Experience the charm of Victoria

Visit Vancouver Island’s favourite city ~ Victoria, British Columbia’s capital

The Empress Hotel and Victoria's Inner Harbour
The Empress Hotel and Victoria’s Inner Harbour

An adventure awaits you across the water on Southern Vancouver Island, a year round destination for those seeking a mild temperate climate, majestic views, unparalleled beauty, unlimited outdoor adventure, lush old-growth forests, a diversified and rich history and friendly people.  Let the journey begin as you board a ferry at Tsawwassen (pronounced Ta-was-en or Sa-wa-sen depending on who you ask) on the west coast of British Columbia’s mainland. 



The inviting pulse of the city can be felt the moment you arrive and the excitement increases as you find yourself surrounded by the old English charm of the Fairmont Empress Hotel, the Legislative Buildings, preserved historic homes, inviting pubs, beautiful shops and a vibrant Inner Harbour – all blended with modern influences.

By getting settled in a campground or resort before heading into the busy downtown area you’ll avoid the congestion of double-decker buses, horse drawn carriages and  fascinated pedestrians who stroll the streets and walkways in the main area of the city.  Explore the city on foot; by bicycle or let one of the eager pedicab drivers show you some of the highlights of the city including where the best restaurants are for an appetizing meal.

Victoria is a cyclist’s dream and by following the Seaside Cycling Route you will gain an immense appreciation for the Inner Harbour, Fisherman’s Wharf, Cordova Bay, Mount Douglas Park and the neighbourhoods of Oak Bay and Uplands.  Follow the Galloping Goose Trail from downtown towards the BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay and enjoy the scenery of the parks, farms and communities along the way.2012_Aug Madrona (43)

There’s more to see here than just the fabulous downtown area  so make sure you visit the Visitor Information Centre for directions and information on the Craigdarroch Castle, Butchart Gardens and the many museums and art galleries.  Sign up for an exciting whale watching tour or get to know the local marine life by diving at Ogden Point Breakwater or the Race Rocks Underwater Marine Park.

Yes, cycling is extremely popular in Victoria but so is golfing.  The mild climate has provided an opportunity for avid golfers to swing their clubs year round on some of the most picturesque courses on the island.

After the hustle and bustle of Victoria it will be nice to relax and enjoy the scenery of the tree-lined Malahat Drive leading you north towards even more adventures.  The spectacular views of the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands seen from the viewpoints along the way create some memorable photo opportunities.

The fresh local produce found in the farmers markets, glass blowing artisans and the perfect greens on the golf courses along the way will definitely entice you off the highway.

. Sample the latest vintage from one of the many wineries found on the Saanich Peninsula and along the wine route towards the Cowichan area. Tour one of the farm wineries and learn more about the growing of grapes and wine making before you reach the home of the murals, Chemainus.IMG_0101

Next week we will visit Chemainus, the town of murals.

Happy travels,

Carol Ann

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