The American dollar sucks, Whistler is already crawling with snow-seekers, and the West Coast is firmly rooted in fall. Couple that with the new BC Ferries promotion that knocks 50% off the cost of vehicles from Nov 16- Dec 19 (Mondays to Thursdays and Saturdays only–come on, we are talking about BC Ferries here) and you’ve got the perfect excuse to explore the island.

Victoria has always held a special place in my heart, and I’m not going to lie, most of my visits to see old friends and family are primarily walking and eating focused. Assuming you’ve got an understanding boss or a flexible schedule, you can take advantage of a few days in Vic on the cheap by taking the ferry from Tsawwassen to Schwartz Bay Saturday at 3pm and coming home on the 11am Monday. If a mid-week getaway is on the agenda you’ve got even more options. Check out their site to make sure you’re not unpleasantly surprised at the terminal, as not all sailings are eligible. Again, because #bcferries.

So let’s say you have 24 hours in Victoria, here’s what you do:

Head downtown.

Victoria is the perfect city to explore by foot, with random food stops along the way. Start downtown with sit down breakfast at Mo:Le or a quick bite on the go at Cascadia Bakery to fuel your day – everything on both menus is incredible. Pop into Silk Road to get a tea, or around the corner to Habit if you’re a coffee lover, and start walking towards the inner harbour. There are some pretty rad shops to pop into along Johnson Street is shopping is on the menu too.


From the inner harbour walk towards the Parliament building – it’s absolutely gorgeous. Tea at the Empress is an unforgettable experience, as is the Royal BC Museum. Wander at will – when you’re ready head towards Dallas Road and walk along the water enjoying the views (and the paragliders if you’re lucky!) until you hit Cook Street.
Dallas Road

Cook Street was hands down my favourite place to live in Victoria. Bubby Rose’s is a great brunch or lunch stop, the Beagle Pub is a chill night out if you’re not into the downtown scene, and Moka House can caffeinate you like no other. Enjoy your jaunt until you get to Fort Street, then head back towards Downtown.

If you need a cinnamon bun, Sally Bun will rock your world. And really… when do you ever not need a cinnamon bun? Pop into shops, do some people watching, and head back downtown for dinner. In my humble opinion, Rebar is the best restaurant in the world. No, really. It’s vegetarian, but even my carnivore friends have loved it. I say this with the disqualifier that while I’ve tasted most things on their menu over the years, I’ve only ever ordered one thing: the Monk’s Curry. You won’t regret it.

If you’re looking for some bevvies Bard and Banker is fun, Sticky Wicket is always a good time, and Swans and Canoe Club are pretty rad brewpubs with live music.

Walk, eat, drink, repeat. All in a day’s exploring for Victoria.