a young couple walking along the shoreline in Victoria, BC

The Perfect 3 Day Getaway to Greater Victoria

Plan your next adventure to this slice of coastal paradise.

Greater Victoria is an eclectic mix of quirky individuals from a diverse array of backgrounds. A journey of self-discovery – a city where you can truly be who you want to be. Connected through nature to our island community, Victorians have a passion for the outdoors. Whether that’s climbing the next crag or harvesting the freshest local seafood, Victorians are always immersing themselves in their local environment. Greater Victoria isn’t a destination, it’s a lifestyle. For a quick and easy getaway on Canada’s coast, plan your next trip to Greater Victoria, and find yourself on island time.

Day 1:

When discovering Greater Victoria, getting here is part of the adventure. Whether skimming across or flying high above, your adventure starts at the Salish Sea.

B.C. Ferries modern fleet of vessels are equipped with many amenities to maximize your comfort as you wind through the picture-perfect Southern Gulf Island’s on your way into Greater Victoria. All you need to do is sit-back, relax, and enjoy the view. Coming from stateside? The reliable Black Ball Ferry Line’s MV COHO has been serving our region for over 50 years. This dependable vessel takes a direct route from Port Angeles straight into Victoria’s inner harbour. Keep your eyes peeled as you cross the Strait of Juan de Fuca for humpbacks, orcas, harbour seals, and more. You never know what you might see from the decks of this storied vessel.

A Woman in a Blue Jacket Enjoys the Views on a B.C. Ferries Ride

Image: BC Ferry from Victoria to Vancouver – Destination Greater Victoria

Can’t wait to get here? Helijet International Incorporated offers direct flights from Vancouver to Victoria in under 40 minutes! For those who have never travelled by helicopter, the whoosh of the rotors is an unforgettable experience that delivers a famously smooth ride into the city, all while offering the best views this region has to offer.

Helijet Helicopter in the Air Arriving in Victoria

Image: Helijet in the Air – Destination Greater Victoria

You made it! We’re so glad you’re here. Shall we begin?

The best way to experience Victoria is like a local, so stay with a truly local hotel, the Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites. Located just a stone’s throw from the inner harbour, the Chateau Victoria is the perfect way to experience the Garden City in a locally owned and operated hotel. The beautiful rooms will make you feel at home away from home (if our wonderful locals haven’t yet). And dog friendly accommodations are available for our four-legged travelers.

The Soft White Sheets of a Luxurious Bed in a Room at the Chateau Victoria

Image: Chateau Victoria One Bedroom Suite With King Bed – Destination Greater Victoria

All that travel is bound to have made you hungry. Grab a cup of the Island’s best coffee and enjoy a breakfast sourced from local farms and bakeries at Caffe Fantastico. With three locations across Greater Victoria, it’s easy to find yourself stumbling upon one of their fantastic coffee shops, simply follow your nose.

Insider Tip: Caffe Fantastico is more than just breakfast place. They are the masters of coffee. Check out their great selection of coffee merchandise and appliances to take your coffee game to the next level.

Brass Inustrial Espresso Machine at Caffe Fantastico

Image: Caffee Fantastico Industrial Espresso Machine – Destination Greater Victoria

On your first day in Victoria, it’s important to get to know the place. A visit to Point Ellice House Museum and Gardens will get you acquainted with our pioneer spirit. The largest surviving natural and heritage landscape along Victoria’s Harbour and Gorge Waterway. This house has stood for over 150 years. Originally owned by the O’Reilly family, this museum is home to over 12,000 artefacts from between 1890 and 1920. This beautiful property is home to a volunteer-maintained garden, that lies within Canada’s oldest migratory bird sanctuary and is a wonderful showcase of our native plant life.

The Facade of the Historic Point Ellice House Museum

Image: The Historic Point Ellice House – @pointellicehouse (Instagram)

Time flies when you’re having fun! And by now it’s probably somewhere around lunch-o-clock. Why not swing by Pizzeria Prima Strada for the best pizza in the city (seven years running!)? With locations in Cook Street Village, Fort Street, and the Cowichan Valley, their authentic fire roasted thin crust pizzas are mouthwateringly close no matter where you are. Aside from their award wining pizzas, Prima Strada serves up a great selection of seasonal salads, cocktails, craft beer, local wine, and house made gelato.

