Valentine’s Day Ideas

By: Maria Taylor

Valentine’s Day is approaching quickly. Feel stuck on what to do for your special someone for valentine’s day? Here are some ideas we hope inspire you!

Dinner Date:

Romantic Dinner for Two at Butchart Gardens:

The Butchart Gardens is offering a special valentine’s day dinner for season pass holders. For $99 per person, you can enjoy a set menu prepared by the outstanding chefs at the gardens. You’ll be seated in their beautiful Spring Prelude garden with a romantic table set for two. This is a unique experience that Butchart Gardens rarely offers.

Vista 18:

Vista 18 is an amazing west coast grill and wine bar overlooking the beautiful city of Victoria. It is Victoria’s only rooftop restaurant. It is located on the 18th floor of the Chateau Victoria Hotel. Enjoy an exquisite west coast inspired menu that uses fresh local ingredients. On Friday’s and Saturday’s Vista 18 has live music for guests to enjoy while they have dinner or drinks. This is an amazing spot to take your special someone on valentine’s day or any other special occasion.

Milestones Downtown:

Milestones in downtown Victoria has an amazing view of the inner harbor all the way across to the Parliament Buildings. Enjoy a romantic evening and great food. They have a variety of options to choose from depending on taste or dietary restrictions. Pair your meal with a glass of wine or signature drink.

Any of these dinner options will give you an amazing meal paired with amazing views of some of Victoria’s most beautiful places.

Romantic Walks:

The Breakwater:

The Breakwater is a beautiful walk that you can take your date on (and your dog too!) On the upper level it’s a smoothly paved path ending at a stunning lighthouse. This is a beautiful walk where you can watch the boats pass and the sunset. They also have a lower level that you can walk along. (this is more uneven so watch your step if you decide to go.) The lower level is more for adventure seekers, as there are gaps in the rocks, waves coming up, and uneven steps. Once you’re finished your walk on the breakwater you can walk along the path on Dallas road from one end to the other or make a stop at the Breakwater Café to warm up with a coffee.

Beacon Hill Park:

I would highly recommend going on a walk throughout Beacon Hill Park throughout the day. There is so much to see here! There are an abundance of trees surrounding the area and many paths that you can explore. They have many ponds where ducks and turtles like to relax and it is more than likely that you’ll see at least one peacock! Depending what time of year you go, they have stunning gardens and flowers all around the park.

Victoria is a beautiful city so wherever you decide to take a walk any time of year, you will not be disappointed.

Games & Activities:

Just started seeing someone and want to spend the day with them without the pressure OR you and your S.O. don’t want to have a “stereotypical” valentines’ day? Check out some fun activities in Victoria like ax throwing, the arcade, or the board game café.

Ax Throwing:

Axe and Grind, Victoria’s only ax throwing club is a lot of fun! It is something different that you can do together. Have a friendly competition or go on a cute double date! Ax throwing is a workout though so if you have a nice dinner planned after I would suggest bringing a change of clothes!

Quazar’s Arcade:

Go back to your childhood with this blast from the past arcade! Quazar’s Arcade recently opened in downtown Victoria. Try and beat each other’s high score or play a two-player game! This is something new and fun to do in downtown Victoria. They have the largest collection of pinball machines in BC, so you have many choices. They also rotate their arcade games, creating an everchanging variety.

Boardgame Café:

The Boardgame Café is a perfect relaxing date location. Order a bowl of candy for you and your sweetie (pun intended) and choose one of the many board games that they have from Snakes and Ladders to Risk. The boardgame café is a perfect date for a couple, double date, or a group date!

We hope that you enjoy these ideas and that it sparks ideas on what you and your special someone can do together on valentines’ day!

Exploring the Indoor Jungle

By: Maria Taylor

My vision blurred as my glasses began to fog as I walked into the humid garden. I heard the birds chirping and the water running as I gazed upon everything that came my way, sweat pooled on my forehead as I go in deeper, I was immersed in this indoor jungle.

