Archive for the ‘BC Travel’ Category

Out And About This Spring

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Now that spring is finally here, our thoughts are turning to a bit of travel and festivals and events we might like to take in.  Once the temperatures rise a bit more and some sun sticks around, it will be a great time to be out and about this spring.

May 4 – 14 are the dates for this year’s Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.  Special events, tastings and food & wine pairings will be held at wineries and restaurants from Kamloops to Osoyoos in the Thompson Okanagan region.  From a bocce tournament & picnic to a wine tasting & garden party and special events celebrating Moms on Mothersday, the Spring Wine Festival offers a great variety of events.  Don’t forget to check their website on May 4th for the bottle bucket list; visit any 8 participating wineries during the festival or attend a signature event, tag your photo @OKWineFest with the hashtag #BottleBucketList and enter to win great prizes.

Enjoy vineyard dinners at Okanagan Wine Festivals

Victoria hosts the Highland Games & Celtic Festival in May

At Fisherman’s Wharf in Vancouver, Saturday May 13th is the date for their Spot Prawn Festival.  You can’t get prawns any fresher than this when you buy them directly off the boat from the people who catch them.  The feature event is the Spot Prawn Boil, plus there are cooking demos, recipes available for you to try, live entertainment and a kids’ corner.  The festival was founded by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC.  Tickets for the Spot Prawn Boil sold out fast, well before the festival date, so get them early!

Victoria on Vancouver Island hosts the ever popular Highland Games & Celtic Festival on May 20, 21 & May 22 in Topaz Park.  Other events associated with the Festival are happening a full week before the weekend long celebration.  Events include piping & drumming, highland dance and Irish dance, heavy events, whisky school, clan tents and dog events.  Be sure to wear your walking shoes!

As B&B Innkeepers who provide breakfast to our guests, we are often confronted with dietary restrictions ranging from vegetarian to gluten free or certain food allergies.  On May 28th at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, Canada’s premier vegan & vegetarian expo, VegExpo, will take place.  Come and find out what new and innovative products have come on the market, enjoy cooking demonstrations (of course!) and free samples, while the kids can enjoy an interactive kids’ zone.  Over 200 local and international exhibitors are expected.  Last year’s event broke the record for highest attended one day show at Canada Place, with more than 11,000 people visiting.  Some innkeepers may be among this year’s crowd!

Of course our  BC Bed & Breakfast innkeepers in all these cities will be happy to assist you with more information and best transportation options to all of these events, while making your stay an event in itself!

Dine Out and Around!

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

From January into early March many communities have Dine Out or Dine Around events happening to promote their local restaurants, accommodations and attractions.  It’s a great time to explore your local community or take a few days to explore an area not too far away.

Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria launches with a gala event at the Victoria Conference Centre on February 16.  With 60 restaurants, more than 20 VQA wineries and breweries, this will be a foodie’s paradise!  During the two weeks of the event, which runs through March 5, restaurants will be offering special menus at $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person.  And not only are restaurants getting in on the action, Bed & Breakfasts and hotels are encouraging you to stay a few nights by offering special overnight rates ranging for $89 to $169.  Victoria is a great place to visit anytime of year, and if you come towards the end of the Dine Around & Stay In Town event, you can also take part in the annual Victoria Flower Count!  Since 1976 this fun event to promote Victoria as a destination in the shoulder season and to bring pride to communities has been a great success.  After all, Victoria is not called The Garden City for nothing!  Usually this event takes place in late February, but as even BC’s balmy west coast had quite the winter this year, the Flower Count will happen March 6th to March 12th.

Great food, great company, Dine Around!

If you want to check out the deals and great food in Vancouver at Canada’s largest annual food and drink festival, you’ll have to plan on doing so next year.  Dine Out Vancouver took place from January 20 through February 5. Special fixed price menus at $20, $30 and $40 and dine & stay packages were on offer here as well, as were numerous unique culinary events. Vancouver is such a multi-cultural city and that is definitely reflected in its restaurant scene.

