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Appears in 3 Smart Lists

Editor’s Pick
A toast to Victoria’s best whiskey bars

A toast to Victoria’s best whiskey bars

The Strathcona Hotel is both a Victoria institution and a whiskey lover’s paradise. Depending on your mood, the giant building has a few different venues to try, ranging from the high-end business feel of The Clubhouse to the local pub vibe found at The Sticky Wicket. But for a truly unique Victorian experience, try Big Bad John’s. It may have the best whiskey selection of any self-described “hillbilly bar” in the world.

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High-flying hotel bars in Victoria

High-flying hotel bars in Victoria

Big Bad John’s in the Strathcona Hotel bills itself as an “authentic hillbilly bar.” Whatever it is, it’s worth a visit. The peanut shells on the floor, the bras hanging from the ceiling, the dollar bills on the wall, the jukebox and eclectic clientele all attest to its vibrant character. The food and drink is tasty but nothing fancy: It’s a beer and wings kind of place.

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Scenic patios with waterfront views in Victoria

Scenic patios with waterfront views in Victoria

Feel the sand between your toes at one of downtown Victoria’s most unique patios. At ground level, the downtown Strathcona Hotel houses a cricket-themed, British-style sports bar. But, climb several floors and you’ll be amazed to discover a massive rooftop patio, which is home to not one but two full-sized beach volleyball courts. Bring the kids, join in the sandy fun, and enjoy the picturesque views of the Inner Harbour. They also serve lunch and dinner, including Cajun chicken pizza, pulled pork tacos, and seafood chowder.

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