Located at the foot of Douglas Street, Beacon Hill Park is the grand showpiece of Victoria, a city with a long and proud tradition of gardening.
Set aside in 1858 by James Douglas, governor of Vancouver Island, the 75-hectare (200 acre) plot of land was officially established as a park in 1882. Beacon Hill Park was named after a pair of masts strategically placed on a hill to act as a beacon and navigational aid to mariners approaching Victoria's inner harbour.
Prior to the arrival of settlers the area was the traditional territory of the Salish people, who had lived here for thousands of years. A tangled web of events since then has displaced the original dwellers, but their history is evident in the petroglyphs that adorn the shoreline and in the middens of seashells mounded up beside the beaches on Strait of Juan de Fuca.
Whilst the park boasts considerable areas of natural land in a native habitat, most of the park is beautifully landscaped and manicured with bridges, lakes and ponds, and an alpine and rock garden. Wondrous displays of exotic and native trees, including Garry Oak, Arbutus, Douglas-fir, Western Red Cedar, birch, willow and maples grace the park ...to name just a few!!!
Amongst the pond lilies of Goodacre and Fountain Lakes, a variety of waterfowl go about their business, thrilling visitors of all ages. In a copse of Douglas-fir trees an active heronry raucously sounds its presence whilst a pair of Bald Eagles nests nearby.
A delightful quiet envelops this sunny spot in Victoria, where walking trails link with neighbourhood streets that lead down into the busy hum of commercial activity.
Attractions in the park include the Beacon Hill Children's Farm.
Here the Children's Petting Zoo gives hands-on experience, which is enjoyed by young and old.
Beacon Hill Park is a beautiful urban park that stretches from the Juan de Fuca Straight to the heart of downtown Victoria. The history of the park goes back to the end of the 19th century, when landscaping work began under the direction of Scottish architect John Blair.
At Beacon Hill Park, the wilderness mixes with the most manicured gardens, and BC artist Emily Carr, who grew up in a house nearby, spent many days drawing and writing at the park. On top of the numerous walking trails there is a petting animal farm, a wading pool, picnic areas and playgrounds for children.
Beacon Hill Park is located right in downtown Victoria, behind the Royal BC Museum and running along the water all the way from Douglas Street to Cook Street. Inside the park peacocks wander around while children pet goats at the petting zoo and old people use the putting green. Usually, great blue herons nest in the trees along Douglas Street, however this year the young were virtually all eaten by an over-zealous bald eagle affectionately known by city residents as "Birdzilla".
There is lots of shade in Beacon Hill park and it's the perfect place for a picnic. Bring a blanket and grab lunch from either The Market on Yates (at Yates and Quadra) or Sam's Deli (at Government and Humboldt). This year a a giant watering can-inspired sprinkler was installed in the park, allowing children to cool off when the mercury rises.
Towards late afternoon, we headed to Beacon Hill Park for a walk around the small pond which I noted had just a few too many Canada geese as I was carefully trying to avoid all the goose poop, through the gardens, past the children's zoo where we saw a proud papa peacock with one of his babies and up to the top of the hill for a lovely view of the Strait of Georgia and Washington state's Olympic Mountains.
From there we walked through a section of park where dogs are allowed off leash, watched some folks sailboarding and then cut through Ross Bay cemetery on our way back to town.
One of my favourite places was Beacon Hill Park, a great opportunity to breathe fresh and clean air. Too many people miss this beautiful city park, despite the fact that it's only a few minutes walk from downtown.
I used to enjoy a walk along Dallas Road, just in front of the sea and waited till the sunset to see Washington's lights. There are also carraiges pulled by horses for you to take a ride and if you have kids, they will enjoy to visit the Children's Farm inside the park.
The fountains, lakes, trees, the sea, the fresh air and the beauty of the park are things that I really enjoyed and I'm sure you will too. To me, there was nothing like drinking coffee while walking all across the park from Superior St. to Dallas Road.
Don't forget taking a picture with the largest totem pole and at the 'Mile 0' at Douglas and Dallas, which is the marker of the Trans-Canada Highway. This is the westernmost point of the highway and the easternmost piont is in St. John's, Newfoundland.
If you walk from downtown Victoria along Fort Street, and then turn south along Cook Street, you'll eventually hook up with Beacon Hill Park. At the foot of Cook Street is Dallas Road, and across from Dallas Road is the waterfront. There are several staircases leading you down the cliffs, and at the bottom, you'll find yourself on a rocky beach overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait. Unlike downtown Victoria's Inner Harbour, this waterfront is a place where you can stare out into the sea and watch cruise ships and whale watch boats off in the distance. Across the strait is the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state and the mountains you see are a part of Olympic National Park.
But there's something so serene and tranquil about this beach in the morning and in the evening. I first came here with a friend who was living nearby in Victoria. We were there around 10am and had a beautiful view of the snow-capped peaks of the mountains across the strait. The surf would gently crash against the rocks, and the long strands of brown sea kelp would be piled in sections along the tide line. It definitely felt like a different world away from the touristy hustle and bustle back downtown.