BC’s Thompson Okanagan region also featured a similar festival with over 50 restaurants participating in Dine Around Thompson Okanagan in January.  Menus ranged from $15 to $45, and this being the Okanagan, you just know that many Okanagan wines were on offer.

Cowichan Valley restaurants take part in the first Eat Stay Play!

Back on Vancouver Island, Dine Around Mid-Island takes place March 3 through March 19, a seventeen day event to explore the cuisine in Nanaimo, Parksville, Lantzville and Qualicum Beach. When Victoria’s Festival ends, travel up Island and check out some great places in this region.

Before you get to Nanaimo you must stop in the Cowichan region for a few days for its first ever Dine Around event, Eat Stay Play.  This region, sometimes called “Canada’s Provence” is a real food lovers destination with wineries, breweries, distilleries, specialty food producers and top notch restaurants.  Special fixed price menus from $15 to $45 per person, accommodation at local hotels and Bed & Breakfasts at $69, $99, and $119, and discounts at local attractions, can be enjoyed from February 24 to March 12.

Don’t let the weather stop you.  Get out there and explore culinary BC!

 

Book Your Romantic Get-Away….at a BC Bed & Breakfast

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Have you made any plans for that special day of romance, Valentine’s Day?

romantic roses and bubbly for Valentine’s Day

The history of Valentine’s Day seems to go back to an early Roman fertility festival celebrated on February 15th called Lupercalia.  Pope Gelasius 1 then named this a Christian holiday on February 14 to celebrate St. Valentine around 496. Which St. Valentine was being celebrated remains a bit of a mystery as there were three early saints by that name.  Rather strangely, all three Valentines are said to have been martyred on February 14th. The most widely believed Valentine to be celebrated was a priest who fell in disfavor with Emperor Claudius II around 270. One legend goes that he continued to perform marriages in opposition to a prohibition by Claudius who believed that single men made better soldiers.

A special treat on Valentine’s Day

Not until the 14th century did this Christian feast day become associated with love and romance in the UK through a poem by Chaucer for the occasion of the engagement of Richard II and Anne of Bohemia.  People started to exchange hand made cards made with lace and ribbons and cupids.  By the 1850s it had spread to the US when a book publisher’s daughter started to mass produce Valentine’s cards.  Today in Canada, Valentine’s Day is the fourth most lucrative retail event after Christmas, Back-to-School, and Mothers Day.

A B&B Get-Away includes a beautifully presented breakfast

Chocolate, flowers, cards, wine and jewelry are still the most popular Valentine’s Day gifts to that special someone in your life.  In 2014, 12.3 million dozen roses were imported to Canada, mostly from Ecuador and Columbia!  But travel is also becoming a more popular way to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Canada.  And you can still get the chocolate, wine and flowers when you chose a lovely Bed & Breakfast for a romantic get-away. Many B&Bs offer special romance packages that can include such things as chocolate-dipped strawberries or a box of chocolates or hand-made truffles, sparkling wine, fresh flowers or roses; sometimes a spa visit or in-room massage can be arranged, or a cheese & fruit tray along with wine.  Some B&Bs have deliciously decadent spa baths or old-fashioned claw-foot tubs, or hot tubs under the stars.  And of course there is that beautifully presented breakfast you’ll get to enjoy the following morning!  As B&Bs are generally small businesses with the innkeepers/owners directly involved, it’s easy to get in touch and customize your romantic get-away just the way you would like it.  Bed & Breakfasts are all about wonderful hospitality so the innkeepers will be happy to assist to make your get-away just perfect!

Whether you are looking for an urban get-away with other exciting places to visit close by, or you’re looking for that peaceful retreat in the country, on the beach, in the mountains, or in the forest, there is sure to be a BC Bed & Breakfast to suit your tastes.  Can’t get away around Valentine’s Day?  How about a gift certificate instead for later in the year?  All you have to do is pick the B&B that appeals to you and your special someone, make that call and look forward to a very special get-away!

