For many years now we have been talking about having a quick Victoria weekend trip. So when we discovered that we both had a 4 day weekend, we decided to head to Victoria, British Columbia for a quick weekend getaway.
We took a 7:00 am flight out to Calgary and arrived in Victoria about 90 minutes later. Shortly after, we made our way to the Marriott where we were staying. Luckily, they had a room available for us. So, we were able to drop off our bags off.
Earlier in the week, we thought it would be best to have brunch reservations since we knew we were be early. After a little bit of research, we landed on Agrius. It had great reviews so, worth a try. Their brunch menu is classic with a twist and a focus on local organic ingredients. We highly recommend this place. Everything is made in house including their ketchup and hot sauce.
We spent the rest of the morning walking around downtown and exploring Chinatown, the oldest one in Canada. We were there at a good time because the cherry blossom trees were in bloom.
Victoria is known for its many breweries so we decided to check out a couple. Our first stop was Vancouver Island Brewing. We weren’t familiar with prior to our Victoria weekend. A little off the beaten path, but with good beer and very staff friendly you should stop by. Also, they have the cheapest beer that we have located in downtown Victoria.
Next up, Phillips Brewing. It’s probably the most well-known of the craft breweries in the area and is British Colombia’s biggest. We had tried some of their beers, but were excited to try some that are only available at their brewpub. If you ever get the chance, do try their Tiger Shark beer!
For dinner, we opted to check out Canoe Brewpub. Their location is fantastic, space very unique and they have arguably the best patio in Victoria. They also brew their own beer. Their menu has a good variety of food from sharing options to gourmet potions. There is something for everyone!
For breakfast we got up early to get in line for Jam Café. We had been to the Vancouver location last year and wanted to go to the Victoria location since it is the original one. Based on our experience in Vancouver, we left early to get in line early. We were there 30 minutes before opening and were the first in line. However, it wasn’t long before a line behind us was several dozens deep.
Just before 11 AM, we hopped on the bus to Butchart Gardens. It is truly an amazing place, especially for flower lovers. I left inspired and will step up my gardening game this summer. For more details about our visit, click here.
Once back downtown, we headed to Chuck’s Burger Bar for a late lunch. If you are looking for a good burger with lots of options, that’s the place! You can select from one of Chuck’s favorites or build your own. They have every topping that you could possible want.
While at Chuck’s, our server suggested that we check out Swans Brewery and Pub. It’s combo of hotel and brewpub conveniently located in the heart of historic “Old Town” Victoria. This great location makes it prime for people watching. And, they have a good selection of beers.
Whether you are staying there or not, consider having a few cocktails at the Q Bar in the Empress. That way you get to experience it’s splendor without the costs of staying there.
We decided that we needed something a bit more substantial and decided to go to Agrius again. What can I say? We are creatures of habit. Plus, the food is outstanding.
After breakfast, we decided to walk to Beacon Hill Park in order to walk off some of the food we had just consumed. Wow, this park was awesome and huge at over 200 acres. It’s just a couple block from the Empress and definitely worth checking out. It seems to have a bit of everything.
Here’s a list of just a few of the things that you can see in the park:
- World’s 4th Tallest free standing Totem pole. As you can imagine, it’s pretty tall.
- “Mile 0” of the Trans-Canada Highway is at the south-west corner of the park.
- During the summer months, there are 2 water parks or if you prefer the beach, you can walk along shore of Juan de Fuca Strait.
- A petting zoo, plenty of ducks, geese and even some peacocks roaming around
- And, much more.
If you can’t make it to Butchart Gardens, this is a great compromise. Grab a snack along the way and stop for a picnic while visiting the park. To read our full post, click here.
At this point we had worked up an appetite and decided to walk over to Tacofino. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations. So instead, we walked over to see how long the line was at Red Fish Blue Fish. It’s a little shop on the pier in an up-cycled cargo container. When we arrived, the ordering line was very long.
We waited about 30 minutes to order and a bit longer to get our food. We had their chowder, Albacore Tuna tacone, fried oysters and BC Halibut fish and chips. Everything was great, but their chowder was outstanding. It’s open daily from 11 am to 7 pm. The lines can get pretty long, especially on a nice day. So, go early to avoid having to wait too long in line.
For our last meal before heading back home, we decided to check out Finn’s. We were in time for their Happy Hour special, so we ordered for that menu. The food was delicious. The biggest surprise was just how good their Garlic Flatbread was.
Take advantage of the fact that they take reservations to ensure that you aren’t disappointed.
On this trip, we opted not to rent a car. Unfortunately, Victoria doesn’t have Uber of Lyft so we walked everywhere except on the Butchart Gardens. Fortunately, it’s a very walk-able city and the weather was very nice.
Finally, I think that it is safe to say that our first trip to Victoria was a success. We ate good food, saw plenty of flowers and tasted some awesome beers. What more can we ask for?!
Wary Travelers Tip
Add the links to the app and stuff that Dan sent about the beer trail? While researching in preparation for our trip, we stumbled upon the BC Ail Trail site. If you are planning a trip to BC and are interested in craft beer, you should take a look at their itineraries if you are in need of some inspiration.
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