Advice on Victoria trip in June 2001

Mar 16th, 2001, 10:12 PM
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Advice on Victoria trip in June 2001

I'll be visiting Victoria for a week in early June with 3 other female friends. We're staying in a time share, so I don't need lodging advice and we'll have a car, so transportation isn't an issue either. What I'l looking for is advice on what are "must-sees" on the island? Any restaurant recommendations? Any advice would be greatly appreciated - Thanks!
Mar 17th, 2001, 06:08 PM
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Victoria's two main must-see's must be the Royal BC Museum and Butchart's Gardens. But I would include a drive along the waterfront from town through the Uplands. The gardens and castle at Royal Roads/Hatley Park are nice too (& free). Wander through the Empress Hotel but if you don't want to pay their exorbitant prices for afternoon tea, go to the White Heather Tea Room in Oak Bay where the food is better anyway.

I'm the wrong person to give restaurant advice but in town you could try Hugo's Grill on Courtney where I've always had great service or Il Terrazzo on lower Johnson. Seafood eaters seem to like the Blue Crab Bar & Grill on Kingston. For really cheap, really plain food but good desserts go to the old-time Dutch Bakery on Fort. Q V Bakery by Chinatown has some good desserts too. Further out of town you could try Cecconi's Trattoria on Shelbourne or the Fireside Grill in Royal Oak. If you're in Hillside Mall, the Apple Tree restaurant there has reasonable prices, fast service and all-day breakfasts.

The main thing to see on the island I think is the ocean. If you're planning on a trip to Long Beach you can stop at the viewpoint on the Malahat, at Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville and Cathedral Grove on the way.
Mar 17th, 2001, 06:24 PM
Bob Brown
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I agree fully with the advice given above. I am not a garden person, but Butchart is special.
The museum is full of well presented exhibits that depict the history of the province. Enjoy them both.
Mar 18th, 2001, 01:42 PM
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I also agree with the first post. My son attended Royal Roads university and the gardens and building are well worth a visit. Royal Roads is in Sooke, and when I was out there to visit my son, we did a "pub crawl" and one of the places we visited (I think the name is correct) was 7 mile pub. It was a hoot! All along the Sooke area is wonderful but the harbour areas of Vic are wonderful too and if you like antiques, the antique stores are very close to the harbour area. Have fun!
Mar 21st, 2001, 12:45 PM
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Cara, I'm heading there myself in a couple of days for a small spring break vaction with the family. Everytime we go we hit Pagliacci's on Broad St. It's a great lively place with live music Tues-Sat. Great food too and reasonable.
Victoria also has a great gallery scene happening if you are into that. Try picking up a local Preview Gallery Guide at any gallery and it will list them all. One of the really good ones is the Fran Willis Gallery on Store St.
Also go down Fort St. if you are into Antiques.
If you would like spa treatments try going to the Ocean Pointe Resort. Great Spa facility with tons to offer.
Don't miss China Town's FanTan Alley, it's a really really really narrow little street with interesting shops.
Have fun, there are lots of great watering holes for nightlife but I can't remember their names. Go to the Empress Lounge for a drink and ask the waitress for the happening spots around town, we did this on my last chick trip and were given a ton of great recommendations.
Have fun!
Mar 21st, 2001, 09:13 PM
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Beacon Hill Park is nice for a walk on a sunny day and is not far from the Empress Hotel. Both the Maritime Museum of B.C. (home of the Tilikum, 38 foot canoe that circumnavigated the globe in 1901-1904) and the Royal BC Museum (next to the Empress) are both excellent. The little harbour ferry's are fun for a quick ride. The double decker bus ride through the Uplands is good, just make sure you sit up top on the left hand side. As for restaurants my favorite is The Blethering Place in Oak Bay. I've heard Hatley Park has wonderful gardens and if you are in season you could try whale watching. Don't miss a quick trip through the Parliament Bldg, it's free.
Mar 22nd, 2001, 02:59 PM
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As a native Victorian, I can say that most posts above are right on. Another favourite restaurant is Eugene's on Broad at View. It's a casual cafeteria service like restaurant not too expensive but the absolutely BEST Greek food going. My personal fave is the hummus. Maybe try it for lunch.

