The definition of “Instagram gold”: A picture with the right amount of lighting that works with any filter, taken of a unique thing/spot with an interesting composition. Pictures that qualify as “Instagram gold” will likely follow with a swarm of Likes when tagged appropriately.

So we just made that definition up, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s admit that hitting it rich with Likes is not always the goal, but it’s also not not the goal. Victoria’s landscape and culture makes this mission easy. We’ve narrowed down some of the most popular hashtags to help you strike Instagram gold and fill your profile with the best of Victoria. Keep the below subject matter suggestions in mind when searching for the sparkle.

BBeach-1Botanical #beach
We’re on island so you have quite a few choices if you’re planning to use this hashtag. While you could play it safe and stick to the downtown core, the Botanical Beach destination may just bring that photo from average to adventurous. Check the tidal charts because once the tide is out that’s when the ocean’s creatures bring this beach to life.
MacNeill Bay #ocean

While you’re embracing the west coast, do it from the comfort of these colourful chairs. It’s a unique and familiar scene for many locals. There’s something comforting about the setup and that translates into the Instagram shots. Throw a sunset into this scenario and the mixture of colours and textures will bring all the Likes.


Cathedral Grove – MacMillan Provincial Park #forest

On the way to Tofino, you’ll drive through MacMillan Provincial Park. You should stop and take in the scene. Walk along the paths, get in touch with nature, breathe in the fresh air and then pull out the camera or phone and do what everyone does: start snapping. The trees come with deep roots and history — they’re also massive. There are so many photo opportunities, you’re bound to take shots that sparkle with the help of a filter or two.


Mount Doug Park #mountains

If you’re walking Mount Doug Park, well done. If you’re planning to drive to the top, no judgement. You’ll get a shot either way. This hike or drive brings you to a view worth the sweat or air conditioning blasting in your face. With the mountains as the backdrop and a bird’s eye view, you’re almost sitting on top of Victoria. If you plan and hit the top at dusk, you may just get a blend of sunset colours that really bring the shot to another level.


Butchart Gardens #flowers

This mission for Instagram comes with a price tag but you’ll leave with hundreds of colourful, vibrant shots. Not only will you be posting for days, but you’ll have so much #TBT material. The price tag doesn’t sound too bad now, does it? What was once an abandoned quarry soon transformed into a floral show garden, known now as Butchart Gardens, with an idea and love from Jennie Butchart. You may need to dedicate the full day to this tour. Again, just think of all that quality material.

Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse #drinks

We all know Instagram is the place for food and drink pictures. A list of the best instagram food locations would require its own post, but Sea Cider Farm is an instagrammer’s dream so we had to include it here. The proof is found on the farm’s own account. You’ll feel as if you’re walking into a photoshoot. Thankfully, you just have to snap a couple shots and drink a couple glasses. You can make it into your own photoshoot too, but no pressure.


Fan Tan Alley #building

Fan Tan Alley gives off a sense of mystery, but the variety of local shops and tourist buzz within the tiny space makes this literal hidden gem a spot for instagram gold. The exposed red brick and lighting can bring all kinds of effects to the pictures. It has that vintage vibe (even without the Valencia filter) in a very local, recognizable Victoria location.


Trounce Alley #lights

Down Trounce Alley you’ll capture scenery and food. And isn’t that what Instagram’s all about? Winning. If there’s a perfect time to pull the camera out, it’s once your food is served. You’ll have the string of lights above you while enjoying quality food with the downtown buzz. It may be difficult to get that feeling into a picture, but you should always try. There’s a pretty strong chance you’ll succeed and find that Instagram gold.


Parliament #Buildings

This may seem like an easy one. You can pass the Parliament Buildings on any given day and see groups of tourists and locals getting their own shot of the prominent structure. Some may be quick to skip it for that reason. If it’s so overdone, why contribute another shot? That can be said for so much of Instagram, but the real beauty is that every shot as the potential to be different. The lighting, the sky, the people — they all change the scene and your chances for gold increase. (Or make the buildings a background setting, like this.)


Goldstream Provincial #Park

Golden because everyone loves the significance of a railway shot. (Also, it literally has gold in its name.) The tracks are meaningful, haunting and an easy picture. You step into the role of a professional photographer when the composition so naturally takes shape. In Goldsteam Provincial Park you also get the bonus of beautiful BC greenery. It’s worth the car ride because you’re guaranteed to find shots worthy of Instagram and perhaps even a frame. People still hang photos, right?

When it comes down to it, striking that photographic gold is really a numbers game. We all know how long that selfie takes. Keep clicking and posting. (We may suggest a max. 3 postings per day. You’re not Beyonce.) That golden shot could be hidden on your phone but testing is the only way to know. We’re willing to bet you found gold — just filter, trim and highlight your way to it. Remember, the hunt is part of the reward.