Victoria, B.C. or Bust: Fit a Quick Trip Into Your Last Few Days of Summer

The Victoria Harbour Ferry ballet

Summer may be winding down, but there’s still ample time to trek somewhere fun for a night. Consider an overnight sojourn to this close by stomping ground (and one of CNN’s friendliest cities in the world): Victoria, B.C. Seattle magazine editorial assistant Erika Almanza Brown offers up her picks for when she visits this vibrant place, filled with history, culture, local eateries and breweries.

Getting There: Catch the Victoria Clipper at Pier 69 on Alaskan Way.  Where to Eat: Try the waterfront seafood restaurant, Red Fish Blue Fish. It’s an outdoor eatery housed in an up-cycled cargo container that’s on the pier at 1006 Wharf Street. What to do: Go here to print a walking tour map of Victoria’s Inner Harbour or its Old Town & Chinatown.  Stop in at the historic Murchie’s Tea & Coffee on 1110 Government Street and order a London Fog, which is a piping-hot and very British cup of Earl Grey tea, steamed milk and flavored syrup.  Feed the Seals: Hop on an H2O Water Taxi at the Inner Harbour in front of the Empress Hotel.  For a mere $5, you can sail on over to the Fisherman’s Wharf where you can purchase fish at The Fish Store to feed the local harbor seals. (Note: it only takes cash.) Listen to Music: Give any one of these local pubs a try: Bard & Banker, Irish Times Pub, Swans Brewpub, Canoe Brewpub.  Don’t Miss: If you happen to be in town on a Sunday morning, check out the Victoria Harbour Ferry Ballet, a 10-minute “ballet” performance where the small boats zig, zag and maneuver on the inner harbor (May through September at 10:45 a.m.). Before You Leave: Take a free, self-guided tour of the Parliament Building, home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia or visit the Royal BC MuseumWhen you Depart: On the Clipper, opt for a west-facing window seat so you’ll have a view of the Olympic Mountains during your voyage back to Seattle. (The earlier you book your trip, the better your boarding number will be, meaning you might just get a coveted window seat.)

Travel Tip:

  • If you don’t have a passport, the Washington enhanced driver license (EDL) or an enhanced ID (EID) card are low-cost alternatives to applying for a passport.  One can upgrade his/her valid Washington State driver‘s license or ID card to an EDL/EID for $15.  Visit the Washington State Department of Licensing to learn more.