A Two Day Whirl Wind Tour of Greater Victoria
The weather has been gorgeous so it was not difficult to show our Australian guest Kate around our beautiful city. She was only with us for two days, so we had to keep up the pace! Most guests we have entertained over the years want to see sights and do activities that they would not get where they live. So this was our mission with Kate. Kate’s introduction included Esquimalt Lagoon, Albert Head Lagoon and Beach, A walk through Tower Point Park with views of Juan de Fuca Strait, Race Rocks Light Station, sea sausage on the rocks (seals backing in the sun), Craigdarroch Castle, the Bateman Gallery, Whale Watching with Orca Spirit (and of course lots of Orcas), a trip back to the lagoon for an early morning sunrise and photos of herons, a trip through the country side of rural Metchosin, views of Beecher Bay and views of Juan de Fuca Strait and Race Rocks from the head of Pedder Bay at William Head Penitentiary.
Esquimalt Lagoon: A large salt water lagoon that is a sanctuary for all types of birds (ducks, gulls, geese, swans, eagles, a wide variety of ducks, etc.) and it is on the migration route for lots of turkey vultures. The area between the lagoon and ocean beach has a road across it and there is a sandy beach and lots of drift wood. Beach fires are not allowed.
Albert Head Lagoon: There is a great beach at Albert Head with spectacular views of downtown Victoria, The Olympic Mountains, and Juan de Fuca Strait. It is a great place to cool off during hot summer days. The lagoon has a variety of birds and the area where the lagoon enters the ocean is very interesting. It is generally not as busy as Esquimalt Lagoon but it does have limited parking. You can walk forever down this beach!
Craigdarroch Castle: The castle was built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir during the reign of Queen Victoria and now a National Historic Site. Craigdarroch Castle has been meticulously restored, giving visitors a glimpse of privileged life in the 1890s. The Castle weaves a fascinating tale of an intriguing family’s achievements, relationships and quirks. This is one of Victoria’s finest attractions!
Beecher Bay: This is home for the The Sc’ianew (Cheanuh) First Nations‘ main community. It is in East Sooke, 30 km southwest of Victoria. It has some of the most scenic property on the south island and the community there has a development underway call Spirit Bay. It is next to the Beecher Bay Marina. Check it out. If you travel out that way, try stopping for lunch at Glenrosa Farm or Smokin’ Tuna, which is on the way to East Sooke Park.
Whale Watching with Orca Spirit: The Orca Spirit Crew are one of the best companies in Victoria to go whale watching with. Great Staff, good fast boats, and lots of fun! Check them out!
Race Rocks: This is the 2nd oldest light station on the West Coast of Canada. It is just outside of Pedder Bay so we decided to take some photos from the closest land points we could get to. It just happened to be “Club Fed” a federal penitentiary! This “resort” provides oceanfront living with incredible views, a short but cold swim to freedom, a golf course and other amenities! We are not recommending that you stay there. There was a bit of marine fog, but you can see the lighthouse and out-buildings. In one photo a large freighter is passing by. This is one of the best scuba diving sights on the west coast of Canada.
As you can see from the photos the weather was very good for the middle of October! Fall is just starting and some leaves have fallen. When all the leaves are gone from the trees, it is still very green in this part of Canada. The whale watching boat was full and all of the fleet was out. Good weather brings out the tourists. We do not have a lot of trees with great color like some parts of Canada, but there are some.
One of the most beautiful views in Victoria is that of Mount Baker in Washington State USA. Some days it is obscured by clouds and tourists don’t get to see it. When Kate and Linda were on the whale watch, they got up close and personal with Mount Baker. They could see the mountain and all the smaller hills and mountains around it. Well done ladies!
There was a whole lot more we would have like to share, but our time was limited. Over the years tourists have through our website asked me what were the best things to do (for the 3 days we will be in Victoria). My answer usually included “stay longer”! I have put together an article which I call an “insider’s guide”. Check it out!
So, the solution we offered to Kate, was to come back for another visit! We love sharing what we have at our door-step. After 30+ years here it still is loads of fun! Enjoy our photos and be sure to read the info with each photo.