I visited once again in a late spring evening when all the broom was in bloom, but rainclouds were coming in from the distance. It made for a very moody, atmospheric place.
This is not a beach if you want to sunbathe and I'm not sure it's a great swimming area (as Victoria dumps its sewage RAW into the ocean!!!), but if you're looking for a scenic stroll along the waterfront where you feel like you're far away from the city, this is my recommendation.
Unfortunatelly i was there in the evening and the pictures I've taken were not the greatest. If you look at the website you can see better views.
Stroll through Beacon Hill Park - take in the Petting Zoo, Goodacre Lake, the free putting green, the summit lookout, behind the zoo and in the spring, the heron nests on the west edge of Goodacre lake.
Beacon Hill Park
The park is right next to downtown, and extends to the waterfront. The park contains a cricket field, large playground for kids, lots of ponds with ducks and swans, an aviary, a children's zoo with farm animals and peacocks, beautiful trees, free concerts in the summer. I think the park is the most spectacular in Spring when all the cherry and plum trees are in blossom, and in Autumm when the maple and other deciduous trees are in full color, interspersed with the huge evergreen trees. I also like Spring because there are many broods of baby ducklings, which are so adorable. When I was a child almost every Sunday we would go to the park and feed the ducks bread crusts that we had collected in a brown bag all week long. I really liked looking at all the birds in the aviary too. Above the zoo is a hill that you can drive up to overlook the waterfront and across the straight, Port Angeles and the Olympic Mountains. Port Angeles is only 18 miles away and at night you can see cars driving up and down the streets.
Next to the coast at Brotchie Ledge, beacons were set to guide mariners. Now it is a wonderful park to walk through and enjoy the views across to Washington. Gardens, fountains and rocky coastlines you can walk along.
This is the largest and most beautiful park in Victoria. It is absolutely enjoyable in any season. The are numerous flat walking paths throughout the park. You will continuallly happen upon ponds filled with friendly ducks and geese. Squirrels will contstantlly cross your path and you can even see the heron breeding area. For kids there is a petting zoo open from late Feb - Oct. and a playground. You can always go for a romantic carriage ride through the park; last time newlyweds were doing this. The park also has rose gardens, rock gardens, etc. In the fall the park is filled with colourful trees.
The park is located in easy walking distance of downtown. Nearby is the Beacon Hill Drive-In where you can have amazing soft ice cream and snacks and only a bit further is the beautiful beach!!!!
Even those of us that live here love Beacon Hill Park. For many of us it holds fond memories of teenage (or older) trysts, family outings and solitary wanderings. What makes it so perpetually interesting is its variety of offerings and settings.
There's cricket on the pitch near Cook Street, a children's playground, the ever-popular petting zoo, the lookout with its fabulous views of the water, what was once the tallest totem pole in the world and acres of native and exotic trees and plants. There's a putting green, wandering peacocks and nesting herons and bald eagles.
The Cameron Bandshell often plays host to concerts during the summer and this year the park will again host the magical Luminara.
Coolest thing that has happened in the park in years is the installation of the Heron Cam that allows you to look at what a pair of nesting herons in the park are up to.
Don't forget to drop by the Beacon Drive In for soft ice cream after you've been to the park. And please don't give the ducks bread - remember real birds don't eat bread.
Beacon Hill Park is an easy walk from downtown Victoria. It's not as big as Stanley Park in Vancouver, but big enough to make you forget you are in the middle of a city. Inside the park there are small rock hills, well-maintained gardens, and a petting zoo to make your walk interesting. The south end of Beacon Hill Park is a good spot to view the mountain range of Olympic National Park on a good day. The southwestern corner of the park, where Dallas and Douglas intersect, is "Mile 0", the starting point of Trans-Canada Highway.
While the entire Beacon Hill Park is very pleasant, especially along the ocean, the highlight for my daughter was the petting zoo at the Children's Farm within. It is open daily between 10:00 and 17:00. The baby goats were the most fun, and brushes are provided for children to groom the animals.
Beacon Hill Park is a Massive Park Located Near the City Centre. Its about a 20 minute walk towards the ocean from the Harbour. Its a great place to walk through and spend some time relaxing. While you are here you can see the worlds tallest totem pole (see picture). There are also great views towards Seattle over the Strait.
This park brings relaxation to Victoria’s downtown area. It is named for the beacons that were lit as a navigation aid. This 75 hectare park has streams, several duck ponds, a cricket field, playgrounds, wading pools, a children’s zoo, and a bandshell. In spring, this park is blanketed by hundreds of thousands of daffodils and blue camas, and over 30,000 plants replanted semi-annually. The Lookout, also known as Victoria’s "Lovers’ Lane" has a great view of the Juan de Fuca Strait. At the southwest end of the park where Douglas Street meets Dallas Road is official Mile Zero of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Wander along the pathways and stop in at the childrens’ petting zoo (Open 11am).