British Columbia is the perfect destination for a winter weekend getaway. It’s small enough to manage in a short time period, but offers enough activities and delicacies that you end up having more choices than time. It’s one of those destinations that wins your heart and warrants multiple visits. Here are five things to do on your cozy winter Victoria holiday.
Helijet and the Clipper
Getting there is part of the fun of a Victoria holiday. There are several modes of transport, but two are especially fun and noteworthy, Helijet and the Clipper. Helijet Helicopter Service is quick and easy, taking only 30 minutes from Vancouver. A flight on Helijet offers magnificent arial views of both cities and the San Juan islands below. The advantage of taking Helijet is that they can fly in inclement weather that would otherwise delay or cancel other modes of transport. They can fly in conditions that would be a no-go for airplanes, for instance. Helijet has an excellent safety record, a lovely lounge to enjoy, and friendly service.
The Clipper is a high speed ferry that provides a more leisurely route to and from Victoria. You can play cards, enjoy snacks and beverages, and take in island views from the water. When you first sail into Victoria, it’s a beautiful perspective of the city. From Seattle, the Clipper takes about two hours and forty-five minutes to get to Victoria.
Magnolia Hotel & Spa
The Magnolia Hotel & Spa is a boutique luxury hotel located near the Inner Harbor, within walking distance to many of Victoria’s main attractions. With 64 rooms, it’s the perfect hotel choice for people who want to be near the action, but prefer a low key, intimate setting.
The lobby is welcoming and festive with complimentary hot beverages, cookies, and live piano music. Rooms are cozy with fireplaces, soothing muted colors, and plush furnishings. Some rooms have views of the Inner Harbor, which you definitely want to enjoy.
Afternoon tea at Venus Sophia
Any trip to Victoria should include at least one Afternoon Tea experience. Venus Sophia is a local favorite and also vegetarian, so it offers something a little different. Decor is bohemian-eclectic with bicycles on the walls, exposed piping and bricks, fresh flowers, and quaint surroundings. Afternoon Tea consists of a tiered server filled with miniature sandwiches, scones, homemade jam, and a selection of fine teas. Venus Sofia aims to prepare food with local, organic ingredients.
The Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens offers year round seasonal displays. It’s a magical stroll through colorful gardens that are easily accessible via bus from the Inner Harbor. Several dining options are available from casual to more upscale. Afternoon Tea at Butchart Gardens is excellent, served in a beautiful atrium-like setting. The Butchart Gardens are a Victoria classic and provide a nice way to get outside enjoy a wonderful family friendly activity pleasing to all age groups.
Royal BC Museum
This is one museum that is worth taking time out to gain some local knowledge. The Royal BC Museum is a gorgeous museum that offers thrilling life size exhibits. It’s the perfect thing to do in inclement weather, and you may find it so fascinating you want to linger, so be sure to allow plenty of time. This is a kid friendly museum with interactive displays and spectacular exhibitions including First Nations poles, artwork and utilitarian items.