One of the most picturesque cities in Canada, the British Columbia capital offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and natural attractions, surrounded by the sea and mountains. And, it’s within easy reach of Seattle. The perfect 2-night getaway to Victoria, B.C. starts with a scenic ride on our elegant high-speed catamaran, part of the adventure itself.

Knowing the ‘City of Gardens’ inside and out, we’ve created an itinerary to help you make the most of your time for the ultimate escape.

Seattle to Victoria Overnight from $282pp/do

Credit: Jenny Jackson

Day 1

Your voyage

 

It all begins by hopping aboard the beautiful Victoria Clipper waiting at Seattle’s Pier 69. Departure is at 8 a.m. with arrival in Victoria at approximately 11 a.m.  We highly recommend taking advantage of the upgraded seating options upstairs. Choose from Vista Class, ideal for family seating with spacious leather seats and tables, and Comfort Class. This is a private cabin with spacious leather seats, a complimentary welcome drink, unlimited snacks, coffee, and tea. The champagne toast is the perfect way to kick off the trip!

Enjoy the epic view of the Seattle skyline as you sip your champagne. Across the Sound, the breathtaking views continue, with a display of the Olympic Mountains and their soaring jagged peaks. Be sure to keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife. You never know when a pod of orcas might pass by. Porpoises and otters are often spotted, and if you look up, you might see a bald eagle overhead. Crossing the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the international border between the U.S. and Canada, the ocean views stretch in every direction.

Arrival

As arrival is at 11 a.m., several hours before hotel check-ins, you can leave your bags at the terminal to explore downtown unencumbered. To begin, perhaps take a short stroll around the corner to Fisherman’s Wharf. There are some fabulous photo ops, including the colorful houseboats bobbing up and down, and you might see some of the friendly local harbor seals too. When hunger pangs hit, Barb’s Place is a great spot for fish and chips.

Colorful houseboats line the docks of Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria, BC.

If you want to get to know the city, you can’t go wrong with the Hop-On Hop-Off CitySights tour. It’s the perfect way to take in many of Victoria’s highlights at your own pace. And, you’ll be riding in a fun open-top double-decker bus, a quintessentially British experience in the most British town in Canada. Or, for more active exploration, head over to The Pedaler right across from the Clipper Terminal and rent a bike.

Dinner with a View

Patio at LURE Restaurant & Bar, Victoria, BC

This evening, how about an alfresco dinner with a view? The LURE Restaurant & Bar serves local seafood and boasts a lovely view of the Inner Harbour. Both indoor and outdoor seating are available on the waterfront patio. Tapas and sherry sound more appealing? Head to the patio at Bodega Tapas Wine Bar for a slice of Spain in Victoria.

Vista 18 on the 18th floor of Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites is another great option. It boasts stunning rooftop vistas and mouthwatering cuisine. You might start with a shareable plate of fresh-shucked oysters before indulging in the grass-fed short ribs paired with a glass of B.C. wine. Or, for a regal meal The Veranda at the Fairmont Empress is sure to please with its gorgeous patio overlooking the Inner Harbour.

Nightlife 

If you’ve got energy left to spare, Victoria offers a wealth of nightlife with something for almost everyone. The Irish Times is a great casual spot for a pint and a show, with live music featuring everything from Irish tunes to rock and acoustic. Or how about a romantic evening at Hermann’s Jazz Club? Canada’s longest continuously running jazz club, it’s renowned for hosting fantastic local talent.

Day 2

With a full day ahead, today is perfect for a visit to world-renowned Butchart Gardens. You’ll want at least four hours here. That will allow you to marvel at the magnificent sights, enjoy Afternoon Tea, and perhaps do a little shopping at the Seed and Gift Store to pick up a unique gift or souvenir.

The lush 55-acre property includes five main gardens like the Sunken Garden with a lookout point featuring an incredible view that’s been captured in countless viral images. There are bubbling streams, magnificent fountains, intriguing sculptures, and an array of stunning natural beauty showcasing brilliant color throughout much of the year.

