When something is in your backyard, it's incredibly easy to take it for granted. However, when you live in a place as beautiful as British Columbia, most places (especially the wild areas) are anything but boring or ordinary. A few weeks back, I came to the recent realization that I hadn't visited Victoria, our provincial capital city, since I was about ten or twelve years old. I remember having fantastic memories of exploring the city and camping on its wilder outskirts with friends and family. It was high time, I decided, to make some brand new memories with my hubby.
Now endowed with the power to create my own spontaneous trips (trips with my family required months of planning and forethought), I looked for about half an hour through Airbnb and booked us an apartment for two nights. As the trip drew nearer, I became increasingly excited to explore the city of Victoria and its wilder counterparts (after work, I would eagerly read through all of the Victoria trail descriptions and mark down my favourites with delight). As fortune would have it, the weather for the weekend was sublime-- just the right touches of overcast weather and incredibly sunshine in order to allow us to fully enjoy the outdoors.
Dress // Ever New
Sunglasses // Ray-Ban
Shoes // Topshop
Bag // Tory Burch
After getting off the 9 am ferry from Tsawwassen Bay to Schwartz, our first stop was to the romantic grounds of the Butchart Gardens. At around $30 a ticket, it was the typical price for a touristy attraction (meaning: too expensive) but we made sure to make the most of our visit by wandering around and taking tons of pictures. In the beautifully warm, sunny afternoon, it was delightful to breathe the fresh air, take in the sights of the beautiful flowers and fountains, and relax.
Black Truffle Quiche with Parmesan-covered salad.
We then made our way over to pick up the keys from our friendly Airbnb host, explore the surrounding neighbourhood, and enjoy a quiet evening of relaxation. For dinner, we crossed over the street from our apartment and had a delightful dinner on the patio at the Canoe Club. The picture below demonstrates the beautiful views we enjoyed for both dinner and from our place.
The next day we completed two hikes (which will be featured shortly), had lunch in Victoria's adorable Chinatown, and then explored downtown Victoria (which was only about a 10 minute walk from our apartment). Ice cream, boutique-browsing, book-buying, and coffee-drinking ensued.
On our last day, we explore more of our neighbourhood, enjoyed our last moments in the studio apartment watching Netflix and finishing the fresh fruit we had bought from the market, and visited The Fisherman's Wharf. The Wharf reminded us of a tiny version of Steveston in Richmond; we ate clam chowder, fried oysters, and oogled the cute boathouses tied to the docks. My absolute favourite part, however, was watching a resident family of seals that was barking, splashing, and giving us all gooey-eyes in order to get meal of fish heads.
So, long story short, if you are thinking of visiting Victoria for a relaxing weekend, I highly recommend it! It's not so huge that you feel stressed about having to visit all of the attractions and trendy sport, but has just enough interesting areas to keep you occupied. Also, try to visit on a weekend with gorgeous weather as Victoria, just the same as any area of British Columbia, is at its very best in the sunshine and under blue skies.