Celebrate the Holidays at a Bed & Breakfast

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Want to get away for the holidays?  A great choice for celebrating the festive season if you’re not spending it with family and friends is to book a stay at a BC Bed & Breakfast.

Many B&Bs are festively decorated of course, but being a Bed & Breakfast, you’ll experience not only a great place to relax and rejuvenate and be pampered, but you’ll still get that personal touch of a home-like environment.  Personalized hospitality is what Bed & Breakfasts are all about, and innkeepers know the fine line between interacting with their guests and leaving them to enjoy their privacy.

Look who wants to celebrate Christmas at this B&B!

Look who wants to celebrate Christmas at this B&B!

If you’re a skier, we know a great B&B in Pemberton that puts you right near the slopes at Whistler/Blackcombe. Our North Vancouver B&Bs are a great place to stay if you’re tackling the local ski hills at Cypress, Grouse or Seymour.  Our members in Revelstoke and Golden are situated in great ski resorts, and don’t forget the Okanagan with its great powder!

a Christmas corner at Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast

a Christmas corner at Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast

Want to spend time in the city instead?  There is no shortage of things to do even at Christmas time, starting with enjoying the Christmas light displays at the new maze in Vancouver (the world’s largest) and Van Dusen Botanical Garden, or the Twelve Days of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.  Or take a day trip up Island to see the Ladysmith Festival of Lights with stops along the way. Walk the seawall in Stanley Park, along the oceanfront at Dallas Road in Victoria, or the Kelowna Boardwalk to get some exercise and fresh air in between the mulled wine and Christmas cookies!  Your B&B innkeepers will surely have some to share with you and offer some special touches when you’re staying over the holidays.

Christmas at Clair's Bed & Breakfast in Ladner

Christmas at Clair’s Bed & Breakfast in Ladner

Or maybe you’re looking for some quiet time together to cuddle up and watch a movie or grab that book you’ve been waiting to read uninterrupted.  You can do that too at a B&B as we try to  make your stay just as you would like it.  Escape from the busyness of this crazy, hectic time of year and just BE.  Find your favorite B&B for all holiday activities right here.

Of course if you are visiting family or friends, B&Bs are still a great place to stay if their house is already full.  Enjoy the days with your family and then come back to your peaceful B&B at the end of the day, and start the next morning with a delicious, relaxed, and beautifully presented breakfast.  We want you to feel special and enjoy the holiday season!  If you do, you might like to give a B&B get-away to someone special in your life for another special occasion, so they can enjoy that same great BC Bed & Breakfast experience!

We wish all our guests, past and future, a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and a healthy and happy 2017!  We hope to see you next year!

The Weather Outside May Be Frightful

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

The weather outside may be frightful (even though it’s not Christmas yet), but there are lots of indoor events to enjoy around BC this time of year.

A great source for all kinds of cultural events is BC’s Guide to Arts & Culture.  You can pick up a print copy at many places around the province, or check out their website. November is the month when almost all communities, big and small, will be featuring Christmas Craft Fairs or Studio tours, so you can find some uniquely beautiful and one-of-a kind gifts for those on your Christmas list, or spoil yourself!

How about a concert, or a live theater performance?  Bryan Adams is on tour in BC, and so is Celtic Thunder, Roger Hodgson, guitarist Jesse Cook, and country artists Florida Georgia Line and Canada’s own Terri Clark, just to name a very few.  Here’s a great resource to find Vancouver concert information.

If you’re into sports, there’s NHL hockey in Vancouver of course, and the end of the Canadian Football League season, but numerous communities have great BC Hockey League junior A teams, that provide exciting games.  Smaller communities may have a Junior B hockey team that still provides great entertainment. You can also find public skating at many community rinks of course, if you want to lace up the blades yourself.

