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Going to Victoria in August, I need your help!

Going to Victoria in August, I need your help!

Mar 30th, 2011, 07:41 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
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Going to Victoria in August, I need your help!

Greetings, I will be going to victoria for 2 1/2 days in august as I have a business trip in seattle and will be extending my trip....a couple of questions...is there a car ferry available from seattle or another location? If not, where is the closest (people) ferry located? I was also planning to stay at the Empress hotel, any thoughts? Is the high tea worth it? Also, any sights there to see?...I've heard about the changing of the guard, when does that occur and where? How is the shopping?

I appreciate any input on these topics!
spaniardmama is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 12:38 PM
  #2  
 
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Hi Spaniardmama,

Others will chime in about the car ferry shortly I'm sure. Alternatively, there is the Victoria Clipper ferry which runs from a downtown Seattle pier to the Inner Harbour of Victoria (right next to the Parliament buildings!).

What did I enjoy most about Victoria? Truly, the natural setting... cycling on Dallas Road, sitting out on a rock outcropping overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait, just gorgeous. Butchart Gardens is a beauty, not just any garden since the surrounding is a lovely hollowed out setting of spruce, fir and pine with peek-a-boo views of coves of water in places. Beacon Hill Park was a pleasant place for a stroll. The Royal BC Museum is terrific, especially its exhibits on Pacific Coast First Nations. At night the Inner Harbour can be lovely, with buskers entertaining.

Others may be able to speak more to shopping opportunities,as that was not the focus of my visit.

Enjoy your visit! Daniel
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Mar 30th, 2011, 12:38 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Spaniardmama,

Others will chime in about the car ferry shortly I'm sure. Alternatively, there is the Victoria Clipper ferry which runs from a downtown Seattle pier to the Inner Harbour of Victoria (right next to the Parliament buildings!).

What did I enjoy most about Victoria? Truly, the natural setting... cycling on Dallas Road, sitting out on a rock outcropping overlooking the Juan de Fuca Strait, just gorgeous. Butchart Gardens is a beauty, not just any garden since the surrounding is a lovely hollowed out setting of spruce, fir and pine with peek-a-boo views of coves of water in places. Beacon Hill Park was a pleasant place for a stroll. The Royal BC Museum is terrific, especially its exhibits on Pacific Coast First Nations. At night the Inner Harbour can be lovely, with buskers entertaining.

Others may be able to speak more to shopping opportunities,as that was not the focus of my visit.

Enjoy your visit! Daniel
Daniel_Williams is online now  
Mar 30th, 2011, 01:07 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 16
If you are crossing into Canada on the way to Victoria, you can take a ferry to Vancouver Island (where Victoria is located, not to be confused with the city of Vancouver) from two places in greater Vancouver: Tsawwassen, and West/North Vancouver.
WilhelmSchmidt is offline  
Mar 30th, 2011, 10:33 PM
  #5  
 
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There are two car ferries from Washington State one from Port Angeles which takes you right downtown Victoria http://www.cohoferry.com/main/ and the other from Anacortes which takes longer but goes through the gulf islands http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/. That docks in Sidney which is 1/2 hour drive into Victoria. However, I recommend you take the Clipper that Daniel Williams mentioned. It will take you right downtown and you do not need a car in Victoria. Everything is very handy to the ferry dock - just across from the Empress. You can get a shuttle bus from the bus depot behind the Empress to Butchart Gardens and I recommend having tea there rather than the Empress which is highly overrated and very expensive. http://www.clippervacations.com/ferry/ I live in Victoria and am not aware of changing of the guard unless it is the one depicted in Miniature world. Daniel mentioned the Royal BC Museum and it is definitely worth a visit - it is world class http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/ If you have any more questions just post again! Enjoy your visit.
traveller69 is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 10:12 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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I also live in Victoria and there is no changing of the guard...sorry! High tea at the Empress is really pricey and there are other places to stay that are very nice or historic. I like the Gatsby Inn, it has location and history. Things not to miss depending on your time.
Do the scenic drive along Dallas Rd and carry on to Beach Drive past Oak Bay and through the Uplands. Butchart Gardens is lovely but here is a whole list of other things to do.
Hatley Castle and Gardens and if you have the time while out in this area don't miss Fort Rodd Hill.
Free gardens at Government House and this neighbourhood is fun to walk around...beautiful homes.
Fisherman's Wharf
Harbour Ferry Tour of the inner harbour
Whale watching tour
Shaw Discovery Centre (Sidney...just 30 minutes from downtown and a lovely seaside village to wander around).
Secret pathways to little public beaches (my favourite thing to do). They are well hidden, sometimes a narrow pathway between 2 houses, no signs to tell you.
If you give me a better idea of what you like to see I can give you more suggestions. Gardens? Historic Homes? Private beaches? Short but amazing walks? How many in your party and the ages of the members will make it easier.
Baxterpoo is offline  
Apr 5th, 2011, 04:33 PM
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Changing of the guards happens in Ottawa, not Victoria unfortunately - there is a Parliament Building in Victoria (the province's capitol city) and a House of Parliament in Ottawa (the country's capitol city)... that's probably the root of the mixup.
BC_Robyn is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 07:30 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2003
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the last time friend's stayed @ the empress in august (bc's 150 birthday) it was very warm. the rooms were not airconditioned and they were uncomfortable . unfortunately that heat is unusual! may have been the result of the 100,000+ people on the lawn of the legislature for the concert.

