What to do around Victoria

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Sep 16th, 2003, 08:56 AM
  #1
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What to do around Victoria

We are visiting Victoria from 23-26 October, can anyone recommend any day trips outside of the city that we can do?

Thanks in advance.
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Sep 16th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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I would strongly recommend Butchart Gardens.
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Sep 16th, 2003, 10:52 AM
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If you like to hike and want to see some wildlife, drive west of Victoria through Sooke to Jordan River and Port Renfrew. The hiking trails there lead to several beaches (some rocky and some sandy) and views to Juan de Fuca Strait.
The (Pacific) ocean breezes are downright bracing!!

Here's a website with descriptive information and links to maps etc.:

http://www.sookeoutdoors.com/juandefucatrail/

And I would second that recommendation for Butchart Gardens - a lovely spot with amazing gardens just right for a pleasant stroll.
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Sep 17th, 2003, 01:23 PM
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Butchart Gardens is a must. The fact that the vast majority of tourists visit the gardens says it all. On the way you pass the Butterfly Conservatory. A nice place to spend a couple of hours.

Don't forget to stroll through Thunderbird Park which is located a couple of blocks up from Victoria Harbor. Lots of original (old) totems. No fee to enter. Just turn off the sidewalk! Have a great time!
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Sep 17th, 2003, 01:29 PM
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I'm presuming you have a car. Take a drive up to Chemainus and spend some time looking at the murals. The drive from Victoria takes about 1.5 hours and is a very pretty drive.
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Sep 17th, 2003, 05:13 PM
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You might also want to go and see a couple of the Gulf Islands. None of them are very far away via ferry.
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Sep 17th, 2003, 10:47 PM
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Yes, SaltSpring Island is worth a visit, except for the travel by ferries, which is time-consuming (mostly waiting in line, even with reservations) and quite expensive.
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Sep 18th, 2003, 03:52 PM
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I haven't found the trip all that time-consuming, especially now that the summer is pretty much over. I've rarely had to wait in line unless it's a summer Saturday when the market is on. One good thing is that they don't charge you for the return ferry from Saltspring and there are several places to leave from; if you go from Vesuvius Bay (and incidentally, the pub there does great lunches) it gets you to Crofton, which isn't far from Chemainus so you'd have a pleasant drive back to Victoria, especially along the Malahat which is quite scenic. I would suggest that if you're not used to the area there, drive the Malahat during the day. It's twisty and can be a bit challenging after dark.
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Sep 18th, 2003, 09:04 PM
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The Malahat is a gorgeous drive, and it has some very scenic viewpoints along the way (from a photographer's perspective). However, it is easier to access the viewpoints from the northbound part of the highway, otherwise you are forced to turn in front of oncoming traffic (and I'm not sure that it's even allowed at those particular places??). Anyway, if you do the trip that Meesthare suggested, it might be better to drive the other way around (Chemainus and Crofton first, then to Saltspring, then back to Victoria).
By the way, the "time-consuming" ferry travel was based upon our experience this past August, the height of tourist season. Meesthare - you have a good point - October should be much quieter.
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Sep 19th, 2003, 08:04 AM
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Good point, Borealis - you're right about the lookout points being more accessible when you're travelling northbound. It is legal to cross the road to get to them when you're going southbound, but you've got to be awfully careful doing it.
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Sep 19th, 2003, 08:44 AM
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Another option for travelling on the Island is the daily dayliner train. It leaves Victoria in the morning and returns in the late afternoon. There are fabulous views from it. Their website is www.viarail.ca.
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