Weekend in Victoria BC
For our 6 year wedding anniversary we wanted to do something special and something exciting so we chose to go to Victoria BC for a weekend getaway. The adventure started as soon as we hopped on the Clipper for our sail to Victoria BC from Seattle.
We were lucky to sail through the Strait of Juan de Fuca with gorgeous weather and watch the beautiful topography of Washington and Canada out the front windows. This is the perfect way to get a true feel of the PNW, you will see bald eagles soaring overhead and if your lucky you may even see some killer whales surfacing. The sail on the Victoria Clipper was fast and really comfortable. Click here to book through Clipper Vacations (PS. upgrade to comfort class, its well worth it)
We have always said that where you stay in a city is a big part of the experience, this couldn’t be more true in Victoria BC. The iconic Fairmont Empress hotel isn’t just a place to lay your head, but it was the crown jewel that the Hudson Bay Company built the city around. Now everyone knows to come here for high-tea but not everyone knows that the hotel just underwent a $60 million remodel in 2017, modernizing the rooms and creating a category of its own in the world of contemporary opulence. They managed to preserve the history of the beautiful hotel while bringing it up to all the modern standards of the 21st century, this is not your grandmother’s hotel! Be sure to stay here while you’re in town, we did the romance package while here and were spoiled with relaxing spa treatments too. Click here to book
Check out the Willow Stream Spa while you are here, the treatments will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. We did a couple of the Salish Sea Vitality Body and Facial treatments and loved them. Click here to book
What to do in Victoria BC.
There is a lot more to Victoria BC than meets the eye is what we came to find out. There are tons of attractions and sights to see while you are here. We came out for 4 days and thought it would be enough to do everything we wanted to but could have easily stayed for a couple more. As soon as you land in Victoria be sure to head straight to the Tourism Victoria information center and they will get you set up with all the attractions we visited while you are there (that’s what we did).
1- High Tea at The Empress
This is a staple and something that everyone should try at least once. They offer you an assortment of teas to choose from (we recommend “Blue Suede Shoes” as one) and bring a tower of finger sandwiches and treats to snack on while you sip away. We loved the views of the harbor from here as well. Click here to make reservations.
2- Butchart Gardens
Anyone who has been to Victoria will tell you that visiting the Butchart Gardens is a must! They are absolutely beautiful grounds with lots of different gardens to explore. Click here to book
3- Gray Line Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
If you don’t already know the easiest way to discover any city while traveling is to first spend a couple of hours riding a “hop-on hop-off” tour bus. This is a great way to get your barrings of a city and know what you would like to come back and visit. It’s also a great way to get a quick history lesson about the the city. Click here to connect to Tourism Victoria for more details.
4- Victoria Food Tours
This was a super fun experience and a new one for us. We generally wander the streets looking for fun places to eat but having a food guide show us around was even more fun! We got to sample things at every stop until we were stuffed. Click here to book
5 -Fisherman’s Wharf
This is a fun little part of town that we had fun visiting. You can take a water taxi here or ride the Hop-on Hop-off bus here. When you arrive you will discover a cute, and very colorful little floating village, where you can shop for souvenirs and grab a bite to eat. We loved the bar-b-q pit here. Click here to connect to Tourism Victoria for more details.
Royal BC Museum
If you are a history buff and a bit nerdy like we are you are going to enjoy the Royal BC Museum. Egypt: The Time of the Pharaohs exhibit was in town while we were here and thought it was pretty cool. The exhibits are constantly changing so be sure to check out what they have in town while you are here. Click here to see what exhibit is currently in town.
Where to Eat in Victoria BC
This is a gem! We came to the Olo Restaurant for our anniversary dinner and really enjoyed the 5 course tasting menu! The food here was creative and tasty, and you can really tell that the chef/owner both loves what he does and takes pride in his restaurant. There is a fun, laid back atmosphere here and the food has a farm-to-table style to it. Be sure to book in advance and let them know we sent you, you won’t regret it! Click here to book.
Q at the Empress
As you would expect the food at The Empress is incredible! The Q Restaurant at the Fairmont Empress hotel is not a typical hotel restaurant. They harvest their own honey on site and work with local farmers, bakers and the best local artisans to get the best local ingredients for the delicious food they create. We ate at the Q a couple of times, once for breakfast (try the salmon- Eggs Benedict) and once for lunch (loved the duck wings and pizza) and didn’t leave anything on our plates. Click here to see all the options and make reservations.
Red Fish Blue Fish
We waited for nearly an hour in line to order, but it was well worth the wait!! Our two favorite things that we had were the salmon tacones and the delicious seafood chowder!
There are lots of other things we wanted to do but simply ran out of time. We will have to comeback for another visit to Victoria BC Soon!
We hope you love Victoria BC as much as we did!