I received complementary passes, reduced tickets, room accommodations in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own.
This past year for our anniversary, we decided to take a trip close to home where the weather is mild. Victoria BC in the Fall. I would like to share with you the highlights of this vacation to give you some idea of all that Victoria has to offer. We started our trip by driving into downtown Seattle. If you are coming into Seattle on the Airlines, you can get downtown on the Sky train, then it is just a nice stroll to the pier where you catch the Victoria Clipper. Or, you can get a Taxi right to the pier.
Our trip on the Victoria Clipper started off at 8 am in the morning. Just Note: Anytime you are traveling on the water, you are at the mercy of nature. The ferry is a very nice sized Boat that seats everyone comfortably. They have food and drinks to purchase on board. It is not a large selection so if you have a special diet you might want to pack your own food to eat for travel. It is a 2 1/2 to 3 hour trip, so there is a good chance you will want to eat something while on board.
I was very thankful that I had packed some nuts and snacks for travel, because during our trip some seaweed got sucked into the jets and we had a delay. By the time we got to Victoria, had I not packed food, we would have been very hungry. Because of this delay, the Victoria Clipper handed out 1/2 off vouchers for our next trip. They were very accommodating and handled the situation with much care for the needs of its passengers.
The trip itself was wonderful. I would highly recommend while on the ferry you go upstairs and out onto the open deck. It can be windy, but the view is so worth it. The water ways through the northwest Puget sound are beautiful. You are sure to see some sort of wild life, maybe even a whale if your fortunate.
Above are some pictures of the Islands you pass, and the sea planes you see coming into Downtown Victoria. I would really suggest you consider using the Victoria Clipper for your trip up to Victoria BC no matter what time of year you go. They have several package deals you can purchase if you like.
Hotel Grand Pacific
Just a block up and over from the Ferry landing, makes staying at the Hotel Grand Pacific a very convenient and wonderful choice. We were able to grab our bags, and walk right in the front door.
The man in the top hat will greet you and help you with any Bags you may need help with. Also when we needed a Taxi, he was more than willing to get us exactly what we needed. Often the Ferry will get in before the rooms are ready for check in. The Hotel Grand Pacific has a secure room where you can drop your baggage so you are free to start exploring downtown Victoria BC right away. For full details of our stay at the Hotel Grand Pacific click here.
Craigdarroch Castle in Victoria BC is a historic, Victorian-era Scottish Baronial mansion. The mansion was designated a National Historic Site of Canada. When you visit this Castle it will take you back in time. We loved the self guided tour that we were able to take. The admission fees go to helping with the restoration of the property. You can click here for more facts about this property and how it has been used over the years.
You start at the front entrance where they give you a warm welcome, a tour pamphlet and short introduction. We were able to leave our Coats and backpack in the secure room at the desk. This made it really nice to be able to tour with empty hands and no bulky coats.
This tour takes about an hour and a half if you choose to stop in and view the 30 minute documentary explaining the history of Craigdarroch that starts up on the 1/2 hour. If you love history, you will want to see this documentary.
I have many photos from this tour. I have shared just a few but you really need to see it in person to get a full grasp of the grandeur of the place. They are actually working even now on restoration to parts of the Castle. I would have loved to seen what the Kitchen area for the Castle consisted of. Maybe that area will be restored and open for viewing when you go and you can share that with me.
Preview Craigdarroch’s new documentary video!
Cruise Victoria Services
This tour company books all kinds of opportunities to see Victoria in package deals. We were fortunate enough to be able to take our trip out to the The Butchart Gardens on one of their tour buses. The Driver of this Bus was very informative about the area, giving information as we traveled. We learned that Victoria BC sits in a banana belt which is what keeps the temperatures moderate year round. They get less than 25″ of rain a year, and very little snow if any. That weather is what makes visiting Victoria BC in the fall a perfect choice. When we came back from the Gardens, our bus driver was willing to drop everyone at their hotel front door. This was a great personalized service that we very much appreciated. When planning your trip to Victoria BC be sure to check out the tours offered by CVS Sightseeing Tours.
The Butchart Gardens
I have been wanting to make the trip up to see The Butchart Gardens for years and never had the opportunity until this past Fall. Starting December 1st they open the gardens dressed for Christmas. This past fall when we were there we were able to see the 12 days of Christmas set up through out the gardens. They also had an Ice skating area available. We were there just before all the lights were ready to turn on. I loved seeing The Butchart Gardens at rest. It was a peaceful stroll through the pathways. There were not many other visitors, which made it very relaxing.
Another thing I have wanted to partake of was High Tea. In the City of Victoria this can be rather expensive. We took our High Tea at the Butchart Gardens. The cost is almost half of what it is Downtown and you get to see the Beautiful Gardens also. The Building where the tea is served is very intimate and cozy as viewed in the pictures above. The food served was delicious. Several of the items were things we had never tried before, but were glad we have now. My husband even really appreciated this experience and highly recommends that you make this a must on your list of things to do. You can see the Tea menu ahead of time, and it is recommended that you book reservations in advance.
I can’t wait to make the trip back up in the spring sometime to see these Gardens with all the flowers in bloom.
I hope you will take the time to look into your trip up to Victoria BC and have as much fun there as we did.