The Most Romantic City in Canada just happens to be our Province’s capital, with harbour views, history, and classic British charm mixed with the latest art and culinary trends. John and I visit Victoria at least once a year and our most recent trip across the Salish Sea on the ferry was in honour of our anniversary. I originally wanted to call this piece the “5 Most Romantic Places” in Victoria but then I realized that my idea of romance (like an afternoon at a museum) might not be the same as everyone else’s. And so, I have simply come up with my Top 5 Reasons to Love Victoria:
Feeding Your Brain
I absolutely love history and Victoria is the perfect place for me to feed any craving I might have for old-timey knowledge. The Royal BC Museum is hands down my favourite museum in BC (with the exception of the Museum of Anthropology, and the Museum of Vancouver… ok I have a lot of favourite museums). Its permanent collections are always great to explore, especially since we don’t get to town very often, and I enjoy the refresher when the revisit the galleries. The temporary exhibits, like the current wildlife photography exhibition (on until April 6, 2014) are always fascinating as well.
On our most recent trip we took a stroll through St. Ann’s Academy and Walking Tours of Victoria are always fun as well. I’m a sucker for the Ghostly Walks which not only provide great local history but can be rather spine-tingling.
Our friend Steff is the master of the gloriously stunning sunset photography in Victoria — and she does most of it with her iPhone. Her photos are so great that she’s this week’s “guestgrammer” on Tourism BC’s Instagram account.
Steff shared some of her favourite lookout points with us on our recent trip that include the Beacon Hill Park lookout, Ogden Point Breakwater, Clover Point, Kitty Islet, and a few more hidden gems.
We also discovered the amazingly crispy views of Mount Baker from Uplands Park and Cattle Point on our last trip.
Breakfast at Jam Cafe, Afternoon Tea at The Empress, tacos at Fisherman’s Wharf, dinner with beer pairing at Spinnakers. This is just one of many combinations as you choose from Neapolitan-style pizza joints, oyster bars, brewpubs, and speakeasy-style bars with wickedly creative cocktail creations.
There is a lovely variety of dining options in Victoria that ranges from red velvet pancakes to local lamb, steamed mussels, and everything in between served with local craft beer or Vancouver Island wine.
As with the dining options, there is a wide array of accommodations available in the city as well. We’ve stayed at big hotels, boutique hotels, historic hotels, and delightful heritage B&Bs.
Each offers their own charm, features, and amenities, but the best part is that almost all of them are within walking distance of Victoria’s best attractions.
Tourism Victoria is on the ball, with seasonal promotions like Dine Around and Stay in Town and Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown. The latter was always something we did during my family’s annual girls’ weekend in Victoria.
Even though we were from Vancouver the kind visitor centre staff would let us purchase some booklets to enjoy a selection of Victoria’s sights. A hop-on/hop-off bus tour around town that let us off at Craigdarroch Castle, a trip to Miniature World, and even discounted admission to the Royal BC Museum.
I could go on. I could mention the scenic coastal cruise that you take to get to Vancouver Island (aka BC Ferries) as it winds you through the Gulf Islands. I could also mention the people of Victoria who are eclectic, caring, curious, creative, and also pretty fun. I’ll leave the rest for you to explore on your own and I highly recommend checking out specific events, which give you yet another excuse to get over to Victoria.
Upcoming highlights include the Victoria Beer Festival, the 20th Annual Victoria Ska Festival, the annual Kite Festival, the Highland Games and Celtic Festival, and much more. Follow Tourism Victoria on Twitter to learn more about the latest promotions, campaigns, and to gather ideas for your next visit.