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 Victoria


Victoria's Inner Harbor and the Fairmont Empress Hotel

Victoria Information
By Tom Ogg

Language and Currency
What is Victoria Like?
What is the Weather Like?
Where Does the Ship Dock?
Where is the Shopping?
What is There to Buy?
What is There To Do?
Is There Anything of a “Don’t Miss Quality?
Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Victoria Port Reviews

Language and Currency

The Official language of Victoria, Canada is English and the currency is the Canadian dollar.

What is Victoria Like?


Victoria's Double Decker Buses

Victoria is an older city that has a distinctly English flavor to it. Every street light is planted with flower baskets, gardens are everywhere, much of the architecture resembles England and you see double-decker buses everywhere. There are also horse draw carriages that will take you on a tour of the city. The Empress Hotel reminds one of a fine hotel in England and the over all experience is unique to Victoria.

What is the Weather Like?

Victoria enjoys the mildest climate in all of Canada. Summers are especially mild and only a light jacket is needed in the evening time.

Where Does the Ship Dock?


Victoria's Cruise Ship Terminal

The cruise ship terminal in Victoria is about a mile or so from the downtown area. If your ship is offering a shuttle you should probably take it, as the way into town may be a tad confusing if you have not been to Victoria before. It is a very pleasant walk if the sun is shining and you have the time. The simplest way to make it to downtown is to leave the terminal area heading east until you come to the street named Oswego (about two blocks) Follow Oswego to the north until it hits the inner harbor on the other side of the peninsula (about 3/4 mile) Turn right on Belleville (where Oswego terminates) and you will see the downtown area. There are more scenic walks (through Beacon Park) but they are better suited for the return trip to the ship.

Where is the Shopping?

For great shopping head for the downtown area. Victoria Eaton Center on Douglas Street is a large mall with over 100 stores selling traditional fashions and other products normally found in mall type stores. Market Square in the heart of Old Town on Johnson Street is where you will find unusual arts and crafts of the area, jewelry, clothing, outfitting items and lots of interesting products. There are numerous small shops in addition to these two centers and strolling the downtown area will uncover them to you.

What is There to Buy?

Many shops specialize in imported English products that make a nice purchase. Local artisans offer many types of collectible art and other items.

What is There To Do?


Victoria's Legislative Buildings

Simply enjoying Victoria's sights can be fascinating. British Columbia's Legislative Buildings are the center of the local government and many activities. Enjoying the Inner Harbor and the various buildings in the area can make for a wonderful day.


Thunderbird Park

Thunderbird Park was created some 60 years ago when totem poles were erected on a vacant lot to preserve them from destruction. Today, Thunderbird Park offers great insight into Canada's indigenous history. Located right downtown, a visit to Thunderbird Park is well worth the time it takes.


Beacon Hill Park

Another wonderful treasure in Victoria is her Beacon Hill Park. With over 3,000 acres of groomed gardens and natural habitat, Beacon Hill Park offers numerous ponds and water features. Of keen interest to me, is the substantial amount of water lilies displayed during the summertime. One could virtually spend thir entire time in port in Beacon Hill Park and not see all of her beauty. To gain access to the park from the cruise terminal simply exit the terminal and turn to your right. The park area that you are in is simply a small part of Beacon Hill Park. When you arrive at the traffic round, cross the street and enter the main part of the park. You will love it.

While shopping and exploring Victoria are extremely rewarding a "don't miss" attraction is Butchart Gardens located some 15 miles north of the city of Victoria. The 100 year old, 55 acre gardens feature plants from all over the world and is an astonishingly beautiful sight. When tulips are blooming, Butchart Gardens is absolutely the most incredible sight and certainly world class. Even if you only casually care for nature and gardens this is one not to miss. There are hourly motor coaches that leave the main bus station in downtown Victoria for a reasonable fare.


Victoria's Fairmont Empress Hotel

Having afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel is another wonderful experience. The Fairmont Empress Hotel dates back to the nineteenth century and has been completely refurbished without losing any of her charm. I enjoy having a glass of wine on the terrace of the Empress Hotel.


Sunset Over the Inner Harbor

If it is cool, they will provide you with a blanket to wrap up in to enjoy the beauty of sunset over the inner harbor.

Is There Anything of a "Don't Miss" Quality?

Yes, both Butchart Gardens and afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress meet this criteria.

Are There Any Great Restaurants or Bars?

Not that I am aware of. Know of any?

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 Victoria Shore Excursions

 

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