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Victoria, BC sights and bites

Victoria, BC sights and bites

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Old Apr 4, 16, 10:09 pm
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Victoria, BC sights and bites

Yeah...I made the title rhyme.

I'll be a first-time visitor to Victoria, BC for a few days next week (April 2016) and I'm looking for suggestions for restaurants and sights around town. My only plans right now are to wander around downtown and along the harbour and visit Butchart Gardens.

Sights:

My main goal is to get some good photographs of the city as a whole so if anyone knows of a good vantage point I shouldn't miss out on please share!

I'm considering a day trip to Nanaimo. Is this worth it or is there another location I should consider instead/as well?

Restaurants:

Looking for some good breakfast spots to start my day off well. I do not require anything fancy and I expect price to be max $15 for a breakfast entree preferably.

Dinner ideas are welcome too. Price range will be about $25-$35 for entrees.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 5, 16, 5:36 pm
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Ah, Victoria, one of my favorite Canadian cities!

If you like walking -- the Inner Harbour is edged by two great walking paths -- the Westsong Walkway and the David Foster walkway (that connect with each other at the Johnson street bridge). If you go as far as Songhees Point (in front of the Delta Ocean Pointe) on the north side and Laurel Point (in front of the Laurel Point Inn) on the south side, the walk one-way is about 2 km and should take you about 30 minutes. Or you can extend your walk on the Westsong on the north side to the end of the walkway (it ends on Head Street in Esquimalt). Similarly you can extend your walk on the David Foster on the south side to Fisherman's Wharf. If you do both extensions, the walk is about 5 km one-way and takes a little over an hour. These are great walks if you want to get some fantastic photographs of flora, fauna, and harbour water traffic. Depending on what time of the day you're there, you might see the Coho (the large vehicle ferry that goes to Port Angeles WA), or the Clipper (passenger ferry that goes to Seattle) making its way in or out of the inner harbour. Plus lots of other water traffic, birds and flowers. Plus, since you're into photography, make sure you get some photos of the inner harbour once the sun goes down.

If it's just flowers you want, then you can't beat the Butchart Gardens of course.

Touristy stuff in the downtown area -- if you're there on a weekday, stop in at the BC Legislature for a tour, interesting and free. The Royal BC Museum is also pretty cool, and if you're so inclined they run regular Imax showings. And for quirky, stop in at Miniature World (around the north side of the Empress Hotel).

Food -- the iconic stop of course is high tea at the Empress - overpriced but still fun to say you did it, a should-try-at-least-once event. For something very casual, the shacks at Fisherman's Wharf never disappoint, and neither does Red Fish Blue Fish which is right on the inner harbour waterfront. Mid-range, we quite enjoy the Flying Otter Grill which is right where the seaplanes take off and land on the harbourfront. A couple of other favourites are Masala Bites (1015 Fort Street) for Indian food, and the Reef (533 Yates) for Caribbean rotis. Also try Pink Bicycle (1008 Blanshard) for gourmet burgers and Baan Thai (1117 Blanshard). More upscale, Lure at the Delta Ocean Pointe has never disappointed. And if you're looking for budget options, then you may find this link -- http://soleseeking.com/2016/01/23/cu...ria-bc-canada/ -- helpful. On this list, we've tried Sally Bun, Red Fish Blue Fish, Gobind Food Market, Little Thai Place, and Masala Bites and can recommend them all.

The kayaks are already out in Victoria harbour, so if you feel like doing something a little physical, check this link: https://victoriakayak.com/. They're fun and reasonably priced.

You asked about Nanaimo ... you could certainly go there, but we've never run out of things to keep us entertained in Victoria, so I can't offer any specific recommendations. Perhaps other FT'ers can offer insights?

I'm sure I've forgotten stuff, but I've gone on more than I meant to, so I'll stop now, but please let me know if you have specific questions.

Last edited by catgirl; Apr 6, 16 at 9:46 am Reason: Edited to add two more restaurants
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Old Apr 6, 16, 6:04 am
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For breakfast -

John's Place (on Pandora just before Douglas) is awesome, and iconic. Depending on when you go (and what day of the week) you may have to wait briefly for a table. Prices there would be around $10-15 for breakfast, but well worth it.

Blue Fox cafe is another great breakfast joint. It's on Fort just past Quadra. Bit of a squeeze once you're inside as the tables are packed in fairly tightly, but it's a great breakfast place as well. And reasonably priced (cheaper than John's Place I think).

There's also Jam Cafe too, which is a few blocks North of Chinatown. Bit of a "hispter" vibe to it but the food is great. It's jam-packed (ha) on weekends though, and wait times can get up to 45-1 hour depending on your group size, so definitely go during a weekday.

