Need Victoria, BC help

JimMIA

There's more to life than mice...
Joined
Feb 16, 2005
We will be going to Alaska for two weeks next summer and are starting by flying into Seattle and ferrying to Victoria. Friends from Juneau are meeting us at the ferry. Needless to say, we are totally unfamiliar with Victoria -- and that is further complicated by the facts that we won't have a car and Victoria doesn't have Uber.

We will be there 3 nights/2 full days (June 19-22), and our party is four adults and two 18 y/o young ladies.

So, I have several questions:
  • Are there areas for lodging which would be more convenient to the usual tourist attractions (gardens, museums, etc)? We will probably be doing airbnb.
  • Are there areas to avoid?
  • We know about Butchart Gardens, and that's on our list. Are there any other "must-do's?"
    • We will not be "whaling" in Victoria. Our friends are a marine biologist and a wildlife biologist and they both say the whale tours there have a bad reputation for being harmful to the animals. We'll do the whale tours in Juneau.
 

Cynth

Mouseketeer
Joined
May 28, 2011
We visited Victoria last august and stayed at the Strathcona Hotel in downtown Victoria. We had a car, but we were there for only one night, so we explored the city on foot. We easily walked down to the inner harbor and to Fisherman's Wharf. We took a stroll in the evening to see the parliament building lit up.
There are some museums downtown, but we didn't have time to explore those, but we walked right by the Royal BC museum.
Victoria seemed very safe to me, so I can't really say what areas to avoid.

I hope this helps and maybe somebody else has more info and tips.
 

VandVsmama

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 28, 2011
We went to Victoria for our honeymoon and stayed at Abigail's Hotel, which is a B&B. It's still there. Granted, this was 25 yr ago, but the hotel was very charming. The room we stayed in had a fireplace in it. It was an easy walk to many locations. We took a bus to Butchart Gardens.
 
  • isabellea

    Combining beach and Disney!
    Joined
    Jan 22, 2014
    Victoria is a very small provincial capital and everything except Butchart Gardens is walking distance from downtown. I really enjoyed my half day at Royal BC museum. You might want to post your questions on the Canadian sub-forum where we have Victoria/Vancouver Island locals posting regularly.
     

    cedricandsophie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Apr 8, 2014
    We have been to Victoria several times. It’s a wonderful city. I highly recommend the Victoria regent waterfront hotel. Great location, good breakfast, big rooms and helpful staff. Victoria harbor is right downtown and easy walking distance to the hotel. The harbor and the city are both beautiful especially at night. The Fairmont hotel is worth a visit, either for tea or for a drink. It’s very safe and there are tons of restaurants. You can easily grab a cab to the gardens or there is probably a bus, At night the walkway along the harbor is full of people, and lots of music, just thinking of it makes me want to return. Do remember you will need a passport to get on the ferry and back into the states.
     

    bcla

    On our rugged Eastern foothills.....
    Joined
    Nov 28, 2012
    A little late to this discussion, but possibly high tea somewhere in Victoria? My wife wanted to do that at the Empress Hotel, but we didn't have the time and just had tea service at Butchart Gardens.


     

    JimMIA

    There's more to life than mice...
    Joined
    Feb 16, 2005
    A little late to this discussion, but possibly high tea somewhere in Victoria? My wife wanted to do that at the Empress Hotel, but we didn't have the time and just had tea service at Butchart Gardens.


    Never too late and your info is always great! Thanks!
     
  • lunaland

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Oct 20, 2014
    We live near Seattle and have gone to Victoria for the weekend several times. You really, really don't need a car. I'm in my 30s but the last time I went was with 3 80 year olds. We only used our car for the Buchart Gardens. They did just fine walking all over the city. I'd stay near the water, by the ferry terminal.
     

    Canadian Harmony

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 23, 2015
    We will be going to Alaska for two weeks next summer and are starting by flying into Seattle and ferrying to Victoria. Friends from Juneau are meeting us at the ferry. Needless to say, we are totally unfamiliar with Victoria -- and that is further complicated by the facts that we won't have a car and Victoria doesn't have Uber.

    We will be there 3 nights/2 full days (June 19-22), and our party is four adults and two 18 y/o young ladies.

    So, I have several questions:
    • Are there areas for lodging which would be more convenient to the usual tourist attractions (gardens, museums, etc)? We will probably be doing airbnb.
    • Are there areas to avoid?
    • We know about Butchart Gardens, and that's on our list. Are there any other "must-do's?"
      • We will not be "whaling" in Victoria. Our friends are a marine biologist and a wildlife biologist and they both say the whale tours there have a bad reputation for being harmful to the animals. We'll do the whale tours in Juneau.
    I'm a local so here's my 2 cents (well, 5 now that we no longer have pennies :P)

    If you want to do Butchart, you can take a bus out there for the day. And it's definitely a DAY out there. Lots to see. There is a double decker that goes out there - just google Butchart Gardens transport.

    Lodging... depends on what you want to pay. Any of the hotels downtown are really nice and close to all the 'touristy' stuff - the BC Museum is like #7 in the world, so do that for sure, and as it's downtown, it's easy from there to go to the Empress for tea (much too overpriced - go to a local tea house instead if you want it, otherwise, Floyd's in James Bay is the best breakfast around). DO go to Chinatown - it's awesome. But the best food is at Fountain Restaurant, which is just north of the core on Blanchard and Hillside.

    Areas to avoid - downtown core at night, specifically the car lots. But for the most part it's a safe city.

    We have laws in place for the whaling tours to stay away a specific distance from the whales, so that may be something to consider. There is a wee harbour ferry which tools around, so that might be fun to do. And shopping up Government street. Good food at either Bard & Banker or any of the pubs along that stretch. Or for amazing food - consider Pagliacci's, which is on Broad street, just a couple blocks up from Wharf.

    Anyway, ask away - I love my city!
     

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