i put my folks up @ the marriott w/ great views from high floors

abkhazi garden @ fairfield and foul bay is very beautiful; harling point and the chinese cemetery; the beach at yro park @ cadboro bay; the first weekend (long weekend) in august is the city's electronic dance festival @ centennial sq. and that saturday night is the also free symphony splash( the vso on a barge in front of the empress)

cheers
AndrewDavid
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Apr 9th, 2011, 04:32 PM
  #9  
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All,

Thanks for all of your ideas! I do tend to like the water, but I really am a historian. Mixed in with this is shopping and I love good coffee and breakfast. Where do you suggest for shopping. What streets should I do this. And where can I get a good latte? Please advise and thanks.
spaniardmama is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 04:57 PM
  #10  
 
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I loved the Blue Fox for breakfast. Wonderful omelettes with great potatoes. Good and comfortable service. Reasonable, too, though often a line out the door.
annetti is offline  
Apr 9th, 2011, 06:10 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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Hola Mama!

The best lattes are at Habit on Pandora. Trust me... a good friend says they are like drinking dessert and they always come with a little latte art to impress further. Moka House is also good.

If you like history, then try the nightly Ghost Tours that meet at the information centre across from the Empress. You dont need to sign up in advance, just show up and pay at whatever time works. I like the later darker tour.

/www.discoverthepast.com/

I enjoyed learning about the former busy port of Victoria during the gold rush days and the details of the legal opium trade. Actually you can visit Fan Tan Alley and see some of these opium dens in the little shops, especially the one nearest Chinatown. Fan Tan Alley hosts my favorite yoga studio in Victoria. Went to a drummed yoga class last night. I am currently here for 3 days of shopping , eating, enjoying spring.

I have stayed at many hotels here over the years. The best for all round view and to experience the Inner Harbour is the Laurel Point Inn, especially the Erickson WIng which has the largest balconies right on the water. The float planes land on your doorstep and the ferries, including the Clipper go past during the day. Awesome! Sometimes it is difficult to leave that view and walk into downtown.

For shopping , there are many one of a kind stores. What do you shop for? Moss Street market, on Sat mornings, features a number of local artisans. There is also a good place for lunch near there, called Fairfield Fish and Chips - try the halibut nuggets. Yum!

Today I went into a shop called Knotty by Nature, a yarn, spinning, weaving shop. A Saturday today, there were weavers, wool carders etc and it was interesting to see the different baskets of alpaca, angora merino . There are also some reasonably prices finished products. I only discovered this shop because it happens to share a doorway with the famous Cascadia Bakery, but a great find for me.

There are lots of galleries for West Coast Art and Jewelery. There are plenty of day trips kayaking nearby or even in the Inner Harbour. There is a good place for a beer or lunch where the whale watching loads.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/416049162/

Worth wandering down there to feel the unique vibe of the boats and water. Have fun.
rivet is offline  
Apr 14th, 2011, 11:51 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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There are a few options for ferries, the Clipper is a passenger ferry that goes downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria. The Anacortes ferry takes cars and goes from north of Seattle to Sidney.

The Empress is great but very expensive. If you're looking for luxury try one of the great bed and breakfasts around. Fairholme Manor [http://www.fairholmemanor.com] is downtown and Birds of a Feather [http://www.victorialodging.com] is out of town. For a less expensive hotel downtown Victoria try Swans Hotel [http://www.swanshotel.com].
sv0909 is offline  
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