With our bags packed as light as possible, Griffin and I headed up north to Victoria, BC to spend a weekend eating everything in sight and enjoying a quick break from life. It’s been refreshing taking mini vacations once a month, it gives me something to look forward to and forces me to take a break from work once in awhile. Does anyone else do that? Luckily this place is a short ferry ride away, about 90 minutes, from Port Angeles. We like to drive up to see my parents first, then make the crossing. You can also catch the Clipper directly from Seattle.
What I love about Victoria is all the history right downtown and the ease of getting around. Want to get across the water to the wharf? Sure, take this scenic route or catch a water taxi! Want to see Beacon Hill Park? Catch a bus right on the main drag. It’s just easy and fun to be here. The weather was also stellar and my pale ass even got a little sun! We stayed at a great hotel and ate great food, which is all I ever ask for on a short vacation.
WHERE WE STAYED I have nothing but nice things to say about Hotel Zed! It was like visiting the Saguaro’s little sister, haha. I have no shame in admitting the main reason I picked this hotel was for its mid century vibe and bold colors. It’s rare to find something like this in the Northwest and I needed to check it out, obviously. It’s such an adorable retro hotel, located about 2 miles from downtown and totally affordable. They’re “shuttle” is a restored Volkswagen van, ha! It was fun getting to and from and the drivers were all so nice! They also had an awesome pool with a slide and a fun lounge area.
On our next trip I would love to stay at The Gatsby Mansion!
WHERE WE ATEIt was clear our trip turned into an eating tour about 1 hour after we arrived. Victoria has a plethora of restaurants, bars, ice cream shops and anything else you can think of. We wanted sushi, Chinese, gelato, fish and chips – ah! So much food! There were a few places we ate that were delicious!
Barb’s Fish & Chips – At Fisherman’s Wharf, there were a lot of different places to eat, but I immediately gravitated towards this place. They give you a large piece of fish deep fried in the best batter. So delicious.
Puerto Vallarta Amigos – Griffin had the fish tacos and they were the bomb. If I wasn’t full I would’ve gotten them too.
Shima Sushi – Loved this place, all the fish tasted super fresh and flavorful. We originally found this place after I snapped a bunch of pictures of the huge orca mural on the side of the building. Find the mural, find the sushi!
The Ruby – This was part of Hotel Zed and so we went for the breakfast menu. Great Eggs Benedict and Hash!
Pour – Great little coffee shop that also served Gelato. Try the Green Tea!
WHAT WE DIDFisherman’s Wharf – I loved hanging out down here! Even the scenic walkway from downtown was along the water. If you didn’t feel like walking, they have water taxis you can hop on! Besides the overwhelmingly enticing smells of delicious food, there are lots of brightly painted houseboats. Clearly this colorful corner of Victoria was my favorite.
Beacon Hill Park – Easily accessible by bus, this park is so much more than just a park. We saw peacocks roaming around freely and turtles stacked on top one another on a log in a shallow pond. The park itself is huge and so beautiful.
Royal BC Museum – I won’t lie, this was half interest and half getting out of the direct sunlight. I’m glad we went though, they currently have a woolly mammoth exhibit which was super interesting. I guess it doesn’t hurt to learn something once in awhile, right?
Chinatown – It’s the 2nd oldest Chinatown in North America, and although it’s pretty small, it’s packed with interesting shops and lots of restaurants! It’s also home to the Fan Tan Alley, the smallest alley in Canada measuring 35 inches!!
We were on the fence about doing one of the Seaplane tours. I really wanted to, but our goal for these trips is to keep it cheap and affordable. I don’t think that $109 a person would be keeping it cheap, haha.