Victoria, British Columbia: home to the finest whale watching in the world

Victoria, British Columbia is beautiful. The climate is mild and the colors are green year-round. And just off the rugged coast from May to November there are hundreds of orca whales hunting schools of salmon that take to the fresh waterways to spawn. Watch these massive mammals breach and spy-hop from the rails of a boat when you take a healthcare job on the far west coast of Canada.

Right here in the Strait of Juan de Fuca—in the greater Salish Sea—you'll find the best orca whale watching in the world. It's home to three pods of almost 90 resident, fish-eating orcas and a myriad of transient, marine-mammal-eating orcas.

Tours run for three hours and you can travel by open-air raft, catamaran or—with drink in hand from the open bar—in the heated cabin of a yacht or cruiser. Depending on the time of the year you might see one, two or twenty orcas surface for a tail slap. And if you're out to sea on one of the fancier tours then you'll get to hear the whales socialize via hydrophone.

There are more than just killer whales to spot; you'll find humpback, minke and gray here, too. Porpoises, dolphins, seals, sea lions and otters are also below and magnificent birds like puffins, eagles, herons and cormorants are overhead. There's no shortage of ocean or mountain wildlife to explore in Victoria.

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