Archive for the ‘Victoria’ Category

Christmas in Victoria

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

With its mix of old and new, oceanfront and green spaces, Victoria is a very popular destination any time of year.  But there’s something extra special about Victoria at Christmas time.

While not located in downtown Victoria, Butchart Gardens is a magical place at Christmas.  The Gardens welcome you with the lights of the Twelve Days of Christmas while carolers stroll the gardens.  Or bring your skates to take a turn around the outdoor skating ring.  If you’re twelve or under, make a paper snowflake and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop.

Some of the trees at the Festival of Lights at Victoria’s Bay Centre

Downtown Victoria has a magic of its own, presided over by the Christmas lights at the BC Legislature.  The Festival of Trees lights up The Bay Centre with its 25th annual display, with more trees featured at the famous Empress Hotel.  Vote for your favorite tree and make a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Another great display of lights can be found at the docks and on the boats along Wharf Street and at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Kids young and old will enjoy Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase at the Parkside Hotel on Humboldt Street.  Both amateur and professional bakers take part and in honor of Canada 150 the theme this year is “Celebrating Canada”.  The charity benefiting from all this baking is Habitat for Humanity.  If bigger is better, check out the Candy Wonderland at the Fairmont Empress where they have a life-size gingerbread house, and you can decorate your own!

Centennial Square will once again have its ferris wheel, along with entertainment, food vendors and the big guy himself.  What a great way to see all the lights around downtown Victoria!  Every Tuesday and Wednesday during December you can enjoy classic Christmas movies under the stars at the Christmas Starlight Cinema at the Delta Victoria Oceanpoint Resort.  While admission is free, donations to Santa’s Anonymous are encouraged.  A life performance of A Christmas Carol is showcased at historic Craigdarroch Castle starting on December 15th, but tickets go fast for this one.  You can also take the kids to Craigdarroch Castle for a Kid’s Christmas at the Castle on December 16th.

The seasonal lights at the BC Legislature in Victoria

And of course Christmas is not Christmas without music.  There are many life concert and performance events around the capital city, starting with the Victoria Symphony’s Christmas Pops concert(Dec. 8, 9, and 10) and their performance of Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 15 and 17), and ending with a Viennese New Year’s.  Another very popular Christmas concert and toy drive is put on by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy at the Royal Theatre on December 11-13.  In the courtyard of the Greater Victoria Public Library you can drop in to hear Choirs in the Courtyard on multiple days during the month of December.

A great way to take in the festivities around downtown is to join the walking tour of “Christmas in Old Victoria” on weekends during December. Tours start in front of 26 Bastion Square and run from 10:30 – 12:00.  Another way to see all the lights and decorations and hear the music around town is to take the free horse-drawn trolley rides on the weekends.  These rides are free, compliments of the Dowtown Victoria Business Association.  Two trolleys will circulate on a pre-set route between 12 – 2:30 pm.  It’s a great way to rest your weary feet and enjoy all the Christmas magic in Victoria.  Happy Holidays to all!

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!

Spring has sprung in Victoria and Vancouver

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Spring is officially arriving next week, but it arrived early, as it usually does, in Victoria and Vancouver. Both cities have been showcasing blossom-laden trees, daffodils and tulips, flowering rhododendrons, camellias, forsythias, and magnolias for several weeks now.  Our mild coastal climate is great for gardens, but this year’s last month of winter has had exceptional early spring weather with above seasonal temperatures and lots of sunshine.

In fact, in Victoria, March 11th is the final day of their 39th annual flower count. Butterfly Gardens Feb 2015-039Sponsored by Tourism Victoria and one of the world’s most famous gardens, Butchart Gardens, the flower count is meant to promote Greater Victoria as an inviting tourism destination this early in the season.  Victoria is known as the City of Gardens, with many other great gardens to explore, other than Butchart Gardens.  There is the heritage Abkhazi Gardens, created in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, and known for its majestic trees and the actual site it is located on.  Check out the Hatley Park National Historic site at Royal Roads University, with many interesting trees, formal gardens and the castle itself, and located on a seaside lagoon with great opportunities for bird watching.  Government House, in the Rockland neighbourhood where you will find numerous Victoria Bed & Breakfasts, is home to BC’s Lieutenant Governor.  Its grounds are open to the public and feature both formal gardens and the rare Garry Oak ecosystem.

