Happy Friday, friends! I’m back with Part 2 of our Vancouver travels. You can find all the details from Part 1 here, where we explored Whistler!
After our weekend trip in Whistler, we planned a day and a half stay in Victoria. Victoria is actually the capital of British Columbia, and is on Vancouver Island.
GETTING TO VICTORIA
While you can fly, drive or take a bus over, you can also ferry over, which I think is part of the fun experience. Plus, it’s the most scenic option available. You can also ferry there from Seattle! We took the BC Ferries out from the Tsawwassen terminal in Vancouver, and ferried to Swartz Bay in Victoria.
Since we rented a car (at least for the first half of our trip), we opted to take it on the ferry. The reason being was that Victoria was much bigger than I realized, and rather than renting one in Victoria or paying cabs to transport us everywhere, we found it easier to keep our car. The ferry was about 1.5 hours (60 miles) from Vancouver.
We arrived starving, as usual, and grabbed lunch downtown at a farm to table place called Rebar. Rebar is a delightful vegan and vegetarian restaurant.
We loved the food and emphasis on local culture. We ordered Bahn Mi with tempeh and the quinoa power bowl. Both were absolutely delicious. The tahini ginger dressing on the quinoa power bowl was hands down my favorite part of the meal. I could slurp that stuff down on its own.
After checking into our Air Bnb spot for the night, we headed back out to explore the downtown area. We walked by the Parliament and walked through the Fairmont Empress Hotel, where I wanted to get tea but it was much too expensive. We also checked out the local farmer’s markets.
We also enjoyed a lot of time on the Wharf by the water before dinner.
YOU CAN’T MISS OUT ON RFBF
When researching the top places to eat, Red Fish Blue Fish kept coming up, so we had to check it out. It’s a stationary food truck right on the pier near the Wharf that there is always a line for. Since we weren’t in any rush and could take our time, we decided to wait in line and get the fish tacos as an appetizer before our reservation.
We got ahi tuna fish tacos and they were delicious. What makes RFBF different is that they literally catch the fish from the wharf you are standing on regularly. Therefore, it is super fresh and local. Everything was good! I don’t think I would wait in the line again, but it is now checked off my bucket list!
We then grabbed dinner as OLO, where we split a few more small plates – grilled lamb, an amazing smoked salmon, and some mini fried polenta bites which were a taste explosion. Everything was delicious but we were starting to get full by the time our last plate came out. From there, we headed to a local Irish bar to watch some of the Olympics and try some Canadian craft beer!
On Monday morning, we checked out a local coffee shop, Union Pacific. It was a beautiful shop right on the outskirts of China town area, and was actually my favorite coffee throughout our whole trip to BC. We enjoyed coffee and split a croissant breakfast sandwich.
Then, Ed headed out for a long run while I went to a 90 minute hot yoga class at Hudson Yoga. My body needed time off from running and a deep stretch to aid my soreness from the hiking in Whistler. It was a seamless transition from the hot yoga classes in the states. I didn’t know what to expect if things would be different but I loved it just the same.
Victoria is very well known for the Butchart Gardens. While we debated going before our ferry left the following day, we didn’t have enough time to fully appreciate it or justify the $30 entry fee. However, if you have more time in Victoria, this is something you may want to see. From all of the TripAdvisor reviews, the beauty is overwhelming. These photos are taken from the website, so if I ever return, this is on the bucket list. .
We ferried back to Vancouver on Monday night and returned our car. I had read many reviews that urged against having a car in the city because there were so many public transportation options, parking can be expensive and we just didn’t want to deal with the hastle. It was 100% the right decision.
And, on another note, we found that staying in Air Bnb’s was a wonderful way to save money! Our stays also enabled us to learn more about the culture (our hosts were wonderful), and stay in the area we wanted to stay in! If you’ve never used Air Bnb, here’s my code for $30 off your first trip!
Well, since this recap is getting rather long, I’ll save Part 3 for next week about our actual 4 days in the heart of Vancouver!
Have a great weekend!
Do you use Air BnB?
Would you wait in line for an hour for a fish taco? 🙂