Butterfly Gardens is a tropical oasis hidden in the farmlands of Brentwood Bay just outside of Victoria. I would have never guessed that if I continued down Interurban road, I would eventually end up passing an indoor jungle holding an abundance of insects, butterflies, plants, and animals. Happily, immersed in this humid environment I interviewed Justin Dunning the Living Collections Manager at the Butterfly Gardens. He told me all about his job, experiences, and the plants and the animals that he cares for on a daily basis. This small 12,500 square foot attraction has an abundance of stories within its walls where it is home to some amazing creatures; let us dive in.

Justin has worked for Butterfly Gardens for the past six too seven years. Since before he could remember he’s been obsessed with animals and nature. If it was catching snakes, bullfrogs or turtles and having them as a pet for the summer. In high school, he started breeding different kinds of fish. This passion followed him, and others began to notice. His biology teacher saw his interest in nature and gave him some clippings from plants for him to try and grow. This made Justin’s passion grow from animals and move more towards plants. He took this combining the two and made it into his career by taking a greenhouse program. Justin also began to collect more carnivorous, and tropical plants and his passion continued to blossom. After spending some time in Ontario, he eventually moved out to Victoria and applied for a position at Butterfly Gardens, and he, of course, got it.

Compared to other butterfly sanctuaries, butterfly gardens does an immaculate job with creating an open-air environment for guests and the animals. When I first walked in, I noticed that they have a beautiful hand-crafted wooden table filled with fruit set out for the butterflies to snack on. After that, I turned left, and my journey began, exploring all the tropical plants and animals. I felt immersed in the jungle with all the plants, and trees surrounding me as I walked the stone path toward the tortoise enclosure. Justin and his assistant prune the plants so that guests can hardly see the walls of this indoor jungle.

As Justin and I spoke he told me all about the animals that they have at Butterfly Gardens. About 75% of the animals they have are donated by people who feel that they would take better care of them. The two flamingos, Mango, and Houdini who just turned 40 came from Crystal Gardens after it closed around 15 years ago. They just had around 20 coy fish donated to them last month, and they just had some more tortoises donated. Previous owners do come back and visit their old pets when they have time. Each of the animals has a different personality. Justin knows them so well he can tell if the blue and gold macaw parrot Shadow is hungry, wanting attention or just talking. Another one of the birds Leo, used to choose a favorite employee and follow them around, he now likes to be by himself. Even the tortoises all have different personalities. When you spend so much time with the animals you get to know them very well like the Eclectus parrot Little E.

Justin told me that Little E is one in a million and has a very charismatic personality. He is the highlight at the gardens for many guests, and many times when people post about butterfly gardens on social media, they will mention him. Little E is a lady’s man and will only land on women, he has stolen the hearts of many guests while they are at Butterfly Gardens.

Justin does more than feed and care for the animals. He and his team are focused on guest interaction they want guests to be able to have the best time possible. Sometimes they will let children feed the coy fish on school tours, and Justin is more than happy to answer any questions guests have. He has a lot to do with the project design and layout of the gardens and is currently working on many projects. Butterfly Gardens has plans to expand their tortoise pen, so Justin is helping build this. He also wants to eventually introduce a snake enclosure. Justin works with such a small space. The public gardens itself is about 12,500 square feet and his back room where they have other species like ant colonies, insects, and caterpillars, is only six feet by twelve feet. Which is a very small area to work in compared to other similar enclosures. This can be seen as a setback, but Justin uses it to his advantage, in the garden anywhere I looked I was able to see an interesting plant or animal. Justin has big plans for this small space and wants to utilize every inch for guests to have a truly unique experience.