At the UBC Museum of Anthropology

At the UBC Museum of Anthropology

Museums and art galleries abound in BC and offer something for everyone’s taste.  A great one in Victoria is the Royal BC Museum. Their exhibit “Mammoths: Giants of the Ice Age” is still on until the end of the year.  In Prince George, check out the Two Rivers Gallery for a wide variety of visual art, or the Central BC Railway & Forest Museum, which is also getting ready to present its Celebration of Lights .  In Kelowna history buffs will find lots of interest at the Father Pandosy Mission museum, or as befits BC’s major wine region, you can visit the BC Wine Museum and VQA Wine Shop.  (Of course the Okanagan also offers a range of wine tasting tours with several companies doing the driving for you.)

Prince Rupert’s Museum of Northern BC has an international reputation for its exceptional collection and exhibits highlighting the environment, history and culture of the Northwest region of BC;  Vancouver museums offer a wide range of interests from Science World, the Museum of Vancouver where you’ll learn more about this great city, the Museum of Anthropolgy at the University of BC, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, or the Richmond Olympic Experience, which calls itself the most interactive experience in North America.  And don’t miss some of the smaller BC communities which often have very interesting, more local collections. In Duncan, for example, the Cowichan Valley Museum, located in the picturesque old railway station, offers a full range of museum activities about the dynamic history and heritage of the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.

Dining in Vancouver

Dining in Vancouver

There are films to enjoy through the Vancouver International Film Centre, great restaurants all over BC, wine tours, brewery tours, ghost walks, the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (bring your rain gear just in case!), the Canadian Open International Wheelchair Curling Bonspiel, the Quidditch Western Regional Championships, or Fan Expo Vancouver.  The list of things to enjoy around BC this time of year is still endless!  When you book your accommodation at a BC Bed & Breakfast, your hosts will have lots more ideas of indoor, or outdoor, activities to enjoy around our beautiful and welcoming province!

 

Fall Colors in British Columbia? You Bet!

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Yes, BC is not generally known for great fall colors like eastern parts of Canada are, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any colors at all!  If you can’t travel to Quebec’s Eastern Townships, or Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park for example, check out these colorful locations in British Columbia.

If you want to see some great fall colors in BC, start in Vancouver and walk the seawall in Stanley Park; you’ll see some awesome colors all around you.  Other great fall colors around the city can be found at Vancouver’s highest point, Queen Elizabeth Park, the Laburnum Walk at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens for some rich yellows, and both the campus at the University of BC as well as the UBC Botanical Garden.  Our Vancouver area Bed & Breakfast innkeepers will have their own favorite spots for fall color viewing close to home.

Fabulous Fall!

Fabulous Fall!

Fall color in BC's Kootenay region

Fall color in BC’s Kootenay region

A day trip away from Vancouver takes you through Whistler to Pemberton.  The Pemberton valley offers some wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, rivers and the valley, with the gorgeous yellow colors of maples, aspen, cottonwood and birch mixed in with the evergreens.  Just ask Pemberton innkeeper Margit at the Greenwood Country Inn! Continue to BC’s interior and take Highway 97C from Merritt to Ashcroft and stop to enjoy some great views of fall colors along the way.  If you’re taking Highway 3 in southern BC, going from Vancouver to Calgary, stop at the Cascades Lookout in Manning Park to view the beautiful larches. Fernie also offers some great colors and fabulous views of the surrounding mountains, and we’ve heard that the Kootenays around Golden and Cranbrook are pretty impressive as well.  Our innkeepers in Golden can direct you to the best spots in the area!

Victoria on Vancouver Island has some lovely parks where you just know there’ll be some great fall colors to enjoy as well.  And maybe surprisingly, Tofino on Vancouver Island’s we(s)t coast, more known for its rainforest, also showcases some pretty spectacular colors in the fall.  Make it a trip to include Ucluelet and the fabulous Wild Pacific Trail and stay at one of our great Ucluelet B&Bs.