After exploring, go back in time for an experience steeped in tradition with award-winning Afternoon Tea. Indulge in a wide range of sweet and savory treats alongside an excellent selection of loose-leaf teas. It’s the classic Victorian experience!

Dinner via the Evening Sip, Savor & Stroll Tour

One of the best ways to indulge in a variety of delicious flavors is to take the Evening Sip, Savor, & Stroll Tour. It’s a progressive multi-course meal featuring farm-to-table fare and often called the best food tour in Victoria. You’ll savor bites at award-winning restaurants like the L’Apero Wine & Cheese Bistro, The Courtney Room, and Q at the Empress. Dessert, carefully curated wine samples and iconic cocktails are all part of your tour. Sightseeing with local insight from your guide is included too.

Nightlife 

Credit: @royalmcphersontheatres

The Royal Theatre and the McPherson Playhouse are housed in two of the most opulent spaces in the city, so you might want to check their calendars to find out what’s on stage if you’re looking for entertainment after dark.

The Royal Theatre has graced the capital’s skyline for over a century, opening in 1913 in a gorgeous venue that’s preserved its original Rococo/Renaissance Revival style décor. The McPherson Playhouse has been at the heart of Victoria’s community arts scene since 1914, set in a brick theatre building with an exterior done in Italian Renaissance style.

Day 3

Filled with wild smoked salmon, red onion, fresh avocado and chipotle aioli, the Eggs Pacifico Bennie is sure to make your mouth water. Credit: Katie Boothman

Your two-night getaway to Victoria, B.C. ends today, but departure for Seattle isn’t until 5 p.m. That means there’s plenty of time for more thrills! The timing is just right for enjoying one of the city’s top attractions, the Malahat SkyWalk. But first, how about brunch followed by some shopping downtown?

Brunch

The Blue Fox Cafe is a downtown brunch staple and with Victoria locals quite serious about their brunch, you know it’s going to be good. The only problem is that it’s not easy to decide on which type of eggs bennie to order when there are a dozen different types! And that’s not all, there are plenty of other classics like French toast along with innovative takes on dishes like huevos rancheros.

If you don’t mind the wait, Jam Café is another one of the top spots for weekend brunch. While there might be a line, it’s well worth the time with everything from Peach Bacon Brioche French Toast to Fried Chicken Benedict.

Shopping

After you’ve had your fill, walk off your meal with a little downtown shopping. There are some fabulous unique boutiques within an easy stroll of each other. Head to LoJo (lower Johnson Street) to pick up some new threads or just check out the latest fashion trends. Searching for gently used treasures? Vintage stores can be found here too. Right around the corner on Government Street, book lovers won’t want to miss Munro’s Books. It was even named one of the world’s top 10 bookstores by National Geographic. Just steps away is the Victoria Market Collective in the Bay Centre Mall with over 100 local artisans, producers, and makers. This is the perfect place to pick up a gift for others, or yourself.

The Grand Finale

 

There may be no better way to conclude your Victoria getaway than with a visit to the Malahat SkyWalk. And, the SkyWalk Shuttle provides free, direct transportation right from the downtown Clipper Terminal. It departs at 12:10 p.m. with the return at 3:50 p.m. Perfectly timed to get you back to your high-speed catamaran for your 5 p.m. departure to Seattle!

An attraction easily accessible for the whole family, it includes the Tree Walk where you’ll be immersed in the canopy of the trees. Watch for the bald eagle, herons, and driftwood cougars. The Spiral Tower is where you’ll enjoy one of the most jaw-dropping views in the entire region. That includes unobstructed 360-degree views of the Saanich Inlet. And, on a clear day, you can see islands between British Columbia and Washington State, Mount Baker, the Cowichan Valley, and more.

Once back on solid ground and back at the Clipper Terminal, it’s time to hop aboard once again. It’s never easy to say goodbye, but you’ll have many memories, and probably lots of photos, to take with you!