There are so many interesting plants and animals they care for. In the Butterfly Gardens they have an enormous bird nest fern Justin grew this from a spore eleven years ago and it grew and grew. With being able to work in a tropical environment he’s able to grow more and experiment than your average gardener. The gardens receive butterflies from all over the world, Costa Rica, Africa, and Asia to name a few places and they tend and care for these creatures. They also breed some of the butterfly species. When they do this, you can see the whole lifecycle of the butterflies from laying eggs, to turning into caterpillars, cocooning, and then the final stage, becoming a butterfly. This is interesting for the workers and guests.

Everyone at butterfly gardens has a passion for their job. Justin loves his job and has made friends with many of the guests as he loves to educate people on the plants and animals that they have. When people love their job, it makes guests experience that much better. Many people underestimate the Butterfly Gardens not knowing everything that they have to offer, and this is where they go wrong. Butterfly Gardens is a unique experience that you won’t be able to find anywhere else in Canada, their may be other butterfly sanctuaries, but nothing compares to this indoor garden tucked into the heart of Brentwood Bay.


What to do in Victoria during autumn

Are you coming to Victoria in the offseason and looking for something indoors to do? Here are a few options!

Butterfly Gardens

Get out of the wind and rain and explore the Butterfly Gardens. This indoor oasis will not disappoint, it is tropical and warm with exotic wildlife and many different types of butterflies. The Butterfly Gardens also has an insectarium, where they have stick bugs, leaf cutter ants, tarantulas and more! One of the highlights of Butterfly Gardens is Little E, he is an Eclectus Parrot and is very friendly, but the thing is he will only land on women, he is quite the ladies’ man. Butterfly Gardens is about a 40-minute drive from downtown Victoria, it is about a five-minute drive from Butchart Gardens. Butterfly Gardens is an indoor greenhouse and is perfect to go to on a rainy day. Come explore this indoor tropical jungle and hang out with the wildlife.

Axe and Grind

Frustrated because it’s raining on your vacation? Take some aggression out and go axe throwing! Axe and Grind is an indoor axe throwing club in Victoria. It’s one of Victoria’s newest attractions and people are loving it. Axe throwing is a very unique sport that is very fun! When you first go there the staff will teach you how to safely throw axes. After that have fun! They have different types of axes that you can throw. Challenge your friends and have fun!

Afternoon Tea

There are many places that you can have tea around Victoria. The most iconic places to have tea are The Fairmont Empress and Butchart Gardens.

The Fairmont Empress is a classic place to get tea in Victoria. They offer 21 different varieties of tea paired perfectly with their three-tiered platter offering sweet and savory options. You can read more about the experience in our previous blog regarding everything you need to know about Tea at the Empress.

A second place to have tea is Butchart Gardens. If you already have a trip to Butchart Gardens this is great add on to complete your day especially if it is a little chilly out. They have nine different varieties of tea that you can choose from and if you really enjoy it you can purchase most of them from their gift shop and the end of your visit. They offer a three-tiered platter complete with sweet and savory options.


The Royal BC Museum is the perfect place to go on a rainy day. Learn about the history of British Columbia. The museum is currently holding the exhibition Egypt: The time of the Pharaohs until December 31st. They have many interesting artifacts on display in this exhibition. The museum also has some permanent exhibits which include the Natural history of BC, Modern History, First Peoples Galleries, and Our Living languages. All the exhibits in the museum are exceptional.


We hope that this blog has given you some ideas on what to while in Victoria during the rainy months.

Tea at The Empress

Tea at the empress

Wanting to try tea at the Empress? Here is everything you’ll need to know!


Afternoon tea started with the seventh Duchess of Bedford. She had her cooks make her an afternoon tea tier. This then turned into a social gathering that Queen Victoria was interested in and brought it to the palace. The Empress recreated a social gathering atmosphere, people coming together being in a bustling tea room. Guests can now enjoy this experience in The Empress tea room on their trip to Victoria.

