Explore Victoria – The Not-So-Touristy Things To Do
It’s true that a simple google search of ‘things to do in Victoria’ will instantly fill your search feed with endless activities. Sadly though, you’re often left with exceptionally touristy things to do. Things like whale watching, a visit to Butchart Gardens, and exploring Craigdarroch Castle are certainly interesting, but, if you’re anything like us, you’d rather ‘do as the locals do’.
Instead of the usual stuff, here’s a guide to restaurants, coffee shops, hikes, and shopping spots that Victoria locals sincerely adore.
Since you’ll need to eat at some point (no matter the length of your stay) you might as well choose the best places to go. Here are a few suggestions for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Nearly any day of the week, you’ll see a line-up at Victoria’s Blue Fox Cafe located on Fort Street. With all-day breakfast and their cult-like following, you’ll be sure to satisfy your breakfast cravings at Blue Fox. Or, with its bright pink exterior and diner-like interior, Floyd’s is a considered a Victoria breakfast classic.
Located in Trounce Alley, The Tapa Bar offer Spanish tapas perfect for sharing and pairing. Known for their red sangria, The Tapa Bar have ample indoor seating, and European-inspired outdoor seating. Though it’s commonly busy, the service is known to be fast and friendly.
When it comes to dinner, you’ll have a zillion choices, but it’s easy to overlook one hidden gem in downtown Victoria. Located in an obscure spot off Fort Street, Little Jumbo is subtly identified by its neon elephant sign. Clad in heritage-style red brick and set with low-lighting, Little Jumbo offers the perfect spot to unwind while enjoying lengthy conversation.
Like most places, Victoria is dotted with endless Starbucks locations. For a change (and some really amazing food and coffee), Union Pacific Coffee, located in the heart of Chinatown, offers a warm edgy vibe. In warmer weather you’ll be able to enjoy their outdoor patio which back onto Dragon Alley, and inside, you can find a spot at one of the many community style tables.
A Few Hours at a Spa
Perched on the edge of the ocean in the heart of Oak Bay, is the Boathouse Spa at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Offering indulgent treatments, a visit to the newly constructed hotel is worth a visit in itself. The Oak Bay Beach Hotel is also home to a Kate’s Cafe, and the Snug Pub.
Preview Victoria’s Real Estate
It’s easy to feel curious about Real Estate when visiting a city anywhere in the world. To snoop along the streets of Victoria’s premiere Real Estate, consider taking a drive through the Uplands neighbourhood. Here, you can expect to see estate-sized lots, tree-lined streets and really big houses.
Burn Off Some Energy
If you’re looking to get some exercise during a visit to Victoria, your options are endless. There’s a new rock climbing gym in the heart of downtown, boutique fitness studios. You can simply walk Dallas Road towards (or away from) the cruise ship terminal. The breakwater (adjacent to the cruiseship terminal is beautiful to walk. From there, you can walk through James Bay, alongside the Inner Harbour, and with enough energy, you could continue across the Johnson Street Bridge to our marina in Vic West.
A nice hike is possible at spots like Mount Douglas in the Gordon Head Neighbourhood, or Mount Finlayson located in Goldstream Provincial Park. And, for a swim during the summer, lakes like Thetis or Durrance are incredibly popular.
A Little Bit of Shopping
Yes, you’ll find great shopping in Victoria’s downtown core. Probably the best spot is lower Johnson where you’ll find shops like Lulu Lemon and Fluevog Shoes, or there’s the Bay Centre will numerous retailers. Increasingly popular though, is Victoria’s Uptown Shopping Centre. There you’ll find big retailers and boutique shops too.
Call Victoria International Marina 778-432-0477 for all your yacht provisioning needs covering the west coast.