Victoria Things to Do Tips by Karlie85
Victoria Things to Do: 490 reviews and 857 photos
Almost every time I told someone I was staying at the Empress Hotel
while in Victoria they said "Are you going to do Afternoon Tea?!".
Afternoon Tea is a very well known tradition in Victoria that has been
going on for over 100 years. Of course, there are many places to have
afternoon tea in Victoria, but the one at the Empress is considered the
best of the best. It is quite expensive - we paid $44 per person in the
low season - but you are paying more for the experience than for what
you're actually getting. Reservations are highly recommended, so I made
mine about a week and a half ahead of time. I'm not sure if it's because
of this or because we were guests of the hotel or both, but we got an
awesome table right beside the window looking out on the front lawn and
onto the Inner Harbour. The service was great, of course. The first
course is tea, of which you have a choice of a few, but we opted for the
Empress Blend. This is followed by a small fruit cup, and then the main
show, which is a selection of dainty sandwiches, really good scones with
jam, and pastries on top. I found the sandwiches to be hit and miss; I
liked about half of them and my husband seemed to like the other half.
As I mentioned, the scones were great, and the pastries were also very
good. I'm not much of a sweet tooth, so I didn't finish everything, but
each kind was very tasty.
The only thing I would warn about (if you don't have too much money to
throw around): When we were first seated, we were asked if we'd like
some sparkling wine. The way she said it made it seem like it was
included (considering we were paying almost $90 plus tip, I didn't think
this was out of the realm of possibility), so we said yes. Later, after
the wine was poured and then the menu was brought to us, I saw that it
was $14 a glass! And that was the cheapest one. It wasn't a big deal, we
drank it and enjoyed it and added it to the experience, but I just
thought I would mention it.
My husband and I did this as a treat to ourselves and to try something
different. The whole experience took us almost 2 hours. It was nice to
sit and chat in the beautiful Tea Room, enjoy each others company and
the view, and hear the pianist playing softly in the background.
Dress code: Smart casual (no torn jeans, short shorts, beach wear or flip-flops, jogging pants or tank tops).
Click here to see the menu:
Address: 721 Government Street
Directions: In the Fairmont Empress Hotel
Victoria is, according to many, one of the most haunted cities in Canada, if not the most. The city is rich with history, and there are countless ghost stories. Walk by almost any building or landmark downtown, and it's sure to be haunted.
My husband and I went on the Ghostly Walks tour on a Friday night at 7:30pm. The tour met at the Tourist Information center, stopped at the Empress hotel, meandered through downtown, and ended up in a building
on Bastion Square. Some of the stories were very interesting, and it was cool to see the innocent chocolate shop or old bank that you walk by during the day in a different light at night time and hear about it's darker past.
I have to say, however, that perhaps our tour guide was not the best storyteller. I could tell that he was very interested in ghosts, and he seemed to be knowledgeable about the subject, but at the same time, there were certain things he said or ways he said them that made it seem like the stories were not as true or believable. The worst part of the tour came right at the end. We went into a supposed haunted building, and there were chairs set up and a fake skull on the table. I turned to my husband and whispered "someone is going to jump out from over there, I just know it", and, low and behold, a guy wearing all black and a scary mask jumped out about a minute and a half later. It really
cheapened the whole tour and made the earlier stories lose a little bit of credibility. Whether you believe in ghosts or take the tour for pure entertainment, I still felt like it brought the tour down and made me question if any of the stories were even "true" or not. I'm sure they were, because Victoria is extremely haunted and anyone living there will
tell you that, but it just took away from the tour.
The company offers several different ghost tours taking different routes throughout the year, with more options in the summertime. We went on the basic tour which follows route one.
The cost is $13 for adults, $11 for students and seniors, and $8 for children. There is also a family rate.
Address: 812 Wharf Street
Directions: The tourist information street on the Inner Harbour.
Phone: (250) 384-6698
Seal at Fisherman's Wharf
If you want to get a glimpse of some sea life while you're visiting Victoria and don't happen to have time to go on a sightseeing tour or are there at the wrong time of year for whales, or just don't have access to a boat, head down to Fisherman's Wharf to spend some time with some seals. We were there on a cold, drizzly day in the afternoon, and I saw up to five seals together at one time. There is a stand on the Wharf called The Fish Store, and you can buy fish there for $1 each (or a better deal for $5, but I can't remember exactly how many, I just overheard) to feed to the seals.
For someone who comes from the landlocked prairie provinces, it was pretty cool to see seals in their natural habitat.
Address: Fisherman's Wharf
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