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.

Victoria in January

Which Victoria hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
WA State
5 posts
Save Topic
Victoria in January

We are going to Victoria the Last weekend in January. This will be our first time so amy suggestions on what we should do/see?

Also, We are staying at the Fairmont Express in a Harbor View Deluxe room...Any thought?

Thanks Again!

Anastasia in Seattle

New Westminster...
Level Contributor
540 posts
235 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Victoria in January

Give us some hints on what kinds of things you like.

Two adults, or ...?

You know what the weather will be like - unpredictable.

Near the Empress you'll find:

- Royal BC Museum, excellent

- IMAX theatre

- stroll around the Inner Harbour and up Government Street

- check out Beacon Hill Park and the Dallas Road waterfront

- drive Dallas Road and just keep following it along the water; you can go a LONG way. When you drive through the middle of the golf course, you're in Oak Bay. Cut across at Windsor Road, then turn up Newport and follow it into Oak Bay Village,

You'll also find the Tourist Information Centre right across the road from the Empress (look for a tower wrapped in construction sheeting). It's a very good one and will give you lots more options.

Also check the newspaper and Websites for what's on in town; we;ve become a busy little place.

Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
99 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Victoria in January

I echo kawaguys reply!! I could suggest a few more things if we knew if you had a car with you, what you like to do/see, give us more info and we will give you more info! :)

Ange

WA State
5 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: Victoria in January

Sorry for the shorr details :)

We are going on the Victoria Clipper (no car) and it's just going to be my husband and I. We were thinking of the Wax Museum, Craigs Castle and maybe Tea at the Empress?? Any thoughts on theses? Hubby would love to find some little Music (cd shops) and I would like antique shops and just general little shops (toys for our 2 year old, in laws that are watching her and friends and coworker). Also, Any good recommendations for seafood/steak and chinese restaurants or any others that anyone likes?

This is going to be our first vacation since our daughter was born in 2004! We are so excited to be getting away for a weekend together. I know we will probably be calling every hour to see how she is doing. :)

Thanks for all your Help!!

New Westminster...
Level Contributor
540 posts
235 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Victoria in January

We were thinking of the Wax Museum, Craigs Castle and maybe Tea at the Empress??

Tea at the Empress is very nice, but it's shockingly expensive. The nearby James Bay Tearoom isn't as flashy but does a nice tea for quite a bit less. So do others outside the big hotels.

Craigdarroch Castle is good. Nice old building with some good stories. Nearby is the Lieutenant-Governor's residence on Rockland Ave. - add a couple of minutes for a slow drive through the grounds.

The Wax Museum is OK if you like wax museums. I'd choose the Royal BC Museum otherwise.

some little Music (cd shops) - not many of those any more. A & B Sound on Yates between Douglas and Broad Sts.; Lyle's Place on Yates between Douglas and Blanshard.

antique shops - Fort Street east of Quadra

general little shops (toys for our 2 year old, in laws that are watching her and friends and coworker) - Government Street - there's a good toy shop in the upper part of downtown and plenty of other shopping. Also see Broad Street south of Fort and Fort St. between Government and Douglas. If all else fails that leaves you near the Bay Centre mall.

seafood/steak and chinese restaurants - look up Chandler's for s/s; Ming's is an above-average Chinese in quality and decor, and there are several good ones in Chinatown including Don Mee's; ask the hotel staff or check the phone book.

Toronto, ON
Level Contributor
99 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Victoria in January

Hi Anastasia,

Good info by Kawaguy, he's certainly putting you on the right track!! The Royal BC Museum is one of the best in the world, not to be missed! I certainly appreciated it much more when I visited the Toronto Museum, thinking it's a bigger city, it must be a better museum I was painfully wrong! The Royal BC Museum has a beautiful array of animals of the west coast, an Old Town that makes you feel like you've really stepped back in time, an IMAX theatre, and it's right next to the Empress. The wax museum is okay if you like WAX figures of famous people, but like kawa said, try the BC museum.

Staying at the Empress you'll be very close to a lot of different shops and stores, I'd suggest one other place if you can manage to take a bus/taxi out there (ask your concierge at the Empress the best way) and visit Oak Bay.

