlock has come up with an epic cheat sheet of sorts to maximize exploration. We've broken down some of the biggest and best attractions into 5 categories (Caffeinate, Go Green, Bug Out, Commute and Sightsee). So you won't waste a single second deciding on what to do next! Since the event spans over both weekdays and the weekend we suggest families and friends map out which activities they want to do and find out where they are located. For example, maybe stop by Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula on Thursday, downtown on Friday and Sooke on Saturday.

The event has tons to offer for all ages. We got the inside scoop for our friend Bethany at Attractions Victoria who helped break down the absolute best attractions based on your age.

Small Children: should visit Victoria's Bug Zoo, Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Sidney Museum, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, Miniature World, BeaverTails Victoria and Swam Lake Nature Sanctuary (to feed the ducks).

Older Children: will want to stop by Whale Watching, Royal BC Museum, IMAX, Glow Mini Golf, The Soda Shoppe (for ice-cream) or Roger's Chocolates (for victorian cream). 

Adults: can have a child free day or evening at the Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, De Vine Vineyards and Distillery, Horror Escape, Willow Stream Spa, The Spa at the Delta, Discovery Coffee or Mirage Coffee (for your java fix). 


To sweeten the deal ChatterBlock is giving away a family pass (4 VIP tickets) to the event. How do you enter? It's super easy. Just comment on the post below, or on our Facebook page and tell us what attractions you are most excited to check out.

List of Free and Fun Activities:

  • Ashton Armoury Museum: Free admission and door prize.

  • Birds of a Feather B&B Resort: Free use of canoes and beginner kayaks on Esquimalt Lagoon.

  • Butchart Gardens: Free admission, Feb. 27 and 28.

  • De Vine Vineyards & Distillery: Complimentary Tour & Tasting (flight of 3).

  • Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites: Free entry. Feb. 27 and 28.

  • Legislative Assembly of BC: Free scheduled public tour or self guided tour of the Parliament Buildings.

  • Market Square: Free historical tour.

  • Miniature World: Free admission, Feb. 27 and 28.

  • Point Ellice House: Free historical house tour and cup or coffee or tea.

  • The Robert Bateman Centre: Free admission.

  • Ross Bay Villa: Free guided tour of historical house.

  • Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse: Three free samples.

  • Sidney Museum: Free admission.

  • Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary: Free bag of duck food to feed the ducks & 10% off in the gift shop.

  • Uptown: Free cotton tote at Guest Services.

  • Victoria Bug Zoo: Free admission.

  • Victoria Butterfly Gardens: Free admission.

Discounted Fun:

  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: 50% off admission.

  • The Beach House Restaurant: 50% off purchase of any pizza.

  • BeaverTails Victoria: 50% off any BeaverTails pastry.

  • Budget Rent a Car: 25% off daily car and truck rental rates.

  • Craigdarroch Castle: 50% off admission.

  • CVS Tours: 50% off on return transportation to Butchart Gardens & Butterfly Gardens.

  • Discovery Coffee: Free 8oz coffee with purchase of a Yonni’s Doughnut or bag of beans.

  • Eagle Wing Whale & Wildlife Watching Tours: 50% off 3+ hour wildlife tours.

  • Gardens at HCP: $1 admission.

  • Glow Mini Golf: 4 people play for the price of 3.

  • Gray Line Sightseeing: discounted city/hop off tour, Feb. 26, 27 and 28.

  • Harbour Towers Hotel & Suites: $99 per night in a Standard Guest room.

  • Horror Escape: 50% off admission.

  • James Bay Inn: accommodation $40 per person per night on double occupancy.

  • L.A. Limousines & Transportation Services: 50% off the second hour of limo service when 1 hour is booked at full price.

  • Miniature World: 50% off admission, Feb. 25 and 26.

  • Mirage Coffee: 50% off scone & 12 oz drip coffee combo.

  • Pacifica Paddle Sports: Brentwood Bay/Tod Inlet 2 hour kayak tour for $36 per person, Feb 27 and 28.

  • Prince of Whales: $59 +GST for Zodiac Whale Watching.

  • The Robert Bateman Centre: 10% off at the gift shop.

  • Rogers’ Chocolates: Buy 1 Victoria Cream and get one free.

  • Royal BC Museum: 50% off admission ticket, or 25% off membership.

  • Sam’s Deli: Free cup of soup with purchase of any full sized sandwich.

  • Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre: 50% off admission.

  • The Soda Shoppe/Dog-Gone-It: 50% off purchase of any sized ice cream cone.

  • The Spa at the Delta: 15% off when you book two 60 or 90 minute treatments, Feb 25 and 26.

  • SpringTide Whale Watching & EcoTours: $50 +GST per person on High Speed Zodiac Marine Wildlife Adventure.

  • Tally Ho Carriage: 25% off on 30 or 45 minute tour, Feb. 27 and 28.

  • Terroir Tea Salon: Buy one 16 oz cup of tea and get one free.

  • Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour: $99 guest room rate.

  • Willow Stream: 30% off any 60 or 90 minute Facial or Body Experience.

  • YYJ Shuttle: 50% off discount.

For more information please visit: https://attractionsvictoria.com/be-a-tourist/ 

Carly Paracholski
By Carly Paracholski
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Comments (8)

February 9, 2016, 11:38 p.m. Flag

I would love to check out the spa attractions!


February 10, 2016, 9:04 a.m. Flag

I would LOVE some Discovery coffee, a BeaverTail pastry and a trip to Butchart Gardens.


February 11, 2016, 3 p.m. Flag

I'm looking forward to Ross Bay Villa Historic House Museum and the Robert Bateman Centre!


February 13, 2016, 12:15 a.m. Flag

We are very much looking forward to checking out Bug Zoo as well as the glow golf! and mmm roger's chocolates ... and beaver tails! ... it's hard to pick just one! Luckily we won't have to =)


February 15, 2016, 9:03 a.m. Flag

Looking forward to participating with be a tourist this year!


February 18, 2016, 3:25 p.m. Flag

I want to go to miniature world!


February 21, 2016, 4:29 p.m. Flag

Excited to take my 3 year old grandson to the Bug Zoo and Butterfly World!!


February 21, 2016, 8:21 p.m. Flag

My son hasn't been to the bug zoo yet! I'm excited to bring him!!


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