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Victoria’s Scenic Marine Drive Self-Tour

Victoria’s Scenic Marine Drive Self-Tour

  • Posted: Feb 02, 2015
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Scenic tour starts at the Breakwater

Scenic tour starts at the Breakwater

Victoria was voted number one by Con de Naste magazine as best city in the world for environmental ambiance and this can be discovered by following Victoria’s scenic marine drive. Bring your camera. You can hike it, bike it, drive it or hire someone to take you on a tour! We suggest that you read through this article before you start the tour and plan what you want to see and do.

We recommend that you start between 8 and 9 am at the Ogden Point Breakwater at 199 Dallas Road. You can grab a coffee and a snack or some breakfast at the

Mile Zero and Terry Fox

Mile Zero and Terry Fox

Breakwater Restaurant and Bistro. Before or after, take the 750 meter walk into Juan de Fuca Strait on the Ogden Point Breakwater. We suggest that you go out on the upper walkway and come back on the granite blocks. While on the upper part keep watching on the sides for sea life and the amazing variety of marine traffic.

As you travel down Dallas Road you will soon find Mile Zero on the Trans-Canada Highway. This is probably the most photographed spot on Vancouver Island. Right behind the Mile Zero sign is the statue of Terry Fox.  Terry Fox is a Canadian hero as well as an  athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. Terry lost a leg to cancer and in 1980 he began a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. His quest was ended by cancer after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi). Since 1981 annual  Terry Fox Runs have railed hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research and have involved millions of people all over the world. A true her for sure! Continue reading

Life on another Rock

Life on another Rock

  • Posted: Feb 01, 2015
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We live on the Rock (Vancouver Island that is). Occasionally we feel the need to leave the rock and take a brake. So, we took off to another rock, approximately 1500 miles to the west. It has been a very long time simce we had a holiday on Oahu and we knew what we would find. Waikiki beach has turned into a high end shopper’s paradise and it is very expensive to spend time there. Our visit was very enjoyable but it is likely we will ever go back there again. Our previous Hawaii experiences were in other islands and the experience was much better. Rock Oahu is over developed and the residents there were protesting potential development on the windward side. “Enough is enough” was the common message. You can hardly blame them. Waikiki Beach is wall to wall high rise buildings and they are still building more. A new hotel and shopping area is being built on the long standing International Market. Seems like nothing is sacred when the money moves in. Continue reading

Free Things to do in Victoria British Columbia Canada

Free Things to do in Victoria British Columbia Canada

  • Posted: Jan 19, 2015
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Looking For Free Things to do in Victoria BC while on Vacation – For a memorable Visit check this!

Walk the length of Victoria’s Inner Harbour from Fisherman’s Wharf in James Bay along West Song Way to West Bay in Esquimalt. Fisherman’s Wharf has developed over the years to include a number of places to eat, but the fun free stuff includes walking through the docks between the float homes. A few harbour seals also surface infront of the fish and chip vendors looking for handouts. Bring your camera for close-ups of wild harbour seals. From West Bay you can take a Harbour Ferry/Taxi back to downtown Victoria (a fee is required). Check out West Bay Marina when you get there. Spend some time on the Inner Harbour Causeway across the street from the Fairmont Empress hotel being entertained by the buskers and check out the crafters and artisans that display their products. When you get to the North side of the harbour, there is a picnic table that sits on a little piece of shoreline that juts out into the harbour. This is a great place to watch the activity in the Inner Harbour! Continue reading

Back to the Future in the Flying Otter Restaurant

Back to the Future in the Flying Otter Restaurant

  • Posted: Jan 18, 2015
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Returning to the Flying Otter Restaurant for another great meal

Our main courses and appetizers at the Flying OtterYou can’t get too much of a good thing. Downtown with a growl in your stomach. Who you going to call? Call the “Flying Otter!

There are only a handful of restaurants in Victoria that we go to often and The Flying Otter is one of those!

We love the food. They have the best chips (french fries) in town. I love fish and chips and their halibut is as good as it gets. My next favourite dinner is their burgers and then the ribs. This trip we were hungry so we ordered appetizers. The crab cakes were good but the lettuce wraps were delicious. Continue reading

Victoria’s Very Best Beautiful Beaches – Some Sandy, Some Rocky

Victoria’s Very Best Beautiful Beaches – Some Sandy, Some Rocky

  • Posted: Jan 17, 2015
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Willows Beach Oak BayGet out of your hotel – Head for one of the Best Victoria BC Beaches

Victoria British Columbia Canada is on Vancouver Island and is completely surrounded by water, so the best beautiful sandy and rugged rocky beaches are waiting for you! Each beach has something different and this article will explain some of these differences and explain what you will find on our best beaches and provide directions on how to get to them.

Willow s Beach in Oak Bay-2740 Dalhousie

This is decidedly the most popular beach in Victoria. Above the beach is a developed park with a large grassed area, change rooms and washrooms, a tea room operated by the Kiwanis where you can buy snacks and drinks, waterfront picnic tables and benches, a decent children’s playground and an esplanade and walkway. Below the park is a long sandy beach with fantastic scenic views. The popular tearoom/concession is open from 10 am to 4:30 pm from the spring until fall. Sunday morning breakfasts start in January and run from 9 am until noon.
The water is decidedly cold, however it doesn’t seem to stop the kids. It is a premier people watching beach on warm summer days and on bad wind days home to the wind surfing and kite flying junkies.

