I don’t know about you guys but February is the month I start to plan my escape! Small weekend getaways to tie me over until the warmer months. Coming from the mainland, we have so many options for weekend escapes that don’t require a ferry it’s easy to discount the notion of Vancouver Island all together but I wanted to share with you my most recent experience and a few absolute must-do recommendations!
I wanted to take the Helijet over to Victoria for a few different reasons—for those living in the city, it cuts the commute time by ten-fold. You don’t need to start your journey facing the Massey tunnel en route to Tsawwassen, or the Lion’s Gate heading over to Horseshoe Bay—you can leave directly from the downtown core. Talk about convenient! Plus, you get a breathtaking view of the straight of Georgia as you fly over it. Not a bad way to kick off a romantic getaway. The downside? Extreme weather can derail you much more quickly than it can when you rely on the ferry! Unfortunately for us, a snowstorm had us canceling our flight and taking the Tsawwassen Ferry. If you have a busy schedule, it’s worth the $15 to reserve your ferry in advance. For me, it’s nice knowing I have to show up 30 minutes early rather than crossing my fingers and hoping I get on!
After a scenic ride and a short drive, we arrived in Victoria! Victoria boasts beautiful hotels and plenty of accommodations. We opted to stay at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort. It’s a stunning, newly renovated hotel with exceptional views of the city and the harbour! The staff were incredibly welcoming and offered us plenty of recommendations for restaurants, tours and must-see sights. The concierge even booked us a table at Nourish.
I’m always a bit nervous when I eat out because it’s so easy to get off-track with nutrition or specific diets—especially when you’re on vacation. I was pleasantly surprised when we walked into Nourish—the décor was so inviting, relaxing and they had plenty of healthy choices that I didn’t feel I was compromising taste. The wait staff offered amazing wine pairings and suggestions. We were spoiled!
After dinner we walked over to Bard and Banker. I had heard so many amazing things about this place and was eager to check it out for myself. We walked in and the ambiance/atmosphere immediately transported us to a London pub. We had a blast! We sipped inventive cocktails and danced the night away. The place was packed—definitely a place to be. I can’t wait to go back!
We woke up Saturday morning and headed over to Milestones. As much as I enjoy trying new restaurants, I was really craving their avocado eggs benny. What can I say, I’m a girl who knows what I want! After brunch we walked around, popping into shops and made our way to the Venus Sophia Tea Room. It’s a beautiful experience in Chinatown! We enjoyed teas from their Signature Collection and indulged in a bite or two of their cheesecake.
We worked off our treats with a walk through Butchart Gardens. I hadn’t been in the winter before but they light up the 130-acre estate with thousands of coloured lights. It was gorgeous and incredibly romantic! I could have wandered the gardens for hours!
Afterwards, we walked to down to Zambri’s for a romantic dinner and enjoyed a lovely Italian meal of penna alla vodka. A recipe I will surely be trying to recreate for upcoming dinner guests!
Happy and full of pasta, we retreated to our hotel to enjoying the service at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort so we could wake up early to make the most of our time in Victoria before heading back to the mainland.
We started our final day off with an excellent farm to table breakfast at OLO and we hit the local shops in search of some fresh finds! I was expecting to see many ‘touristy’ type shops that we’d pop in and out of but was pleasantly surprised when we came across local gems like Heart and Sole Shoes, Still Life and Sitka. With the hull we brought home, it was probably a good thing we had the vehicle!
We caught the 5pm Ferry back to the mainland and were back in the city, unpacked and set for Monday by 9pm! This was such an incredible trip and really made me realize how much Victoria had to offer. We barely scratched the surface! I can’t wait to visit again!
Were my recommendations helpful? What is your favourite thing to do in Victoria? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!!!
Images provided by Tourism Victoria
Thank you to Tourism Victoria for sponsoring this post. All comments and opinions are my own.