When your travels bring you to the Pacific Northwest, you will not want to pass up the opportunity to visit Victoria, British Columbia. Just a short ferry ride from Seattle, this small island community is a breath of fresh air. Whatever you enjoy doing, you will find it here. Victoria has long been a weekend destination for many “Seattleites” who want to escape busy city life. The preferred method of transportation here is walking. With that being said, I highly recommend renting a moped. It’s relaxing and fun driving the beautiful coast line.
Victoria’s inner Harbour is home to a variety of sea life. One thing you won’t want to miss, the 3 pods of Killer whales that call this Harbour home. Orca, Sea Lion, Porpoise and humpback whale can all be found here. Get a closer look by visiting the Undersea Gardens by the main ferry terminal. There you can see a live dive show and the impressive Undersea Gardens.
If indoor activities are what you are interested in, than visit The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Here, Canada’s top artists are showcased. A little local tip, the first Tuesday of every month, the admission is by donation only. The Royal BC Museum also has great galleries including natural history, modern history, native plant life and the BC archives, just to name a few. Another great indoor attraction is the Craigdarroch Castle where strange things seem to always be happening. I won’t spoil the fun, but let’s just say it’s not for the faint of heart. All of this sightseeing will surely have you building up an appetite. The most popular mealtime event in Victoria is afternoon tea at The Fairmont Empress.
You will be spoiled with a special blend of Empress tea in a dainty china cup and a signature Empress scone. That may not satisfy your appetite, so head downtown where all of the best restaurants are. Recently I read that Victoria has the second most restaurants per capita than any other city on North America! Aren’t you glad you worked up such an appetite? After lunch, downtown is the perfect place to get some shopping in.
The outdoor enthusiast will find this relatively small island to be packed full of fun outdoor activities. You simply cannot come here without seeing the natural beauty of Butchart Gardens. With almost one million people visiting every year, this is truly the Gem of Victoria. A short 5 minute drive will take you to the Victoria Butterfly Gardens. Here butterfly, red eared slider turtle and flamingo co exist is an indoor, man-made Caribbean paradise.
If Golf is your passion you will not be disappointed with over 7 beautifully landscaped courses, some overlooking the inner bay. Right from the pier you can join a fishing charter, sail around the bay for some whale watching or even climb aboard a sea plane and tour the island. If a thrilling adventure is what you seek, check into a zip line adventure tour. It’s sure to get your heart racing.
As each exciting day comes to a close you will probably be anxious to retire to one of Victoria’s many hotels. One very popular hotel is Abigail’s Hotel. It’s just a short walk to the Harbour. This hotel is a 1930’s mansion and is unique down to every last detail. There are only 23 rooms in this exclusive hotel so make your reservations early. If you seek something more traditional, try Harbour Towers or the Victoria Regent. You will not be disappointed with all that Victoria has to offer, so what are you waiting for?