This article was published on December 11th, 2016
The holiday season here with all its madness and splendour, and what better way to fully immerse yourself in the festivities than with a long weekend escape. Victoria, B.C. is the perfect destination for a pre-Christmas getaway. Escape the hustle and bustle of the holiday season by enjoying the calm, relaxing and festive ambience of Victoria. Spend those cool winter days strolling along the safe, pedestrian-friendly streets of down town Victoria to find the perfect gifts for your friends and family at quaint boutique shops. See the legislature lit up with beautiful festive lights and take your loved one for a ride on the ferris wheel at central square. It’s a magical and festive getaway.
For an incredible day trip, to enjoy the true spirits of the season, take a trip with L.A. Limosine for a full day excursion to explore some of the finest spirits the region has to offer. First, head to Victoria Caledonia Distillery and Brewery to enjoy the spoils of one of the newest distilleries in Victoria. Sample some of their delicious craft beers and warm up with their perfectly blended whiskeys before heading over to Hoyne Brewing , to discover the finest craft beers in BC, made with old world traditions and ingredients, with the skilled science to help brew to perfection.
After a day of exploring, shopping and sampling spirits, head to Q Lounge at the restored Fairmont Empress Hotel for a perfect pre dinner cocktail in one of the most energetic hot spots in Victoria. The Q Lounge offers a number of seasonal cocktails and mulled wine, along with a delicious selection of small bites. It’s the perfect spot to overlook the inner harbour and enjoy the Provincial Legislature and other buildings along the harbour lit up in all its holiday glory.
Head to Butchart Gardens for dinner and a festive holiday light extravaganza. The restaurant features a new, fresh, innovative holiday menu consisting of locally sourced ingredients. The hearty seasonal menu features steak, squash, beats, parsnips, kale, and may other delicious, winter ingredients. After dinner, explore the gardens for the 12 days of Christmas light up display. It’s the biggest annual tradition of southern Vancouver Island. Skating on the outdoor rink is a wonderful nostalgic way to get into the holiday spirit with family, friends or special someone.
For a more indulgence and relaxation, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel is the single most exquisite modern treasure in Victoria. Spend a lazy Sunday afternoon recuperating from the weekend excursions at the incredible spa. Soak away the stresses of life in the mineral baths over looking the ocean, you may even spot some local orca whales. The spa offers radiant facial treatments and relaxing massages to ensure you get into the holiday season fully relaxed! There is complimentary tea, infused water, and you can order light fare off the tasty menu.
On the way back from Oak Bay Beach Resort, take the scenic route along the ocean. There are plenty of greenways, trails, parks, and beaches to wander and stroll. It’s a real experience of west coast life.
The Inn at Laurel Point, located on the point, between the port and the inner harbour, is the top choice of places to stay to get into the holiday spirit during your visit to Victoria. Currently undergoing a renovation, the resort style hotel is the only carbon-neutral hotel in B.C. and one of only a small number in Canada. The property is well known for spacious rooms with stunning harbour views, comfortable beds, crisp linens, and L’occitane en Provence toiletries. The lobby restaurant and bar is a great place start your mornings and to warm up and unwind with an evening nightcap. The Inn at Laurel Point is also host to the National Gingerbread showcase! A fantastic way to get into the holiday spirit, see impressive gingerbread sculptures; the skills, talents, and techniques of both the amateur and professional categories are amazing.
Getting to Victoria is easy and carefree. Arrive in style and comfort aboard HeliJet, the fastest and most reliable way to get to Victoria. You can travel from downtown Vancouver to Victoria in about 25 minutes, while taking in the astonishing west coast scenery en route. Best yet, they also serve beer and wine, along with coffee, tea, and other light snacks in the lobby while you wait for your flight to depart.
Before heading home to the holidays, where there will be chaos and mayhem, book a getaway to Victoria when you can relax and really get into the holigay spirit. For Canadians, it’s a great opportunity to explore your own backyard, and for Americans, an incredible opportunity to take advantage of the low Canadian dollar while getting your Christmas shopping done.