Two blocks from the beach on Estevan is a village where you can get some really good food.

Willows park is dog friendly. Dogs are allowed year-round on grass areas and pathways and must be leashed at all times. Dogs are not allowed on the beach between May 1 and September 30 but are allowed on the beach, leashed or unleashed, from October 1 to April 30.

If the water is too cold for you and you want to swim, we recommend Elk & Beaver Lake Beaches –on Highway 17 about 10 minutes North of Victoria.
Both beaches are sandy fresh water swimming beaches and both are very popular on hot sunny days. Visit the CRD Parks website to see “Things to do”. Continue reading

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Like Butchart Gardens – An Under the Sea Attraction: Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

Like Butchart Gardens – An Under the Sea Attraction: Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

  • Posted: Jan 13, 2015
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Much Like Butchart Gardens – An Under the Sea Attraction: Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

I describe Race Rocks Ecological Reserve as an attraction like Butchart Gardens but only underwater. One of Victoria’s most amazing but least known attractions, it is roughly 10 miles (16 km) from Victoria’s Inner Harbour and one mile off of Rocky Point at the head of Pedder Bay. Many Victorian’s have no idea about what is located there, especially in the “garden beneath the sea.”

There are hazards around the lighthouse which caused the government to build the light house that was completed in 1860 (not long after the light house at Fort Rodd Hill (Fisgard Lighthouse). Continue reading

MUSIC IN VICTORIA – VENUES ABOUND -MAKE SURE YOU CHECK AROUND FOR SURPRISES

MUSIC IN VICTORIA – VENUES ABOUND -MAKE SURE YOU CHECK AROUND FOR SURPRISES

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2015
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MUSIC IN VICTORIA

Most of the well publicized concerts are held in large venues like the Save On Foods Memorial Centre, the Royal Theatre, the MacPherson  Theatre or the University Centre Farquhar Auditorium. There are many other venues and several churches offer regular presentations. So, if you want to find some exceptional performances be sure to check out the smaller venues.CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL

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Do Not Ignore Victoria’s West Shore Fun Things to Do Like Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Light House

Do Not Ignore Victoria’s West Shore Fun Things to Do Like Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Light House

  • Posted: Jan 11, 2015
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Victoria’s West Shore Things to Do: Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse

If you are one of the many visitors who don’t explore Victoria’s West Shore Attractions and other fun things to do such as Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, I am sorry! Victoria’s West Shore is often over-looked by visitors to Victoria.

Here is a way to have a very fulfilling and memorable day. Just a few years after the founding of our nation Fort Rodd Hill was established as a Victoria-Esquimalt coast artillery fortress to protect the Esquimalt Naval base and Victoria. At the entrance to Esquimalt harbour the Fisgard Light House was the first light house to be built on Canada’s west coast. Along with Race Rocks lighthouse, the Fisgard light provided navigation for watercraft heading to the anchorage at Royal Victoria West Shore Attraction Fort Rodd Hill National Historic SiteRoads and into Esquimalt and to Victoria harbours. Continue reading

Don’t Drive By this Sidney BC Hidden Gem – Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe Serves Great Pub Fare!

Don’t Drive By this Sidney BC Hidden Gem – Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe Serves Great Pub Fare!

  • Posted: Jan 07, 2015
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Sidney BC Hidden Gem Cafe Serves Great Pub Fare

If you are out looking for a great cafe on the Saanich Peninsula or in Sidney BC (called Sidney by the Sea by locals), you are just minutes away from Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe. Check out Mary’s extensive pub fare menu. If you are staying in Victoria you are just 25 minutes away. While in Victoria put Sidney by the Sea on your agenda. It is a charming seaside town just 5 minutes to the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal or the Victoria International Airport (YYJ) and just 10 minutes toPub-Fare-Mary's-Bleue-Moon-Cafe the world famous Butchart Gardens.

We went to Mary’s Bleue Moon Cafe to meet friends who live on Piers Island. We have been there a number of times and enjoyed the restaurant, the staff and the food. Today I had Halibut and chips. The chips (fries) appeared to be home-cut and were nice a crispy. The coleslaw was ultra fresh and as tasty as I have ever had. The halibut tasted fresh. It may have been frozen but it was impossible to tell. It was very good and prepared very well (not full of grease).  Continue reading

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Heron Heaven

Heron Heaven

  • Posted: Jan 07, 2015
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Victoria is home to hundreds of herons and they are beautiful to watch and exciting to photograph. There are herons just about everywhere you can find water but there are some very special places to look for the herons.  The most interesting location is in Beacon Hill Park just to the south of Goodacre Lake. The cross streets are Avalon and Douglas Streets. There is a small pull off area that is usually blocked off right on the East side of Douglas opposite Avalon. In the trees behind the pull off area are approximately 100 heron nets high in the tree tops. Each spring the herons nest in these trees and raise their young. One of the pictures shows a bald eagle sitting on a branch just a few feet away from a heron. This lone eagle decimated the entire new brood of herons a couple of years ago and the next year the herons did not come back but have since returned. It was amazing to see how scared the herons were of the eagle. With the number of herons present at that time of year you would think they would gang up on the eagle but they do not. All they do is squawk a lot and very loudly. The eagle is not phased by this display. Continue reading

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