We ventured out of our hotel at about 11am, deterred by a super late arrival the night before, which was made even worse by the 2 hour time difference. We made it our mission to start the day with donuts, and see where we ended up after that. In short order, we’d found our donuts and nearly all of the touristy spots on my list, along with some adorable shops and sweet ice cream parlors. We’d found an outdoor market and a happy hour to return to later, and even a pub with my name on it.
We ended up about a block from our hotel for afternoon tea and I found myself wondering: Is Victoria, BC the most walkable city ever?
If the next 3 days told me anything, it was basically a resounding yes (when I wasn’t wearing heels). So today I’m sharing my favorite places that we wandered in this sweet little city on the water:
We found the aforementioned donuts at the most Canadian option, Tim Hortons. Head here to load up on Timbits (Canadian for donut holes) and maple dipped options, and marvel at the Canadian culture you’re already soaking up.
From here, we wandered over to Chinatown and found the famous Fan Tan Alley, billed as the narrowest street in Canada. It mostly is a really skinny little alley that must be a pain in the butt to have a business in, but it’s super cute and touristy. Take a picture that illustrates how skinny the street is, and then check out Kid Sister Ice Cream, which has interesting and delicious flavors. I had a grapefruit & aperol popsicle.
Since we were in the area, we wandered about and did lots of shopping at some of the sweetest little stores. Right next to Fan Tan Alley is Fan Tan Home and Style, where we fell in love with everything we saw. From planters to cool decorations to funny socks, they had so much great stuff. We also liked Silk Road Tea, where I picked up some locally grown black tea. Paboom was another great home store, with some of the funniest cards ever. Seriously, though, this whole area has tons of darling shops and places to stop and look at everything, so just wander about and enjoy.
The best recommendation we got while in Victoria was to stop by Red Fish, Blue Fish for some awesome, cheap seafood. This little place is built into a shipping container right on the dock, and they have seats lined up facing the harbor where you can sit to eat once you’ve grabbed your food. We waited in line for nearly an hour here, but a line is generally a good sign that you’re in the right place, and this wait was so worth it!
The Fairmont Empress is the big, old hotel on the water and the home of Victoria’s most famous Afternoon Tea. Even if you’re not going for the afternoon tea, you could have a drink or snack at the restaurant (or the lobby bar after tea ends) and enjoy feeling thoroughly fancy. I also had a pedicure at their spa and it was really nice. They have a hotel shop that has some good souvenirs, and there are historic photos of the hotel that are cool to see. It’s a neat place to wander around.
David Foster Harbour Pathway
I ventured over to Ogden Point on foot from the harbor area, and it took me maybe 40-60 minutes walking. I don’t walk super slow, but I did stop to take pictures, so make of that what you will. The entire walk was along the David Foster Pathway, which was beautiful and made for a very nice walk. The pathway follows the water, so you have beautiful views the entire way.
Ogden point is where the ferry and cruise ships stop, so it’s much more of a large-scale port than the Victoria harbor. The real treat was the Ogden Point Breakwater, a suuuuuper long pier that juts out into the water. I walked nearly all the way down it, and it was so cool to be in such a quiet spot, just surrounded by the sea. Take a taxi or water taxi back if you’re tired at this point.
If you wander over to Ogden Point from Downtown, going along the pathway, you’ll find the Fisherman’s Wharf quite easily (and before the walk even starts to feel long). Here, sweet little shops hover over the water while swarms of tourists eat fresh fish outdoors. While the whole area looked super cute, I was a bit short on time so I didn’t get to linger long. Check it out when you have the time to wander around.
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I loved wandering through Victoria, but I didn’t get to see everything! Tell me in the comments where I should go next time.