Back in March, my dad I went on an adventure together to the Pacific Northwest. We started off in Seattle (you might remember that post), then we took a ferry to Victoria and then we drove to Vancouver, Canada. It was our first father-daughter trip, and it turn out to be really fun!
Our first stop in Canada was Victoria, BC. Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia, and is located on the southern tip of the Vancouver Island off Canada’s Pacific coast. Who knew Vancouver also had an island! One of my favorite things about Victoria was that it had a very European feel.
To get there, we took a 2.5-hour ferry ride from Seattle to Victoria with the Victoria Clipper… Don’t forget your passport! It was super easy and convenient. While we were on the ferry, the crew suggested some popular tours like the on that takes you to Butchart Gardens and another one that takes you around the island for a wine tour. Since we spent the night in Victoria, we decided to take both tours.
We stayed at the Strathcona Hotel, which is located in the heart of Victoria BC. It is a stunning Victorian landmark that dates back to the historic gold rush era of the region. What is cool about this hotel, is that is also has 7 different bars within the facility. It is also just a few blocks away from the beautiful British Columbia Parliament Building and the Empress Hotel.
The British Columbia Parliament Building is an impressive Neo-baroque buildings facing the Inner Harbor and diagonally across from The Empress Hotel. They offer free-guided tours of the facility year-round. 😉
On our first day we took a 30 min tour bus to Butchart Gardens. These gardens have beautiful floral displays year round, a cute restaurant and some lovely lakes.
Fun Fact: The gardens receive close to a million visitors each year and are considered a National Historic Site of Canada.
That night my old man and I hit up Big Bad John’s Bar that was on the first floor of our hotel. It was a super chill place, they had bras (a bit awkward with dad :I ) and signed money from all over the world on the walls. Oh and they give you peanuts so there are peanut shells all over the floor!
Going on wine tours has always been a thing my family and I have been very fond of. (Winos much?) I’ll never forget when my parents and I went on our first wine tour in the Tuscany region in Italy . So since it’s tradition, we took a wine tour around the Saanich Peninsula of the Vancouver Island. Check this site for multiple wine tour options.
Fun Fact: The Saanich Peninsula’s mild temperatures and fertile land produces fruity whites such as Pinot Gris and medium-bodied reds such as Marechal Foch.
The tour we went on took us to 4 different wineries. Three of them were small family owned wineries and one was a much larger commercial winery.
1st Stop- Venturi Schulz
We tried: Siegerrebe, Pinot Noir, Brandenburg, Balsamic Vinegar and Jam with Balsamic Vinegar.
Fun Fact: The “real” balsamic vinegar from Italy has been considered a delicacy that you share on special occasions and you are supposed to just take a spoon full of it by it self.
2nd Stop- Cherry Point Estate Wines
We Tried: Siegerrebe, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Lagrimas Negras (aged red wine blend)
3rd Stop- Blue Grouse Winery (large vinyard)
We tried: Rose, Dry White Blend, Riesling
4th Stop- Unsworth Vineyard
We Tried: Sparkling White Blend, Sparkling Rose
This vineyard was my favorite. It was very cute and cozy and loved the sparkling wines!
A few friends, (including Annie) highly recommend visiting Victoria, and I’m very glad I followed their advice because it was very cute and charming! 🙂
I also highly recommend traveling and spending quality time with your parents, especially as an adult. You learn to appreciate them more and relate to them.
Vancouver post coming soon! 😉