Can’t get away this fall?  Don’t forget to enjoy the colors you’ll find in your own neighborhood or during your daily commute.  They won’t last long and you know winter will be coming!

Fall Get-Aways in Vancouver

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Whatever the weather, Vancouver and surroundings offer so many great attractions and events, it’s a great place to visit for a little fall get-away.  There is definitely a hint of fall in the air on BC’s west coast.  We’ve had some rainy days lately and the temperatures have dropped a bit, but the forecast is looking good again with sunshine and some higher temperatures, so it looks like we’ll have a nice spell of Indian summer.  Schools have started back up so it’s a little quieter out there, so why not treat yourself to a few days away?

Spectacular Vancouver

Spectacular Vancouver

Still on until October 2nd at the Vancouver Art Gallery is “Picasso: The Artist and His Muses”.  This exhibition examines the six women who inspired Picasso’s artistic growth and is the biggest Picasso exhibition ever showcased in Vancouver.  The Vancouver Art Gallery is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, and will next host the “Walker Evans: Depth of Field” exhibition, featuring the works of influential American photographer Walker Evans.

Are you a beer connoisseur?  You might want to schedule a Vancouver Craft Brewery Tour!  This 3.5 – 4 hours guided tour will take you to three of Vancouver’s great craft breweries, show you how the beer is made and of course provide you with samples to check out!  Transportation is included, so no need to worry about drinking and driving.  Or if you’re a foodie, how about an “Off the Beaten Track” culinary walking tour taking you to some of the city’s most fun and exciting eateries.

There are lots of free, or almost free, things to do in Vancouver as well of course. Great places to visit are Granville Island, Gastown and Chinatown.  Fall is a great time to check out the Capilano Salmon Hatchery in North Vancouver as the salmon start returning at the end of their life cycle.  When you’re on Vancouver’s North Shore, aka North and West Vancouver, and are looking for some serious exercise, look no further than the Grouse Grind.  As long as the weather and the trail stay good, this 2.9 km hike straight up to the top of Grouse Mountain will give you a serious challenge, but take the Skyride down!  For something a little less challenging, check out Lynn Canyon Park and the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.

Kayaking off Vancouver's Stanley Park

Kayaking off Vancouver’s Stanley Park

No visit to Vancouver is complete without strolling the seawall in Stanley Park.  Walk or cycle around the outside edge of the park for wonderful views of Vancouver’s Lions Gate Bridge, the North Shore and English Bay.  The seawall is only one part of a 28 km long uninterrupted waterfront path called Seaside Green, the longest of its kind in the world, and a fabulous way to experience the city of Vancouver.  You’ll see fall colors along the way, and wonderful views!

For your fall get-away, book your accommodation at a Vancouver Bed & Breakfast. Innkeepers are a great resource for suggestions, directions and other great adventures to be had in the city of Vancouver

Great BC Hiking

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

British Columbia is a nature lover’s paradise so you know you’ll find great hiking everywhere in BC.

On Vancouver Island’s west coast you’ll find the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.  While this trail is 47 km long, it does have several access points so you can hike sections of it. The trailheads are at China Beach (southern point), Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Beach, and Botanical Beach in Port Renfrew (northern point).  This is definitely a wilderness trail at a moderate rating, although day hiking from the southern and northern trailheads tends to be somewhat easier.  Botanical Beach and its tidepools is a definite must stop before or after your hike if the tide is out.  Fabulous views, an isolated shoreline, pounding surf and old growth forest make for inspiring surroundings, but be aware of bears and cougars!

Near Kelowna in BC’s Thompson Okanagan region you’ll find the Blue Grouse Mountain Trail, again with a moderate rating.  The trail is 8 km long with fantastic views of Okanagan Lake.  You can do the full 5 hour hike or just do a 2 hour one by parking at the lower communication tower.  There are some steep sections but they do level out and the intermittent open areas give you better and better views the higher you go, until you have a 360 degree view at the top, all the way to Big White near Vernon.  Things to watch out for are prickly rosehip bushes on some of the steeper sections and little cacti.  For an easier alternative around Kelowna, there is the trial in Knox Mountain Park, along the east side of Lake Okanagan.  This 4 km trail makes for about a 2 hour hike, with a beach and a picnic area at the end of the trail.

