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Spring Break Special: 72 Hours in Victoria

Posted on March 15, 2017


Spring break has arrived! The weather is turning sweeter by the day, and Victoria is the perfect place to escape for a fun-filled getaway with the family. Here's your guide to 72 hours in Victoria: Spring Break Special.  

Day 1 - Downtown & Around

Start your day with a latte or espresso at Tre Fantastico in The Parkside Hotel & Spa. They've also got lots of tasty and quick breakfast items that you can enjoy in the cafe or take to-go. Adjacent to St. Ann's Academy (a national historic site) and about a 10-minute walk from downtown, this is a great spot to start the day as you can choose to embark in really any direction depending on how you want to plan the day.

We recommend starting with a walk along Humboldt Street toward the Inner Harbour and Victoria's Old Towne district. 

Image: A stroll through downtown Victoria.


Once you reach the historic Fairmont Empress hotel, cross the street and take a few minutes to check in at the Visitor Centre, where you can ask the friendly staff any questions that you may have. Then, continue along the upper or lower causeway toward the Royal BC Museum and The Robert Bateman Centre. Depending on what you're into, both are fantastic options for families, partners and friends, with exciting galleries and interactive activities available to see and take part in.

After your museum experience, visit the food trucks just behind the Royal BC Museum and choose from lots of unique options like The Love Perogy and Deadbeetz, who serve creative twists on the classic burger.

Image: A sunny day at the Inner Harbour.


Hop on a Victoria Harbour Ferry that will whisk you across the Inner Harbour to Fisherman's Wharf. Here, you'll be able to wander, explore and check out lots of cool, colourful floating homes. Make sure to say hello to the resident seals who will do anything to get your attention (and maybe a snack).

If it's nice out, continue your walk (or hire a horse and carriage) to take you along Dallas Road toward Beacon Hill Park. Spend the afternoon strolling through blooming gardens, and make sure to visit the Beacon Hill Children's Farm where you'll have a chance to pet some goats and see alpacas, pigs, bunnies and peacocks. Afterward, stop in for soft serve ice cream at the Beacon Drive In.

Image: Beacon Hill Children's Farm


Nothing says family dinner like the Old Spaghetti Factory. With kid-friendly options and a super affordable three-course menu, everyone in your crew will find something they love. You can also try Nautical Nellies Steak & Seafood House for a great seafood dinner with a view of the Inner Harbour. 


Day 2 - Saanich Peninsula & Sidney

Start the day at Agrius by Fol Epi and fuel up with their locally-roasted coffee, killer breakfast sandwiches and famous pastries. They've also got a full brunch menu to choose from, including items like ham hock tartine, smoked salmon benny, and pierogi hash. While you're there, grab a couple of sandwiches or picnic items to take with you for lunch later on.

If you feel like getting active, biking to Sidney is a fantastic family activity and a great way to see the Saanich Peninsula. The ride from downtown is about 28 kilometers each way, and it's mostly flat.

Image: Cycling with bikes from The Pedaler


You can rent cruiser bikes from The Pedaler Cycling Tours & Rentals and Bike Tours Victoria, or opt for an e-bike with Ride the GlideNorth 48 Bicycles also offers guided road bike tours up the Peninsula, if that's more your style. Follow the Galloping Goose Regional Trail all the way to Sidney for a quiet ride on a separated, two-way trail that's mostly away from cars. Note: Of course, you can always opt to drive or take public transportation to Sidney. It's about 25 minutes from downtown Victoria by car.

Along the way, stop at Island View Beach Regional Park to enjoy your picnic lunch. Take a break from the bikes with a walk on the beach or just relax at one of the picnic tables and enjoy the view.

Continue onto Sidney (about 12 kilometers) and lock up your bikes anywhere along Beacon Avenue. Choose from lots of fun activities like a visit to the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea or Mineral World & The Scratch Patch. There's also a Lego exhibit on right now at the Sidney Museum, and a cool glass beach that you can find right next to the Pier.

If you're not with the kids, stop in at Victoria Distillers (right next to the Sidney Pier and Fish Market) and taste their locally-made gin. Tip: If you chose to take the car to Sidney instead of biking, make time to visit The Butterfly Gardens on your way back into town.

Image: Scenic views along the Saanich Peninsula 


After a big day out, you'll need to refuel with a hearty dinner. For a taste of local cuisine, try 10 Acres Bistro in downtown Victoria. Much of their produce and free-range animal products come from 10 Acres Farm in North Saanich, and they also offer lots of fresh, west coast options like sushi and oysters.


Day 3 - Rockland & Oak Bay

Begin your day with breakfast at John's Place. A Victoria staple, John's Place has been around for years and offers a lengthy menu filled with classic breakfast options and a funky, retro dining atmosphere.

For a taste of Victoria's history, begin your day with a tour of Craigdarroch Castle Historic House Museum. Built from 1887-1890, this castle was first inhabited by the Dunsmuir family and has been dutifully preserved as a heritage site to this day. Take an audio or virtual reality tour and learn what life was like in the castle over one hundred years ago.

Image: Craigdarroch Castle 


For those who prefer art to history, opt to spend the morning at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on Moss Street. Tip: If you're planning to visit on March 19, take part in the Visual Journaling workshop; a hands-on artmaking activity for kids ages 8-12.

Grab lunch with a view at the Marina Dockside Eatery (a quick option) or enjoy a relaxing meal at The Marina Restaurant, a west coast-inspired eatery with lots of fresh seafood on the menu and stunning vistas over the Oak Bay Marina from the dining room. Tip: Try the Humboldt Squid, a local specialty that's caught daily in the waters surrounding Victoria.

Image: Lunch at The Marina Restaurant 


If the weather is nice, spend the afternoon at Willows Beach. Walk the length of the long, sandy beach or throw a Frisbee on the large, open field. Kids can play on the beachfront jungle gym and grab a snack from the Kiwanis Tea House.

If spring showers are in the forecast, opt instead to spend the afternoon exploring the vast number of boutiques and art galleries that line Oak Bay Avenue. Stop in at Just Matcha Tea Shop for a yummy lavender vanilla matcha latte or matcha lemonade.

For a quiet dinner away from the hustle and bustle of downtown, Vis a Vis is a fantastic option. A quaint French bistro located in the heart of Oak Bay, they've got lots of sharing options and an extensive wine list. It's always busy, but somehow always manages to feel calm and intimate. It's a perfect way to top off a visit to Victoria.

Finish your day with a final stroll through the charming Trounce Alley and along the Inner Harbour in downtown Victoria. The BC Parliament Buildings are beautifully lit up at night, as are many of the boats in the harbour, so it makes for pretty photographs and a super memorable sight.

Image: Trounce Alley 


Still looking for more? Take a look at the things to do page and check out the Going Local blog for great ideas and insider info about visiting Victoria. You can also view the online events calendar for a full listing of things happening around town, including live music, comedy and theatre.