Victoria- British Columbia, Canada

Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, blends contemporary city with classic European charm, still visible from its roots.  Evidence of its origins as a British Colony remain with the Victorian architecture and many formal gardens sprinkled throughout the city's landscape.  Victoria also boasts the mildest climate in Canada, with an average of 308 rainless days a year! No complaints with that kind of annual forecast! Situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria was our final port destination on our Alaskan cruise trip.

Victoria-British Columbia-Canada-Fisherman's Wharf
Victoria Fisherman's Wharf
Tie up your shoelaces; Victoria is a walking town.  There a tons of walking paths allowing tourists to do their own self-guided tours of the city.  There were signs clearly labeling these routes to easily get downtown by foot.  This is the option we chose, but of course there are taxis, buses, and other typical means of city transportation to take your pick from.

Victoria-British Columbia-Canada-Fishermen's Wharf
Pontoon Homes at The Fisherman's Wharf
Our first noteworthy stop was the Fisherman's Wharf.  The boardwalk through the marina is filled with great spots to grab fresh seafood, along with tons of local vendors and kiosks.  There are also places to rent kayaks or sign-up for whale-watching.  One of the cool features of this marina is the small colorful town of pontoon homes moored to wharf.  This quaint seaside village is such a scenic site, especially during sunset.

Victoria- British Columbia-Canada

Continuing on our self-guided tour, we headed into the city center where there's tons of bars, restaurants and shopping.  We stopped by The Local for a beer and quick bite eat.  With only a few hours to spare on land, we didn't have time to check out too many of the historical and cultural landmarks of Victoria.  If you do visit for a longer duration, Victoria is known as the "City of Gardens."  So be sure to check out one of the many historical parks and formal gardens of the city.  The Butchart Gardens is a popular one and would have been our number one choice as well!  Victoria is also enchanted with breathtaking castles for visitors to tour. Two visit-worthy castles are The Craigdarroch and The Hatley.

The Fairmont Empress Hotel- Victoria- British Columbia-Canada
The Fairmont Empress Hotel
At night, the city of Victoria sparkles. Many of the city building are decorated with lights that shine beautifully once the sun sets.  One of Victoria's oldest hotels, The Fairmont Empress, is decked in colorful light fixtures that reflect against the marina in the evening.  But by far, the most awe-inspiring building at night is The Parliament.  The lights accentuate the building's architecture; it's just stunning!  Victoria is a city we definitely hope to visit again!

The Parliament Building- Victoria- British Columbia-Canada
Victoria's Parliament Building 
Victoria- British Columbia-Canada

Kristy Albano & Matt Pickering                                                      

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