Victoria, Vancouver Island, & Butchart Gardens

July 29, 2015


For more photos visit my Flicker Album: Vancouver Island Album

Victoria is a wonderful July destination especially if you reside in Texas. We’ve visited Victoria before but never rented a car. This time we did rent a car and ventured out into the Island.

Upon arriving we checked in at Abigal’s Hotel.  Its a fantastic bed and breakfast just a short walk to the Government Street restaurants and shops as well as the harbor.


Our first tour was along the coast in Victoria proper through Beacon Hill Park and the Oak Bay area along the coast. Scenic drive along the coast and some high rent neighborhoods. That evening we attended Taste, a wine and food festival. I guess there were 20 vineyards offering the furit of the vine and maybe 10 restaurants. Outstanding! Good thing we walked to the festival.


The next day we drove to the seaside village of Sooke for some hiking and to dine at the West Coast Grill. By the time we arrived back in Victoria the International Busker’s Festival had commenced.  In case your as confused as I was a Busker is a street performer.  The Festival last 10 days on numerous stages on the downtown streets and around the harbor. Its all free and quite entertaining.

That evening we ate at our favorite establishment in Victoria Il Terrazzo On Saturday we drove into the Island to Chemainus for a bluegrass festival. We had lunch at Odika Cafe, very good, strolled the town to view the numerous wall murals, and listened to a lot of bluegrass music.


That night we ate at Aria in Victoria and then drove out to Butchart Gardens. The gardens are world famous and deserve their reputation. Words can’t describe their beauty so I’ve included a few photos. In the Summer on Saturday nights they also have a concert and then a fireworks show. This is Canada and for the geographically challenged its way North of Texas. Therefore the Sun sets late – after 10PM. So you have to stay up pretty darn late to view the fireworks. They were more than worth the late night.


The next morning we rode the Victoria Clipper ferry back to Seattle.

Victoria Clipper

Footnote: See Victoria/Seattle 2011 for my post on our last visit