We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Which Victoria hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Perth, Australia
posts: 234
reviews: 29
2 half days, one full day around Victoria

After an Inside Passage cruise, 2 weeks driving in Alaska, 10 days driving in the Rockies we will then fly from Calgary to VI for a short time before returning home. We arrive around 1pm on Sept 10, have a hire car booked at the airport and 2 nights accommodation at the Surf Motel.

My first thought was to pick up the car then head to Butchart Gardens for the afternoon then take the scenic drive down to Victoria. However rethinking this, we will have had a very early morning drive from Canmore to the drop the hire car and get our flight so I thought it might be more enjoyable to pick up the car and head to somewhere along the coast for a relaxing lunch then drive the scenic route. We will then have time to wander around the Inner Harbour and enjoy some of the sites.

With our full day I would love some suggestions for a round trip taking in Butchart, possibly the Brentwood Bay ferry, I did read about some wineries. . . . . . . . .open to ideas. We enjoy walking so would be happy to include that somewhere, not really into shopping just want a pleasant relaxing day. We then have another half day to do some more exploring around Victoria itself before handing in the car and returning to Vancouver by ferry for our final night.

I look forward to your ideas and thank you in advance.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 35,911
reviews: 54
1. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Hi Maudie ~

I would definitely try to fit in the Dallas Road Scenic drive. You might want to get out a paper map and mark the route on it though, Victoria's streets are notoriously fickle - they curve this way and that and take on a new name at the drop of a hat. It does include the option of heading for Butchart Gardens.


You could indeed take the Brentwood Bay ferry over to Mill Bay then 1) head north to the Cobble Hill area to the wineries and cideries there, or 2) head south to Victoria, stopping perhaps for a walk in Goldstream Provincial Park.


Perth, Australia
posts: 234
reviews: 29
2. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Hi Mufti

Fantastic - just what I was after. I will have to try and find a map with more detail than the one I have!!

I think that would be a perfect day following your suggestions. If we head off in the morning for the scenic drive that will give us time to see the Gardens then take the ferry from Brentwood Bay to Mill Bay. I guess we could then decide how we were feeling - wineries/cideries or a walk in Goldstream. I will have to have a look on Google Maps but I am guessing to do all of that in one day would be too much if we take in both?

Is the drive down from Cobble Hill to Goldstream then into Victoria an interesting drive? If we decide not to do Goldstream would it be just as easy to take the ferry back as it seems much more direct?

Any suggestions for a pleasant spot for lunch on our first day? I have been reading the current thread regarding pubs and do like the look of Beacon Landing http://www.beaconlanding.ca/

Many thanks Mufti, I really appreciate you taking the time to help me.

Destination Expert
for British Columbia
posts: 5,889
3. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

RedFish-BlueFish is a great spot for lunch-not a restaurant in the traditional sense though.


Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
posts: 35,911
reviews: 54
4. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Part 1 - the route map showing half way round the route described in the link in post 1. As far as Oak Bay Village (Blethering Place mentioned in the article is called something else now.)


Part 2 - the route map showing the second half of the route, from Oak Bay Village, then off to Butchart Gardens.


You can zoom the map in and out. You can click on "satellite" view and see the lay of the land as well.

I did say that the streets morph and shape shift and really need to be marked on a good paper map if you are going to undertake this scenic drive. There are very few street signs in residential Victoria, sometimes you have to go on gut instinct. But even if you get lost, it's all an adventure and you can find your way to an entry point further along the route.

I think Sidney is a lovely village so the pub might be just fine.

Hwy 19 from near Cobble Hill down to Victoria is a highway. Something you take to get to Victoria. The attraction is in the secondary roads. You could take the ferry back to Brentwood Bay just as well. It's a beautiful ferry ride, just a tyke of a ferry and there is usually a bit of a line up.



There will be no appreciable difference in time for either choice. Either might take a half day. But I would say the Hwy 19 will be "highway" and returning to Vic via Wallace and West Saanich Road to downtown Victoria is a casual, slower countryside road. In fact you might like to consider driving the whole length of W. Saanich road. Here it is on the map:

Just ignore that rogue line in the top paddock: http://goo.gl/maps/e8bn4

Perth, Australia
posts: 234
reviews: 29
5. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

You guys are up late! Thanks Sam, looks great.

