If ever there is a place in
|Empress Hotel - fronting Victoria Inner Harbor|
From the city of
Vancouver, the cheapest and convenient way is by
taking the Canada Line train to .
Get off at Richmond
station and board bus number 620, Bay 3, which will take you direct to
Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in Delta. For schedules, please see www.translink.ca
or you can call 604 953 3333. Bridgeport
Remember on weekends and holidays a one zone bus pass ($2.75) is good for all three zones. After 6:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday, Sunday and Holidays, discount fares apply and purchasing a one-zone ticket will allow you to travel through all zones. The Sunday and holiday deal for a monthly pass holder good for another adult and 4 children has been abolished as of January 1 2014.
The BC Ferry adult one way fare from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal,
Vancouver Island is $16.00. Seniors who are BC
residents get to ride for free Monday thru Thursday unless it is a
holiday. While enjoying the scenic two-hour ride, you can have a
breakfast, lunch or dinner buffet on board most ships. For details and
schedules please see www.bcferries.com or call
In the boat’s gift shop, you can buy a Greater Victoria adult bus day pass ($5.00) or you can pay the one-way fare to Victoria ($2.50, one-hour ride) at the waiting transit bus (No. 70 or 72 – same bus return) outside the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal. Refer to www.bctransit.com and select
Try to include in your itinerary: the very small and
oldest Chinatown with its Cantonese Fan Tan Alley; a night walk along the
to see the Parliament decked in lights, and a general walkabout. There
are free guided tours of the main Parliament building during the day, please
see www.leg.bc.ca. Inner Harbour
The Royal BC Museum has a good exhibition on First Nations culture and history. Quite touching is the retrospective on the devastation of smallpox epidemic (brought in by Europeans) which almost wiped out the First Nations people. In a display case, near the Discovery Ship at the Modern History gallery, is an 18th century Spanish dagger that may have been the one used to kill Captain James Cook in
in 1779. For details, please see www.royalbcmuseum.com,
Tel: 1-888-447-7977 (Family rate $37.63
plus HST for 2 Adults and 2 Youth, with children 5 and under free, Adult 19
years +, $14.29) Hawaii
The Maritime Museum of BC in
is smaller yet just as informative and fun with model ships and a showcase on
the history of BC Ferries. Within the building is a 19th century open-cage
elevator (one can ride upon request) which can bring you up to the third floor
where BC’s oldest courtroom, since 1889, is still in use.
( 28 Bastion Square,
Tel: 250-385-4222 www.mmbc.bc.ca , Adult 19 years +, $12)
If you love panoramic sunsets, take the local bus – No. 6, 10 or 26 – to the Canadian Navy Forces Base at
Esquimalt, a 3o minute ride
from downtown. There are great views of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State
across the blue-green Strait of Juan de Fuca.
There are also free tours of the base, call Tel: 250-363-5291 www.cfbesquimalt.ca
Located at the highest point of Victoria proper, the
is a lesson in life that wealth is no guarantee to happiness but it certainly
assures great window views. Really a mansion that looks like a castle
with towers, Craigdarroch was built in 1889 by the wealthiest BC man then
Robert Dunsmuir. ( Craigdarroch Castle 1050 Joan
Crescent – a street name, 25 min walk from
downtown or take Bus No. 11 or 14, Adult admission is $13.95 Tel:
Plenty of Buses ( no. 4, 7, 11 and 14) go to the University of Victoria where you can hop off at its terminal point and feel like a college kid again with the rest at the Student Union and Bookstore.
Meals or Snacks
For an early breakfast, a good, affordable, clean place is the oddly named Frank’s Honey Bun (
605 Yates Street,
Instead of having a very expensive afternoon tea at the century-old Empress Hotel ($49.95 plus tax a person!), create your own through the pastry and petit fours at Murchie’s Tea and Coffee Café, established in 1894. Even the bread for Murchie’s sandwiches is baked in the kitchen basement. (
1110 Government St,
Tel: 250-383-3122, www.murchies.com). Free Wi Fi Opens at 7:30 am Mon-Sat
Still run by the Schaddelee family, The Dutch Bakery has been in the same place for more than 50 years (
718 Fort Street,
Tel 250 385-1012, www.thedutchbakery.com).
It is probably one of the few bakeries that never bakes bread, instead they
sell cakes, cookies and pastries using original family recipes, with breakfast
and lunch menus.
Place To Stay
An affordable accommodation and centrally located is the Hostelling International –
hostel at Victoria 516 Yates Street,
Toll Free 1.888.883.0099 or 1.250.385.4511. Please see web site www.hihostels.ca.
Hostelling International has special discounts from time to time and if you are
IMPORTANT NOTE: All prices and times are subject to change. Please verify by phone or online.