Victoria in British Columbia, Canada is a beautiful and fascinating city. There is something for everyone. There is amazing food to be savoured and stunning nature to be seen. It is full of culture, history and charm. 48 hours are surely not enough to get to know this city but you will get a chance to return home satisfied and will be longing to come back to explore some more.
I will share with you how we made the best of our 48 hours there, from 3:30pm Wednesday to 3:30pm Friday. We traveled mid-April when it is still chilly and not packed with tourists quite yet.
We drove to Port Los Angeles, Washington to take the ferry from there and arrived to Victoria around 3:30 pm. You can choose to go straight to your B&B and check in, or stop by the oldest purpose-built gastro brewpub in Canada, as we did.
Enjoy Happy Hour at the oldest Brewpub in Canada
We were hungry, so we headed to the locally well-known Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub (308 Catherine St) to enjoy three half-prized Happy Hour (3pm-6pm) appetizers: the Poutine, the chicken wings, and the Brewhouse Tasting Plate consisting of locally produced salami, Amber ale cheese, Comox brie, ale poached pear, grainy mustard, malt vinegar pickled local vegetables, smoked cheddar and ale whip, house made pretzel and crostini.
We also opted to be the only ones sitting on the outdoor patio with the view. It was chilly but not enough to make us sit inside. We wanted to enjoy the views.
Stay at The Craigmyle B&B by the Castle
With satisfied tummies we headed to our Bed & Breakfast, The Craigmyle (1037 Craigdarroch Rd) located in the same gardens of the famous Craigdarroch Castle. We booked their most affordable room through airbnb and we absolutely loved it. The room cost changes seasonally.
Our room, although small, was on the third floor and decorated in a way that reminded me of Paris. We later learned that the hosts are French. A continental breakfast buffet is served 7-10am and it’s the best continental breakfast I have ever had. They make a point to serve local, organic and non-gmo foods with vegan and gluten-free options.
See a play at the Belfry Theater
After resting for a while, head to the Belfry Theater (1291 Gladstone Ave) to buy tickets to enjoy local theater.
We saw a Tony Award winning play, “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” that was playing in 1 hour at 8pm. The tickets were only about $25 CAD and we got amazing last-minute seats.
To kill some time before the play started we headed for a drink and dessert at the Fernwood Inn Pub across the street. You can also opt to have drinks at Stage Wine Bar a few steps away.
The theater is in a nineteenth-century church and it’s a great place to see a play; it is cozy and beautiful inside. We really enjoyed it.
At the end of the night we headed back to our B&B only a few minutes drive or a 15min walk away and enjoyed a good night’s sleep. I didn’t realize we were so close to the theater! We should’ve walked.
Have breakfast at the B&B and head to a beautiful hidden gem with an amazing story in Victoria:
Visit the Abkhazi Garden
You will thoroughly enjoy walking through the love-built paths of the Abkhazi Garden (1964 Fairfield Rd).
Next, explore downtown and work up an appetite as you walk in and out of shops and enjoy the vibe.
Have Afternoon Tea
Head to the Empress Hotel (721 Government St) to take Afternoon Tea and scratch it off your bucket list. You will be served on the very best 1908 china. Treat yourself to delicious sandwiches, scones and pastries enjoyed by your choice of tea as a pianist accompanies the service.
Walk off the calories by taking a walk around the harbor, checking out the Parliament building or even take a horse drawn carriage if you like.
Explore downtown some more and stop at a pub for a refreshing beer.
Explore Oak Bay
Head back to the hotel to rest for a bit and then head to Oak Bay and have some gelato and prosciutto at the Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen (2272 Oak Bay Ave), then walk, drive or bike to the nearby marina and relax.
It’s never too cold for gelato.
Have dinner wherever you please and then enjoy some local fun at a pub and drink Canadian beer while you play darts and befriend the friendliest people.
Have breakfast at the B&B and check out.
Tour the Craigdarroch Castle
Since it’s basically right there, take a tour of the Craigdarroch Castle (1050 Joan Crescent), where you will learn how the wealthy lived during the Victorian Era.
Eat the BEST fish and chips
Finally, you can’t miss having a meal at Red Fish Blue Fish (1006 Wharf Street), where you will have the best fish and chips of your life. This take-out establishment by the harbor operates out of a renovated shipping container and it’s a locals favorite.
Head back to the Black Ball Ferry Line with plenty of time to get checked for customs before crossing the border to go back home.
Have you ever been to Victoria? Which places would you recommend? If not, did I convince you to go?