Il Terrazo, mentioned above is wonderful. On the upper scale of expense but worth the atmosphere. Make sure you ask for patio seating (don't worry, it's heated and covered!).

Another idea since you have a week, is to visit Saltspring Island, best on a Saturday, wonderful shops etc. And can easily be done as a day trip. As opposed to Long Beach (although if you can afford the time, it's certainly worth it!).

Suze's Martini Bar on lower Yates is also great.
If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to email me directly.

Have a great time!
Mar 30th, 2001, 10:56 AM
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Hi Cara just got back from our spring getaway in Victoria and it was great! Very relaxing with the spa treatments we had at the Ocean Pointe Resort! We found another some more great restaurants, try Rebar in Bastion Square for a great healthy fresh lunch, then go to Cafe Brio on Fort St. for great Italian, my mouth is stil;l watering when I think of that dinner! Also try the Tapa Bar in Trounce Alley, really great spanish fusion tapas! As the previous poster mentioned, don't miss Suze's place it's a great restaurant/watering hole with great atmosphere. Have fun!
Apr 1st, 2001, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for all of the great sightseeing advice and restaurant reviews. I can't wait to get up there!
Apr 1st, 2001, 11:32 AM
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Does anyone know how much the high tea at the Empress Hotel costs? Is it worth the price? And how dressy do you have to be to attend? Thank you.
Apr 1st, 2001, 02:54 PM
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At the moment tea at the Empress costs $33 weekdays and $39 weekends. This is the first I've heard of different rates depending on the day. In the summer it will shoot up to $46 they tell me.

Worth it? Not for what you get. But if you want to have tea in a grand atmosphere and be able to say you've had tea at the Empress, then it might be worth it.
Apr 1st, 2001, 02:57 PM
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Sorry, I forgot the dress part. I would say smartly casual although I saw a fellow in there once in a logger shirt.
May 14th, 2001, 11:28 PM
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May 17th, 2001, 11:35 AM
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I'll be in Victoria in the first week of June and am also wondering what there is to do on the island for a week.
May 29th, 2001, 07:06 AM
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Topper for more info on my similar upcoming trip.
Jun 11th, 2001, 03:20 PM
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1) Paliacchi's (sp?) Excellent Italian restaurant, very hip, friendly, local crowd, Go M-W after 8:30pm and listen to the live jazz music!

2) Blethering Place on Oak (Bay?...been a few weeks) It is a cozy tea house, very quaint and more cozy than the Empress

3) Empress for High Tea
Expensive, perhaps, dreamy and charming...YES! If you love royalty and treating yourself like the QUEEN, whose china is used during tea... than this is a must,,, if you are not so 'empressed' with high class, than i would not go...

4) The Sooke House (west on the Island in Sooke, expensive? but one of the best restaurant's in the world!?)


1) Drive out to the botanical beach at Renfro (if, and only if you are adventure types!) Go during LOW TIDE (when is low tide you ask? Call The Visitor's Center in Sooke and ask!) The beach has creepy crawly things, little fish that get caught in rocks... etc.... Bring your bear bells as this is BLACK BEAR COUNTRY.... freaked me out quite frankly, but I did not see any bears...

Have a bite at the little cafe in Renfro... very good and tell the new owners daughter Amanda and her mom say hello!

2) BUCHART GARDENS (bring the film dears, EVEN if you are NOT photo or garden buffs, this place may change you!)

3) SHOP! Try Roots (where Matt Damon is supposed to shop?) AND LUSH (where Leonardo Di Caprio shops?) who knows?! who cares?! Apparently I do a little, bought a few things here,,, and love them!

4) Walk the wall!

5) Talk to people, they are friendly and ENJOY YOURSELF WILL YOU!


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