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A weekend in Victoria, British Columbia

A weekend in Victoria, British Columbia
A weekend in Victoria, British Columbia

It is finally August. I can hear a collective groan from anyone still in school or in the northern states where our summers are brief and fleeting, but I get my husband back soon y’all. I can’t wait for summer to be over this year.

I’ve been stay as busy as possible lately to help the days fly by. From weekend trips to reconnecting with good friends to a healthy mix of both. Just over a week ago for my best friend’s 25th birthday – three of us gals went to Victoria, British Columbia for an epic girl’s weekend to celebrate.

Victoria is a gorgeous, modern city at the tip of Vancouver Island with trendy restaurants, adorable shops, and a European flair. I already am hoping The Mr. would be up to revisit in the fall because there was so much I didn’t get to see in our two-and-half days there.

 

Travel

 

This city is in Canada, so make sure you have a passport.

As mentioned above, Victoria is on an island. The only way to get there is by way of water or by air. Commercial flights, sea planes, cruises, or ferries. Technically, you can “drive” if you’re willing to “drive” your vehicle on to a ferry. Coming from the Tacoma, Washington area – it made the most sense for us to take the Coho ferry line out of Port Angeles, Washington. We drove from Tacoma to Port Angeles, found a lot to park our car, and then walked on.

This was also the most inexpensive method. $18.50 one way, or $37.00 round trip.

 

The ferry has beer and wine, so feel free to start your weekend right once you board with a nice plastic cup of bubbly. The ferry ride takes about 90 minutes. It drops you off right in downtown Victoria at the bustling waterfront.

 

Accommodations

 

If you’re not using Airbnb yet, please do yourself a favor and make an account. More often than not, Airbnb saves money and gives you a more authentic experience wherever you’re travelling. Marko’s 3rd floor apartment in Victoria’s Old Town was the perfect place for our girl’s weekend.

  • – Restaurants, shops, bars, and breakfast joints lined the street the apartment was on and we could see the entrance to Fan Tan Alley from our window.
  • – Marko was also the most accommodating host. Our ferry got in earlier than check in time and on our day of departure left later than check out time, and he allowed us to use the apartment as long as needed on both ends.
  • – The apartment was spacious and perfect for 3 (or 4) of us with two in the bed and one on the full pullout futon.
  • – Full kitchen and bathroom, etc.
  • – I’d recommend it for the location alone. Very easy, safe walk home after enjoying the nightlife in Victoria.

 

To Do

 

  1. Visit British Columbia’s Parliament building 

The building and grounds of Parliament are so beautiful, it’s worth at least walking around and snapping a few photos. The three of us wanted to know more about the history, so we did the free guided tour as well. The inside of the building is stunning. Not a single ornate detail was missed in the architecture or artistry of this building. Definitely worth the 40 minute tour.

 

 

 

2. Check out the Empress (and indulge in high tea if you’re feeling fancy) 

The Empress is one of the most beautiful hotels I’ve ever seen a part from maybe The Plaza in New York City. It also comes with a hefty price tag for both its rooms and its Afternoon Tea. We opted to not do tea here. It was $75 a person. I’m sure it’s more than worth it, but we were eating out for every meal and getting drinks all weekend so we opted to save money with a different, cheaper tea room (see below!).

 

3. Or save money and do High Tea at the Venus Sophia Tea Room instead 

The Venus Sophia Tea Room is located in Victoria’s China Town and it was ADORABLE. We did the afternoon/high tea.

 

4. Check out China Town and Fan Tan Alley 

So many little fun restaurants and shops in Victoria’s China Town and Fan Tan alley

 

 

5. Explore the shops along Government Street (& maybe grab a drink at a pub like Irish Times)

 

6. See Parliament at night

 

7. Take a water taxi to Fisherman’s Wharf and explore the cute water homes/restaurants 

 

To Eat 

 

Victoria’s food scene is unreal. It has the second highest restaurants per capita in North America (after San Francisco). My recommendations are simply based off where we went. There were plenty of places we couldn’t get seats or walked by and wished we weren’t so damn full. This is in the order I was the most excited about the food and/or drinks:

  1. Veneto Tapas Lounge (Get the duck poutine & ask the waitress for a cocktail recommendation)
  2. Mo:Lé
  3. 10 Acres Commons (The bartenders here were extra lively, and generous with their pours. Tread carefully.)
  4. Jackson’s Ice Cream Float 
  5. Milestones Bar & Grill
  6. Irish Times Pub
  7. El Furniture Warehouse
  8. Little Jumbo Restaurant & Bar
  9. The Drake
  10. Darcy’s Pub

 

The birthday girl enjoying a beer at The Drake (on the same street as our Airbnb!)

 

And of course, we ordered poutine as often as possible.

 

Overall

 

10/10 recommend a weekend trip to Victoria if you have any interest in food, a trendy urban waterfront city, or want a little taste of Britain. It was such a fun weekend.

Anything I’d do differently?

  • – Bring a roller bag for your luggage because unless you’re staying at the Empress, you’ll be walking along the streets to/from your hotel with that duffel on your shoulder.
  • – Maybe take some time to check out the British Royal Museum or rent kayaks or paddle boards. These suggestions come down to timing and company.
  • – Finally, I would not recommend drinking so much rosé your last night out, you spend the last day in your Airbnb glued to the couch or toilet until you have to ride a ferry back home 🙂

 

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste it, to experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt”

 

Until next trip,

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