Road Trip: Victoria, BC

This charming coastal city on Vancouver Island is only a three- to five-hour trip northwest of Seattle
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Where: Victoria, British Columbia, a charming coastal city on Vancouver Island that’s a three- to five-hour trip northwest of Seattle (via the Victoria Clipper, clippervacations.com/seattle-victoria-ferry; or by car and state ferry; wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries).

Why: The iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel (Victoria, 721 Government St.; 250.384.8111; fairmont.com/empress-victoria) recently finished phase one of a two-part renovation, unveiling 235 revamped guest rooms ($299–$599), a new fine dining restaurant (Q at the Empress) and a makeover of the Lobby Lounge, where the traditional Tea at the Empress has been in place since 1908 ($75–$120, children $37.50; 250.389.2727). Indulge in a midafternoon delight of ethically sourced loose-leaf teas, raisin scones and much more. Then peruse the rooms’ new look—modernity with a nod to the past—featuring local Canadian artwork and design touches that embrace the hotel’s legacy and the city of Victoria herself.


Feast Your Eyes
: The nearby Butchart Gardens (prices vary; 250.652.5256; butchartgardens.com) offers weekend-only tours in November through the lush greenhouses, where visitors can chat with the gardeners and peek at the upcoming holiday decor.

See the City: For more happenings in and around Victoria, from scenic hikes to the trendiest eats (and for some delicious eye candy), check out Tourism Victoria on Instagram (@tourismvictoriabc).

Holiday Bonus: Time your visit for Saturday, November 26 to enjoy sparkling floats and vehicles at Island Farms Santa’s Light Parade at 5:45 p.m. in downtown Victoria.

Related Content

I love the sound of my feet crunching barnacles against my soft-soled boots, providing harmony to the melodic whoosh of the tidewater going in and out.

In the islands of Western Washington, breaker waves fall among the calls of seagulls. Quiet trails lie within old-growth forests, in wildflower meadows and on driftwoodcovered shores.

The rhythmic kick glide of skis on fresh early morning snow provides a beat against my pounding heart. Dawn breaks as I climb up the slope, the sound of semitrucks and commuter traffic roaring below me.

Convenient trips are becoming increasingly popular