Day and Overnight Trips - CONTINUED
- By Teresa Murphy
Victoria was established as a fort by the Hudson's Bay Company and
named Fort Victoria in 1843 after England's Queen. It is the capital
city of British Columbia. It has an international reputation for
being more English than England, from the cozy James Bay cottages, to
replica castles, and for its magnificent gardens which bloom year
round in the balmy climate, which averages almost 2200 hours of
sunshine each year.
Although the population is just 300,000, comprising mainly
government employees, students and retirees - hence the nickname
"God's waiting room" - the city is surprisingly sophisticated, and
has infinite offerings for tourists.
Getting to Victoria
Black Ball Ferry makes daily trips between Port Angeles and
Victoria. Washington State Ferry 250-381-1551 makes daily trips
between Anacortes, Washington and Victoria. The Victoria RIA clipper
250-382-8100 sails daily between Seattle and Victoria. BC Ferries
sail from Tsawwassen ever two hours on the odd hour. 604-669-1211.
Anne Hathaway's Cottage
This full-sized replica of Anne Hathaway's thatched cottage can be
found in an English village typical of Shakespeare's time. Don't miss
the antique filled Olde England Inn which serves daily afternoon tea.
429 Lampson St. 388-4353.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
On the way to Craigdarroch Castle, the Gallery features an
extensive collection of Asian and Canadian Art. 1040 Moss Street.
Bastion Square, the original site of Fort Victoria, is now the
site of the Maritime Museum. Corner of Wharf and View Streets.
Beacon Hill Park
Offers serenity at the edge of the City in James Bay. Here you'll
find one of the world's tallest totem poles, a rose garden, gardens
that bloom year round, a wildlife sanctuary at Goodacre Lake, and
much more. Dallas Road, James Bay.
Internationally renowned 50 acre gardens, originally begun in 1904
by Jennie Butchart, overlooking Tod Inlet on the Saanich Peninsula.
Afternoon tea served. 13 miles from downtown Victoria at 800 Benvento
Ave., Brentwood Bay. 652-4422.
The Carr House
The birthplace of one of Canada's most famous artists - Emily
Carr. The historic site dates back to 1860s. 207 Government Street.
Built by Robert Dunsmuir for his wife Joan, in 1887, this
wonderful small castle offers guided tours by knowledgeable staff
(Jean is the best) through slightly faded elegance. There's a good
gift shop. Just a 20 minute brisk walk or a short bus ride from
downtown. 1050 Joan Crescent. 592-5323.
The Empress Hotel Lobby
After an extensive restoration, the Empress is again one of the
grandest hotels in Canada. The sheer immensity of the rooms coupled
with its hardwood floors, oriental rugs, and chateaux style
architecture, make this worth a visit. Make sure to see the mirrored
ballroom. Tea is served in the lobby. Children and collectors alike
will enjoy Miniature World, located in the lobby. 721 Government
Victoria is BC's capital city - and the stately Provincial
Legislative Buildings are worth a visit. By night it is all lit by
thousands of tiny lights. Government Street.
Royal British Columbia Museum
Exhibits depict scenes from BC's often colorful history. Opening
April 18, 1997: Whales: The Enduring Legacy. 675 Bellevue 387-3701.
Seeing a whale in the wild is a gift that you won't forget. But
research increasingly indicates that crowds of people in loud,
fume-belching craft, are not good for these family-oriented mammals.
If you decide to go whale watching, try Seacoast Expeditions. This
company is dedicated to marine wildlife preservation, and takes care
that mammals are not distressed in any way. Seacoast offers boats
that are custom built for the tours, and guarantees your safety,
making the 3 hour tour well worth the $75 adult and $50 child rate.
For more information contact Seacoast Expeditions at 250-383-2254.
Government Street, just down from the Empress Hotel, between
Humbolt and Johnson, is lined with restaurants and shops. My
favourites include Roger's Chocolates, at 913 Government
Street, and Munro's Books, which is found in one of Victoria's
finest heritage buildings at 1108 Government Street.
Walking along Government Street, turn east at Fort Street. You'll
be at the start of what is known as Antiques Row. If you head
back down Government Street and turn left on Johnson Street, you'll
come to Market Square, which has over 40 restaurants and shops
in an historic building.
The Bedford Regency, known as Victoria's small elegant
hotel, offers luxuriously appointed rooms, some with fireplaces and
Jacuzzis, starting at $69 per night. A member of the "Small Luxury
Hotels of the World. 1140 Government Street, Victoria. V8W 1Y2
Clarion Hotel Grand Pacific offers good service at
reasonable prices in nicely appointed rooms and suites. Ask for a sea
view, and don't be afraid to bargain on room rates. Restaurant and
bar. Great health centre including a lap pool, Jacuzzi and sauna,
fitness classes and equipment. 450 Quebec Street, Victoria.
Dominion Hotel has been completely restored, and features
tastefully appointed rooms at bargain prices, beginning at $59 per
night. 759 Yates Street Victoria. 1-800-663-6101.
The Empress, a Canadian Pacific Hotel, offers outstanding
service and stately Victorian luxury in one of Canada's grandest
hotels. Afternoon tea in the lobby, wonderful meals in the Garden
Restaurant and the Bengal Lounge. Don't be afraid to bargain on room
rates. 721 Government Street, Victoria. V8V 1W5. 1-800-441-1414.
Tofino: The Whale Watching Capital of BC
This little town, on the extreme west coast of Vancouver Island,
offers an unparalleled wilderness experience as the gateway to
Pacific Rim National Park and Clayquot Sound.
To get their you must drive to Parksville and take Highway 4.
The new 46 room Wickaninnish Inn www.island.net/~wick opened to
rave reviews in August 1996. An exclusive resort on nature's edge,
it's at the doorstep to a myriad of soft adventure activities,
including whale watching, storm watching, beach combing, surfing, and
diving. Generously large rooms feature ocean views, fireplace soaker
tubs, and balconies.
Chef Rodney Butters and his version of Coastal cuisine in the Pointe Restaurant, recently won the silver award for the Best Out of Town Restaurant in the Vancouver Magazine's Critics'
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Last update 5/6/97, 5/7/97, 5/20/97 Site Administrator