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver's Queen Elizabeth Park

Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park

Vancouver Gardens are no slouch either!  From the highest point in Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Park offers great views over the city, formal gardens,  and the Bloedel Conservatory with its tropical vegetation, flowers and birds.  The sunken garden is a favorite photo spot in the summer time! Not far away is the VanDusen Botanical Gardens, featuring plants and flowers from all over the world, and also especially known for its annual Christmas light display.  At the University of BC you’ll find both the Botanical Garden, Canada’s oldest continuously operating university botanical garden, and the Nitobi Memorial Garden, one of the most authentic Japanese gardens in North America.  And of course you cannot visit Vancouver without visiting its most famous park, Stanley Park. Named the Best Park in the world by TripAdvisor in 2014, Stanley Park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium, the rhododendron and rose gardens, and the 8.8 km long sea wall that circles the entire park and provides fabulous views of Vancouver and the North Shore Mountains. Your Vancouver B&B innkeepers can recommend the best times to visit all of these Vancouver Parks and Gardens.

Explore Victoria and Vancouver’s beautiful gardens this spring.  It’s good for the soul!

Great BC Winter Activities…other than skiing!

Monday, January 12th, 2015

British Columbia is known for its many great ski resorts, Whistler Blackcomb being the most famous of them all.  So what to do if you’re looking for a winter get-away in BC that’s not a wintersports vacation? We’ve got some suggestions for you!

Storm Watching on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

Tofino and Ucluelet on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island are the place to be to view spectacular winds and waves from November through February.  Be daring and brave and bundle up to experience the power of nature outdoors, or enjoy it from the comfort of your Bed & Breakfast or hotel room. Many accommodation providers offer specific storm watching packages, with rainslickers, southwesters and gumboots supplied!  Enjoy both the cozy comfort and the wild at our Ucluelet Bed & Breakfasts or any number of other places in the Pacific Rim area on Vancouver Island’s West Coast.

Brave the wild in Ucluelet!

Brave the wild in Ucluelet!

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Staying on Vancouver Island, on your way to the West Coast or on your way back, why not check out the fabulous Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum.  This exhibit of award-winning photographs of the natural world is celebrating 50 years of awe inspiring images.   Featuring 100 nature and wildlife photos from around the world (from 42,000 entries), the exhibit is on until April 6, 2015 and is absolutely worth a visit.  And there are many Victoria Bed & Breakfasts to chose from for a relaxing and most comfortable stay!

Dine Out Vancouver

If you’re planning a Vancouver visit during January, there are of course all the attractions that the city has to offer any time of year.  But from January 17 until February 2 there’s a special reason to enjoy a stay in the city as Dine Out Vancouver is celebrated at more than 200 restaurants around the Metro Vancouver area.  Dine Out Vancouver is Canada’s largest food & drink festival and offers such an unlimited variety of foods and drink, you’ll probably want to come back the following year too!  Your Vancouver Bed & Breakfast hosts will be able to give you the inside scoop for the best places to enjoy a wonderful culinary experience!

One of several great Vancouver Bed & Breakfasts!

One of several great Vancouver Bed & Breakfasts!

Whistler Olympic Venue Experience

While Whistler Blackcomb is BC’s best known ski resort, and the #1 ranked ski resort in North America, there are many other things to do other than ski.  The 2010 Olympic Games venue for downhill and cross-country skiing, Whistler also hosted the sliding sports of bobsleigh, skeleton and luge, and if you like some adventure and you like speed, this is the place for you!  At the Whistler Sliding Centre you can ride down the same ice tracks as those world class athletes and feel the rush of speeds up to 125 km an hour in the four-man bobsleigh! The hand-out tells you to “make sure you use the washroom before the start of the run due to gravitational forces on your bladder” so be prepared!  There are also several outdoor skating rinks at the Whistler Plaza, so don’t forget your skates!  Whistler Bed & Breakfast accommodation is of course geared to all the winter sports available in the area.

Enjoy your non-skiing BC winter vacation!

It’s A Small World After All – at Victoria’s Miniature World!

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

Visit Victoria's Miniature WorldIf you were ever fascinated by the story of Gulliver’s travels to the land of Lilliput, then a visit to Victoria’s Miniature World – billed as “The Greatest Little Show On Earth!” – is the perfect afternoon distraction for you!

Victoria’s Miniature World is a wonderful, sprawling collection of worlds and histories, painstakingly recreated in miniature and laid out for your delighted exploration. Part museum, part fantasy land, and all fascinating, the various lands on display in Victoria’s Miniature World will fascinate and astonish you – whether you’re young or old! (more…)

The 2014 Victoria Whisky Festival

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

2014 victoria whisky festivalReady or not, here it comes: the 2014 Victoria Whisky Festival is upon us!

Each January, lovers of all things whisky gather in Victoria, British Columbia for one of the world’s top whisky festivals, the Victoria Whisky Festival.

The Victoria Whisky Festival runs from Thursday the 16th through Sunday the 19th of January 2014 at the 5 star Hotel Grand Pacific located on Victoria’s beautiful Inner Harbour – and what an event this will be!

What makes the Victoria Whisky Festival special is that, even though it is too well organized and dressed up to look like it, it is a non-profit event; all proceeds go to charity – so no guilt, there!

