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Greater Victoria Weekend Getaway: How to Plan the Perfect Fall Escape

Posted on September 3, 2020

It's official, fall has arrived! With a gust of cool air, the landscape has been transformed. The days have become a little crisper and afternoons are filled with golden rays of sunlight. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we know to embrace this magical time of year. Celebrate the beginning of a new season and the opportunity to get lost on colourful, leaf-filled country roads and expansive gardens. 

In Victoria, exhale in the wide-open spaces as you meander corn mazes or unapologetically jump into crunchy mounds of leaves. Savour the bounty of the harvest as you sip on crisp cider, a perfect Pinot, or a farm-to-table feast.

Enter Victoria. Just a short and scenic plane, boat or car ride away, there is an entire island waiting to be explored! With activities the whole family can enjoy, Victoria, B.C. is the perfect destination for a fall escape. Begin and end your cozy fall adventure at one of Greater Victoria's charming accommodations

Please note that all businesses mentioned have taken the necessary steps to adapt their business to safely serve you during this time. Please check directly with the business you wish to visit for their COVID-19 safety protocols. 


Victoria Day 1 

 

11:30 a.m. – Nourish Kitchen & Café 

Located inside a stunning heritage home, Nourish Kitchen & Café is one of Victoria’s hidden gems for healthy eating and a must-visit spot for a nourishing meal incorporating seasonal flavours. Kick back and listen to soft, indie tunes and nosh on their melt-in-your-mouth Sleeping Beauty pancakes and probiotic kefir water, which hits the spot before an afternoon of exploring. 

 

1:00 p.m.  – The Butchart Gardens

Following lunch, make your way to The Butchart Gardens, where Mother Nature has worked her magic to transform the trees and plants from green to yellow to brilliant red. Once you set foot inside the gardens, head to our favourite little slice of Zen, the Japanese Garden. With glancing rays of golden sunlight combined with a grove of Japanese maples awash in a kaleidoscope of fiery colours, it doesn’t get any more breathtaking than this.

 

6:00 p.m.  - Dinner at Il Terrazzo 

Duck into Il Terrazzo’s intimate courtyard and cozy up beside one of the restaurant’s six brick fireplaces. A local foodie favourite, the restaurant serves up an excellent collection of North Italian cuisine, including home-made pasta and freshly caught local seafood. We recommend trying the Melanzane al Forno, with pasta folded over breaded eggplant, garlic confit, asiago and gruyere cheese, baked in a creamy tomato basil sauce. It is absolute perfection. 

Insider tip: Make a reservation to ensure your group a table. 

Image by @nicole_eating

 

7:30 p.m. – Ghostly Walks Tour 

Not afraid of the dark, are you? After dinner, grab a lantern and follow Victoria’s pre-eminent historian, John Adams (or one of his expert storytellers), on hand-picked routes past some of the city’s spookiest haunts. With Ghostly Walks, you'll traipse past historic alleys and courtyards and listen to spell-binding stories of eccentric citizens, heroic deeds, ghastly crimes and tragic accidents. Those chills up your spine? We’ll leave it up to you to decide if they’re from an errant gust of wind or the spirit of an early settler who continues to make his mark on the city.

Image by @j_gibzzphoto

 

Victoria Day 2 

 

11:00 a.m. –10 Acres on the Pier

Located in Sidney, B.C., 10 Acres on the Pier is the newest addition to the 10 Acres Group and serves incredibly decadent, farm to table bites. From the breakfast skillet to the benny, 10 Acres uses the best of the Island, ethically grown and raised on the 10 Acre Farm,  just 5 kilometres from the restaurant.

 

1:00 p.m. – Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse

While there are plenty of excellent watering holes in town that will happily serve you a crisp pint of cider, the best (and possibly the most fun!) way to experience this apple adult beverage is to go straight to the source. Wander into the airy cider house and ask for a tour and the friendly staff will show you how everything from picking to pressing is done. Top off your visit with a cider flight paired with the tasty artisan lunch plate and drink in panoramic views of the stunning apple orchard and Haro Strait. 

Pro tip: Sample the seasonal Witch's Broom. Brimming with a variety of spices, this fizzy elixir is practically like fall in a bottle, and you will be hard-pressed to find a better beverage that showcases the flavours of the season.

Image by @life.adventureseeker

 

3:30 p.m. – Explore Sidney by the Sea

Continue your peninsula adventure with an afternoon exploring Sidney by the Sea. Wander along Beacon Avenue and discover local shops and boutiques filled with local treasures. Walk along the water to explore the statue walk and peek into Victoria Distillers to see where the famous Empress Gin is distilled.

 

Image by @matt_shannon_photography

 

7:00 p.m. – OLO Restaurant

Back in town, pop into the small, unassuming OLO Restaurant in Victoria’s Chinatown to sample the restaurant’s ever-changing menu of drool-worthy ingredients produced in local waters and farms. To get a taste of all the deliciousness, order off the Kitchen Tasting Menu for a five-course feast.

Insider tip: Plant-based diners can order the vegan tasting menu.

Image by @leilalikes via @olorestaurant

 

9:15 p.m. - The Garrick's Head Pub

Cap off your day and ease the fall chill at Victoria's historic Garrick's Head Pub. With a selection of more than 50 delicious (mostly local!) brews and a fantastic menu filled with elevated, west-coast inspired pub favourites, you'll get to sample a real taste of Victoria. 


Victoria Day 3 

 

9:15 a.m. – Floyd's Diner

Start your morning with a quick jaunt over to the neighbourhood of James Bay for a delicious breakfast at Floyd's Diner. Here soak up the classic diner atmosphere and try your luck with a coin toss for "The Mahoney."

Image via Floyd's Diner

 

10:30 a.m. - 'Hoods, Castles and Legends Bicycle Tour

Pick up some wheels at The Pedaler Tours and Bike Rentals and roll through Victoria’s scenic neighbourhoods, past the iconic Craigdarroch Castle and the historic Chinatown. As you ride back to Belleville Street, make a detour through the scenic Beacon Hill Park. The park is beautiful anytime of the year, but come fall, this 200-acre urban oasis bursts with colours reminiscent of those you’d find in a crayon box – scarlet, burnt sienna and goldenrod. If you are lucky, you may even get a chance to befriend one of the peacocks that roam the grounds.

 

1:00 p.m. – Tea at the Empress 

After pedalling in the crisp, fresh air of a fall day, warm up and refuel with Tea at the Empress. Be prepared to make some serious decisions when choosing among 21 of the finest loose-leaf teas and what to eat first from the three tiers of tasty treats. Bonus points for adding on a glass of bubbly to toast to your day. 

Insider tip: You can opt to take your tea to go and enjoy it wherever you fancy!

Image by @alicia_haque

 

2:30 p.m. – Johnson and Government Street Shopping 

Before bidding farewell to the city, swing up to Lower Johnson and Government Street for a quick tour of the local shopping scene. Believe us, with more than a handful of modern, trendy boutiques, it won’t take a lot of convincing to get you to say “yes” to a little retail therapy. 

Pop into Oscar and Libby's to check out quirky games, toys, and household goods, and visit Baggins Shoes who boast the world's largest selection of Converse and Vans. You can even get a pair of kicks custom-printed and shipped to your home! 

 

 

To find your perfect basecamp for all these adventures and more, be sure to check out our Stay page for your specific accommodation needs.