A few days in Victoria!
Victoria is on Vancouver Island, a short (1.5 hour) ferry trip from the mainland and really somewhere we should visit more often. So when my mom asked me if we’d like to join her on her work trip, I was quick to agree! Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and a beautiful place to visit anytime of year! It’s a nice break from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver as its smaller, charming, and quaint! We took the ferry over for a few days and really enjoyed our little adventure! My mom had a conference and some other work responsibilities, so Hudson and I had planned to meet up with my friend Nicole (who lives on the island) and her new baby boy!
Coffee for the ferry ride was a must! We also ate White Spot (A legendary BC restaurant that seems to have a monopoly on the BC Ferries). Once we arrived on the island, the first stop was the Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse.
We stopped here for the first time a few summers ago when Mark’s family was visiting from England. The cidery is located at a lovely spot overlooking the orchard and the sea. They also have tasty organic cider and I wanted to pick up a couple bottles to bring home to Mark (those English love their cider).
One of the many things I love about Victoria is the magnificent grandeur of the Fairmont Empress Hotel. It’s right in the middle of the harbour and surrounded with flowers and manicured lawns. It used to have a gorgeous ivy facade which they unfortunately recently removed. We stayed here on our last stay and loved it! Definitely a “must visit” when in Victoria, even for a day!
Our hotel was right on the harbour and we strolled it each morning. I couldn’t believe how quiet it was compared to Vancouver. Walking on the “sea wall” in Vancouver there are usually hords of people bike riding, roller blading, and sight seeing, Victoria is just so peaceful in comparison.
We grabbed breakfast one morning at this local vegan cafe that served up a great cup of coffee! It was across the street from Fisheman’s Village and a local fish shop where you can buy fresh fish caught from the local boat that morning! I’m a huge fan of Halibut and Sockeye Salmon – living on the West Coast we are pretty lucky in this department!
My friend Nicole lives at Fisherman’s Wharf – which is the cutest little community of dock-side house boats. These float homes draw in the busy summer and cruise ship crowds, but during out visit, it felt like mostly locals!
Nourish was a restaurant I couldn’t wait to try! It’s a 1888 Heritage home converted to a hip farm-to-table restaurant serving up local delights and delicious healthy food! I had Eggs Benedict served on roasted beets, kale, and heirloom squash! The hollandaise sauce was made from cashew and tumeric! It was so yummy!
Spring is a perfect time to visit Victoria! The flowers are in full bloom and beautiful cherry blossom and magnolia trees are everywhere! It feels like tulips are planted on every street corner downtown. If flowers or gardens are really your thing, you must head to “Buchart Gardens”! This world famous attraction is open all year long and close to the ferry terminal! We didn’t visit on this trip, but it’s a great activity if you haven’t been before.
They call this the Gatsby Mansion (isn’t it beautiful!). This heritage-like mansion is actually a restaurant / tea room, bed & breakfast, and inn located right on the harbour. There are so many charming spots to stay in Victoria and many love how the city has a British influence!
It was Hudson’s first time in Victoria although he had been to Vancouver Island before. I love traveling with him, even if its only a couple nights a few hours away. He enjoyed our long walks, dining out, and napping in the hotel room. What he didn’t enjoy so much was the long car ride when we drove from Victoria to Parksville on our last day to visit some family on the other side of the island.
I’ve never tried a cold brewed coffee before this visit to Victoria. Nicole took me to a great little coffee shop downtown called “Hey Happy”. It looks like a Guiness Beer, but it’s actually a cold brew!
We had fantastic weather during our visit to Victoria! It was great catching up with a friend and having our babies meet! We ate at a wonderful Italian restaurant, did some shopping, and just strolled around town.
I’ve never been inside our parliament buildings, but I would love to one day! The grounds are beautiful and they’re located on the inner harbour along with the Royal British Columbia Museum. Victoria has a great vibe! Loads of outdoor restaurants, cafe’s, and pictureque views of the water. Getting there is half the fun, and if you’re lucky you might even see a whale or two on the ferry!
Have you visited Victoria? What did you like about it?