One of my favorite things about living in Seattle is its proximity to Canada. I frequently take short trips to Vancouver, B.C with my friends and family in the summer. This time my friend and I decided to visit Victoria, which is also near Seattle.

Victoria is the capital city of the Canadian province of British Columbia. As the oldest city in the Pacific Northwest it offers a wide array of history. From learning about the First Nations, the British colonial times, enjoying the diverse cuisine, to visiting the flower gardens, you can keep yourself relatively busy during your visit.

There are a few ways to get to Victoria from Seattle. The most direct way is by taking the passenger-only Victoria Clipper ferry that gets you to Victoria in about three hours. If you want to take your car across, you can drive up to Port Angeles, which is about two and half hours away from Seattle, and take the Black Ball Ferry Line from there. The ferry ride from there is 90 minutes.  Although on the pricier side, flying is also an option through Kenmore Air


When to go: The best time to visit Victoria is between end of June and September. This is the time period when the Butchart Gardens will be in full bloom.

Where to stay: The best places to stay are near the inner harbor. Many of the hotels and inns around the area are nice. If you are looking for places on the higher end The Chateau Victoria, The Marriott and The Fairmont Empress are good options. If you are looking to stay in a more residential area, I recommend the James Bay neighborhood.

What to do: Visit the Butchard Gardens, Have afternoon tea at The Empress, Explore Old Town, Visit Beacon Hill park, Visit the Parliament Buildings and the Craigdarroch Castle