So you’ve decided to agree that Victoria, BC has to be one of the most romantic places in all of Canada and you and your loved one are planning another romantic getaway to the “City of Gardens.” Central Victoria’s Vacation Rentals by Owner (VRBO) have many repeat guests, and here’s some fun ideas for couples to enjoy a romantic repeat weekend in Victoria BC.
This time I challenge you to experience Victoria by bicycle.
As I’ve stated before, I consider myself to be a travel buff and I like to get the most out of each vacation. During my last blog entry, I gave a short and sweet itinerary for first time Victoria, BC visitors, where walking hand-and-hand through the Inner Harbour and evening carriage rides were the main attraction. This time I want you to spend at least one day sightseeing and soaking up the English air with your mate by bike.
View Victoria BC - Bike Route in a larger map
Since you will be leaving from the Inner Harbour, I suggest you take Quadra St to Dallas Rd to the first destination, which is Beacon Hill Park. Here you can park your bike and walk the waterfront path and take in the majestic view of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca. The park has ponds, flowers and gardens, a cricket pitch and even a petting zoo. Summer evenings are open to live music. This is a great place for a couple to take in the beauty nature has to offer. Grab some ice cream at the Beacon Drive Inn at the corner of Douglas and Beacon Street on the west side of the park.
Next, ride your bikes east along Dallas Road to Clover Point Park to see fantastic view of the ocean. Clover Point Park is a very popular destination in Victoria because of its stunning scenic views. Some notable things to see are the dormant volcano, Mount Baker, Sooke Hills and the Olympic Mountains of Washington State. The ocean waters, just off the Point are a hot spot to watch wind-surfing and parasailing enthusiasts. You may also see some cruise ships sailing by, but don’t get too complacent. There are few more stops I’d like you make before heading back to the Inner Harbour.
Follow Dallas Rd to the Ogden Point Breakwater and Lighthouse. Named after Peter Skene Ogden, the Breakwater is a culmination of roughly 10,000 granite blocks weighing over a million tons. Through the years, the piers at Ogden Point have been a ferry terminal, a fish processing and cold storage plant and even serviced by railway at one point. Today, horse-drawn carriages and helicopters operate from the piers.
Now loop back following Dallas Road northwest. Along the way back up to the Inner Harbour you may want to stop at one of the many public beaches to dip your feet in the sand and gentle ocean waves, take photos or steal a kiss from your traveling partner. Hopefully, you will have started working up an appetite because your next stop is the Fisherman’s Wharf. Here you’ll find numerous food kiosks and unique shops. Don’t forget to try the fish and chips! Stroll down the docks with your lunch and watch the various vessels unload their wares. Also, keep an eye out for seals. They will do cute tricks for a bit of raw fish. The retailers will sell you a bit especially for the seals. It’s a fun treat for everyone involved!
Finally, ride back towards the inner harbor towards your loft at Central Victoria’s Vacation Rental. There are quite a few places to rent bikes, like Cycle BC Rentals, located in the harbor. The visitor’s center will have simple map for you to follow on your biking adventure to experience the raw beauty of Vancouver Island’s biggest city.
Hungry after your bike riding adventure? Grab a pint and some food at the Bard & Banker Pub, with live music often and a short walk back to your VRBO accommodation. You’re sure to meet some other travelers and friendly locals to share stories with. Extra hungry? Make your way to Pagliacci’s Italian Restaurant to enjoy the always delicious food in ample portions, at reasonable prices in a vibrant atmosphere.
If you want a really unique adventure, take a day trip on BC Ferry’s to Salt Spring Island. Weekends are best, but you’ll find this hippie island with plenty do see on any day of the week. If you thought Victoria was on “island time”, just wait until you experience Salt Spring’s island time. With wineries, farms, local artisans, and beautiful landscapes, a couple can easily fill your day exploring this unique destination. There are options to continue your biking adventure, or rent a car and take the BC Ferry over. Ferries run every hour or two depending on the season, and you’re looking for the Swartz Bay (Victoria) departure to Salt Spring Island (southern gulf islands group). You can take the direct Ferry to Fulford Harbour to then drive through the scenic hills and giant treed island to where most of the activities are, or Long Harbour via the Pender Island route. For the best of both, go to Fulford on your way over, and return via Long Harbour departure. It costs an extra few bucks, but is always best to book your ferry online in advance to avoid the potentially long lines.
It’s always hard to leave at the end of a relaxing, romantic adventure together as a couple, but returning home feeling closer to your partner makes the trip worthwhile.