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Thunderbird Park - Royal BC Museum
Vacation Travel Guide

See totem poles and an authentic First Nations house standing alongside heritage buildings in this park where history meets culture.

Come to Thunderbird Park to admire the art of carved totem poles and learn about the culture of British Columbia’s First Nations communities. Opened in 1941, the park is part of the Royal BC Museum. While at the park, visit two of the oldest buildings in British Columbia and explore museum exhibitions dedicated to human and natural history.

Start at the Kwakwaka’wakw heraldic pole. It stands in front of Wawadit'la, a painted wooden building also known as Mungo Martin House, named after a famous local carver. Nakapenkem, as the late chief was also known, modeled it after a house from an indigenous village in the northeast of Vancouver Island at Fort Rupert. The family has hereditary rights to Wawadit’la as a ceremonial meeting place.

Except for the heraldic pole, all the poles that you will see in the park are replicas carved by Mungo Martin and others. Take time to study the intricate carvings, including human figures, birds and bears. Go to the First Peoples Gallery inside the Royal BC Museum to see the original totem poles. Here, you’ll also find examples of the clothing and regalia of the Pacific Northeast Coast’s indigenous groups. Further museum exhibits showcase the region’s human and natural history.

While at the park, pass by Helmcken House. Built in 1852, it’s the oldest building in British Columbia that still stands on its original location. Step inside to find artifacts relating to 19th-century domestic arts and traditions. St Ann’s Schoolhouse building dates to the mid-1840s and became one of Victoria’s most important schools starting in 1858. It was moved to the park in 1974.

Situated in the Royal BC Museum complex, Thunderbird Park is a short walk from downtown Victoria. There are several pay-and-display parking lots nearby and public buses stop close to the museum’s main entrance. Thunderbird Park and the Royal BC Museum are open daily, except for Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

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Top Hotels Close to Thunderbird Park - Royal BC Museum

The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
4.5 out of 5
623 Courtney St, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $156 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22

Located in Downtown Victoria, this luxury hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Government Street and Victoria Conference Centre. Royal BC Museum and Victoria Harbour ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (977 reviews)

"Excellent location, attractive furnishings, very friendly and helpful staff! The breakfast was wonderful. We’d choose the Magnolia again and recommend it highly."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 19, 2021

The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $139 per night from Feb 27 to Feb 28

Located in Downtown Victoria, this eco-friendly hotel is steps from Maritime Museum of British Columbia and Victoria Conference Centre. Victoria Harbour and ...

4.4/5Excellent! (1,102 reviews)

"excellent and kind staff, clean room, nice swimming pool,"…"

Reviewed on Feb. 23, 2021

Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
3 out of 5
1234 Wharf St, Victoria, BC
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is CA $185 per night from Mar 2 to Mar 3

This family-friendly Victoria hotel is located near the airport, within a 15-minute walk of Lower Johnson Street, Victoria Harbour, and Victoria Clipper Ferry ...

4.7/5Exceptional! (1,108 reviews)

"The water views from our room were amazing and the suite was very nice. Parking can be tricky but the location is great, lots great places to walk to."…"

Reviewed on Feb. 20, 2021

Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Thunderbird Park - Royal BC Museum

The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
4.5 out of 5
623 Courtney St, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $156 per night from Mar 21 to Mar 22
The Magnolia Hotel and Spa
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
3.5 out of 5
740 Burdett Ave, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $139 per night from Feb 27 to Feb 28
Chateau Victoria Hotel and Suites
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
3 out of 5
1234 Wharf St, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $185 per night from Mar 2 to Mar 3
Victoria Regent Waterfront Hotel & Suites
Strathcona Hotel
Strathcona Hotel
2.5 out of 5
919 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $100 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
Strathcona Hotel
Hotel Grand Pacific
Hotel Grand Pacific
4 out of 5
463 Belleville St, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $161 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Hotel Grand Pacific
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites
3 out of 5
425 Quebec St, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $127 per night from Feb 27 to Feb 28
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites
Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
4 out of 5
100 Harbour Road, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $151 per night from Mar 1 to Mar 2
Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
4 out of 5
728 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $135 per night from Mar 5 to Mar 6
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
The Parkside Hotel & Spa
The Parkside Hotel & Spa
3.5 out of 5
810 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC
The price is CA $189 per night from Feb 28 to Mar 1
The Parkside Hotel & Spa
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.