I cannot believe we are already into February now and you know what that means…a new month, a new trip! If you didn’t know, at the beginning of this year I made it a goal of mine to travel somewhere new every month. It’s a little ambitious, and I am still trying to figure out a few of the months this year, including next month, but I am determined to make it happen! Last month I kicked this off in San Francisco. Make sure to check out my guide, Where to Eat, Drink, & Play in SF.
February is Victoria BC! It’s such a quick trip from Seattle and the perfect last minute place if you are wanting to get away for Valentines day! I am sharing everything you would need to know about traveling to Victoria from how to get there, where to stay, and what to see, eat, and do!
Keegan and I played hooky last Thursday and Friday and made our way up to BC for a two night getaway from real life for a quaint weekend just the two of us. We have been loving these short trips just to get away from school, work, and responsibilities, even if it’s just a couple of days. We got some great time together and loved visiting the cute town of Victoria. We were shocked at how close everything is; you can walk pretty much anywhere you need to go. Keep in mind there are no ubers so we were a bit worried but found it was so easy to walk! It was one of those trips that was relaxing but also jam packed with things to see and do, the perfect mix for visiting a new city!
How To Travel To & From
The fastest way to get to Victoria from Seattle is via Kenmore Air. We hopped on one of their float planes at Lake Union and we were up to Victoria in 35 minutes. The plane held 9 people so it is almost like a private ride. Many people get worried about turbulence since it is a small plane, but I was not bothered by the ride at all, it was almost completely smooth the whole time and they don’t fly super high which is surprising if you are used to only flying commercial airlines. If you are looking for aerial views and the fastest way to get to Victoria, this is a must!
On our way home we decided to try out The Clipper. I drive by their port in Seattle almost everyday and wonder how I have never taken it before. The staff is incredibly friendly and the boat is very spacious and comfortable. The trek is just under 3 hours and is perfect for enjoying the view or getting some work done. They only offer services at certain times and days of the week (depending on the season) so make sure to check the schedule to line up times that work for your trip. When leaving Victoria, the sailing time is at 5pm, so it was dark most of the trip home, but I would highly suggest taking the Clipper up to Victoria during the day for the views!
WANNA DO BOTH?
Kenmore Air and The Clipper offer a sea & sky package that lets you experience both without having to book separately. This is what we did and I highly suggest this option because who can really pick between the two? They are both unbeatable.
Where To Stay
The most romantic boutique hotel Victoria has to offer. We checked in and immediately felt beyond welcome. We stayed in one of their Diamond Rooms with a harbor view on the top floor which had a great view of the water and we were treated to their sparkling romance package-perfect for Valentines day! A bottle of sparkling Prosecco on ice, decadent chocolates, breakfast, and one of the most elegant rooms they have to offer-it was dreamy to say the least! It was perfect for quality time with Keegan while feeling like royalty. The best part of this room was that it had a fire place which made the room so cozy!
One of the most unique things Magnolia offers are their personalized experiences! Weather you are an outdoor adventurer, coffee shop addict, museum buff, or just looking for the best romantic dinner spots, they have curated different experience “trails”. You let them know what you are looking for and they give you the “trail” that is perfect for you (or if you don’t know you can check them all out). Our favorites were the “Bikes, Beans, & Blooms”, “Magnolia’s Tapa Trail”, and “Best Places For Romance”. They map out a trail for you and pinpoint the best places to go. I mean, what is better than basically hopping from place to place eating, drinking, and seeing the beautiful Victoria?!
In the next couple of months they will be opening up their own restaurant connected to the hotel called The Courtney room which will be the first of its kind in Victoria. You know I will be back to try it out!
Where To Eat & Drink
For your romantic date night out or for all you foodies out there like me. The menu is locally inspired and what they don’t grow + ethically raise on their organic farm in North Saanich, they source from other like-minded farmers, food purveyors + fishermen. You know you are getting an organic, locally sourced, farm to table style dinner with the utmost quality and unique flavors possible. The best part is that it is right next door to the Magnolia Hotel!
What we ate:
Kusshi oysters-if you know, you know they are the best
Winter Squash Croquette-sounds odd, but might have been my favorite thing of the night, do not skip ordering this!
