Weekend getaway: There’s something for everyone in Victoria, B.C.

July 17, 2017

by Jennifer Foden

One of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest – with British settlement beginning in the mid-1800s – is none other than Victoria, B.C.’s capital city. The city’s age is part of its appeal: when you walk downtown and see the historic buildings lining the harbour – some dating back over 100 years – you see the charm of days gone by. Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island – just a hop, skip and a jump from Vancouver – Victoria has a much calmer pace, with only 85,000 people living in the city proper. The city’s size, charm and proximity to Vancouver make it the perfect weekend getaway for folks from the Lower Mainland and visitors, too. [Photo credit: Destination BC/Reuben Krabbe]

Weekend getaway: There’s something for everyone in Victoria, B.C.

Getting there

Victoria is easily accessible from Vancouver. Options to get you from harbour to harbour (a.k.a. downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria) include a quick 30-minute seaplane flight on Harbour Air or a three-and-a-half-hour scenic ferry ride via the brand new V2V.

You can also make the journey with the tried and tested B.C. Ferries (from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay) or on a flight from Vancouver to Victoria’s international airports (in Richmond and Sidney, respectively). However, keep in mind that both these options will require a 30 to 60-minute drive or transit ride to get to and from each city’s downtown.

Checking in

There are plenty of hotels in downtown Victoria to fit any budget and style. There’s everything from the architecturally stunning Fairmont Empress hotel built in 1908 to mid-range properties like the DoubleTree to more affordable options like Hotel Zed or the Best Western Carlton Plaza. If you’re travelling in the summer, be sure to book in advance.

What to do

Victoria may be small, but there is no shortage on things to do – there’s something for everyone. Foodies will enjoy exploring the city’s world-class restaurants – from Nourish Kitchen & Cafe and Little Jumbo to Agrius and more. Can’t decide on just one culinary destination? Check out A Taste of Victoria Food Tours, a two-hour walking tour where you’ll sample food and beer at eight of the city’s culinary hotspots – in Victoria Public Market, Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown and beyond.

If you’re looking a little adventure, Bike Tours Victoria offers fun, friendly bike tours of the city. Not a pro cyclist? Don’t fret – these tours go at an easy pace and are meant for everyone. If you’re looking to combine biking and food, Bike Tours Victoria offers that too. Want to spot whales? Check out Eagle Wing Tours. One of the more popular tours combines whale watching with history (of Songhees First Nation culture in Victoria).

There are also countless museums to keep you busy all weekend long! From the Royal BC Museum to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to Emily Carr House and more. All are family-friendly, too. Butchart Gardens is another popular attraction for visitors; however, keep in mind that it’s a 30-minute drive outside the city. If you’re looking for nature and gardens within walking distance from downtown, head over to the 200-acre Beacon Hill Park or the gardens at Government House (home of the lieutenant governor of B.C.).

From foodies to outdoor adventurers to families to museum buffs, there’s something for everyone on your weekend getaway to B.C.’s capital city. What are you going to do?

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