History of the china

The china that The Empress uses was gifted to the hotel in the 1930’s during a visit from King George the 6th. In the Late 90’s it was rediscovered and used for some time. About two years ago The Empress took the original patters and recreated brand-new finest bone china. So, when you enjoy tea it is the original patterns from the 1930s. With having this fine bone china there is about $300 dollars per person worth of china.

Afternoon tea

The Empress serves tea to about 80,000 guests a year. With saying this they need experienced staff serving tea, all the servers in the tea room have been there for at least three decades each.  Between 20-49 years, spending most of their working life in afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea is a celebration. Sit, relax, and maybe have a glass of champagne if you wish. The Empress offers 21 different varieties of tea. Some of the teas are the highest quality in the world, they can cost up to $500 for one bag. All the teas come from the metropolitan tea company in Toronto. They supply the Empress with the top 5% teas of the world.

The most popular kind of tea is black tea, such as their 1907 orange pekoe. The servers try to explain as many of the teas as possible, so guests can experience something new. Guests like to stick with black tea, but some do experiment with teas such as the madame butterfly jasmine, which is a green tea layered with jasmine flowers, it has an unbelievable jasmine aroma. It will change your entire perception of what tea is, and what it is supposed to taste like.

Times and schedule

Tea is served from 11 am until 5:45 pm during the summer, and throughout the winter tea is served from 11 am until 3:45 pm. A reservation is required to enjoy tea at The Empress. It is recommended that you make a reservation the minute you decide you want to have tea as reservations fill up quickly, especially through the summer months. The Empress serves tea 365 days a year. 


Winter is the perfect time to enjoy a warm cup of tea. During the winter specifically Christmas, the Empress offers a winter tea and a winter meal. This includes warmer items as opposed to cold items. It is a perfect way to warm up in the cold months.

Local ingredients

In the past 2-3 years, the Empress has changed the food production and quality. The hotel has decided to have BC local or organic ingredients. The bread that they use is from a local bakery, the meat is from Glenwood Meats in Langford, and most of the vegetables come from local farming projects. All pastries are handmade in house. The Empress has never had anyone with dietary restrictions that they could not accommodate.


The Empress is the only place in Victoria that is serving Veuve Clicquot Rose 118. Which is an amazing rose that is paired perfectly with the three tired pastries and sandwiches.

We would like to thank Christian Elsing the Lobby Lounge manager for sitting down with us.


Victoria’s Best Beaches

The benefit of traveling to Victoria is the abundance of beaches, since we are on an island there are many that we can choose from! Here are some of the best beaches in Victoria to check out on your next trip here!

Dallas Road

The name does not technically describe this as a beach, but you will not be disappointed! All along Dallas road you can experience the ocean in many ways. You can take a drive along the coastline in a car, bus, or bike! Enhance your experience by renting a scooter for the day! On Dallas road you can walk along walkway and enjoy the stunning view. If you’re wanting a more up-close experience you can walk down the (many) stairs and explore the rocky beach! If this doesn’t sound appealing to you, you can always walk the break water out to the lighthouse it is a lovely short 20-minute walk. Rain, or shine Dallas road is worth exploring and you never know what you’ll come across!

Many tourist come in at Ogdon point just off of Dallas road. This is where all the cruise ships doc during the year. One of the most beautiful spots to dock in our opinion!


Willows Beach

Willows beach is filled with many activities. It is about a 20 minute walk away from downtown and they have so much to do there in the summer! They have a large grass field perfect for a family picnic. Don’t want to pack a lunch? They have a concession and tea room.  Willows beach has many events going on throughout the summer such as free yoga and free concerts! Check out their event calendar here. Willows beach is a beautiful long beach that has a cement path to walk along or you can walk on the sand! Be sure to check out some of the creative sculptures that they have there such as the Bohdi Frog by the artist Doug Taylor. Every year in Oak Bay they have a sculpture contest and the one with the most votes wins and becomes a permanent instillation purchased by the city or sometimes even residents if they want the sculpture to stay! Willows beach is fun for the whole family and a great spot in Victoria.

