Victoria is the Capital of British Columbia and is located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island. It has a population of around 86,000 people and is 60 miles from Vancouver and also 60 miles from Seattle, WA.
The city is one of the oldest in the Pacific Northwest, with early British settlements beginning in 1843. It has a number of historic buildings including the Parliament Building completed in 1897 and the Empress Hotel opened in 1908. Its Chinatown is the second oldest in North America.
Many opt to visit and stay for a few days. However, I chose to spend a day, flying from downtown Vancouver to Victoria by the Harbour Air Seaplanes. The ferry service by BC Ferries can take up to four hours, while the flight is approximately 30 minutes. By doing this, I had ample time to explore the city, have lunch, visit Chinatown, the museum and Parliament building. The highlight was enjoying a perfect afternoon tea. I arrived mid-morning and flew back in time for dinner in Vancouver.
Though I didn’t have time to go on my day trip, many of those with more time, love to explore The Butchart Gardens. Located 30 minutes north of Victoria, you can enjoy a Rose Garden, an Italian Garden, Sunken Garden, a Japanese Garden and a Mediterranean Garden. There is a dining room, the Blue Poppy Restaurant and a coffee shop to enjoy while you explore. Afternoon tea is served in the warmer months, where there are also boat tours, evening light shows, fireworks and concerts. It is a National Historic Site of Canada on 55 acres.