Giving Victoria, British Columbia a second (or third) look.

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 Victoria, B.C.  is often either the very first or very last excursion on the summer cruises to Alaska. The city is also a very popular weekend getaway for visitors from nearby Vancouver and Seattle. But this gem deserves more than just a passing fancy. With beautiful parks, historic homes, and rich cultural heritage Victoria has earned her second look. 

The strait of Juan de Fuca seems like a strange name for the body of water that forms the international border between Washington State and British Columbia. The channel was named after a Greek navigator who was reported to have explored the region looking for the fabled Northwest Passage. While the passage eluded him, he did discover some of the most beautiful landscape in all of North America.
Victoria is the capital city for the Canadian province of British Columbia. The Parliament building is one of the many gems in Victoria’s crown.
A Coal Barron’s mansion, a military hospital, a college building and finally a museum the Craigdarroch castles has had many incarnations. Today, the museum has been restored to its original glory and features several breathtaking stained glass windows.
The Gatsby Mansion Inn offers high tea and sumptuous rooms. It is less than 1km from the inner harbor and all the major downtown sights.
Like their San Francisco namesake, Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to stroll and admire the many houseboats.
Located on the inner harbor, the massive Empress Hotel offers old world charm
Victoria’s Chinatown has great restaurants, shops, and an easy walk from the port.
Butchart Gardens is astounding. The brilliant hues and verdant walkways are beautiful by daylight but come dusk the paths are illuminated, and the colors take on an otherworldly glow.
This is a must-see attraction even if you are just on a short excursion the gardens should be at the top of your list.

A short ferry ride from Seattle and Vancouver as well as accessible by air. Victoria deserves more than just a whistle stop on a cruise. This queen of a city has earned the royal treatment.


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