The Wood Fired Pizza Oven at Pizzeria Prima Strada

Image: Pizza at Pizzeria Prima Strada – Pizzeria Prima Strada

It’s been a big day, and who knows what tomorrow has in store. Wind down the afternoon with a walk around Victoria’s inner harbour and historic downtown core. Start with a stroll through Chinatown, the oldest in Canada. Explore the many shops, but stop and take a moment to snap a photo of the beautiful gates that welcome you to this extraordinary part of the city. Slip through the narrow passageway of Fan Tan Alley and discover some of the quirky businesses that make Victoria great. Next, immerse yourself in a network of local business as you make your way through Market Square and Lower Johnson Street. Finally, watch the sunset as you tour the inner harbour and admire the British Columbia Parliament Buildings which find themselves sparkling every evening thanks to 3500 glowing energy efficient lightbulbs.

A Couple Casually Walks Through Fan Tan Alley, Canada's Narrowest Alley

Image: Couple Walks Through Fan Tan Alley – Destination Greater Victoria

Cap off the night close to home with the best views of the city at Vista 18. Located on the 18th floor of the Chateau Victoria itself, this exquisite restaurant finds itself perched high atop the Victoria Skyline. Enjoy the finest west coast cuisine as you take in an unrivaled view of Victoria’s historic downtown core and the snow-capped Olympic mountains. Focusing on fresh, organic, and local ingredients, Vista 18 is the perfect way to introduce your tastebuds to true B.C. dining. A perfect way to close out your evening.

Insider Tip: Whatever dish you decide on, make sure you leave room for Vista 18’s Orange Blossom Salted Caramel Cheesecake.

Vista 18 table with food and wine on it overlooking the harbour

Image: Vista 18 Table with Food and Wine on it Overlooking the Harbour – Destination Greater Victoria

Day 2:

Rise and shine! No, it wasn’t a dream, you’re still here! And that’s just perfect because we’ve got a lot to do.

It wouldn’t be a stay in Victoria without a spot of tea. Simply put, Breakfast at the Pendray Inn and Tea House is like no other. Served in the tea house’s beautiful dining room, their luxury tier breakfasts are fabulously presented. Offering a combination of sweet and savory flavours these three-tiered breakfasts are a great way to enjoy everything you need to start your morning right. The Pendray Inn and Tea house sources all their ingredients locally from the Victoria Region.

Insider Tip: Come for the tea, stay for the mimosas!

Tea and Breakfast at the Pendray Inn and Teahouse

Image: Pendray Inn and Teahouse – Matt Shannon Photography

Boasting a unique and healthy marine ecosystem, no trip to Victoria is complete without a voyage aboard one of our many certified whale watching guides. Home to Orcas, Humpbacks, Harbour Seals and more, the Salish Sea is an abundant home to many marine mammals, birds, and fish species. Tour the West Coast, exploring our many bays, quays, and islands on your adventure in search of these magnificent creatures. With wildlife this beautiful, it’s bound to show off!

Humpback Breaching the Waters of the Salish Sea

Image: Humpback Breaching – Valeria Shore

Back in Victoria for a late lunch, swing on by the Steamship Grill & Bar. The Steamship’s menu is a homage to the freshness that British Columbia’s West Coast is renowned for. The emphasis is on local, bringing in the finest B.C. seafood, beer from Victoria’s best craft breweries, and elite B.C. wines, fresh from our wonderful home to your table. The Steamship aims to satisfy every palate and offers an extensive menu featuring everything from sushi to tacos and seafood to power bowls. There’s no wrong choice at the Steamship.

Dining on the Patio at the Steamship Grill & Bar

Image: Dining at the Steamship Grill & Bar – @therealkenchan (Instagram)

It’s a day on the water, close out your afternoon with a dip. All aboard the S.S. Hot Tub! Hot Tub Boat Victoria allows you to explore the coastal charm of the upper harbour and famed Gorge Waterway from the relaxing comforts of a hot tub. Maintained by a briquette/log stove, these boats will keep you cozy on even the coldest winter evening. Make sure to book ahead, these amazing little vessels sell out fast!

Now that you’re back on dry land, you’re probably feeling a little peckish. You’ve just watched the sunset over the harbour and it’s time to grab some dinner. There’s no better spot for a casual dinner than Spinnaker’s Gastro Brewpub. Partnered with 35 local farmers, who supply year-round fresh foods, Spinnaker’s is always cooking up something delicious. As Canada’s oldest brewpub, Spinnaker’s are pioneers in the craft beer scene who have developed some of Victoria’s favourite beers. The beautiful backdrop of Victoria’s downtown compliments their unparalleled food and beverage service.