Very Vibrant Victoria…..

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

PicBC_Z5X6133-xBritish Columbia’s capital city, Victoria, is a vibrant city, full of art, culture and tourist destinations, fantastically nestled on the south end of beautiful Vancouver Island, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, and filled with beautiful west coast nature.

It is easy to explore Victoria, BC!  Walk, explore by horse and carriage, take one of the fun tour buses or a pedal-cab throughout the harbor and downtown areas to see the great tourist spots! Start your day with morning tea at the Empress,  walk along the harbor down to the BC Museum, lunch at one of the many waterfront restaurants, stroll through Butchart Gardens at dusk, and end the night at one of the many beautiful Bed and Breakfasts in town.

We have so many wonderful Victoria Bed and Breakfasts to stay in, it will be hard to just choose one! But you will find one that meets your needs and suits your taste:

Race View Bed and Breakfast, Beaconsfield InnDayspring Farm B&BAcross the Harbour Bed and BreakfastDashwood Manor Seaside Bed & BreakfastAshcroft HouseAbbeymoore Manor Bed & Breakfast InnMisty Meadows B&BVilla Marco PoloFisher House Bed and BreakfastOak Bay Guest House B&BMarifield HouseCarberry GardensNairne House By-the-SeaHumboldt HouseBirds of a Feather Victoria Oceanfront B&BAlbion Manor Bed and Breakfast InnA Downtown Victoria Ocean View Bed and Breakfast, Amethyst InnCottage PirouetteHaterleigh Heritage InnBinners’ Bed and BreakfastHemingways By The SeaCordova BeachAbinger House and Marketa’s Bed & Breakfast.

Summer in Victoria is vibrant with quite a few events! Most notably!? Music Events! Music Festivals coming up this week and into the upcoming weekend include Victoria’s Ska Fest and Rock the Shores and in September, one of the most famous events, Rifflandia.

Come experience Victoria and it’s vibrancy and visit a Victoria B&B today!

Happy Victoria Day British Columbia!

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

Doesn’t the Victoria Day long weekend feel like the end of winter and the start for the spring and summer season in beautiful BC? We certainly think so, and hope you are planning your British Columbia vacation!

Get out there and take advantage of that extra day and enjoy the many sights BC has to offer. Some special ones to note:

Victoria Day Parade in Victoria, BC
This year marks the 115th Parade! As the city’s largest parade event, join us along Douglas Street to watch marching bands, floats and more. The event starts at the Mayfair Shopping Centre at 9:00am, finishing downtown at the intersection of Douglas & Humboldt.

Cherryville Farmers Market
This weekend marks the start of the Cherryville Farmers Market in Cherryville BC! Be entertained by live music and performances while you stroll the market and enjoy a wide variety of organic produce, farm products, fresh foods, handmade crafts & much more! Learn more by visiting the Cherryville Town Website.

Make this Victoria Day weekend even more victorian by staying at one of BC’s beautiful Victorian-Style and inspired Bed & Breakfasts. Find a great selection of quality BC Bed & Breakfasts here! 

Finally, we would like to congratulate Premier Clark and the BC Liberal Party for their win in the recent BC Election, as well as send congratulations to all elected members from all parties!

Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival Celebrates 150 Years

Saturday, April 20th, 2013
Victoria Highland Games

The 2013 Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival celebrates 150 years of Scottish Culture in Victoria, BC.

The 2013 Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival, happening May 11-19, marks 150 years of this annual gathering in Victoria, British Columbia.  For newcomers and longtime festival-goers alike, this sesquicentennial celebration is the perfect time to experience Scottish culture in BC.

Traditional Scottish games, pipe bands, falconry, sword fighting demonstrations, sheep dog herding, cultural & heritage presentations, musical performances, Scottish & Celtic vendors (food & goods) two beer gardens, and a single malt Scotch whisky tasting school combine to create an unforgettable weekend.  His Royal Highness – Prince Andrew, The Duke of York, will be Chief of the Games and make public appearances both Saturday, May 18 and Sunday, May 19.

Attendance is expected to be high for this milestone event, so it is recommended that you book your Greater Victoria, BC lodging at a member B&B inn to make the most of your stay.


Christmas Guided Walking Tours of Victoria, BC Bring the Past to Life

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Discover the Past Christmas Tours

Victoria, BC is a famously accessible city, whether by car or on foot.  Christmas in Victoria is a magical time, where the city’s charm and history are on full display.

Discover the Past offers a variety of Christmas guided walking tours in various locations throughout Victoria, BC.  Explore Victoria’s Christmas storied history with these guided tours.

Tour Locations range from Old Town to China Town, cemeteries and other historic locations.  Themes range from the traditional Christmas charm of Victoria to its more frightening tales of ghosts. (more…)