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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!