|Victoria, British Columbia|
Victoria was originally founded in 1843 when the Hudson’s Bay Company established a trading post there. By 1849, Vancouver Island had become a British Crown colony. Today the city is part of British Columbia, with Victoria as the administrative capital and Vancouver (75 miles northwest on the mainland) being the industrial center.
Most of the attractions center near the harbor, although the walkable inner-city streets foster cordiality. The city is probably best known for its mild climate and active outdoor lifestyle, and Victoria is lauded as one of the most walkable Canadian cities.
Among the many attractions are the world-famous 50-acre Butchart Gardens. The gracious Fairmont Empress Hotel dominates the Inner Harbour—originally built as a resort by the Canadian Pacific Railway, it has been restored and offers afternoon English tea.
The city also invites gourmet dining, fantastic shopping, nearby lighthouses and whale watching of the resident pod of orcas. Other excursions include pub tours, horse-drawn trolleys, and a tour of Craigdarroch Castle.
The FGS 2015 Alaskan Cruise will offer a full genealogy conference during sea days that does not encroach on time to enjoy mainland excursions. Register for the cruise at https://www.fgsconference.org/cruise/.