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A Perfect Ocean Getaway in Victoria

Victoria – surrounded by water, full of adventure. Read on for how to make the most of your ocean-side vacation.

Home > Tourism Victoria Blog > A Perfect Ocean Getaway in Victoria

A Perfect Ocean Getaway in Victoria

Posted on June 7, 2022

Ah Victoria – surrounded by water, full of adventure. British Columbia’s capital-on-the-coast is situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, surrounded by the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the west, the Haro Strait to the east, and phenomenal views of the Salish Sea.
 
One of Victoria’s greatest appeals is its proximity to the Pacific Ocean, decorating our tourism and hospitality scene with harbourview rooms, marinas, sea-side excursions, marine wildlife viewing tours, and more. If you love the water and are hoping to make the most of the ocean during your time here, this guide is for you!


Insider Tip: This blog coincides with the kick-off of Oceans Week Victoria!  Head over to their website for a calendar filled with educational activities and conservation efforts happening around the city. 

 

 

Where to Stay: Your Seaside Home Away from Home


Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA

For those hoping to immerse themselves in all the Salish Sea has to offer – this coastal hotel is for you. Coast Victoria Hotel & Marina by APA is nestled between charming Fisherman’s Wharf and Victoria’s Inner Harbour, a short stroll from downtown Victoria. Their suites’ breathtaking harbour views will sweep you off your feet – especially at sunset. Their award-winning restaurant, Blue Crab Seafood House is beloved by locals and visitors alike as the “Best Seafood Spot in Victoria”, featuring the freshest possible, environmentally-conscious seafood and beautiful ocean-side dining. Other aquatic amenities include a 52-slip marina (in case you are boating into Victoria!) offering both temporary and permanent moorings, and the only Victorian indoor-outdoor pool overlooking the sea. The only thing you risk about the Coast Victoria Hotel is never wanting to leave!

 

Inn at Laurel Point

A waterfront sanctuary just steps from the Inner Harbour, the Inn at Laurel Point has made its mark despite being on the edge of the city. With two distinct “wings” of the hotel, each with its own unique style, furnishings, and viewpoint, the rooms are sure to appease every ocean lover – whether you are a family, a couple, group of friends, or a business group. Being the first carbon neutral hotel in BC, the Inn at Laurel Point also boasts numerous sustainability awards and accolades. Back when the hotel was being built in 1989, architect Arthur Erickson had ocean conservation in mind – installing a marine cooling system that pumps ocean water through the hotel as a means of efficient temperature control.

 

Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort

For possibly the most magical views of the harbour and situated right on a waterfront promenade, your stay at Delta Hotels by Marriott Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort will help you see the sea in a different way.  You can expect your room to be spacious, comfortable, convenient and modern, with well-equipped amenities such as a health club, an indoor swimming pool, and tennis courts. This hotel hosts one of Victoria’s hottest waterfront patios – LURE Restaurant & Bar – where you can sip on a delectable cocktail while watching water taxis, kayakers, and dragonboat racers paddle by. Book a stay, and you’ll be in for a real island treat! 

 

Where to Stroll: Victoria’s Many Marinas

Whether you are hoping to cruise the coast, or to walk the dock and enjoy a pleasant ocean breeze – Victoria has plenty of marinas and sea-side communities that are worth checking out.  For a pleasant sightseeing walk (or sail, or wildlife viewing excursion!), look no further than a visit to these marinas.

 

Fisherman’s Wharf

Not only can you find a beautiful park, a charming houseboat community, a marina, and the best fish and chips in the city, you’re likely to see a few harbour seals or river otters up-close and personal as well. Fisherman’s Wharf is one of their – and our – favourite places to hang out! Operated by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA), the eclectic float-home moorage and marina is full of personality and creatively named boats. We recommend you visit for a pleasant sea-side lunch, ice cream, and stroll.
 

 

Oak Bay Marina

The Oak Bay Marina is located just 10 minutes from downtown Victoria in the timelessly elegant Oak Bay neighbourhood, featuring spectacular views of Mount Baker. The marina hosts to two restaurants, a gift shop, eco tours, kayaking tours offered by Ocean River Adventures, and more, making the marina a perfect destination for summer cruisers, permanent moorage, and visitors alike. 

 

Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina

An all-around wonderful oceanside getaway, staying at the Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina means stepping out your door straight onto their marina harbouring the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Their 114-slip marina is the finest in Sooke and can accommodate vessels of various sizes – from small crafts to those of up to 50 feet! Sooke is a scenic 45-minute drive from Victoria and is a great small-community destination for those seeking a more remote experience. 

 

Things to Do: Kayaking Tours

There’s no better way to experience Victoria’s oceans then by getting out on kayak! Our kayaking operators offer tours that are fit for all levels whether you are brand new to kayaking or a seasoned expert, with safety and formidable experiences in mind.

 

Kelp Reef Adventures

Explore the protected waters and hidden waters of Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Kelp Reef Adventures takes off through Fisherman’s Wharf and guides you through to hidden pockets alongside our harbour’s coast, visiting seal rookeries along the way. New to their roster of adventures are their spectacular sunset tours starting at 7PM. Enjoy a new perspective of the Legislature, the Empress, and Victoria’s inner core from our great, blue backyard. 
 

 

Blue Dog Kayaking

Further out, but never far from home is Blue Dog Kayaking, operating from Mill Bay and Port Sidney Marinas. Not only do they offer guided kayaking tours, but also stand-up paddle boarding rentals and lessons, with ample opportunity to see marine wildlife. Have chance encounters with harbour seals (who love to curiously follow kayaks!), star-fish, river otters, pacific white-sided dolphins, and more as you explore the island by kayak. 