I'd definitely hit up one (or all) of these places - although try to go on a weekday when it's less busy. Hope you enjoy your stay!!
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Old Apr 6, 16, 7:39 am
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Oh wow. This is great! Thanks for the suggestions catgirl and WesternCDN! This should keep me busy and fed for a few days.
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Old Apr 6, 16, 12:45 pm
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Spinnakers Brewpub is great:

http://www.spinnakers.com/

Although their web site does a poor job of explaining it, the main floor is a restaurant and the upper floor is the pub, with typical gastropub cuisine, and, of course, pub-brewed beer.

A fun way to get to Spinnakers is by Harbour Ferry from the Inner Harbour:

http://www.harbourferry.com/

Get off at Songhees Landing - The ferry 'captain' will point you where to go.
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Old Apr 7, 16, 2:34 pm
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Get in line for Pagliacci's (http://www.pagliaccis.ca/) and experience the scene. It's crowded and the food is cheap and people love it - an Italian restaurant run by a Jewish family, so what could be so bad?
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Old Apr 7, 16, 2:50 pm
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Forgot to mention, but also try out Bin 4 Burger Lounge at Yates & Vancouver. Awesome, more gourmet style burgers there. If you like raw (sashimi style) tuna, I recommend the 'Chicken of the Sea' burger. Also, if you're up for a late night snack, head to Bin 4 for their late night specials (which is after 9 pm). You get a half priced burger if you buy a drink (pop counts), so you can basically end up getting a free beer out of the deal.
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Old Apr 13, 16, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by radnub View Post
My main goal is to get some good photographs of the city as a whole so if anyone knows of a good vantage point I shouldn't miss out on please share!
Well, I think the classic photo is from tourist info place at Inner Harbour. Provides boats in foreground and Parliament Building in back. But it's facing west, so either do it earlier in the day or just before dusk. If you bring a tripod, building is outlined by lights and makes for a great dusk photo - more dramatic over Xmas when they use that color scheme.

And of course Butchart Gardens.
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Old Apr 14, 16, 9:35 pm
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Skip afternoon tea at the Empress. Eat at the Empress Room that night. It's formal dining but dinner jackets are no longer required. I don't know if that refers to actual dinner jackets (tuxes) or regular suits.

I understand the Bengal Lounge has closed? Pity.
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Old Apr 15, 16, 8:01 am
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Well, I think the classic photo is from tourist info place at Inner Harbour. Provides boats in foreground and Parliament Building in back. But it's facing west, so either do it earlier in the day or just before dusk. If you bring a tripod, building is outlined by lights and makes for a great dusk photo - more dramatic over Xmas when they use that color scheme.
Definitely - This is the shot -

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Old Apr 15, 16, 8:20 am
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Originally Posted by gglave View Post
Definitely - This is the shot
I like to shoot a little earlier, i.e. during dusk, that way you get more than just the lights. Still, a nice picture
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Old Apr 15, 16, 9:11 am
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
I like to shoot a little earlier, i.e. during dusk
Alright, here's some more inspiration / positions then: http://tinyurl.com/zu4lk2u
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Old Apr 15, 16, 5:30 pm
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Victoria recap:

Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
I like to shoot a little earlier, i.e. during dusk, that way you get more than just the lights. Still, a nice picture
Originally Posted by gglave View Post
Alright, here's some more inspiration / positions then: http://tinyurl.com/zu4lk2u
Victoria was so nice! The whole island is so green and most people were quite friendly. Thank you all for the suggestions. I was able to get to Red Fish Blue Fish, Spinnakers, and Jam Cafe. All were very good with great service!

For future visitors: I had great coffee at the Grindstone, Beans all over the world and Crust Bakery. I also recommend Sutra in the Public Market that offers delicious and plentiful Indian food.

I'll have to go back and grab some dusk/night shots. I spent most of my time wandering around the waterfront walkways. I do have a couple of nice shots of the legislature during the day which I liked and I've included a few pics if anyone is interested.
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Old Apr 15, 16, 6:21 pm
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Originally Posted by radnub View Post
I'll have to go back and grab some dusk/night shots. I spent most of my time wandering around the waterfront walkways. I do have a couple of nice shots of the legislature during the day which I liked and I've included a few pics if anyone is interested.
Thanks for getting back to us

I see you were lucky enough to be there when cherry trees were in bloom
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Old Apr 15, 16, 6:32 pm
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Originally Posted by EmailKid View Post
Thanks for getting back to us

I see you were lucky enough to be there when cherry trees were in bloom
I timed my trip so that hopefully I would still catch the end of the season but the blossoms were still going strong when I got there. I was very pleased!
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