French Beach

If you have a car while in town, French beach is one of the most amazing beaches on Vancouver Island. It is a long drive but well worth it! French beach is perfect for a day trip, bring a packed lunch as it is very far from any stores. When at French beach it is a slight hike down to the water and be aware of the wilderness as it is very secluded so there is wildlife in the area. The beach has many hidden treasures you can walk along the main beach, hike in the forest, and along your way find some amazing spots to sit and relax or go and explore!


What is the most important part to remember if you go to any (or all) of these beaches? BRING YOUR CAMERA! All of these beaches are breathtaking in their own way.  You can get amazing shots of the scenery, sunset, yourself, or your family. It will be an amazing unforgettable time!

Best Shopping in Victoria BC


No matter the location, one thing that people love to do on vacation is shop. The visitors of Victoria BC are no exception, and in fact the locals also love to participate in retail therapy too! While it is sometimes great to visit the most popular shopping locations, make sure to keep an eye out for the lesser known spots that could turn out to be the perfect shopping stop. If you are heading out for a day of shopping in Victoria soon, make sure to put one (or all!) of the places below on your list:

The Bay Centre

The Bay Centre is a favourite stop for anyone visiting downtown Victoria, and it is easy to see why. Its stunning architecture, 90+ stores, and proximity to places such as the Inner Harbour and the Victoria Convention Centre make for a great day of shopping that is easily accessible. If you are a visitor in town, you are even eligible for exclusive discounts courtesy of the Bay Centre’s Guest Services.

Market Square

Who doesn’t love a market? If you are looking for a unique item while visiting Victoria, be sure to check out the boutique shops and outdoor market at Market Square. Support local store owners as you browse their merchandise or grab a bite to eat, and check out the Sunday flea market in the centre of the square for great deals! Market Square is also located conveniently downtown, so it is easy to stop by if you are visiting Chinatown or the Inner Harbour.  

Victoria Public Market

For those seeking local produce, foods, and goods in the shelter of the indoors, the Victoria Public Market has you covered. Here you can pick up some local made goodies for an afternoon picnic, or take your kids to the children’s play centre onsite while you enjoy live music. This is where the community gathers to celebrate local artisans and have fun doing it! Our Feast For The Senses tour includes a stop at the Victoria Public Market.

Uptown Mall

If you are heading just outside of Victoria, it might be worthwhile to check out the Uptown Mall in Saanich. This open air shopping area features all kinds of places to shop and eat, and it is easy to spend a full day browsing here. This mall has a great mixture of stores from high end boutiques to practical department stores.

Lower Johnson

In downtown Victoria, you’ll fall in love with the colourful and quaint buildings of Lower Johnson. Lower Johnson offers visitors boutique shopping accompanied by charming surroundings, and even if you are only window shopping, the walk down the street is very much worth it. Here you will get a small-town feel right in the heart of the city!

Robert Bateman Centre  

Art and nature fans will love the shop at the Robert Bateman Centre as it celebrates the beauty of nature and allows you to take a piece of it home with you! Visitors can browse the gallery of this Canadian legend and purchase his books, prints, and handmade artisan goods by other local artists. Not only is this a fun day out for the entire family, but it also offers the chance to shop for unique, local gifts.

A trip to Victoria BC offers much more than just stunning views and whale watching– the locations above and others will give you a unique and memorable shopping experience too! For more suggestions on things to do or places to shop while in Victoria, contact CVS Tours today or learn more about our sightseeing tours.

Unique 2018 Victoria BC Events & Conferences


Many people know that Victoria offers stunning views and landscapes, but it is a little known fact that Victoria is also a hub of activity for many visitors and locals! As the capital of British Columbia, Victoria is a popular place for gatherings and conferences of all kinds. 2018 brings many reasons to visit Victoria besides the usual attractions, and these include a variety of special events and conferences. If you would like to be a guest in Victoria this year, check out these unique events and conferences below:

2018 BC Women’s Scotties Curling Championship

This January the province’s best women curlers will gather in Victoria to curl in a province wide tournament that is sure to be tons of fun. The teams will compete for a spot at the national level competition, which will take place at the end of the month in Penticton. The Victoria curling club is excited to host this event in the lead up to the 2018 winter Olympics in South Korea, and if you love curling it is a great time to catch a few games either on TV or in person!  

