The details: This trip was 24 hours exactly ferry to island and back. We had the ‘luck of the ferries’ on our side and we had such a great time. If you want some tips and tricks on how to make the most of your 24 hours in Victoria keep reading!
Get there: BC Ferry Trip from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay. Make a reservation to hold a spot for you and you purchase your ticket once you arrive but get there no later than 30 minutes prior to departure. TIP: We showed up early and WE GOT ON EARLY! You can also take a ferry from the WA but some only run once daily. We arrived in Swartz Bay and drove about 25 minutes to Victoria.
Stay: Best Western Plus Carlton Plaza. This is close to everything. You can basically walk to Chinatown, Inner Harbor, Parliament Buildings, museums, shopping, dining. It’s a perfect spot. The restaurant next door Ruby’s has great food and good gluten free options. Tip: Ask the hotel if there’s a possibility to keep your car there after you check out so you can have extra time for site-seeing. More than likely, if there isn’t some big event happening, they’ll say yes. Check out time was 12 noon here so we checked out early, they kept our bag and car and we went off!
See: Chinatown and the famous Fan Tan Alley with its little shops, even a little Italian bakery called La Tana.
Inner Harbor: Continue on down Wharf Street to the water to see the famous Parliament Buildings and their green tops, statues and grounds. Walk over to the monument in honor of Mackenzie–Papineau Battalion and see the time capsule and beautiful water sculpture. Tip: If you’re there during the week take the free 35 minute tour offered to see the Buildings!
Miniature World: You can’t miss the Empress hotel and around the corner is the most intricate display of tiny recreations of history. Perfect for youngsters and those that appreciate the time that went into these models being built.
Government Street: Continuing walking back towards Chinatown and see all the shops and souvenirs you can possibly collect. Stop at Bastion Square.
Pickup the car and head to:
Beacon Hill Park: Famous for a tree planted by Winston Churchill, this beautiful park has a petting zoo, peacocks roam freely and so many beautiful walkways and ponds to spend a few hours in if you have it. TIP: From Beacon Park take Dallas Road and just keep going and you’re on the scenic drive around the coast. We drove through some really beautiful neighborhoods and stopped to look across at Washington State, because you are that close!
Tea at Abkhazi Gardens: Created by the Georgian Prince and Princess Abkhazi, this lovely garden is run by donation and has a lovely tea room. TIP: Make a reservation ahead of time. They offer a gluten-free tea that is delicious! After your tea make your way through the garden and discover its hidden delights.
Head back for the ferry (show up early and they’ll get you on) and enjoy seeing the water and perhaps wildlife. And that’s your 24 hour trip!
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