Hiking in the Okanagan region

Hiking in the Okanagan region

A favorite trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park is the Elfin Lakes trail.  It is a moderate level trail that is well marked.  The return hike is 6-8 hours for the full 22 km to the third lake.  There is a big shelter but you must make reservations ahead of time, as this is a popular trail, with the park just 70 km north of Vancouver and close to the “outdoor recreation capital of Canada”, Squamish, BC.  There are several other trails in Garibaldi Park, and a total of over 200 km of trails in the Squamish area at different difficulty levels.  The area is also well known for great mountainbiking.

Fabulous views from a Kootenay hiking trail

Fabulous views from a Kootenay hiking trail

In the Selkirk Mountains of the Kootenays region, check out great hiking in Valhalla Provincial Park. This park is located on the west shore of Slocan Lake, north of Slocan and Castlegar.  There is a great network of hiking trails in the park of various difficulty levels, some only with boat access.  A great choice for a day hike would be the Slocan Evans trail along the lake with great views and lots of opportunity for swimming.  Park on the east side of the Slocan River in the village of Slocan to reach the trailhead.

These are only some of hundreds of hiking possibilities in British Columbia.  Our BC Bed & Breakfast innkeepers will know many of the local hikes in their area and will be able to give you detailed information.  Where ever your BC hikes take you, always make sure you’re prepared and let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to be back.  Enjoy our BC wilderness at your own pace!

 

 

Summer Time… Farmers’ Market Time

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Ah summer time!  They say the living is easy, but it’s a busy time for farmers selling at the weekly Farmers’ Markets that abound in BC.  From cherries, apricots, and peaches in the Okanagan region, to berry crops on the coast, summer time, and later fall, are great times to get out to your local Farmers’ Market to pick up the freshest of fresh products, grown or produced locally, and often organic too.

Many communities around the province have Farmers Markets.  You can find out if there’s one in your area by checking out the BC Association of Farmers Markets website or keep an eye on the local papers of course.  Here are a few you might want to check out if you’re in the area:

Duncan's Farmers' Market is one of the largest in BC

Duncan’s Farmers’ Market is one of the largest in BC

Duncan Farmers’ Market – The Duncan market on Vancouver Island is one of the largest in the BC.  Located in the Cowichan Valley, one of the Island’s main agricultural areas, sometimes called Canada’s “Provence”, it features lots of local produce, honey, local cheese, crafts, local wineries and distilleries, locally roasted coffee, hand made soaps, home baked goods and much more.  All accompanied by local entertainment, it’s a great meeting place for the community too, as well as visitors to the region. Open 9 am – 2 pm on Saturdays, year-round except for the Christmas holidays

Skeena Valley Farmers’ Market – This market in Terrace reflects the furthest point north in BC where fruit trees can grow, but the fertile Skeena Valley offers other local produce as well, ranging from fish and fresh veggies, to lots of ethnic products from local residents.  Open 9 am – 1 pm on Saturdays, May until the end of October

Revelstoke Farm & Craft Market – Revelstoke’s market is held at Grizzly Place. Surrounded by heritage buildings and views of spectacular snow covered peaks, local produce and crafts are on display under colorful awnings.  It’s the place to be on Saturday morning in Revelstoke, in BC ‘s Kootenay region.  Open 8:30 am to 1 pm, May through October

Metro Vancouver’s Lonsdale Artisan Farmers’ Market & Granville Island Farmers’ Market are two well-established markets in the Vancouver area.  In fact, Granville Island’s market is the oldest of its kind in Vancouver.  Both markets are located right by the water to give you some great views of Vancouver while you shop for fresh produce and everything from jams to salsas, to pickles and pastas.  The Lonsdale Market is located on the East Plaza at Lonsdale Quay Market & Shops and is open May through October from 10 am – 3 pm.  The Granville Island Farmers Market is across from the Public Market on Granville Island and runs June through September from 10 am – 3 pm.

