Posted December 29th, 2006, 12:06 PM
There is so much to do in our fair city that it is hard to pinpoint 1 specific thing. You don't say how much time you have or what month so I'll give you some general stuff within the downtown core. Butchart Gardens is approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour away from the cruise ship depending on traffic and time of day. If you make the journey to Butchart, allow additional time for Butterfly World (although the butterfly activity isn't as frantic in the Fall).
If you want to walk (highly recommended), when you leave the pier, turn right and walk the waterfront to Mile 0. Turn left to Beacon Hill Park. The entrance is a block away (just past the field). If it's a warm day, be sure to stop for ice cream at the Beacon Drive In -- it's touted as the best ice cream in the world .... imho Enjoy the flowers and animals in the park (try to grab a roll or bun from the ship to break up for the ducks as they are always entertaining). When you first enter the park, watch for the big hill to your right. Walk up the hill (it's not a long walk) and enjoy the magnificent view at the top ... hmmm, I think I'll walk over at lunch
After the park, there is some major points of interest as you walk into town (heading away from the water). Thunderbird Park (beside the museum) is always a favourite for taking pictures of totems, the provincial museum is amazing and worth the admission fee (you'll need to allow at least 4 hours to complete this), the Empress Hotel, the waterfront, Miniature World. All this within 5 blocks of the park.
The walk to Beacon Hill park from your cruise ship is approximately 10 - 15 minutes so don't waste $s on a cab. Although, the horse drawn carriage is always a hit and they can give you the history of the area.
Enjoy our beautiful city. I know you'll want to come again.