Edition 8: July 19, 2001
In our eighth issue, the Bed and Breakfast Traveller takes you to Victoria, BC, the West Coast city known for its beautiful scenery, moderate climates, and warm welcomes.
On the southern tip of Vancouver Island lies a beautiful city of gardens -
Victoria. Noted for its spectacular natural surroundings and moderate Mediterranean
climate, this enchanting city boasts over 2000 hours of sunshine per year.
Gardens abound and there are flowers everywhere - in planters and window
boxes, in baskets hanging from downtown lampposts, and in the spectacular
Butchart Gardens, a miraculous wonder created
out of a limestone
A comfortable mix of modern and heritage architecture, and interesting
historic sites such as Craigdarroch Castle, will stimulate
visitors’ curiosity. Explore the Art Gallery, Antique
Row, and the city's specialty boutiques for pottery, glassware, fine china, jewelry, Irish linens,
sinfully wonderful chocolate and unique West Coast art. The Royal B.C.
Museum, and the illuminated Parliament
Buildings are a must see.
Culture flourishes here offering
everything from street musicians performing on the waterfront to a number
of theatres http://www.belfry.bc.ca as well as the symphony and opera.
Victoria has many excellent restaurants, tea rooms and coffee bars.
This is a nature lover's paradise. Along with the neighboring rural
communities of Saanich, Metchosin, and Sooke, the area offers visitors a
wealth of experiences from the sublime to the "super-natural" with some of
the best birding, whale watching, diving (www.racerocks.com), surfing, salmon fishing, and cycling and hiking
trails on the West Coast.
A short drive from downtown, the surrounding countryside has incredible
views across picturesque valleys out to the ever-changing ocean.
Hamlets and small villages sit amidst farmlands and forests. You'll find
peaceful pastures of grazing horses or sheep, meadows filled with
wildflowers, groves of oak trees, quiet ocean beaches, hiking
trails winding through forestland, and a variety of wildlife including
deer, bald eagles, seals and otters. On country roads, farm markets and
roadside stands are bounteous with local produce.
There are a number of lakes and ocean beaches throughout the area where you
can swim, kayak, windsurf or canoe. Golfers will find they are spoiled for
choice with the selection of excellent public golf courses which offer
everything from championship level par 72
(www.olympicview.bc.ca/courses/olympicview) to beginner’s level par 3.
If your interests lie in the stars, a visit to the largest telescope in
Western Canada at The Herzberg Institute of Astrophysics, is a must. Sitting on a hilltop the Observatory
offers an incredible almost 360 degree view of the area. Inside the
visitors’ centre, appropriately named "The Centre of the Universe", you can
tour the displays and sneak a peak at the on-going projects into asteroids,
nebulae and distant stars. On Saturday evenings visitors are welcome to
view the stars.
There is a lot to see and do on Southern Vancouver Island. Here are just
some of the many events happening this summer and fall in Victoria and
July 12 - Aug. 18: Victoria Shakespeare Festival
July 17: Spirit of the Masks Ocean Pointe Resort, Victoria
July 21: Luminara - Lantern Celebration, Beacon Hill Park, Victoria
July 21: All Sooke Day, Sooke
July 27-29: Rootsfest 2001, Royal Roads University
Aug. 3-6: Latin Caribbean Festival, Market Square, Victoria
Aug. 4-12: Metchosin & East Sooke Summer Studio Tour
August 5: Symphony Splash, Inner Harbour
Aug. 10-12: 17th Annual First People's Festival, Royal B.C. Museum, Victoria
Aug. 11: Captain Jack's Old Frontier Wildwest Show, Metchosin
Aug. 18-19: Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, Inner Harbour, Victoria
Aug. 24- Sept. 3: Fringe Festival, Victoria
Aug. 31-Sept. 2: Classic Boat Festival, Inner Harbour Victoria
Aug. 31- Sept. 3: Vancouver Island Blues Bash, Inner Harbour, Victoria
Sept. 1-3: Saanich Fall Fair, Saanich Fair Grounds
Sept. 9: Metchosin Day Country Fair
Sept. 15-16: Heritage Acres Steam Powered Fall Threshing Display, Saanich
Nov. - Dec.: Goldstream Salmon Run & Bald Eagle Viewing,
Best Inns of Victoria
Bed and Breakfast Association
Photographs for this issue courtesy of The Best Inns of Victoria Bed and Breakfast Association