Not all travel is vacation, but that doesn't mean you can't squeeze in some fun. If you're traveling to Victoria for business here are six quick capital ideas for putting fun back in to your business travel in Victoria. We think it makes a strong case for planning to hold your meetings here too!
1. Go outside
Victoria is an extremely walkable city so if you only have an hour of free time you can make the most of it by just nipping outside. From the Inner Harbour (right next to the Conference Centre and many meetings hotels) you can take a revitalizing Victoria Harbour Ferry to Fisherman's Wharf to feed the seals and wander between the colourful houseboats. Or head out west on foot to Beacon Hill Park for an ice cream from Beacon Drive Inn and a quick visit to the Children's Farm where you can pet the baby goats before business calls you back.
2. Indulge your taste buds
Have a free lunch hour or night off from meetings? Visit the Victoria Public Market for the very best the area has to offer in terms of produce, baked goods and prepared delicacies. Or get a taste of Victoria's famous craft beers by following Victoria's Ale Trail, finishing with a meal at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub, Canada's oldest brewpub. If cocktails are more your thing, Veneto, Clives and Little Jumbo are just three of our favourites.
3. Pinkies up for Afternoon Tea
Tea culture has been engrained in the history of Victoria for over 150 years. Today, Afternoon Tea is as revered as it has ever been, but in true Victoria style, this traditional affair has been reinvented with a distinct West Coast, contemporary flair. Gather a few of your fellow meeting attendees or indulge solo (and daydream of Downton Abbey) in Afternoon Tea at The Fairmont Empress. For over 95 years, the majestic lobby of this landmark hotel has played host to England's most beloved ritual with specially blended Empress Tea and freshly baked scones, served with Jersey cream and preserves.
4. Shopping is the best therapy
When you have had enough of business hit the streets and find some treasures to take home with you so you can say, "I got it in Victoria." Whether you're window shopping or on a major spree, you can browse quaint shops, local markets, shopping centres and department stores to find your heart's desire. Only have an hour between meetings? Stroll along Government Street to find the perfect souvenir or gift in one of many specialty stores that line Victoria's iconic street. Turn off Government to Lower Johnson Street (locals call it LoJo) to discover Victoria's district of exclusive fashion and design boutiques.
5. Do not pass go
Looking for a fun group activity to keep the meeting spirit going? Head to Interactivity Board Game Café. Located right downtown, this gem is a board gamers paradise. Our favourite thing about this place is you can tell the m what type of games you like, say Jenga for example, and they will recommend a different game you never heard of that is similar, but way cooler. Our second favourite thing about this place is their traditional milkshakes- they have over 30 flavours!
6. Make your own whale tale
Have a half-day to explore as a team? Consider a whale watching adventure. The waters surrounding Victoria are home to an abundance of marine wildlife like orcas, or killer whales, gray, humpback and minke whales, sea lions, seals, porpoise and a number of marine birds. Three pods of resident orcas totaling over 80 whales live in Victoria's waters. Visitors can join local certified naturalists for a guided marine adventure tour to see and learn about these animals first-hand.
Business travel is never boring in Victoria. For more information on what is happening check out www.TourismVictoria.com.