Capital City Comic Con

From March 16-18, comic book lovers, gamers, and tech wizards will be at the Victoria Conference Centre and Crystal Garden for three packed days. See everything to do with comics, toys, games, family fun, science fiction, special guests and pop culture, and maybe even meet your favourite character or actor. Don’t forget to wear your best cosplay! Whether you want to attend a panel, grab an autograph, or just pick up some memorabilia, check out the Capitcal City Comic Con website.

Social Media Camp

In a world where everyone uses social media, why would anyone need to learn about using it? This conference will change perspectives on how to use social media effectively and intelligently in our ever changing world. Not only is this a great opportunity for marketing and communications professionals and beginners, but the conference will also touch on cultural impacts such as changes in politics and security issues too. No matter your sector, you may find this informative conference useful through new knowledge and new contacts. Check it out this May!

NATGEO Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Due to the stunning landscapes and wildlife around Victoria, this exhibition is a tourist favourite as it gives a new way to experience the natural beauty of Canada and the world. The top award winning photos are on display here along with the work of young photographers and special categories. This exhibition runs from December 2017-April 2018 at the Royal BC Museum, and it is well worth a visit. Come and see some of the best nature photography in the world and feel as if you are right there in the photos too.   

Have the events and conferences of Victoria this year snatched your attention? There is plenty more to see in British Columbia’s capital city and CVS Tours can help you see the amazing sights in and around Victoria.

Best Photo Spots In Victoria BC


Vancouver Island is a photographer’s dream. From the stunning mountain scapes to the ocean views to the dense forests, there is a little bit of natural beauty everywhere you look. Add in the historic buildings and sights of Victoria, and the photos become even better. Whether you are a professional photographer, or just like to snap photos for your Instagram, you will love taking pictures in Victoria. Below are some of the best photo spots that you won’t want to miss on your next visit:

Ogden Point Breakwater

A popular location for locals and tourists to walk and take in many beautiful sights and sunsets. It’s a cement structure that runs from Dallas Road out towards on the Juan de Fuca Strait to a lighthouse on its furthest end. You will have an opportunity to see Victoria’s busy harbour traffic as cruise ships, ferries, sailboats, float planes, helicopters and as we already mentioned some beautiful sunsets.

Swan Lake

Located right in the city, the Swan Lake Christmas Hill nature sanctuary offers a place for wildlife and photographers to gather. The lake and natural area around it is home to many birds and small animals, and you can take some great pictures while strolling around the trails that circle the lake. Even if you are not there to photograph wildlife, the lake itself offers a beautiful backdrop for a photo.

Clover Point

Stroll the waterfront path near downtown and you will reach Clover Point, a popular photo spot that does not disappoint. Photos taken here have a triple threat: the mountains, the ocean, and a gorgeous pebbled beach all in one photo! The location of this point is perfect for capturing a sunset or some fantastic photos of shore birds or seals in their natural habitat.

Cattle Point

If you are looking for panoramic views of the Olympic mountain range, look no further than cattle point. Although a small park, Cattle Point houses lots of tourist and wildlife activity. This is a great spot to come if you cannot walk long distances or have kids, as the walking trails are very easy to navigate. From Cattle Point you can catch snap of a sunrise, see river otters in the evenings, or see many other types of wildlife too, all with the mountains in the background.

Goldstream Provincial Park

If you are willing to head just outside of the city, it will be worth it for the photos you can get at Goldstream Provincial Park. Visit in the fall and winter to see salmon swimming upriver, or take one of the many hiking trails (with different levels of difficulty) up to see temperate coastal rainforests and rocky outcroppings. These magnificent environments make for a fantastic photo!

