Happy Friday everyone and welcome back! Today’s post is all about Victoria, BC! One of the things I love most about living in Vancouver is being relatively close to so many amazing weekend getaway destinations! Seattle, Portland, Vernon and Whistler are just a few of my faves. Not to mention all of the beautiful and serene locations on Vancouver Island! Earlier this month, my husband Rory and I headed over to Victoria for a weekend away. It had been way too long since I was last there and I forgot how lovely Victoria is! If you’re planning a visit, here’s your guide on how to spend a weekend in Victoria!
How to Get There
We hopped on the ferry from Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal and headed over to Swartz Bay. It’s about an hour and a half sailing to Swartz Bay, Vancouver Island. Once you arrive, it’s about a 30 minute drive from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal into Downtown Victoria. If you’re pressed for time, Helijet is also an option. It’s a quick 30 minute helicopter ride into Victoria from Canada Place, downtown Vancouver. I flew with Helijet a few years ago and it was so convenient! You’ll see stunning views of Vancouver and Vancouver Island on your way over. This time, we opted for BC Ferries (I love the ferry!). We planned on doing some exploring around Vancouver Island and wanted to have our car with us.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the DoubleTree hotel by Hilton in Downtown Victoria. The location was perfect! It’s in a very central area; two blocks away from the waterfront and the Parliament buildings and also close to Beacon Hill Park. The rooms at the DoubleTree were clean and modern and their customer service was fabulous. We really loved how accommodating they were. The check in for our room was around 4:00pm and we arrived waayyy earlier than that, at around 10am (oops!). The concierge was able to find a room for us immediately with no hassle at all. I haven’t always had that same experience at other hotels! Bonus: they serve a delicious cookie when you check in!
There are a bunch of restaurant options close to the hotel, including Browns Socialhouse, Cactus Club and Cora, which are all about a 5 minute walk away. On Friday night, we made reservations at Agrius on Yates Street. Thank you so much @dannibinning for the awesome recommendation! This restaurant was amazing and I highly highly recommend it! The atmosphere was perfect for a date night with dim lighting and cozy tables. Our meals were so delicious and oh man the dessert! It was the most unique dessert I’d ever had! You guys have to check out Agrius on your next trip to Victoria!
Where to Grab a Treat
Agrius also has an amazing bakery attached to it called Fol Epi. This is also worth a visit and we came back here on Saturday morning for a treat. I love bakeries (if you have any bakery recommendations please let me know!) so we had to try this one out. It did not disappoint! We shared an eclair and it was delicious.
If you’re a Starbucks fan, there weren’t too many in downtown Victoria. I was kind of surprised! We did find one that’s directly across the entrance to Chinatown, on Government at Fisgard Street. Another great place for coffee downtown is Hey Happy on Johnson Street.
What to See and Do
Downtown Victoria is extremely walkable! If you plan to stay around the area, some of the must see spots include Beacon Hill Park, Chinatown (including Fan Tan Alley), Victoria Public Market, Harbourfront and the Parliament buildings. The Empress hotel also does a fabulous high tea!
If you’re mobile and feel like exploring around Vancouver Island, I highly recommend checking out Goldstream Provincial Park. It’s about a 30 minute drive from downtown and it’s a gorgeous park with tons of picnic areas and walking/hiking trails to explore. We did the hike up to Goldstream Trestle for a bit of a different view. You can read my full post of the Goldstream Trestle hike here. We also drove out to Mystic Beach, which is near Sooke, BC. It’s such a beautiful beach (with a fun rope swing!) that’s part of the Juan de Fuca hiking trail. It’s about a 45 minute hike to get to the beach but it’s totally worth a visit. You can read my full post on Mystic Beach here.
If you followed my Instastory, then you probably saw all of our Victoria adventures as they happened! If you have any other recommendations for Victoria, please let me know in the comments below!
Thank you so much for reading! Hopefully you found this post helpful! I’m always happy to answer any of your questions so please feel free to leave any in the comments below. Have a great weekend! xoxo Candice