Cruise, Brews & Views: 10 Clutch Ideas for a Guys Only Weekend in Victoria

Photo: Danny Owens

Call it what you want: a bachelor getaway, stag party, bonding time with the boys or a good old-fashioned mancation. Whatever the reason, an escape with the compadres is needed every now and again. Chock full of busy bars, breathtaking waterfront views and walkable streets, Victoria, BC is the perfect weekend destination and is only a short Clipper ferry ride away from Seattle. We’ve selected a few prime spots for the gang to stop at during your stay, so crack a beer and get ready to make some memories with our guide to a guy’s weekend in Victoria.

Seattle to Victoria, BC

Relax in a Spectacular Historic Hotel

Blocks away from the popular LoJo shopping district and housed in a beautifully restored 1911 heritage building, the Hotel Rialto is the perfect home base for the weekend. Photo: Danny Owens
Blocks away from the popular LoJo shopping district and housed in a stunning heritage building, the Hotel Rialto is the perfect home base for the weekend. Photo: Danny Owens

The beautiful thing about Victoria is that the town is incredibly walkable, A mere 20 minute stroll from the Clipper terminal will land you at the beautifully restored Hotel Rialto. With bright and modern rooms and Victoria’s largest liquor store, Vintage Spirits, housed right in the lobby (hello nightcaps), you may have a hard time finding a reason to venture off the property grounds.

Get Caffeinated

Make a pit stop at the local cafe to fuel your afternoon of exploring. Photo: Danny Owens
Make a pit stop at the local cafe to fuel your afternoon of exploring. Photo: Danny Owens

When you do manage to pull yourself away from your room, hop over a few blocks to the light-filled Hey Happy Coffee to fuel up for the day ahead. If you’re lucky enough to be visiting on January 18th or February 15th, be sure to stop by their home brewing workshops and pick up some skills to impress your lady or friends back home.

Be One With Nature 

Head down to the waterfront near Beacon Hill Park to take a look at the tide pools or just bring down some brews to share with friends. Photo: Danny Owens
Head down to the waterfront near Beacon Hill Park to take a look at the tide pools or just bring down some brews to share with friends. Photo: Danny Owens

Once you’re all perked up, head out to visit one of Victoria’s most famous landmarks, Beacon Hill Park. The crown jewel of Victoria’s natural areas, the park’s 200 acres provide a spectacular backdrop as you make your way to the waterfront and Finlayson Point. Keep an eye out for the “Mile 0” post for the Trans-Canada Highway, and if you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of a wild peacock strutting around.

Take a Mancation Selfie

Venture out on the breakwater for breathtaking views as far as the eye can see. Photo: Danny Owen
Venture out on the breakwater for breathtaking vistas of the Harbor’s calm waters. Photo: Danny Owens

Hang a right on the picturesque Dallas Road Waterfront Trail and you’ll find yourself with a view of Victoria’s man-made marvel, the Breakwater at Ogden Point. The walkable seawall juts out one-half mile into the sea, keeping the harbor’s waters calm. With fishing and shipping vessels nearby, you’ll be experiencing the sea like a true Victorian, and it’s the perfect spot for the all-important mancation selfie.

Refuel with Delicious Farm-To-Table Brunch Grub

Established as a farm to table restaurant, the dishes served at this gem will give you a real taste of quality B.C. ingredients. Photo: Danny Owens
Established as a farm-to-table restaurant, the dishes served at this gem will give you a real taste of quality BC ingredients. Photo: Danny Owens

All that urban hiking cause you to work up an appetite? Our go-to is OLO, a farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of downtown Victoria. Sit down for a late brunch of chicken soufflé pancakes or maybe a crispy fried chicken sandwich. Early afternoon beer all around? The sign of a true guy’s getaway.

Stroll Through Canada’s Narrowest Street

You’d be remiss to visit Victoria without taking a walk through Fan Tan Alley in Victoria's Chinatown and popping into some of the shops and restaurants lining the walls. Photo: Danny Owens
You’d be remiss to visit Victoria without taking a walk through Fan Tan Alley and popping into some of the unique shops and restaurants lining the walls. Photo: Danny Owens

No trip to Victoria is complete without a visit to Canada’s narrowest street, Fan Tan Alley. Kitty corner to OLO, the street is distinguishable by nothing more than a slender opening between buildings along Johnson St. Wander down its corridor and pop into the small boutiques lining the walls for an array of unique gifts to bring back home. The Turntable is the perfect place to find classic gems to add to your vinyl collection or serve as man cave wall art.

Stop for tasty eats and a Fresh New Do

Stop in this popular bar and eatery from everything from tasty eats to arcade tables. We recommned trying out "The Pork" with an Old-Fashioned. Photo: Danny Owens
Stop in this popular bar and eatery, which features everything from tasty eats to arcade tables. We recommend trying out “The Pork” with an Old-Fashioned. Photo: Danny Owens

Barbershop in the back, some of the best hot dogs in town up front. Saint Franks is the only place we know of that offers frankfurters, arcade tables and fresh cuts all in the same building. While your bros are getting new do’s, you can be one room over with a sudsy brew chowing down on a Banh Mi hot dog watching game recaps on a flat screen.

Catch the Sun as it Sinks Behind the Sparkling Waters of the Inner Harbour

Wander through the Inner Harbour and you'll be flooded with sights of the nearby Parliament Building, Empress Hotel and Royal BC Museum. Photo: Danny Owens
Wander through the Inner Harbour and you’ll be flooded with sights of the nearby Parliament Building, Empress Hotel and Royal BC Museum. Photo: Danny Owens

The Inner Harbour at sunset. To some, a peaceful view to take a date. To you and your guys, an opportunity to make your friends back home jealous with some awe-inspiring shots on Instagram. Nothing beats the setting sun over the harbor marina. Just within walking distance, the sights and sounds of Victoria’s downtown nightlife scene is ramping up.

Indulge in a Buck-a-Shuck Happy Hour

Featuring dishes inspired by local produce and sources, you’ll be hard pressed to find something you don’t like on 10 Acres' menu. Photo: Danny Owens
Featuring dishes created with fresh, local produce, you’ll be hard pressed to find something you don’t like on 10 Acres’ menu. Photo: Danny Owens

After sundown, head to nearby 10 Acres for happy hour buck-a-shuck oysters from 4-6pm. Catch live music Wednesday nights and DJ’s 4 nights a week. And if you haven’t already filled up on hot dogs, be sure to check out their drool-worthy dinner selection. Fresh and locally grown, it is entirely delicious. Besides, nothing says manly like biting into a juicy, sustainably sourced pork chop.

Cap the Night Off with Sensational Sips

Situated right in the heart of downtown, The Bard & Banker has been our go to pub for many years. Photo: Danny Owens
Situated right in the heart of downtown, The Bard & Banker has been our go to pub for many years. Photo: Danny Owens

When’s the last time you got down with the boys? Now a bar and music venue, Bard and Banker is the former Bank of British Columbia, a building with a history as rich as a fine bourbon. Speaking of bourbon, you’ll find plenty of spirits on the wall here, as well as live music seven days a week. If you packed a fancy get-up, stop back at the hotel for a quick outfit change. With gold plated chandeliers and winding staircases, you and the crew don’t have to worry about being overdressed. 

After a weekend away with the guys it’s time to come home, memory cards full of good times. Whether you’re after brews, local food or just a quick getaway, Victoria is for the perfect spot for bonding with your bros. You’ll come back feeling refreshed and dreaming about your next adventure.

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