Making the Most of Vancouver Island

We love an excuse to enjoy a bit of off the grid island-time, any time of the year. Venturing over to BC’s capital, Victoria, during the festive season brings with it many noteworthy perks (and deals). Here’s our suggested itinerary for those YPs looking for a bit of relaxed, luxe adventuring a few hours away from the mainland.

Getting there couldn’t be easier. Opt to pre-book your spot aboard BC Ferries, or pack a few extra magazines and simply show up. Squeeze in any extra work you might have to do once onboard; they have free WiFi to help make the 80-minute picturesque crossing pretty painless. There is also a regular bus service that removes all preplanning and whisks you from city door to door. Alternatively, you can score a deal aboard Harbour Air Seaplanes. You’ll find special pricing periodically posted on their social media feeds and you can grab a flight from downtown or Richmond South Terminal, both easily accessed, to deliver you to Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Once in the provincial capital, might we suggest you check out (and check into) either of the following hotels that are stylishly appointed and perfect for the young professional. Firstly, we recommend the Oswego Hotel, which will have you landing in the lap of West Coast luxury (with a view of the Olympic Mountains to make it sweeter). Another stylish option we dig is the Laurel Point Inn. Find it just on the edge of Victoria’s Inner Harbour and amidst plenty of activity, offering amazing coastal views.

Plan a few days of low-key activities that revolve around a lot of walking, shopping and plenty of dining. Victoria packs a serious punch when it comes to culinary offerings. Be sure to swing by our favourite pasta spot, Pagliacci’s, for no frills, leave-you-wanting-more dishes. Order the Prawn Broker and you’ll know what we mean. Another option for great eats of the Italian sort calls for a visit to Cook Street Village. We can’t get enough of Pizzeria Prima Strada and their thin crust, wood-fired oven Neapolitan pizza and light fare. Make a trip over to the Moka House for a sweet finish.

Roll out of bed the next morning and order room service or venture over to The Blue Fox Cafe. We suggest you aim to go early so as to avoid the inevitable lines; it’s so worth it, trust us. Find them at 905 Fort Street, an easy walk from pretty much any hotel in Victoria.

Post brunch, head over to Victoria’s quaint Chinatown for some shopping, hitting up Market Square en route and the neat boutiques that have popped up within Yates and lower Johnson Street’s restored heritage buildings. 

Shopped (but not walked) out? Ditch your finds back at the hotel and head over toward Dallas Road and Ogden Point. Duck back into the picturesque landscape that is Beacon Hill Park and stroll the trails until cocktail hour hits. Once you’ve worked up a thirst, head back downtown to Bard & Banker and grab a pint and bite to help finish off a great stay.