Victoria, British Columbia

Beautiful view of Inner Harbour of Victoria, B.C., Canada

Beautiful view of Inner Harbour of Victoria, B.C., Canada

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to Victoria, British Columbia.  Have you been?

Victoria is a beautiful little city, sitting right on the harbor and there is so much to do.

I have been to Victoria twice in the last 6 month’s and find something new with each visit.

sunken gardens, butchart gardens

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria is known for Butchart Gardens and honestly everyone needs to visit the gardens at least once.

The gardens are set on what use to be a cement factory and quarry when Jennie Butchart created these stunning gardens over the quarry.  They change with the season and are a must do when in Victoria.

http://www.butchartgardens.com/

An informative and fun way to get an overview on the city is to take a Hop On, Hop Off bus tour.  I use to not be a fan of these and I can’t tell you why, but now I try to take them in every city.  They are not only informative, but allow you to get on and off at your leisure and you get a great overview and history of the city.  There are two companies that operate in Victoria, Gray Line Tours and the Big Bus Victoria.

http://www.bigbusvictoria.com/web/
http://sightseeingvictoria.com/

There are flightseeing opportunities from the harbor in a float plane if that is on your bucket list.  If you are looking to get out on the water, these adorable little boats cruise the harbor not only as taxi’s, but they offer a harbor tour and a gorge tour.

Floating Home Village Water Taxis Inner Harbor Victoria

 

 

 

 

 

http://www.victoriaharbourferry.com/

Maybe you just want to stroll through town, it is beautiful, you will find great restaurants and cafe’s, along with a few pubs. Chinatown is small but fascinating.

I highly recommend the Royal B.C. Museum.  You could easily spend a day in the museum and want another day.  There is so much history in exquisite galleries and exhibits in this gem.  The museum also offers an IMAX theater, along with a restaurant for your convenience.  Included in the ticket price is a 1 hour tour.  Take it, you will get a very informative tour guide who will walk you around the museum telling you about each gallery, history of Victoria and the First People.  This is a great activity if you are traveling with kids.

http://royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/

The High Tea at the Empress Hotel is another must do.  This has been on my list for the longest time and my last trip I was with a girlfriend, so we decided to make reservations and go since the men in our lives would do it, but wouldn’t love it.  It was such a fun experience and well worth the money.

The tea room and the entire hotel will take you back in time, it is gorgeous and full of history.  Seated at a table near the window with a view of the harbor, the server brings fresh berries, tea and then a tiered tray of tea sandwiches, scones, jam and cream and tiny pastries that leave you longing for more.  Don’t miss it.  Reservations can be made directly online, open table and if you are arriving by cruise line, many will offer this option as an excursion.

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Tea Room

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One last fun thing to do is wander through the Waterfront Village, or Fisherman’s Village.  There are floating homes, with little shops mixed in between and eateries.  Don’t miss it!

If you are arriving by cruise ship and aren’t taking an excursion or tour directly from the ship, there are several ways to get yourself into town.  Walk, it is about 2 to 3 miles into town, and the walk will take you through neighborhoods and along the waterfront.

There will be Pedicabs at the ship.  The pedicabs will take you through neighborhoods and along James Bay and in 2015, the rates to get into town from the ship were $18 to $20 per pedicab.  You will find shuttle buses that will also take you and they currently are charging $10 to $12 round trip.

Until next time, travel safe.
Terri

 

Day Trippin’ around Vancouver BC

Vancouver really offers so many activities and adventures, so what do you want to do for the day?

Let’s start with Stanley Park, here you can find a bit of nature amidst the busy city.  The park is considered to be the “Crown Jewel” of Vancouver.  The park covers 1000 acres and you can find so many things to do.  First stop is the Vancouver Aquarium, there are over 50,000 animals here and offers visitors a chance to explore and learn.  There are over 17 miles of trails to walk and wander.  If you are a biker, rent a bicycle and pedal around the park and along the seawall for views of the harbor and city.

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Next stop, Granville Island, an urban oasis.  The island is an artists community offering waterfront restaurants, galleries, unique shops and the most amazing fresh food market you have ever seen.  If you are visiting in warm weather, rent a kayak and paddle around the island.

Shop, shop, shop ~ Vancouver has some great shopping.  The best shopping areas are the Robson and Burrard Streets.  They have high end shops as well as the smaller boutique stores.  When your feet have had enough, find Thierry’s on Alberni St.  This little boutique chocolaterie, patisserie and cafe is a peaceful spot to sit out on the patio, people watch and sip a latte.  The lattes are beautiful, you may be thinking how do you make a latte beautiful?  The Barista’s work really hard to add a delicate design in the cream, adding that special touch.  The freshly baked macaroons are a must to have with your latte.  They feature a special flavor of the day and they are simply scrumptious.

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Floatplane Victoria

 

Head to Victoria, it is such a quaint little town.  Go stroll through Butchart Gardens, the flowers will take your breath away, they are incredible.  Stop for High Tea at the Empress Hotel, or head to the Sticky Wicket Pub and Restaurant.  This is a fun and energetic pub where you can enjoy a cold beer, glass of wine and some appetizers.  If you happen to be at the pub when the Vancouver Canuck’s hockey team is playing, be prepared.  The place is loud, lively and so much fun.  They love their hockey teams.  Want an adventure to get to Victoria from Vancouver?  Hire a floatplane, it is so much fun.

Are you a foodie?  Vancouver is definitely a foodie destination.  There are several great food tours in the city.  The Original Vancouver Food Tour offers 3 different tours, they will take you through Gastown, visit the Molson Coors Canada plant, a Craft Beer n Bites tour will take you around the neighborhood sampling beer paired with food.  Taste Vancouver Walking Food Tours takes you to the off-the-beaten-path eateries and shops.

We have barely scratched the surface of what there is to do for a day in Vancouver.  The city truly is one that you need to visit.  I hope you love it as much as I do.