Last updated: 05:00 AM ET, Tue March 31 2015

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  • A Cruising Couple | March 31, 2015 5:00 AM ET

    5 Reasons To Fall In Love With Victoria, British Columbia

    5 Reasons To Fall In Love With Victoria, British Columbia

    Our visit to Victoria was only a quick getaway, but it didn’t take long to fall in love with this dynamic city. In between the vestiges of British ancestry, the jaw-dropping scenery and the abundance of activities, we were pleasantly surprised by all Victoria had to offer.

    Whether you’re traveling for romance or a fun family vacation, we’re certain you’ll fall in love with Victoria, too. Don’t miss these five reasons why:

    The Dynamic Mix of Past and Present

    Victoria BC Parliament Concert

    The capital city of British Columbia, Victoria was first established in 1843 as a trading post for the Hudson Bay Company. The legacy of the British ancestry remains today in the fun double-decker buses, the stately Victorian mansions, and the splendid gardens that dot the city. As you’re strolling through the city, don’t miss a stop at the historic Empress Hotel and Parliament Buildings on the Inner Harbor. The Royal B.C. Museum and Craigdarroch Castle are great ways to experience a British Columbia of yesteryear.

    While you’re paying tribute to Victoria’s unique culture, don’t miss the vibrant shops, coffee bars, and art galleries that provide a buzzing look at what life is like in the city today.

    The Harbor

    Victoria Harbor Ferry

    Victoria’s harbor is absolutely magical. We suggest grabbing a drink at a restaurant with a view to enjoy the site of the seaplanes lifting off, or that of the adorable water taxis drifting by. The harbor is a popular spot for tourists (avoid timing your visit when the cruise ships dock), but it remains a truly lovely spot. In particular, don’t miss a walk around the pier and the Inner Harbor to experience many of the city’s historic sites. Afternoon tea at the Empress Hotel is always an attractive option.

    The Wildlife

    Minke Whale

    For wildlife lovers, you might be surprised to discover that there is plenty to get excited about in this quaint but bustling city. Depending on the time of the year, book a whale watching trip to witness orcas playing in the water. Don’t be surprised if you also spot bald eagles and other birds as you boat along the dramatically beautiful West Coast. If you prefer to do your wildlife spotting from dry land, then head over to the Oak Bay Marina or Fisherman’s Wharf, where you can typically spot seals sunbathing nearby.

    The Food

    Crab Legs

    As fresh seafood aficionados, we always love traveling to cities on or near the water. Victoria was, of course, no different. Here you can expect dishes like salmon, oysters, scallops, and crab. For some of the best seafood in town with a view, don’t miss a visit to the Blue Crab.

    As mentioned earlier, afternoon high tea is an absolute must. Besides the iconic Empress Hotel, you can also grab your fix at any of these suggestions by Fodor's. If you’re feeling something a bit stronger than tea, there are plenty of microbrews and local wines from the island and surrounding region to take advantage of.

    The Outdoor Adventures

    Breakwater at Sunset

    It’s no secret that we love epic outdoor adventures in beautiful places around the world. Victoria, British Columbia certainly did not disappoint. The city is surrounded by sea and mountains, promising that the very best in hiking, cycling, fishing, and kayaking are always readily

    accessible. For extreme daredevils, you can test your limits with bungee jumping or ziplining through the coastal rainforest. And of course, we can’t forget golfing — there are numerous courses to choose from. To learn the ins and outs of all the adventure activities that await in Victoria, HelloBC has comprehensive information for visitors.

    We can’t wait for an opportunity to return to Victoria to explore the city and the surrounding region in further detail. Have you been to Victoria? What insider tips do you suggest?

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A Cruising Couple A Cruising Couple's Column

A Cruising Couple Dan and Casey are the two lovebirds, world travelers and adventurers extraordinaire behind the popular travel blog A Cruising Couple - adventure travel with a dash of class. Their stories and photographs feature that special place where experiential and stylish travel meet. Find out how you can spend less money, live more adventurously and travel more luxuriously on their blog,
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