Esquimalt Lagoon

This lagoon is a hot spot for bird watchers and many migratory birds make a stop here as they head away for winter and back in the spring. Although these times of the year will be most popular for seeing wildlife, the lagoon offers gorgeous sunset and landscape views all year long. Stop by to take in the sparkling waters and grab a picture alone or with a friend!

Butchart Gardens

This really shouldn’t come to anyone as a surprise as Butchart Gardens has so many amazing spots for photos. A Google image search of Butchart Gardens will give you plenty of places you can take some world class photos that you will cherish for a lifetime.

While these are some of the most popular places to go for photos in Victoria, don’t forget that there are many more great spots around Vancouver Island to snap a picture. Don’t be afraid to explore and get off the beaten track as it may lead you to a breathtaking view and a stunning photo to help you remember your trip for life. If you need help planning your perfect Victoria getaway complete with great photos to remember it by, contact us at CVS Tours today or learn more about our sightseeing tours.

How To Spend 48 hours in Victoria BC


If you are lucky enough to visit beautiful Victoria, you may feel unlucky if you only get to explore for a short amount of time. Many people underestimate how many activities and sites the city and surrounding area has to offer, and as a result book too little time in this picturesque capital of British Columbia. While it is best to spend at least three to four days in Victoria, if you are on a time crunch and only have 48 hours take a look below at the best way to spend your limited time:

Stay at the Chateau Victoria

You will love this four star hotel in the downtown core as it is near many major attractions so you don’t have to travel far. They also offer complimentary downtown shuttle service for those who can’t walk or don’t want to walk! The Chateau Victoria is one of the best hotels in Victoria and offers comfortable accommodations as well as many great additional services such as highly rated restaurants.

Get a Rental Vehicle

If you are only in Victoria for a short time, it is highly recommended to pick up a rental car so that you can quickly get around and even visit some of the attractions just outside the city. Luckily if you are staying at the Chateau Victoria there is a rental vehicle pick-up point right around the corner!

Visit National Historic Sites

Once you have your car it is a great idea to visit the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse historic sites. These two beautiful locations offer a glimpse into history and are exciting to explore. At Fort Rodd Hill, you can tour the coastal fort located in Esquimalt Harbour, while at Fisgard Lighthouse you can explore the interior of the lighthouse and snap a stunning photograph outside with this unforgettable backdrop. Between May and October it is even possible to book a tented cabin and camp at Fort Rodd Hill!

Experience Fine Dining at Cafe Brio

If you are looking to indulge while visiting Victoria, check out Cafe Brio for lunch or dinner. The entire menu is made from scratch using fresh local ingredients, and they even offer half portions for lighter meals.

Have an After Dinner Drink at Clive’s Classic Lounge

While staying at the Chateau Victoria, take a stroll down to Clive’s Classic Lounge for an award winning cocktail that is steps from your room.

Take Advantage of Chateau Victoria’s Restaurants

Whether you choose to stay at the Chateau or not, you can still enjoy the fine food and stunning views of their Vista 18 restaurant. This rooftop restaurant and lounge offers a scrumptious brunch menu including eggs benedict with crab!

Head out of the City for Sightseeing

Victoria has many attractions to see within the city, but some of the best sights lie only a 20-30 minute drive away. Take some time to stroll through Butchart Gardens, or enjoy a craft cider sample with a charcuterie plate at Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse.

Take a Whale Watching Tour

Head down to the docks at Fisherman’s Wharf to experience fresh fish and chips, a village of floating homes, the fresh ocean air, and of course: whale watching! Eagle Wing Tours operates from here, and with this family run business you can see orcas, sea lions, marine birds, and many other stunning sights. While taking your whale watching tour, you will also learn about conservation and the company’s efforts to protect the wildlife of Victoria.

