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Planning a trip to the beautiful Victoria, British Columbia? There are plenty of things to do and see as well as many great places to eat!
1. Royal BC Museum: Full of Beautiful British Columbia history, this museum takes you back through thousands of years of British Columbia’s diverse ecosystems and human development. Great for kids and rainy days.
2. Fisherman’s Wharf: A short walk from the Inner Harbour, Fisherman’s Wharf is a community of floating houses (yes, floating house, not houseboats) of all types and colours. Wander up and down the rows, admire the view from the end of the dock, but be sure to respect the residents’ privacy and not peer into their windows: these are their homes as well as structural marvels. Keep an eye out for the harbour seals, too, that frequent this area!
3. Craigdarroch Castle: Built by Scottish immigrant Robert Dunsmuir, a This four floor “castle” has 39 rooms a stunning view of the Inner Harbour. An opulent venue, Victoria’s castle is full of ornate late-1800s furniture and detail.
4. The Patch and Lyle’s Place: Located within a block of each other, these stores each, respectively, carry the best of vintage clothing and records. It’s worth spending a while sifting through their wares without something specific in mind, because you never know what treasures you’ll find.
5. Mount Douglas Park: Better known to many locals as Mount Doug, this park is the perfect spot for a gentle hike or a strenuous walk, depending on your perspective. There’s different trails you can take, winding up and around, of varying degrees of difficulty. The view of Victoria when you reach the top is spectacular, and even though you’re still so close to the city, you can disappear into the forest for a real getaway.
1. Jam Cafe: Hands down the best brunch I’ve had in my entire life. We arrived mid-morning and had to wait 30 minutes for a table, but it was so worth it. My group tried the Pulled Pork Pancakes, The Old Town Breakfast, and the Green Eggs and Ham. All were delicious, though I doubt you could do wrong with anything on their menu.
2. Beacon Hill Drive-In: For dessert (or any time, really) head over to the Beacon Hill Drive-In for a generous cone of their fantastic soft-serve ice cream. It’s so good I’ve even had it in the middle of winter (which, though relatively mild in Victoria, gets damp and chilly!)
3. Pagliacci’s: The best Italian food you’ll find outside of Italy. That might not be totally true, but it’s still damn good. They open at 5:30 pm, but seating starts as early as 5 pm. A line will start forming shortly thereafter and you’ll end up waiting over 45 minutes for a table. They are located in alley that’s easy to miss so head there early to make sure you can find it. The foccacia bread is unparalleled and the sangria isn’t too bad either.
4. ReBar Modern Food: With a tagline like, “eat really well,” how could you go wrong? ReBar is a vegetarian restaurant that also serves hot and cold juice,wine, and beer. Plus, they blog about their fabulous food, juices, and pumpkin spice latte (made with real pumpkin puree!).
5. Spoons Diner: Truthfully, I always order the same thing from Spoons (the Centennial Park Hash) because it’s so amazing, but I’ve heard wonderful things about the rest of the menu from friends. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the Prusa: you spend $12, indicate whether you want something sweet or savoury, breakfast or lunch, vegetarian or carnivorous, and let the kitchen work their magic. I once went with a large group of friends, about half a dozen of whom ordered the Prusa, and they each got something entirely different and delicious!
Photos courtesy Nicole Booz. Photos cannot be used or reproduced without express permission from the owner.
Have any travel tips for Victoria? Share your secrets below!