How to Make the Most of a Weekend in Victoria, BC
This trip to Victoria was our first, & we unfortunately only had three days (one of which was spent in a market). On our way there I researched places I wanted to check out, many of which I had been following on instagram for a very long time. We also chatted with lots of locals once we got there to find the best places to eat, drink, & shop. Apparently my researching skills are phenomenal, because they confirmed almost every place I already had! A few places on here we stumbled upon by accident, which was lucky for us. That's exactly how I love trips to go: go in with a plan, but be flexible & open to whatever comes your way. Here's the Flopsy Life Guide to Victoria, BC!
We drove to Van, and then took the ferry over to the island. When I was booking, I didn't realize that the Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay ferry didn't actually take us to Victoria; it went further north on the Island to Nanaimo. We were absolutely okay with that, because we got to drive down the Malahat highway during sunset. We stopped along the way at some lookouts & in the most magical forest ever. It was well worth the extra hours of travel time.
We stayed at in the most perfect airbnb we could have hoped for. Nestled in the neighbourhood of Fernwood, close to a some great shops & not far from the most delicious little cafe & ice cream shop was Jelena's tiny home (a converted garage). Open, airy, and bright with a cozy fireplace and giant sky-window, this was the perfect place to come home to and rest. Jelena has a giant garden that I dream of one day being able to grow, and the cutest kitty. This is where we plan on staying for future trips to Victoria, if possible. Unless the Fairmont Empress wants to host our stay - we wouldn't object to that ;)
For breakfast we enjoyed Mo:Le & Fernwood Coffee Co.'s Parsonage Cafe (best breakfast sandwiches & BLTs!). For the rest of the meals definitely check out Tacofino for giant and deliciously fresh burritos & tacos & small brewery beers. SüLT Pierogi Bar is just fucking genius, & the perfect stop downtown. For fresh seafood Ferris' Oyster Bar is a must - we went to the downstair bar, but there is also a fancier restaurant and a tapas bar upstairs. For raw food, fresh juices & healing elixirs head to Cafe Bliss. They inspired my to start making my own turmeric juice at home. Both Habit Coffee & Hide & Seek Coffee are absolute musts for delicious cold brew & americanos, & Ruth & Dean have the best cupcakes I've ever had (from what I can tell on Insta, they also have delicious lunches, but unfortunately we weren't there long enough to try them).
As I mentioned on instagram, small businesses absolutely thrive in Victoria. Our absolute favourite store is Open House ! For ethical clothing with a Scandinavian/PNW vibe head to Still Life. Rook & Rose is the most precious flower shop that also carries some apothecary goods & gemstones. Pigeonhole Home Store is a gorgeously curated selection of new & vintage home & miscellaneous treasures - I found a simple pattern for sewing pants & shorts that I am looking forward to trying out! Hold General Store is also a must see for home goods, clothing & textiles - and even some farm-grown produce!
The Pier at Odgen Point is absolutely breathtaking - that whole road is actually. Keep an eye out for stunning sunsets, then head out for a photoshoot. It's a bit of a drive from downtown, but Mt. Douglas Park has one of the best views of the entire city & ocean. Fan Tan Alley is a tiny side street with little shops. And of course, all of the beautiful historic buildings along the harbour (like the Parliament Building & Fairmont Empress Hotel) are worth a few pictures.