Experience the Diversity of Victoria

It is a little known fact that Victoria is a diverse city, and the restaurants certainly reflect that! Whether you visit Chinatown for authentic cuisine, or stop by La Taquisa for reasonably priced mexican meals, you will be shocked at the many flavours Victoria has to offer.

Grab one Last Breakfast Before Hitting the Road

While Victoria has many wonderful places to grab a bite, check out Willie’s Bakery and Cafe for all day breakfast, or just a small bite. This is British Columbia’s oldest bakery, and you can tell they are very practiced at making great food.

As you can see, it is tough to experience Victoria in all of its glory in just two days. If you need help booking or extending your getaway now that you’ve seen how much is on offer, contact us today or learn more about our sightseeing tours.

Best Christmas Activities in Victoria BC


Once again the most wonderful time of the year is approaching. Christmas is a very special time in Victoria, and many residents and visitors take the opportunity to spend time with family and friends. This usually includes visiting one of Victoria’s many festive events, Christmas fairs and markets, and light displays. Don’t let the weather get you down this holiday season – whether you like to feel the snow fall on your face or enjoy it from inside, Victoria has a holiday attraction for you! Check out the 10 best Victoria Christmas activities below:   

The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens

From December to January enjoy the spectacular light display at Butchart Gardens. This popular summer attraction comes to life on a winter’s night where you can enjoy classic festive displays, ice skating, carolers, and seasonal dining!

Marina Light Up

On this special night take a stroll down to the Inner Harbour where the streets and boats will be alight with Christmas joy. This is the perfect opportunity to enjoy Victoria’s gorgeous waterfront in a new way!

Annual Gingerbread Showcase

Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase is an attraction that you do not want to miss this holiday season! Held at the Inn at Laurel Point, this showcase features both professional and amateur bakers with all proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity.

The Festival of Trees

Located at the Bay Centre and the Fairmont Empress, the festival of trees has over 80 trees on display in true holiday fashion. Enjoy trees decorated by local businesses and sponsors which not only showcase the Christmas spirit, but the community too. Over 80 trees will be included this year for the festival’s 25th anniversary from  November-January. Visitors can also vote on their favourite tree with all proceeds benefitting the BC Children’s Hospital.

Christmas at the Royal BC Museum

This December, Santa will be visiting the Old Town and the Royal BC Museum. Bring your family and friends to experience Christmas in a new way. This festival offers Christmas traditions from the past, and the chance to sing along with the bells of Carillon Tower.

Santa’s Light Parade at Island Farms

Guests come from near and far to enjoy this famous parade at Island Farms. Kids and adults will love the floats, music, entertainment, and dancing that will pass by and get you into the Christmas spirit. After the parade, meet santa for refreshments at Centennial Square where donations will also be accepted for local food banks.

Ogden Point Light Up, Christmas Market and Truck Convoy

This bustling event is a must see for families or those with young children. Visitors can enjoy holiday music, children’s crafts and activities, food trucks and a local Christmas market. At dusk, the spectacular holiday truck convoy arrives decked out with thousands of lights and ready to leave the city.

Christmas Starlight Cinema

Who doesn’t dream of watching their favourite holiday movie under the stars with a mug of hot chocolate? Thanks to the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe, you and your family can! This attraction offers flexibility as movies are played every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in December, and admission is free!

Centennial Square Ferris Wheel

From the top of the festive ferris wheel at Centennial Square, you can take in all of the holiday beauty in the surrounding area. Take a ride on the ferris wheel, meet Santa, and enjoy holiday entertainment and food vendors.

Uptown Christmas Parade and Light Up

The Uptown Shopping Centre will be hosting its annual tree lighting ceremony this November accompanied by a parade, performances such as live music, and of course shopping! Spend some time soaking up the Christmas cheer and giving back to the community through donations.

While in Victoria, be sure to enjoy one of our sightseeing tours this Christmas.