Insider Tip: The Nut Brown Ale is a Victoria Classic, with flavours as rich as our local culture.

Couple Enjoys their Meal Fireside at Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub

Image: Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub – Deddeda Stemler

It’s time to head back to the hotel for a good night’s rest. What a wonderful day. I wonder what tomorrow will have in store?

Day 3:

Take your time, it’s your last day. Stretch out, take it slow, you’re on island time after all. Whenever you finally get going, you’re in luck, the Dutch Bakery & Diner serves up breakfast all day. Whether you’re looking for a classic breakfast or a traditional Dutch breakfast, the Dutch Bakery & Diner has you covered. It’s pretty rare we ever get to say this at breakfast, but make sure you leave room for dessert! The mouthwatering selection of must-try treats available at the bakery (we saw the way you looked at them on the way in!) are the epitome of sweet, sweet indulgence.

Woman holding child outside The Dutch Bakery looking at pasteries

Image: Woman Holding Child Outside The Dutch Bakery Looking at Pasteries – Destination Greater Victoria

Now let’s hit the road out to beautiful Brentwood Bay. This spectacular Greater Victoria community is sure to find a place in your heart. A delicate web of rural farmlands, historic sites, coastal charm, and lush forests sweeps visitors off their feet.

By now you’re surely familiar with Victoria’s famed sub-Mediterranean climate. But did you know that there is a tropical paradise on the South Island? That’s right, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens! Step inside this wonderful atrium for a vibrant jungle experience. Come face to face with parrots, tortoises, iguanas, flamingos, and of course, butterflies! Wind your way through the verdant indoor jungle and admire the colourful vegetation. You’ll need your camera for this one, the butterflies can’t wait to meet you (don’t worry, they don’t bite!).

Flamingos at Butterfly Gardens

Image: Flamingos at Butterfly Gardens – Butterfly Gardens

It’s easy to lose track of time at the Butterfly Gardens, and by now you’re probably ready for lunch. Located on 10 acres of farmland, the Roost Farm Bakery & Vineyard Bistro is the perfect spot for a home-grown, one-of-a-kind dining experience. Baked goods made from wheat grown on farm, wood fired pizzas, and a range of wines from their onsite vineyard, are just a small sample of what you can enjoy at this hidden gem. Kick back on the porch, explore the secret garden, or mosey out to a picnic bench, and create an experience that’s right for you. Home to sheep, chickens, and a koi-pond, this working farm is a unique way to celebrate the rich culinary tapestry of our region.

Insider Tip: Don’t miss out on the Tasting Room at The Roost. Their fabulous collection of artisan, home-grown wines will delight any aficionado. 

Roost Farm Bakery Vineyard Bistro

Image: Roost Farm Bakery Vineyard Bistro – Matt Shannon Photography

After licking your fingers, you’re going to need to walk that off. What better place to go for a spellbinding stroll than the Butchart Gardens. Now a National Historic Site, the time-honoured gardens are an intricate network of pathways that weaves through a botanical fairytale. The famed Sunken Garden is a photographer’s dream, but the iconic Japanese and Rose Gardens are not to be overlooked. The everchanging seasonal landscape allows guests to come day in and day out, while always having a distinctive experience. Things are even more magical at the holidays, as the spirit of Christmas envelopes the landscape, and dazzling light displays come to life.

Butchart Gardens Still Colourful in Fall

Image: Butchart Gardens Fall – The Butchart Gardens

That was a big day, let’s bring it back downtown for nice supper. A hearty meal is in order for your last evening in the city, discussed as one of the best Italian restaurants in the province, Zambri’s is serving up environmentally-conscious and scrumptious cuisine. Their fine selections of pastas, pizzas, and more, have been uniting families at the dinner table for over 20 years. A beautiful downtown atrium setting makes you feel at one with the beating heart of the city.

Back to the hotel for one more restful night’s sleep before heading home. I can’t believe it’s already been three days. Time flies when you’re having fun! We squeezed a lot of great activities into this weekend, but Victoria is just getting going. There is so much more waiting to be discovered on your next trip to Victoria.

waffles at brunch with a cup of coffee
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Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.