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Victoria, BC - short trip & short trip report


Jul 23rd, 2012, 07:41 PM
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Victoria, BC - short trip & short trip report

We just came back from a short weekend trip to Victoria. Left Seattle at 7:30 am on Victoria Clipper, got into Victoria at around 10:45 am. Left Victoria at 6:30 pm on Sunday and got home at around 10:00 pm.

First, Victoria Clipper. I am not a fan, purely based on their cattle call seating system. It really created chaos and brought out the worst of human nature, because it is first come first grab basis. For $140 round trip, they should figure out a system of assigned seating. Food was OK, inexpensive, not much to choose from but people could also bring their own food. 3 hours in close quarters with people is a lot of time, plus you add up the time in the waiting room and in line for customs/immigration and it all adds up to a very tiring experience.

Second, our hotel was nice and within walking distance from Victoria. Parkside Resort & Spa is part condominiums, part hotel. it is very green and we found the room very comfortable.

Third, Victoria. Beautiful harbor, interesting city, but I always end up feeling underwhelmed. There was an International Buskers festival going on which added to the street life and excitement, but generally, I always feel like it is a city of retired people. People over 65 seem to really like Butchart Gardens and the Empress Hotel with a Tea service. I am not a fan of either, mostly because of geriatric population. I have nothing against older people but I don't hang out in places frequented by AARP members.

That's all I have at this point. Vancouver is still my favorite.
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Jul 23rd, 2012, 07:57 PM
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We explored the Royal BC Museum and the Legislative building. Enjoyed the Beacon Hill Park. Victoria seems like a lovely place to live but not so much to visit.
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Jul 24th, 2012, 10:17 AM
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I respectfully disagree; I found Victoria is a lovely place to visit. I am 41 and went in my 30s, but will caveat that I like hanging out with the AARP set (as well as younger). Appreciating Victoria depends upon what one is looking for in a destination I think, rather than being age-dependent. I loved the cycling along the roads adjacent to the Juan de Fuca Strait. Butchart Gardens I thought a marvel of beauty, a truly unique artfully-planned garden in a former quarry and a gorgeous setting. Spectacular in my opinion. It would sadden me tremendously if it is correct that such a treasure mostly only is appealing to a certain age-set.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, which may help others in their trip-decision making process. Daniel
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Jul 24th, 2012, 12:04 PM
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Thanks Daniel for your endoresement of Victoria as a great place to visit. We travel extensively in the US including spending most of the winters there. We have yet to come upon anyone (of any age) who has been to Victoria who hasn't had the most enthusiastic comments on how much they loved the city and would love to visit again.
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Jul 25th, 2012, 11:37 PM
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we can always count on daniel for an accolade on our provincial friendly capitol

merci beaucoup

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Aug 2nd, 2012, 12:41 PM
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Hi Tentek,

I also just returned from a trip to the PNW. My trip report was posted a few days ago.

We loved Abigail's Inn in Victoria and had a wonderful dinner at Cafe Brio - really delicious duck....my daughter loved the pasta.

We also enjoyed a lovely afternoon in Butchart Gardens.

That said, Victoria did not somehow grab us in any way - so I understand your conclusion. Funnily, the woman in the tourist office when we confessed our difficulty in warming to Victoria laughed and agreed that it is "very touristy" and "not her thing" either.

I would not discourage anyone from traveling there - we all have different preferences and life experiences that add up to what may be interesting or fun for us, but I would not say it is a "must see" for everyone.

We also really loved Vancouver and can't wait to head back.
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Aug 2nd, 2012, 03:30 PM
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Thanks gruezi for being candid. Plurality and diversity of opinion is always good, Imho.
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Aug 4th, 2012, 08:17 AM
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A few years ago we stayed in Victoria for almost a week and had a great time. For us, we usually do a lot of active stuff on vacation, so this was more tame than usual, but still lots to do. It was DH and I(early 40's) and the kids (2 teenagers). We took in Butchart Gardens, the guys did a guided fishing trip, the girls did tea at the Empress, and we all did a float plane trip. The Royal BC Museum was really good! Hated the undersea gardens though. Beacon Hill Park was near Abigail's, where we stayed, so we were there each day playing tennis and lacrosse, and just walking, going to the little petting zoo, and taking it all in. Also went to Mt Douglas one day. There is a lot to do for active and younger people, but yes, you do need to search it out a bit. Not unlike other destinations though, where research pays off
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