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What should we see with only a few hours in Victoria?


Jun 24th, 2012, 08:42 AM
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What should we see with only a few hours in Victoria?

We will be spending 12 days in and around Olympic National Park in July. We would like to take the ferry from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria for the day. What should we see with only a few hours there. We like gardens, soaking up the local culture, a bit of window shopping and a delicious meal. I really do not want to spend the day indoors at a museum. Thank you.
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Jun 24th, 2012, 10:27 AM
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Can you only spend a few hours there? Can you do something to your itinerary to stay overnight in Victoria? Victoria is a lovely place and is definately worth seeing, but I think a few hours would be way too rushed. Your ferry ride alone will be 3 hours round trip. If you love gardens, with your schedule,you would have to miss out on Buchart Gardens, and that would be ashame. Those gardens are so worth the visit.
If you can only do a few hours, than I'd suggest just staying by the marina and shopping in that area.
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Jun 24th, 2012, 04:03 PM
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Well, definitely visit Thunderbird Park. It's right in the Inner Harbour area, outside the Royal BC Museum (but you don't need to go into the museum, of course). http://www.explorevancouverisland.co..._Island_BC.htm

And the Inner Harbour is a great area to walk around a bit, do some shopping and have a nice meal. We found Beacon Hill Park to be enjoyable, if you have enough time and want some green space (see above link).

If you are looking for fresh seafood, you might go on over to The Fish Store at nearby Fisherman's Wharf. http://www.floatingfishstore.com/
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Jun 24th, 2012, 05:49 PM
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I should have mentioned that this visit is just to get a "taste" of Victoria. We plan to see this city on another trip. Since we're from the U.S. east coast, we wanted to stop by while we were close.
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Jun 25th, 2012, 04:40 AM
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Yep, no problem. I think my suggestions above will give you a taste in just a few hours' time.
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Jul 1st, 2012, 12:21 AM
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Seriously, I would go to Butchard Gardens, its amazing, and I do not like gardens at all, but even so , it is an amazing place,, and I live here and have been quite a few time over quite a few decades, lol Have lunch or tea there and enjoy the day.. you definately have to come back though, you can't cover Victoria in a day.. If you just want to stick close to town then wander through Beacon Hill Park.
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Jul 1st, 2012, 10:07 PM
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Years ago, we went on the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on the ferry for the day. we had enough time to take a trolley tour which included the fabulous Butchart Gardens. We also had time to eat lunch in a good restaurant & visit the Royal BC Museum. My parents visited some old friends and had high tea at the Empress Hotel. Then we all went back on the ferry. Even just a day trip is recommended.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 04:20 PM
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With only a few hours in Victoria, I'd be inclined to stay downtown and meander around along Government Street, the Inner Harbour, head up to Chinatown's Fan Tan Alley, explore the side streets... head over to the totem poles outside the Royal BC Museum, step into the lobby at the Empress Hotel, pop into the Legislature Buildings, then head over to Beacon Hill Park and the waterfront trails along Dallas Road... you can easily do that in 2-3 hours.

Butchart Gardens is definitely beautiful, but it will eat up all your time in Victoria and you'll have just seen Butchart Gardens, not Victoria.
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Jul 2nd, 2012, 06:09 PM
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If you are coming to Victoria on the ferry from Port Angeles, I am sure if you come on an early ferry and go home on an evening ferry (my suggestion), you will have more than enough time to take in all that Victoria has to offer. Especially if you enjoy gardens, Butchart Gardens should be at the top of your list.(www.butchartgardens.com) It is advertised all over the world, including billboards down the I-5 in California You can easily wander around downtown afterwards. There is a daily shuttle between downtown Victoria and Butchart's which would be your best/most convenient bet as it departs from the Empress Hotel which is a very short walk from the ferry terminal. Check out www.cvscruisevictoria.com for more info. Afternoon tea is a big thing here, but avoid The Empress Hotel as it is a HUGE ripoff!! Butchart Gardens does a very nice high tea from I think 11:30 or noon on and is VERY good with all you could want for a light meal.
If it is raining, which it well may be given our "summer" so far, as much as you are not interested in museums, The Royal BC Museum is one of the best in the world and WELL worth a visit. It also is right downtown near the ferry terminal.
For fine dining at an affordable price. I have just discovered Zambri's at the corner of Blanshard St and Yates St., a wonderful italian restaurant, a short walk from the inner harbour. That said, there are many good restaurants within walking distance of the Inner Harbour, up Government Street or in any other direction you may meander to.
Hope all this helps, and do have a great visit. I look forward to helping you plan your return visit when you come for longer!!
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