Oh Mufti, you are a darling! Where would this forum be without you?

I have emailed the VI tourism office and asked if they would send me a map, fingers crossed on that one. I told hubby about the cideries, that put a smile on his face! I am sure we could also find somewhere nice to eat around that area too. I will check on the link you gave me earlier.

We drove around the UK two years ago so we are used to being adventuress, especially in the Cotswalds!!! I am sure we will be fine, we will just take it as it comes. It's nice to have a plan, we don't always stick to them though which is half the fun, but your suggestions will give us some choices and may well be weather depenant too.

Thanks heaps for all the maps and taking to time to do it, it helps to see it "on paper".



Victoria, BC Canada
Destination Expert
for Victoria
posts: 1,083
reviews: 13
6. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

The drive from the airport to your motel is about 40 minutes tops, depending on traffic and most of those 40 minutes will be travelling through downtown. Butchart's is between the airport and town so it's on the way and at that time of year, it will still be light out late and the gardens are open until 9pm. The also have food there at the coffee shop, the Blue Poppy or the dining room. There are also a few wineries on the outskirts of Victoria on the peninsula where Butchart gardens is and a couple have food as well so you could do lunch at a winery first.


You can take a scenic route from the airport along West Saanich Road, to Butcharts and when you are finished, continue along West Saanich into town. Here's a map of a suggested route from the airport, to Butchart's, then on to your hotel via the scenic route. http://goo.gl/maps/TOU7r

I don't know what time of day you arrive or how you'll be feeling but it would save you backtracking the next day and you could take the full day to do our Pacific Marine circle route if you like scenic drives. http://www.pacificmarinecircleroute.com/

Perth, Australia
posts: 234
reviews: 29
7. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Hi Breeze, thank you for your suggestions and the links. Yes, that was my dilema about the backtracking on the 2nd day, I do like the idea of doing the Brentwood/Mill Bay ferry and the Cobble Hill area though. It may well be dependant on how we are feeling and what the weather is like. I imagine the Circle Route wouldn't be all that enjoyable if it was raining.

It's great to have choices, I think we now have a a couple of good ideas that we can run with.

Thank you again for your post. Much appreciated.

posts: 8
reviews: 1
8. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

There is also Sea Cider within a 10 minute drive of Butchart Gardens. A nice place for lunch is right beside the Brentwood ferry, Brentwood Bay Lodge, you can sit out on the deck and see the "gardens" across the bay, it's only the trees you see though! It's not far into town so even if you back track it's a quick hop. I live in Brentwood Bay, if you have any questions just ask

Perth, Australia
posts: 234
reviews: 29
9. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Hi Kelly

Sea Cider looks really nice and worth a visit also the Pub at Brentwood Bay Lodge - the view is to die for! We would be more than happy sitting on the deck looking at those "gardens". We would be there mid week, does it get really busy there?

Too many choices, I'm afraid. I wonder if it's not worth having lunch in Sidney and visiting Butchart on the day we arrive as Breeze suggested. Then just heading directly down to our accommodation. Then the following full day we could do the scenic Dallas Road Drive, visit the cidery then have lunch at Brentwood Bay possibly heading to Cobble Hill then returning on West Saanich Road as Mufti suggested. Either which way we will be backtracking somewhat. Then there is still the Marine Loop. . . . . . . . I think I should have added in another day!! Or maybe we should have stayed in Brentwood.

Thanks again Kelly. I will do some more research and may get back to you

Victoria, Canada
posts: 4
10. Re: 2 half days, one full day around Victoria

Personally with such a short stay I wouldn't do the marine loop, there are spectacular views but I just don't think you have enough time. You could easily stop in Sidney (I work there) for lunch then the cidery and gardens. If you are tired you can always have lunch and head into town. This is not a large area so any of your ideas would work. There are lots of great restaurants in the city, good pubs as well. Irish Times, Bard and Banker both owned by the same person and very nice. If you like Italian food Il Terasso is one of my favourites. Walking around the inner harbour is very beautiful, every time I go down town I'm awe struck, this is truly a gorgeous city, you'll love it!