Gnocchi-it is a small plate so we ordered it as an appetizer
Beef En Croute-my entree, for the beef lovers
Chinook Salmon-Keegan’s entree, for the fish lovers
What we drank:
“I’m not at liberty to say” cocktail
Tinhorn Creek Orange Wine-this wine is probably one of the most unique and tasty wines I have ever had. No, it is not made from oranges but rather a German or Austrian grape that was brought to BC to be locally grown. The smells has notes of sweetness and honey, but it is actually a dry wine, similar to a white wine that is orange in color. You must get it to see what I am talking about!
Zoon Gaut Rose-wine pairing for the salmon
Suggested Cabernet-my pairing for the beef en croute (I can’t remember the exact wine)
Blueberry Tea-my after dinner dessert, blueberry tea and grand marnier
B-52-Keegan’s after dinner dessert
Tourism Victoria suggested this restaurant to us and we were SO glad they did. It actually used to be a bank and they transformed it into the coolest little pub. If you know me, I don’t like pubs at all so I was a little hesitant, however if ALL pubs were like Bard & Banker I would be the biggest pub fan. The food is amazing, not like your typical pub food, the atmosphere is so fun, and they have live music every single night. Only a short 5 minute walk from our hotel.
What we ate:
We actually hit Dine Around Victoria just in time which is like their restaurant week so we ordered from that menu! Unfortunately some of the items are not on their regular menu but everything looked mouth watering so I will share what we got and what I would have also ordered!
Kusshi Oysters-We had to!
Crab Bisque-SO GOOD but not on their regular menu *que tears*
Carpaccio of Beef-We didn’t order this, but I was so tempted to
Ling Cod-My meal, they have ling cod on the regular menu with the crab bisque sauce, omg dreams!
Braised Short Ribs-Keegan’s meal, not on the regular menu
What we drank:
“Cool Hand Luke” cocktail
Wine pairings that came with the dine around menu
“The Shaft”-A Victoria classic and omg it was so good. It comes in a small glass with ice and you drink it down with a straw in the way you might take a shot. It is a coffee drink with a few liquors. We may have had 2 or 3 LOL.
Tourism Victoria also suggested this afternoon tea experience at The Fairmont with us. Make sure to check the dress code before going because we showed up in denim….oops! We loved the live pianist and view of the harbor from our table!
What we ate:
We got their afternoon tea for two people which included Veuve Clicquot, our choice of tea, and an assortment of sandwiches, savory bites, treats, and cakes. Check out the full menu to see the specifics.
The coziest afternoon tea experience ever! Venus Sophia’s is the cutest little restaurant that offers lunch as well as high tea and is completely vegetarian which I actually didn’t even know until after. We did their signature afternoon tea and loved it! My favorite part was the mushroom sandwich.
If you are really into tea like I am, Silk Road Tea is not something you can skip. This tea shop is home to Canada’s tea master who has dedicated her life to creating different tea blends. Here you will find rare and artisan teas soured from China. We were able to try many of their teas, from herbal tea, black tea, green tea, and their wellness teas. One of the most unique parts about Silk Road is that they pair some of their wellness teas with aromatherapy for a full wellness experience. People come from all over the world to buy their teas and I now know why.
We stopped here for a quick snack and ordered the Barcelona board and a glass of wine for me and beer for keegan. The perfect little place for Spanish tapas or friday night happy hour.
What To Do & See
Regardless of where, make sure to set up afternoon tea. A must when in Victoria!
Royal BC Museum
I am usually not a history museum person, however I loved the Royal BC Museum so much that I wish I had more time there. Trust me, don’t skip out on this.
Chinatown is a short walk from Magnolia hotel and such a fun and colorful street. Both Venus Sophia’s and Silk Road are in the area so if you go, make sure to do a little walking around the town.
We actually didn’t have time for the gardens this trip but they are very famous and will be the first thing I do next time I go.
There is something for everyone in Victoria weather you are wanting farm to table food experiences, outdoor excursions, wine tastings, you name it, there is something for you. I highly suggest checking out Tourism Victoria to help you choose the best itinerary for your trip.
Until next month xx