Make Your Way to Charming Victoria

Simone Paget Victoria

My friend Simone, taking me on a walking tour of her neighborhood in Victoria.

When my friend Simone left the cosmopolitan city of Toronto to move back home to adorable Victoria, I knew I had to visit as soon as I could. Simone is the funniest writer I know, covering all topics related to men and dating, like this hilarious “review” of bad online dating profiles. In fact, we spend so much time gossiping about bad dates, time flew by without my writing about our trip. Now it’s March. And here in California, my dog walk has become overcome with blooming flowers – spring is here! It’s reminded me of last summer, when it was still warm up in Vancouver and Victoria. So it is finally time to share! I know that the quaint town will charm you as much as it did me.

The easiest way to get to Victoria, which is on Vancouver Island off the coast of B.C. and just north of Seattle,  is by ferry from the Vancouver airport. It was super-easy – and gorgeous. We were there in about an hour. The sun felt so great.

Victoria ferry

Take the ferry straight to Victoria from the Vancouver airport.

Our first stop was the world-famous Fairmont Express, which has been serving tea to royals, movie stars and other VIPs every afternoon since the hotel opened in 1908. We skipped tea service and instead went right for the signature Empress 1908 cocktail, made with tea – of course! The concoction mixes lemon, egg white, and Empress Blend 1908 tea-infused vodka. Delicious.

Victoria Fairmont Outside

The majestic Fairmont Empress has lorded over Victoria since 1908.

Victoria Fairmont Express

The Fairmont Express has long been rumored to be haunted by ghosts.

 

We spent a day strolling through Victoria. It was such a breath of fresh air, as different from the neon lights of Vegas as you could get.

Victoria Downtown

Little Hat Shop

 

My favorite part of our walking tour was Chinatown, especially the organic tea store and spa, Silk Road. I bought all kinds of tea-based goodies!

Silk Road

Silk Road Victoria

 

The heart of Victoria’s Chinatown is a maze of narrow alleyways, lined with knickknacks for sale and even the odd musician.

Chinatown Victoria

Chinatown alley

Scarves

 

And then, of course, there’s Victoria’s famous Harbour. And we all know I’m a sucker for any town that’s right on the water.

Victoria Harbor

Victoria boats

You must make your way to charming Victoria – it was the perfect escape!

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I'm a life-long travel junkie journalist who works hard to find adventure in everyday life after two years of travel and expat living.

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Comments

  1. Now this looks like you had a great time!

    I still have to visit Canada. I was planning on doing so this year but seems like I will do it in 2015 and will try to not miss Victoria! 🙂

  2. Even though I still haven’t met her, if I were going to Victoria, Simone’s the one I’d want showing me around.

  3. You two DO need to meet!! And you would love her online dating material lol

  4. I love this! I almost forgot about that photo of me & the sunflowers. Can you email me a copy, pretty please? 🙂

    I’m so glad that you got a chance to show you around my hometown. Next time you visit, we need to rent a car so we can hit up some of the beaches & surrounding areas. I feel bad that the “coastal drive” my Dad took us on was mostly done in complete darkness.

    BTW, I would love to meet you Ayngelina! If you ever come to Victoria, I’d be more than happy to show you all the sights!!

  5. I love Victoria. I was there last summer, and it’s such a nice and walkable city. There’s some great restaurants I love going to when I’m there.

  6. Sent, Simone! More Victoria photos coming soon, too. We had SO much fun!

    Alouise, I remember when you took your trip!!

  7. Ferry from Vancouver Airport? Not exactly… however, it is easy transportation from the Airport to the ferry terminal.

  8. Yes, you’re right that the ferry doesn’t leave right from the airport. But I bought my ticket there and boarded the shuttle with everyone else going to the ferry. Seemed pretty direct to me!

  9. Victoria is one of my favorite cities to visit. 🙂 Especially in mid-summer during the fantastic but small Shakespeare festival. 🙂

  10. Abby, glad you loved Victoria! I’m from Vancouver Island and I recommend (if you get the chance) to explore further north next time 🙂

  11. Why is it that every time I go to Victoria, I don’t find anything too interesting? I remember only lots of tourist shops and over priced restaurants. I think I just need a better tour guide. I did appreciate the capital building tour, however, as I found it to be very beautiful.

  12. Oh, ghosts at the Fairmont Expresss! I’d like to hear more about that. Would like to stay there as long as I didn’t actually encounter one. I’ve only briefly gotten a glimpse of Victoria after taking a ferry from Vancouver and the driving to a resort on the island. Looks like an absolutely lovely town.c

  13. Victoria is beautiful. Very colorful and charming. I love all of the information and the photos. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Sure you two had a wonderful time together! Went to Victoria with my folks the summer before my mom passed. It’s such a beautiful town! xoxo to you and Simone

  15. I’ve only been to Victoria once very briefly, but I definitely get the impression it’s somewhere I’d enjoy spending a few days. Looks like a fun trip!

  16. Victoria does look charming! I love anything tea, so sounds like the perfect escape for me.

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