Victoria for Christmas

Old May 28th, 2004, 09:51 PM
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Victoria for Christmas

What's the best way of getting to Victoria? Should we fly to Seattle or Vancouver? (We live in Los Angeles.) I'm expecting Victoria to be fairly walkable (we're thinking of five nights there), so would rather not rent a car.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 12:20 AM
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You could fly to Victoria, probably easier done from Vancouver. With five nights I would want to have a car for a least a day or two. Butchart Gardens is worth visiting at Christmastime but you can get there by bus or taxi if need be.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 10:57 AM
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Hello,
You will adore Victoria at Christmas...it's like a gingerbread village

I would definitely fly to Vancouver rather than Seattle. Or check the flights direct from Los Angeles into Victoria, they are usually not that much more and they transfer you in Seattle or Vancouver to a 20 minute commuter flight to Victoria.

I might re-think the car rental also. While the downtown core of Victoria is very manageable by foot and our transit system is the best in North America, there may be some sights that require a 1 or 2 day car rental.

I believe that at that time of year, many of the car rental agencies have deals for around $100 CDN for a 3 day economy rental.

But...you certainly can get around easy enough on foot or by transit system (I work for transit, so email me if you need a bus guide).

Butchart Gardens has a lovely Christmas display as well as fireworks.

Also, Oak Bay is absolutely wonderful at Christmas (about 15 minutes by bus from downtown Victoria). It is like a little British Village that goes all out at Christmas and has a "light-up" every night and horse drawn trolleys, as well as strolling Dickens singers and roasted chestnut carts and apple cider carts. Have a Christmas tea at the "Blethering Place".

In the last few years Victoria has started celebrating a "Victorian Christmas" and the decorations and festivities are just phenimenal.

The Empress Hotel hosts a "Carol Tea" at Christmas and they also have the festival of trees there, with tons of decorated Xmas trees.

Lots of musical entertainment and Christmas tours like the "Christmas in Olde Victoria" tour which is a walking tour.

Be sure and visit both Roger's Chocolates and Murchie's at Christmas...you wo't be disappointed.

There are also Santa Clause parades and the Carol ships in the harbour.

If you want to know a bit more about Christmas in Victoria, here's a link you can check out:

http://www.victorianchristmas.ca/

Hope you have a wonderful vacation!
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Old May 29th, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Thanks for all the great info.
I think we'll fly to Vancouver and rent a car - it's probably quicker than changing planes and it seems like we'll need the car anyway.
Do you have any Victoria hotel recommendations?
We're very interested in the Hotel Grand Pacific. Is it in a good location?
Thanks for the website tip. I'll check it out later.
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Old May 29th, 2004, 01:53 PM
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This is one of the newest hotels in Victoria and it is in an excellent location. Right in the harbour and hub area, near the Empress, and the Parliament buildings which are lit up in red & green instead of the usual white bulbs at Christmas. A very upscale area and posh hotel. Many of the best restaurants are very near that location, and Government street for trendy shops and restaurants is just steps away. You can also take a horse drawn carriage ride practically right outside the front door of this hotel.
May I suggest you try dinner at the Harbour House restaurant right down the road, or the Empress Room in the Empress Hotel.
Lunch or dinner is wonderful at "Il Terrazzo" (absolutely breathtaking at Christmas...you have to see it to believe it). There is nothing on the menu that isn't phenomenal. It's tucked away in an alley, but just ask at your hotel and they will direct you. The locals all know about this place...it's one of the best kept secrets in Victoria.

And try a breakfast at "Vista 18" on top of the Chateau Victoria. Very reasonable, casual dress, and the best view in all of Victoria.

You will love your hotel and the area.
Cheers!


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Old May 29th, 2004, 05:58 PM
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I'm not a fan of the Grand Pacific monstrosity, but it is in a great location. Can't get much better actually.
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Old May 30th, 2004, 08:42 AM
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April...I agree, most local Victorian's were not at all happy about this huge hotel being placed at the inner-harbour and blocking out both sunshine and views and changing the complexion of that area of the city. However...it is there now and there isn't a whole lot that can be done about it.
The fact remains that as a visitor to Victoria, this hotel does have a wonderful location, a friendly staff and beautiful views, as well as being very new and clean
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Old May 30th, 2004, 02:21 PM
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Shaenee, but they could fix up their pathetic "landscaping." ;-)
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Old May 30th, 2004, 09:23 PM
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That's for sure April...but we won't even go there will we
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Old May 30th, 2004, 11:47 PM
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Mum's the word. But back to Buster's plans, I wouldn't think renting a car would necessarily be quicker than flying. You don't say when you are travelling, but you might want to consider paying more for ferry reservations so you're not sitting in a line-up for hours at the terminal.
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