Farmers' Market fresh veggies on offer!

Farmers’ Market fresh veggies on offer!

Armstrong Farmers’ Market – You can’t talk about BC Farmers’ Markets without mentioning the oldest continuously running market in Armstrong, in BC’s Okanagan region.  This country style market has a full range of products from veggies to eggs, cheese, plants and flowers, garden furniture, fashion accessories and kids clothing, and everything in between.  Open from April 30 through October on Saturdays, from 8 am – 12 pm.

If you’re traveling around British Columbia this summer, and if you’ve chosen to stay at one of our fine BC Bed & Breakfasts, the innkeepers will can tell you all about their local Farmers’ Market.  In fact, you’re likely to find a lot of that fresh local product on your breakfast table!

What’s Happening in Victoria This Summer?

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

Are you planning a trip to Victoria this summer?  Aside from all the great year round attractions that have made Victoria a favorite destination for many, there are some great special events and festivals you might like to take in while spending a few days in our capital city.

Victoria plays host to BC’s largest street festival when buskers arrive from around the world for the 6th annual Victoria International Buskers Festival, which starts on July 15th and runs for ten days.  Everything from flame throwers to jugglers to puppets will entertain the crowds at several venues and stages around the downtown area.  Also part of it: the International Food Village on the waterfront. And talking about food, “Taste”, Victoria’s Festival of Food and Wine, a long weekend of tastings, events and seminars, takes place July 14th – 17th.  It starts with an evening tasting of more than 100 BC wines and local cuisine prepared by top Vancouver Island Chefs.  This event with “a conscience” works with participants who are all about local, seasonal and sustainable in their business practices.

The very popular TD Art Gallery Paint-In is happening on Saturday July 16th.  Ten blocks on Moss Street in downtown Victoria, from Fort Street to the waterfront on Dallas Road, become one big art gallery where 165 artists will showcase their work to thousands of visitors.  There’s a great atmosphere, and of course there will be music and food to enjoy as well.  Meanwhile at the Royal BC Museum there’s a huge exhibit on: Mammoths – Giants of the Ice Age.  Come and see Lyuba, the world’s most complete preserved mammoth discovered in Siberia in 2007.  This baby woolly mammoth is 40,000 years old!

cycling on Victoria's Galloping Goose Trail

cycling on Victoria’s Galloping Goose Trail

On the BC Day long weekend, July 31st – August 2nd, you can take in Canada’s biggest cycling event, the Victoria International Cycling Festival.  With Victoria considered to be Canada’s cycling capital, this only makes sense of course!  Watch the mountain biking pros race at Bear Trax, a family friendly event. And of course don’t forget to bring your bikes, be it a mountain bike or road bike, to explore the Victoria area on your own that weekend (or anytime!)  There are great cycling routes around the capital city, and lots of information online, or join a like-minded group of enthusiasts.

One of the most popular summer events in Victoria is the Symphony Splash, on the Sunday of the BC Day long weekend, which falls on July 31st this year.  For the 27th year, the Victoria Symphony will play on a barge in the inner harbor, with up to 40,000 people filling up all the space on land and in the water to enjoy the performance.  There is a Family Zone open from 1:00 – 4:00 pm and an opening act at 4:00 before the orchestra takes the stage at 7:30.  The show always ends with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with navy guns and fireworks.  One thing to remember, get there early to find a spot!

Victoria is a great place to visit during the summer.  There is so much happening!  If you are coming, plan ahead and book your Victoria Bed & Breakfast accommodation well in advance as rooms fill up fast.  You’ll be well looked after and won’t lack for a wide range of things to see and do while you’re being spoiled with great hospitality!