Weekend Wanderer: Salt Lake City to Victoria, B.C.

Adventure seeker, designer, and mom to two, Emmy Jones knows just how to bring her fabulous family life to our Instagram feeds. She and her husband are taking the world by storm with plenty of laughs along the way! She just returned from an Instagram takeover in Victoria, British Columbia as part of Alaska’s Weekend Wanderer series. For more Weekend Wanderer posts, be sure to follow Alaska Airlines on Instagram.

Canada had been on my travel list, but I had never actually been before this trip. Wow, I had no idea what I was missing. While approaching Victoria, I noticed the green, pine-covered islands divided by bright blue water. I knew I was in for something great and was giddy to start my adventure in the island’s biggest city and the capitol of British Columbia — Victoria!

1 Weekend Wanderer: Salt Lake City to Victoria, B.C.

Hi everyone! @ameliahannah here! My family & I are exploring the incredibly beautiful Victoria, BC this weekend, starting with the Fisgard Lighthouse. Excited to document our time here. Hope you enjoy!

Apparently Victoria is said to put the “British” in British Columbia. It is also the brunch capital of Canada (according to the Food Network). Settling in for afternoon tea at the Royal Empress Hotel is the perfect setting to experience it.

Today the island is relaxed and vibrant, with a little of everything. Incredible natural scenery, foodie wonderland, accessible wildlife, fascinating history, easily walkable, photographers’ dream world … so much to love about Victoria!

Photobombed by a peacock at Hatley Castle.

Photobombed by a peacock at Hatley Castle.

The water in the harbor is alive with everything from cute little yellow water taxis (that apparently perform a “ballet” together, if you catch it!) to luxury yachts. Eating fresh sea food at Red Fish Blue Fish while watching seaplanes take off and land was a highlight! We loved wandering around the colorful floating homes of Fisherman’s Wharf. Feeding the seals and seagulls was a sure hit for the kids. They come right up to you!

Bought some fish to feed the seals, but the seagulls had a different plan in mind ! Fisherman's Wharf was a hit for the kids & adults.

Bought some fish to feed the seals, but the seagulls had a different plan in mind ! Fisherman’s Wharf was a hit for the kids & adults.

If you don’t love deep greens and rich blues, Victoria is not for you. The whole place feels out of a fairy tale! Butchart Gardens is the pinnacle of color, hosting over 900 varieties of plants. It proved to be the perfect afternoon walk and there’s even a carousel for the kids.

Victoria in one word: green! And The Butchart Gardens are the pinnacle. photo: @ameliahannah

Victoria in one word: green! And The Butchart Gardens are the pinnacle.

As orca season was near, we decided to take our chances and book a whale watching tour. Within 30 minutes we were surrounded. I cannot put into words the pure beauty witnessing these creatures in their natural habitat. Next, the captain decided to move on and try to spot a humpback, which we did!

Transient Orcas are among us! We lucked out getting to witness these beautiful creatures in the wild. An experience we'll never forget!

Transient Orcas are among us! We lucked out getting to witness these beautiful creatures in the wild. An experience we’ll never forget!

While driving to Mystic Beach, I felt guilty passing so many surreal locations without stopping to explore, but as our time was short, we persevered. The misty green hike opening to a gentle waterfall where fresh water meets the ocean was an incredible sight. On our way back, aching with hunger, we stopped at Shirley Delicious. It is a small, family run cafe on the side of the road with the best turkey sandwich and pumpkin bread I’ve ever had.

The most breathtaking hike to Mystic Beach. I can't believe the beauty here & keep wondering how it's my first visit. Also, if you're ever in the area, don't miss Shirley Delicious.

The most breathtaking hike to Mystic Beach. I can’t believe the beauty here & keep wondering how it’s my first visit. Also, if you’re ever in the area, don’t miss Shirley Delicious.

Of all the places I've been, adventures I've experienced, nothing compares to this one. Happy Mother's Day everyone!

Of all the places I’ve been, adventures I’ve experienced, nothing compares to this one. Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Finishing off our trip with yet another breathtaking view . Such an incredible visit to Victoria, BC. Definitely won't be our last! Thanks for following along!

Finishing off our trip with yet another breathtaking view . Such an incredible visit to Victoria, BC. Definitely won’t be our last! Thanks for following along!

Our trip is over and the one regret I have is not having enough time. You couldn’t run out of things to do in Victoria as every nook and cranny seems to have a story and draws you in. This charming, beautiful place has left an impression I won’t forget. We will be back!

5 Comments on “Weekend Wanderer: Salt Lake City to Victoria, B.C.

  1. Next time, try to hit the White Heather. It’s a storefront tea house in Oak Harbor with to-die-for traditional teas in a casual atmosphere. They do have a kids’ menu, and the service is perfect. You saw stuff I didn’t even know existed! Now I have my to-see list for our next visit.

  2. I think that Sue means “Oak Bay” (Oak Harbor is in WA and we spell it Harbour, anyway). You should also check out funky Fernwood Square, which has a bohemian vibe with some great little shops and a performing arts theatre in a deconsecrated church (The Belfry Theatre). Oh, and the food! Best bet when travelling with kids is The Fernwood Inn, a locally-owned gastropub-style restaurant. They even won a local foodie award for “Best Place to Take a Kid”!!

    • Ooooooooooooooops, you’re right! OK, now I know I have to go check out Fernwood Square next time we’re there. My kids say it was the best vacation ever, so you know we’ll be back.

  3. Nice pics. Looking forward to first visit there. I think it’s Fairmont Empress, not Royal Empress Hotel. Staying there, and Having high tea there. And fireworks at Butchart Gardens at one of the 8 Saturdays in summer!

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