Earlier this month, my boyfriend and I took a weeklong trip to British Columbia. This was our first ever visit to the province, and we were so excited to explore a brand new place (especially one we’d heard such amazing things about!). After some research, we decided to spend a total of six nights in Vancouver and one night in Victoria in the middle of the trip.
Victoria is BC’s capital, located on the southern end of Vancouver Island – meaning we had to take a ferry across from Vancouver to get to the city. We ended up renting a car which we brought with us on the hour and thirty minute long journey (you park it on the lower deck and then are free to explore the boat which includes a restaurant, shops and free wifi). The ride ended up being super scenic, and was definitely a highlight of the trip!
Once we made it to Victoria we checked into our room at Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites*, a locally owned and operated hotel located conveniently in the heart of downtown Victoria. We stayed in one of the property’s One-Bedroom Suites, which included a king sized bed, living room area and kitchenette.
My favourite part of the room definitely had to be the cute little walk-out balcony, which had an amazing view of downtown Victoria, including the British Columbia Parliament Buildings which are beautifully lit up and night.
One of the things I noticed while visiting BC is that many of the restaurants do awesome Happy Hour specials (which are harder to come by in Toronto). The hotel is home to a beautiful rooftop restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner called Vista 18 Westcoast Grill & Wine Bar, which has breath-taking views of the city. After a quick rest, we made it just in time for the end of the restaurant’s Happy Hour, which featured 2 for 1 Small Bites as well as affordable beer and wine options.
We split sliders and shrimp, which were both tasty and a great value.
The hotel also has a bar located in the lobby – Clive’s Classic Lounge – that serves up delicious cocktails as well as their own yummy menu of apps, charcuterie and more.
After spending some time exploring the harbour and streets of Victoria (which were full of tons of cute locally owned shops!) we decided to call it an early night and returned to our suite for some quality time relaxing on the couch and watching TV. Overall we were very happy with our stay at Chateau Victoria – the staff were friendly and accommodating, the room was spacious and comfortable, and the location couldn’t be beat! Even though we had the car, we ended up doing most of our exploring by foot as everything was within walking distance.
After check out the next morning, we headed to John’s Place for breakfast – a local favourite that’s been around for over 30 years, which I highly recommend! We then headed to the Royal British Columbia Museum to check out the exhibits – another must-see in the city – before hopping on the ferry back to Vancouver.
Victoria ended up being one of my favourite parts of our trip! Vancouver Island is full of natural beauty and is actually a lot bigger than it seemed on a map, so I’d love to return to spend a week dedicated to exploring more cities on the island. Two days in Victoria was enough time for us to feel like we saw enough of the city before leaving, but three days would have been perfect to have the chance to check off a few things we didn’t get around to – tea at the Fairmont Empress, whale watching and Butchart gardens (a perfect excuse to return!).
*Thank you to Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites for hosting us during our stay.