It's a very quaint little english part of Victoria with various little antique shops, gift stores, one-of-a-kind stores, and at the very end, my favourite part, the Blethering Place Tea room - I have had tea at the Empress (VERY expensive, you're really just paying for the line when you go home - "I had tea at the Empress") and the Blethering Place is amazingly better. All the waitresses are dressed in traditional old english clothes and the room is very cozy and warm.

If you're not able to visit Oak Bay, then go up Menzies Street to Superior and you'll find the James Bay tea room there.

For Steak/Seafood - Chandlers is primarily seafood, so if you're looking for a good mixture of both, try the Harbour House - they are on Oswego street (just down the road from the James Bay Tea Room) and have wonderful food, I've always had good meals there! Also, Pescatores is very close to the Empress and they have had really good reviews as well.

For Chinese, head to China Town - Ming's Restaurant that Kawa suggested is a short ways out of town, so I would just stick to China Town. Don Mee's is the most popular, but you'll see when you get there that there are many places to choose from!

If you're heading up for just a weekend you will certainly have a lot packed into those few days - I hope you have a great time!!

Ange

New Westminster...
Level Contributor
540 posts
235 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Victoria in January

I am no special fan of Ming's but lest others be misled by Ange's comment, Ming's is not out of town at all.

http://www.mings.ca/loc.html

Also in restaurants, look for Med Grill (modern), Cafe Brio (don't miss the creme brulee).

Fish and chips? Barb's Place at Fisherman's Wharf, a nice walk from the Empress - follow the road past the Wax Museum and keep going around a couple of curves. When you see Kingston St. you are almost there.

If you like beer, Swan's at Store and Pandora is good. Spinnaker's is a short cab ride across the blue bridge, and worth it.

Coffee break or breakfast - Ogden Point Cafe, at the foot of the breakwater on Beach Drive/Dallas Road. A longish walk from the Empress.

Large breakfast? John's Place on Pandora near Douglas.

Coffee? Look for Serious Coffee outlets, they're my favourite. A notch above Starbucks. None downtown, alas.

Or visit the funky Cook St. Village, just above the east side of Beacon Hill Park. Coffee, pub, bakery, shopping, ...

Oak Bay advice is good. I live there. Look for the Penny Farthing pub in the middle of the village, and Ottavio's just past the Blethering Place for top-end Italian fare including espresso, gelati and panini sandwiches etc.

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
10,726 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Victoria in January

One thing that we really enjoyed on our visit was a float plane tour. We went with Hyack, but there are several companies. They are all right there in the inner harbor, so just a short walk from the Empress.

Victoria BC Canada
Level Contributor
244 posts
39 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Victoria in January

If the weather gods are with you, a good portion of a day could be spent strolling up Fort Street checking out the shops (antique row) and then going up to Craigdarroch Castle.

The Empress is ok. They have done a fair bit of renovations there the past few years. They do a very nice tea service, also quite expensive. If you feel you have to tell people you had high tea at the Empress go for it, but you can have a much less expensive experience at other places in town in the James Bay area which your hotel is near.

For steaks - Brasserie L'ecole on Govt near Fisgard Street (near Chinatown entranceway) would be my recommendation. For chinese - Hunan Village in Chinatown is good - offers a bit of variety rather than the standard cantonese fare you get in most places. If you like Japanese Food, with a bit of "flair"...Japanese Village on Broughton Street is a lot of fun -- they cook in front of you on a grill - part restaurant, part show. A bit overpriced for dinner, but good value for lunch.

WA State
5 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: Victoria in January

Thanks Everyone for the input! I cannot wait for our trip!!

Kamloops, BC...
Level Contributor
9,743 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: Victoria in January

Anastasia -

Do yourselves a favour and trust the inlaws. Call them once a day just before you go to dinner. That way, you can relax and enjoy yourselves while you eat.

The inlaws did a pretty good job with your husband (or you wouldn't have married him), and they have a vested interest in having a happy grandchild. Give them a chance to enjoy your toddler while you and your husband take some time to reconnect. Remember, it is a grandparent's duty to spoil the grandchildren.

My rule when I was away from my daughter was always that bad news travels fast, so if you hear nothing, there is nothing to worry about. I was always right.

I know that tea at the Empress is expensive, but it is something that you should do at least once as it is the gold standard. Go some place else on your second day, perhaps Bouchart Gardens after you've finished your tour, or Murchies. Make reservations ahead of time for the Empress and for Murchies.

Have a lovely time.