Northwest Travels // Victoria + Vancouver

Hi!

Let’s pick up from where we left off last time shall we? If you have been following my most recent travel series, you will remember that from Dallas we flew up to Seattle and then drove north to Birch Bay to spend a few days with Jordan’s grandparents. Knowing that we were going to be a quick ferry ride away from Canada, we packed our passports and booked a one-night trip to the beautiful city of Victoria.

Neither one of us had been there and since this entire trip was spent with family and friends, we thought one day alone would be fun and romantic. This post will be, in a sense, a guide book to traveling across the border as well as a list of places we went and things we did. Looking back, I am amazed at how much we crammed in during that 24-hour time span. 20150803_160637_001

Transportation: We left Jordan’s grandparents house near Blaine around 8:30 am to ensure that we had plenty of time to catch the 10:00 am boat ride. To my surprise, it was only a 20-minute drive up to border control, where we thankfully did not have to wait in any sort of line to get through. Apparently it can be a nightmare trying to cross into either the US or Canada during certain times. Another quick 20-minute drive took us to the ferry dock where we parked our car, paid for overnight parking, and walked into the building. Two one-way ferry tickets cost us around $30.00 which wasn’t bad at all and total travel time was 24 nautical miles or 1 hour 35 minutes. Once we arrived to Swartz Bay (Victoria dock), we hopped onto a bus which cost $5/both of us for a 45 minute ride into the city center.

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Upon arriving to Victoria, we found a spot in the grass near the Legislature Building to eat our sandwiches that we had packed. It was fun to take in the sights and sounds of the city, as well as scope out the location of places we wanted to visit. Once we finished eating, we walked about 10 minutes along the pier down to our hotel where we checked in a bit early, changed into tea drinking clothes (more on that soon), and situated our luggage. Jordan did such a great job of picking out a beautiful hotel with an even better view of the pier.

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Things to do/Restaurants we visited: 

  • Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel – this was definitely a splurge for us, but after hearing people rave about it, we decided we had to do it in British Columbia. It was absolutely worth every penny! From the tea room, to the service, to the food, it was all an amazing experience.  I don’t know if it was the experience or what, but those scones were hands down the best scones I have ever had. After a few mugs of tea and more carbs than we knew what to do with, we walked out of the Empress full and happy. 20150803_161002 20150803_161256 20150803_161435 20150803_161759 20150803_162139 20150803_163806 20150803_171005 20150803_173248
  • Watch the sunset: As I mentioned earlier, the view from our hotel room was incredible. We made sure to wrap up our evening activities to get back by 8:30 to watch the sunset. Minus the tree blocking the actual sun going down, it was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. 20150803_203300 20150803_203421 20150803_204557
  • Steamship Grill & Bar: we actually popped into Steamship on our way towards the Empress for High Tea since we had about an hour of time to kill. We saw that they had $1 oyster’s as well as a couple happy hour specials so we enjoyed a cocktail and fresh oysters. Having never tried an oyster before, I gave it a go and was not a fan, so I let Jordan enjoy them. 20150803_151645 20150803_152956
  • The Local: After seeing the Local as a highly recommended spot to visit on Yelp, we decided to grab a cocktail and split a salad since we were feeling like we needed some greens. This was our favorite establishment that we visited. It was casual, fresh, and such a fun spot near the pier. 20150803_192024 20150803_192035 20150803_192505 20150803_193104
  • Jam: this was another highly rated restaurant on Yelp, so we made sure to grab some food before heading over to Vancouver. There was a line outside the small restuarant when we arrived, but I had read not to be alarmed, as it moves fairly quickly. We ended up getting our food to-go, just to make sure we didn’t miss our bus ride to the ferry. The avocado toast and eggs that I ordered hit the spot and were definitely a good choice! Jordan had some sort of scramble with potatoes that looked pretty tasty.  20150804_084858 20150804_090604 20150804_091515 20150804_091534

Vancouver: As you can see, we did a whole lot of exploring during our time in Victoria. After we ate breakfast at Jam, we caught a 10:00 AM ferry back to Vancouver where we met up with one of Jordan’s former teammates at Mizzou who is both from there and lives there currently. She was so sweet to spare a few hours to show us around her city. We did the super-fast version, but it was just perfect. I am so glad we hit both Victoria and Vancouver during our trip. Both are absolutely gorgous cities, and the thing I loved about Vancouver was how active it was. 20150804_135434 20150804_155807 20150804_160230 20150804_160352

I apologize for the photo-overload today, but sometimes that seems to be the best way to show our travels. Words just don’t do justice! I hope to make it back to British Columbia at some point, but if not, I am so thankful we were able to go.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Victoria/Vancouver if you have ever traveled there. I hope you have a great Wednesday and thanks again for stopping by.

Abby Dawn

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