Did you leave your Valentine's Day plans to the last minute again this year? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Presenting: your Valentine's Day itinerary - a perfectly planned day in Victoria that you can enjoy with your loved one while convincing them that you've spent weeks planning it.
They say the way to someone's heart is through their stomach. Start the day off right with brunch at Nourish Kitchen & Cafe. Located in one of James Bay's unique heritage homes, this quaint and charming eatery holds a strong belief in growing and sourcing seasonally. Here, you'll find classic brunch items with a twist, like eggs benny with cashew hollandaise and oatmeal pancakes with bee pollen sprinkles.
After breakfast, take a relaxing stroll over toward the Inner Harbour. There are tons of options for fun dates in this area, including visiting the Royal BC Museum (also home to the 60ft IMAX theatre) or the Robert Bateman Centre. If contemporary art is more your thing, venture down Trounce Alley and visit the West End Gallery or Legacy Art Gallery, where you'll find original Pacific Northwest artwork and fun, rotating collections by a diverse range of Canadian artists.
After your art adventure, walk a few short blocks to Fisherman's Wharf and check out funky floating shops and houseboats. Fun activity: buy a couple of small fish and feed them to the friendly harbour seals!
Continue your walk along the waterfront toward Ogden Point. Walk out to the end of the breakwater and ask someone to take your photo against a stunning backdrop of oceans and mountains. Then, grab a bite to eat at the Breakwater Bistro and Cafe, where you'll enjoy fresh, straightforward west coast cuisine and a great selection of local craft beers. Tip: If you'd rather come here for dinner, there is usually live music in the evenings!
Continue your walk down Dallas Road toward Beacon Hill Park. Explore the meandering walkways and gardens, and stop at the Children's Farm to pet and feed the goats. Trust us, this activity makes for some ridiculously cute photo ops. If you'd like to take in some local history, visit Hatley Castle or take the short drive out to Colwood and visit Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site.
It is Valentine's Day, after all, and the day just wouldn't be complete without a little sweet indulgence. Visit Roger's Chocolates on Government Street and try a classic Victoria Cream or take home one of three special heart-shaped Valentine's Day boxes of chocolate. If you're really looking to indulge, head to the Fairmont Empress for their Death By Chocolate buffet, or keep it lighter with a Sweetheart Afternoon Tea at Venus Sophia or a St. Valentine's Chocolate Tea at Abkhazi Garden.
While Victoria is home to a ton of incredible restaurants, we highly recommend Zambri's, Little Jumbo or North FORTY-EIGHT for a special Valentines' Day dinner date. These are classic date spots with great mood lighting and stellar wine selections. You kind of can't go wrong here.
After dinner, walk it all off with a romantic stroll through downtown Victoria, keeping your eyes peeled for the marked Kissing Spots around town. If you're still feeling the love and want to extend your Valentine's Day a little bit longer, head to Veneto Lounge, or Clive's for one of the city's best cocktails or nightcaps. Vista 18 is another great late night option, where you'll enjoy hand-crafted libations while looking out over the city from the 18th floor. Although after a day like this, you'll probably just be staring lovingly into one another's eyes. Gross. Get a room, guys.
Header image of McNeill Bay taken by Hikevictoria.com.