Fall for Fall in Victoria, B.C.

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Three Days Tour

The Butchart Gardens

The days are slowly but surely shortening. Autumn in Victoria hints at a noticeable change in atmosphere after the bustling summer months, so embrace the impending changing of seasons with a visit to Victoria.

 Day 1

Morning | Brunch above the clouds

Image by  @rshandphotos

Take a short, scenic drive up the Island Highway to savour breakfast and morning coffee above the clouds in Villa Eyrie’s Summit Restaurant. Enjoy 180-degree views of the Saanich Inlet and take in the changing colours from above at this hidden gem. We highly recommend indulging in the lemon ricotta pancakes. When you’ve had your fill of incredible cuisine, indulge in a blissful treatment at the Tuscan Spa to rejuvenate your soul.

Afternoon | Cowichan Valley

Image by Blue Grouse Estate Winery

Continue over the Malahat to the Cowichan Valley and enjoy fall foliage at Merridale Cidery & Distillery’s beautiful orchard. Sip on the rewards of a fall harvest with a wood-fired pizza, and then make your way down the road to Blue Grouse Winery to marvel at their gorgeous vineyard.

Insider Tip: Kick-off the grape harvest on September 15 with Blue Grouse Winery or attend the Cider Harvest Festival at Merridale on September 30.

Wild West Coast

Image by @Ianterrisphotography

On your return to Victoria, stop at Goldstream Provincial Park, which transforms from a lush green forest to a paradise bursting with colour in the fall. Discover the West Coast’s Niagara Falls and marvel at mother nature during the salmon run.

Evening | Cozy Places & Spaces

Finish off Day One in the heart of Fernwood at Stage Small Plates and Wine Bar. Enjoy an intimate space with incredibly warm service and indulge in delectable dishes and thoughtfully-curated beverages. You’ll feel among friends in this cozy atmosphere.

 

Day 2

Morning | Nourish Kitchen & Café

Image by @sunni_chen

Work up an appetite with a brisk walk to Nourish, one of the coziest breakfast spots in the city. Sip on nourishing bone broth and feed your soul with seasonal dishes thoughtfully crafted with the flavours from the island. You’ll find the hours slip by quickly here when you eat with the people you love.

Rejuvenating forest bathing

Take a warm beverage to-go from Nourish’s coffee bar and make your way to Elk and Beaver Lake on the Saanich Peninsula. Let your breakfast digest as you enjoy a beautiful walk in a sea of fall colours reflecting off the still lakes. Don’t forget your camera for this one!

Insider Tip: Take a forest bathing tour with Elemental Magick or The Natural Connection to really immerse yourself in nature.

 Afternoon | The Butchart Gardens

Image by Adam Frederick

Make your way to The Butchart Gardens to see their fall blooms and foliage. Fall is one of the best times to visit the gardens, offering fantastic mild weather and autumn blooms. Set aside extra time to wander through the Japanese garden. When you’re ready for lunch, opt for their famous afternoon tea overlooking the Italian Garden.

Sea Cider

Head across the Saanich Peninsula to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse and enjoy a tasting flight of organic cider in their charming tasting room. Sip on the fruits of the island while enjoying an expansive view of the 10-acre family farm, 1300 apple trees and the Salish Sea. Take your favourite brew home as a souvenir that can transport you back to Victoria with a sip.

Evening | Dinner and a sunset in Sidney

Image by @mariamaroc

Continue to downtown Sidney, B.C. and discover why they’re known as Canada’s Booktown. When you’ve had your fill of books, take a tour of Victoria Distillers and see where they distill the famous Empress 1908 Gin and Craigdarroch Whisky. Follow your visit to the distillery with a sunset stroll along the boardwalk because Sidney’s sunsets are known to be sensational. Enjoy your dinner with an ocean view while you sample the sea at Haro’s Restaurant.

Explore the Inner Harbour after dark

Image by @still.life.co

Head back to downtown Victoria and end your evening with a nightcap at Little Jumbo. Stroll past the Parliament Buildings and see it lit up after dark with over 4,200 bulbs.

 

Day 3

Morning | Soul food

Image by @byemmayardley

Start your day off at John’s Place, an iconic breakfast joint that’s had a brush with fame more than once. Taste recipes like the Mile-High Apple Pie, that have made John’s Place an institution for over 30 years.

Shop LoJo

When you’ve had your fill of John’s hearty soul food (what is sweater weather for anyways), stroll along Lower Johnson Street – referred to as LoJo by locals – and check out the local boutiques that help make up Victoria’s downtown shopping scene.

Afternoon | Be Transported

Stop by the Royal BC Museum and see what all the buzz is about at their newest exhibit, Egypt: The Time of Pharaoh’s. While you’re there, set aside some time to peruse the Living Languages exhibit, a project to preserve the culture of Indigenous people of the island.

West Coast inspired bites

You’ll probably work up a bit of an appetite absorbing all the history and culture at the Royal BC Museum, so refuel down the street at Hotel Grand Pacific on their beautiful veranda. Sample west coast flavours in their reimagined afternoon tea and indulge in one of their delicious cocktails while overlooking the Inner Harbour.

Bike Tour

Image by @genesislee89

About ready to get your heart pumping? Take a bike tour with The Pedaler and discover Victoria’s quaint neighbourhoods by bike! Pedal past Parliament, discover the wishing tree in Fernwood and uncover the herald history of Craigdarroch Castle. Continue to Beacon Hill Park and Government House to take in the fall foliage, then cruise along Dallas Road and embrace the fresh sea breeze.

Evening | Zambri’s

Image by @zambrisrestaurant 

Toast to your adventures at Zambri’s and indulge in traditional Italian soul food like perfectly crafted pizze with a sophisticated twist.

Fall in love with B.C.’s capital city during this magical time of year. Whether you cozy up in bookstores and coffee shops, or take a walk or pedal through incredible foliage, there’s a freshness in the air and an excitement at the stirring of change waiting for you this autumn in Victoria.

Packing List:

  • Camera
  • Cozy sweater
  • Rain Jacket and/or umbrella (weather dependent)
  • Comfortable and versatile shoes

 

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