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The Garden City
Seeing as we were already out west, we decided to continue on and take in some Canadian cities. Victoria is easy to get to by ferry which I booked through Clipper Vacations. The view when coming into the ferry loading dock and seeing the Fairmont Express and the flowers are spectacular.
As for our accommodations, the more popular destination in Victoria is The Hotel Fairmont Empress. They do offer a High Tea. Since we have already had that experience elsewhere, we did not book a reservation.
If you have learned anything about me is that my preference is to stay in smaller boutique hotels. Abigail’s, a bed-and-breakfast, adults-only boutique hotel housed in a 1930’s Tudor mansion, did not disappoint. Our stay included a delicious breakfast and they had complimentary appetizers each night. It was very close to the downtown area.
They have no elevators so if you have mobility requirements, this is not the best option. I did read plenty of reviews on both hotels and found that many guests truly enjoyed the more intimate and welcoming ambiance at Abigail’s. I too will leave reviews for restaurants and hotels that I feel are worth sharing so I left a review after our stay.
Walking Around Town
We loved walking around Victoria and taking in this quaint town. I would highly recommend you take the bus to Butchart Gardens, where you will see beautiful gardens fashioned after Japanese Gardens, Italian Gardens, Rose Gardens, and other plants at this National Historic Site.
There are plenty of alleys and squares in Victoria to get lost in. That is what makes this charming city so enticing (besides its beautiful flowers). We found craft fairs in the squares with artisans selling handmade gifts and jewelry. Since we were only staying overnight, we did try to maximize our time. In addition to Butchart Gardens, we mainly walked around, taking in the various sections including Canada’s oldest Chinatown.
Make sure to take a walk through the many alleys and squares where you may stumble upon a local artisan craft show and the many shops and restaurants.
Perro Negro – If there is a tapas bar to be found, we will find it as it is one of our favorites. This one brought back memories of our trip to Spain the prior year with boquerones, patatas bravas, baby sardines, and octopus.
Chocolats Favoris – I scream, you scream, we all scream for Chocolats Favoris ice cream. If you like chocolate, you will definitely want to stop in. Generally speaking, I do not have a sweet tooth. That includes ice cream but my daughters are so naturally, we stopped in as they made their own creations. Or grab some of their homemade chocolates, gelato, and other dessert treats while in Victoria.
If you have time to spend more than one day in Victoria, I would recommend extending your stay.