At the end of May/beginning of June, Sean and I went to Victoria minus our 2 daughters. It has been years since we had been away anywhere without our kids, in fact we had only ever gone away once before and that was for a concert in Vancouver. Anyway, we had a great time on our own despite me thinking about everything our girls would’ve loved about the vacation. Read on for the highlights…
We stayed at Humboldt House in Victoria, a bed and breakfast that was in a great location, allowing us to easily access everything downtown by foot. We spent a bit more than we are used to on accommodations, but it being just the 2 of us, we opted for a vacation that was slightly more indulgent than we are used to. The room had a comfortable queen size bed, a wood burning fireplace that lulled me to sleep, and a jacuzzi tub that I soaked in for hours. Breakfast was a choice of four dishes that we selected the night before and came packed into a picnic basket complete with coffee, orange juice, fresh fruit, fresh baked goods, place mats, silverware, and anything else we may have needed. We ate our breakfast picnic style across the bed in the morning. Some reviewers didn’t like the fact that breakfast wasn’t in a common area where you could meet other guests, however this suited us just fine for this particular trip. Upon arrival there was a small bottle of champagne provided in the room as well as chocolate truffles. Staying there really was such a treat and I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. Check out the reviews on Trip Advisor for more information and perspectives.
- Beacon Hill Park was amazing. We walked through the park 3 times and it was certainly a highlight of the trip. The gorgeous flowers and manicured spaces, the birds and small critters, the fresh air, colours, and sounds… It all pulled you in and it was so easy to be fully and completely present in the moment of beauty.
- Walking Along the Shore – I don’t live near the ocean, so it is always an amazing sight for me to walk along the shore and look out to the vastness of the ocean, taking in the large variety of boats coming and going, the sounds of the water or the noise the rocks make beneath my feet. I found a couple of tide pools too and found all sorts of aquatic life alive inside them.
- The Inner Harbour offered vendors and street performers and lots of people watching. I particularly enjoyed Darth Vader playing the violin as well as a one man band who I unfortunately didn’t get the name of but was really fantastic.
- Ghostly Walks – I’m not entirely sure what I think of the idea of “ghosts” but our guide was a great storyteller and offered some really interesting history of particular places in/near downtown Victoria. At $14 a person, I thought the price was reasonable and comparable to other walking tours I’ve been on, and the length of time was good at 90 minutes. I wish I had more time to take another tour as I really enjoy the local history they offer, and the tours are different each night.
- Royal BC Museum – I really enjoy museums and this was the only paid admission attraction that I wanted to go back to that I had visited before. The feature exhibit was “Race to the End of the World” which completely captivated me and now that I’m back home, I’m very interested to learn more about the men and their teams who raced to be the first at the South Pole. This museum also has a wonderful collection of First Nations artifacts as well as more modern history and natural history. The museum is well worth the price of admission.
- Craigdarroch Castle – Unless you are a castle enthusiast, this probably isn’t a Must See attraction for your visit to Victoria, but there is some great history here and we really enjoyed the couple hours we spent touring the building.
- Victoria Carriage Tours – This was a favourite activity. It was very romantic to ride through Beacon Hill Park at sunset, listening to tidbits of history about the the park, some historic homes near the park, and other buildings such as St. Ann’s Academy and the Parliament building. Our guide was fantastic and although the carriage ride was certainly pricey, I’m so glad we spent the money to do this.
The weather was beautiful and a vacation for just Sean and I was certainly long overdue. We had a lovely weekend away and will be back on the island again at some point. Probably next time with our girls again though.