 

 

Ocean River Adventures

Ocean River Adventures offers nearly 40 years of experience in the business and is set-up in three locations: downtown Victoria, the Gulf Islands, and Oak Bay. Choose your own adventure – they have lots on their roster. If you’re new to kayaking and are wishing to sightsee, check out their harbour tours for a fresh perspective of the city. If you’re looking for a challenge, consider their full-day or multi-day tours, which include skill development, overnight camping, swimming, snorkeling, and a rugged outdoor adventure. If you feel confident without a guide, they also do kayak and paddleboard rentals!

 

Victoria Kayak

If you’re looking for a kayaking company full of personality, look no further than Victoria Kayak. “Kayak… because zombies can’t swim” is at the forefront of one of the most humorous business websites in Greater Victoria. Victoria Kayak adds their own flavour to their kayaking tours, rentals, group bookings, and lessons and are fantastic for the whole family to enjoy. They also offer sunrise and sunset kayaking tours, a full moon tour (really!), half-day tours, and full-day tours offering a sandwich feast from the delectable Fol Epi Bakery. Count on this small team for utmost flexibility and fun. 

 

Things to do: Fishing Charters

Do you have an avid fisher in your group? Victoria’s waters are legendary for fishing. From the waters of Sooke, to the numerous banks centered in the straight of Juan De Fuca and all the way to luxurious Oak Bay, fishing hot spots are abundant in the 70 mile long straight. Let the experts guide you, guaranteeing not one, but many catches-of-the-day that will have you boasting to your friends back home.

 

Adam’s Fishing Charters

Operating since 1989, Adam’s Fishing Charters has logged over 20,000 hours on the water. They offer a wide variety of charter and tour opportunities for the whole family, specializing in salmon and halibut charters. As the most experienced charter fishing company in Victoria’s harbour, you can feel confident that Adam and his crew know all the fishing hotspots in Victoria’s waters. 
 

No Limit Charters

No Limit Charters is a full-service fishing charter operating from Wharf Street. Owner Lewis Freeman’s fishing vessel is fully equipped with two GPS sonar chart plotters, essential for successful salmon and halibut fishing.  His passion shows through his customer testimonials and reviews – appealing to beginner, veteran, and families of fishers alike, Capt. Lewis’ personable and conservationist character shines, providing unforgettable experiences that have travellers boasting.

 

What to Eat: Seafood!

No trip to Victoria is complete without indulging in some of our island-fresh seafood! Try out these picks for your next sea-to-table meal. 

 

Bar 500

As sustainable as it is delicious, Bar 500 seafood menu is 100% in line with Ocean Wise requirements, which aim to protect endangered species, support marine conservation and limit by-catch. Located inside the Oswego Hotel, they also boast some of the finest southern Italian cuisine in town, often paired with live music! 
 

Finn’s Seafood, Chops & Cocktails

The folks at Finn’s Seafood, Chops & Cocktails have championed the three c’s: famous pork chops, cold cocktails, and sustainably-caught seafood that you’ll be writing home about. Set in a heritage 1860’s building with a beautiful 60-seat patio overlooking the Inner Harbour, Finn’s ticks off all the boxes of an authentically Victorian seafood dining experience.
 

 

The Beach House

Over on the east side of the island lies this gem: the Beach House. Take a scenic beachside drive and get your fix of stunning ocean vistas from a different angle, the Cordova Bay beach, as you dine on farm-to-table or line-to-table west coast fare. Their local seafood menu-items include the Pacific Northwest Seafood Salad, Spicy West Coast Paella, and a delicious Seafood Fettuccini that includes the whole west coast round-up: salmon, halibut, scallops, and prawns.
 

 

Other Uniquely Victorian Must Do’s

Whale Watching

We couldn’t complete our ocean-themed blog without mentioning whale watching! A quintessential Victorian experience, whale watching is a must-do while vacationing – and don’t visitors know it. It’s a good thing we have an extensive list of responsible whale-and-wildlife watching providers that are committed to giving you an unforgettable, educational experience. While you’re undoubtedly going to be seeing whales up-close-and-personal, you’ll also have the chance to see stellar sea lions, jellyfish, seals, porpoises and ocean birds. Thank us later - you’ll have a killer time!

 

3-Hour Sail

Your adventure awaits. Embark on a tall-ship adventure with 3-Hour Sail on the heritage sailing vessel Duen, originally built as a fishing vessel in Flekkefjord, Norway in 1939. A highly unique oceanic excursion, you are encouraged to help sail by hauling the sails, taking the helm, and even riding on the bowsprit. They also offer evening sunset cruises! One thing’s for sure – your three hours on Duen will cruise by spectacularly. 

 

Fantasea Charters

Are you planning a celebration while you’re in Victoria? Why not have a night to remember (or not) on “Victoria’s Ultimate Party Boat” with Fantasea Charters. A liquor licensed, 41’ covered luxury yacht equipped with a sound system, a large upper deck, catering, room for dancing, and even on-board entertainment from a magician – you’ve never been to a party quite like this!  

If you’re not looking for quite the extravagant sea-scapade, there are a variety of “quieter” services offered by Fantasea. Their offerings also include fishing charter tours, dinner cruises, whale watching, and marine wildlife tours.  
 

Hot Tub Boat Victoria

Have you ever sailed the seas by... hot tub?! A unique, exciting, and oddly therapeutic experience, Hot Tub Boat Victoria may be exactly what you need for a highly memorable group experience. Each hot tub boat fits up to 6 passengers. and comes stocked with waterproof speakers, dry bags for your personal items, and spa-item options such as Epsom salts to kick your relaxation to a new level.

Enjoy your dose of Vitamin Sea!