Formerly called Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown, Be a Local Tourist in Your Town is an event where you can visit Victoria attractions for a low cost.
The weather isn’t the greatest in February, but that’s usually when they have the “Be a Local Tourist in Your Town” program going on where you can get discounted admission to top attractions, restaurants and more!
In 2021, instead of taking place in February, the series of special deals was postponed until the week of March 8th to 14th. Whether it happens in the end or not, however, is to be determined.
The city’s Dine Around & Stay in Town event, meanwhile ran from January 14th until February 7th in 2021.
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Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown
In 2020, Victoria’s annual “Be a Local Tourist in Your Town” program took place from February 27th to March 2nd. In 2021 it goes from March 8th until March 14th (so a couple of weeks later). The program is a great deal! For only about $16 you can buy a wristband and see a dozen great Victoria tourist attractions for free, plus dozens more at great discounts. (Note: 2021 prices are to be confirmed.)
This event is a great way to learn about some local businesses in Victoria and help to support them! Keep in mind that you must be able to pick up your wristband in person from the Visitor Centre downtown on Wharf Street. They will not deliver them or ship them to you. You can also buy them in-person at the Visitor Centre or at any Save on Foods in Victoria.
The attractions that you could get into for free in 2020’s “Be a Local Tourist in Your Town” program include the following (and 2022 places will likely be similar):
- Butchart Gardens – free admission.
- Victoria Butterfly Gardens – free admission which includes access to the Insectarium.
- Miniature World – free admission.
- BC Legislative Buildings Tour – free guided tour.
- Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse – free admission on February 29th and March 1st.
- Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse – you receive a free flight of ciders which includes three samples.
- Market Square – a free guided tour of Market Square’s past. There is no reservation necessary.
- Sidney Museum – free admission to the Lego Exhibition.
- Ashton Armoury Museum – free admission.
- Rathjen Cellars – free wine sampling flight which includes 5 samples.
- Rockcoast Confections – free chocolate tasting. If you choose to purchase some afterwards wristband wearers get 15% off.
- Country Bee Honey Farm – free coffee if you bring a to-go mug.
- Deep Cove Winery – free flight of 4 wine samples.
The following attractions, activities and restaurants had great discounted rates thanks to the event in 2020 (and hopefully will again in 2021).
Noe: It is recommended to check the deal as many of these attractions require booking in advance.
Accommodations and Transportation
- Inn at Laurel Point – 25% off a room plus free parking.
- Hotel Grand Pacific – 25% off a room.
- CVS Tours – 50% off a guided tour shuttle to Butchart Gardens.
- Gray Line Hop On Hop Off – 50% off sightseeing tours.
- Budget Rent a Car – save up to 25% off a rental car.
- Tesla Tours – 20% off their “Craft, Wine & Stills” tour which lasts 4 hours.
- Tally Ho Carriage Tours – $117 for a private 45-minute tour of Victoria.
Activities and Attractions
- Pacifica Paddle Sports – 25% off a 2-hour kayak rental.
- Eagle Wing Whale Watching Tours – 50% off their Salish Sea Marine Wildlife and Whale Tour.
- SpringTide Whale Watching and Eco Tours – buy one adult ticket and get the second for free on their zodiac tours.
- Five Star Whale Watching – 50% off a 3-hour marine wildlife tour.
- Orca Spirit Adventures – 50% off their marine wildlife zodiac tours.
- Prince of Whales – 50% off a whale watching adventure.
- Horror Escape – 25% off your single participant fee to an escape room.
- Victoria Bug Zoo – 50% off admission.
- Capital Iron – free tour and 15% off purchased items after the tour.
- Abby Sprouts – 20% off merchandise.
- SALT Shop – 20% off SALT gear.
- The Jade Store – 35% off merchandise.
Food and Drink
- Vancouver Island Brewing – buy one tour ticket and get the second free. Afterwards enjoy 4 samples of free beer.
- Macaloney Caledonian Distillery and Twa Dogs Brewery – two-for-the-price-of-one tours which includes 2 whisky and 3 beer samples, all of which are free.
- Off The Eaten Track – 25% off a “Chocolate and Churches” tour.
- Chocolats Favoris – buy one get one free any menu item.
- Perverted Ice Cream – buy one item and get another for free.
- BeaverTails – 50% off a BeaverTails pastry.
- Just Matcha Tea – buy one specialty latte and get the second for free.
- Aura Waterfront Restaurant and Patio – 25% off happy hour.
- Taco Stand – for only $8 you get 2 tacos.
- Roast Meat and Sandwich Shop – buy a Porchetta sandwich and get a second for 50% off.
- Pendray Inn and Tea House – 25% off afternoon tea.
- Hotel Grand Pacific – 25% off their “West Coast Afternoon Tea”.
Victoria Hospitals Foundation
Last year, for every wristband sold $1 was donated to the Victoria Hospitals Foundation. This will likely be the case again in 2021. This makes a difference in the level of patient care, the speed of tests and diagnosis, and the efficiency of treatment. The hospitals that receive the funds are Royal Jubilee, Gorge Road and Victoria General.
Click Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown for more information.
If you enjoy being a tourist in your own hometown check out Victoria’s Dine Around and Stay in Town Program for dozens of restaurants offering 3-course dinners for special prices and Victoria hotel rooms being offered at a discount.
For information about a similar program in the Lower Mainland (which features restaurants and hotels, but not tourist attractions), click Dine Out Vancouver Festival.
To learn about all of Victoria’s main places of interest, see our article about Museums, Historical Sites & Other Tourist Attractions.