Thursday, 28 September 2017

Most Instagramable Itinerary of Victoria, B.C.


Before starting my own business, I dreamed about traveling endlessly without the need to count vacation days. Then I became my own boss, and I have given myself zero days off.

When it is difficult to take long periods of time away, I make the most out of weekend getaways. This summer, Mel and I wanted to go away for a mini girls' trip. We needed somewhere close by with minimal travel time, but wanted something relaxing, new, interesting, and most importantly picture worthy.

Then we chose Victoria, B.C.

Okay okay, I know this choice of destination might not sound as exciting as you thought, especially if you are a B.C. resident. Because you've probably been to Victoria 293493032 times to say the least. You were there when your aunt's family came to visit, and your family brought them there to see the botanical garden. You were also there when your friends went to University of Victoria. Then you went back again when your other aunt came to visit, and your family also brought them to the botanical garden. I get it. Victoria doesn't sound overly thrilling for the locals. But trust me, this post might change your mind, for the better :)

If you haven't gone back to Victoria in the recent year or two, you should return. Not only because my current post is going to be tempting, but there are also many boutique hipster shops and cafes popping left and right in our capital ! 

Here comes the most instagramable itinerary of Victoria, British Columbia : 

First stop after you got off your ferry, is to eat. Because please do not eat on the ferry, there's so much Victoria can offer :

We found this really cute brunch cafe called the Blue Fox Cafe. The decor was very cozy and has a brick wall for you to take your IG photos against. The cafe was fairly busy when we arrived around noon, but we got seated only after a couple minutes of wait.

We picked a small table by the brick wall, of course, and ordered more than we could handled :




The portions were big , and even that hot oatmeal I ordered was very filling on its own. We enjoyed every dish ! I can't say the food was EXTREMELY IMPRESSIVE, but it was pretty satisfying overall. I will return if I am ever in Victoria again and I do highly recommend this place as one of your trip's brunch options !
Blue Fox Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Victoria, especially downtown Victoria, is pleasantly walkable and it is very fun to just strolls on the streets around the parliament building. After visiting Victoria a hundred million times, we still managed to discover some of the places we have never been before : 

The Oak Bay Marina
1327 Beach DrVictoria, British Columbia V8S 2N4, Canada

This full service Marina is undeniable a great spot for a vacation / sailboat / navy vibe Instagram photo. It is also a popular place to see wildlife seals. I heard you can buy fishes from the gift shop to feed them, and they will approach you like puppies. BUT please do not feed the wildlife and disturb the natural marine system : (




I couldn't believe I didn't know about this place because it is situated in the heart of Victoria downtown. It is the narrowest street in Canada, from 3 to 6 ft wide and 240 ft long. The Fan Tan alley was originally a gambling district, with its name named after a Chinese gambling game. It used to be filled with restaurants, shops, gambling houses, and even opium dens. Today, it is a heritage site with many cute boutique shops, cafes, and most importantly, veryyyyyy instagramable brick walls, lights, and adorable retail signage. 




This Teahouse at Abkahzi is a lovely and elegant afternoon tea restaurant that serves classic tea and pastry sets. It situates inside the Abkahzi Garden hence I highly recommend getting a window or patio seat to fully enjoy this beautiful experience. 

The Abkahzi Garden is not just any garden, but one built upon an enduring and romantic love story : 

Peggy Pemberton-Carter met Prince Nicholas Abkhazi, in Paris in 1922.  Prince Nicholas, the last surviving son of an ancient line of kings of Abkhazia on the Black sea, had been living there in exile since escaping the Bolshevik Revolution.  They found themsleves "amiable", taking walks together, visiting galleries and conversing in their common language of French.  They kept in touch through correspondence and met occasionally over the next few years.  Peggy and her mother lived in various places: England, Austrialia, New Zealand, Hawaii, Eygpt and China.
At the outbreak of World War II, Prince Nicholas joined the French army and was soon captured.  Peggy spent the war in captivity in Shanghai.  When the war ended, though they had not seen each other since 1933, they made the decision to be together.  Peggy met her prince in New York in November 1946, married him and became the Princess Nicholas Abkhazi.
The Prince and Princess settled in Victoria, began to develop their one-acre property and build their home.  They continued to improve the garden throughout their forty years together.  In 2000, The Land Conservancy purchased the property to preserve the Garden, the legacy of the Abkhazis. 
Story linked from HERE.


The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Walbran Park
141 Denison Rd, Victoria, BC V8S 2K6, Canada



The Walbran Park is located not too far from the Abkahzi Garden and serves as a great pit stop to quickly shoot a couple instagram worthy photos. Okay, to be honest, the park itself has nothing much to it. It does have a decent view but nothing overly impressive for you to spend a long time for.

The beautiful thing about it is this white building sitting on top of a cliff. I'd say it's the closest to getting a Santorini shot if you are only traveling in Vancouver. If only I knew the setting, I'd be wearing a long romantic dress with a big sun hat just for the gram. 



Hatley Castle
2005 Sooke RoadColwood, British Columbia, Canada


It took some struggle to finally decide to share this spot, because as selfish as I am, I really don't want this place to become overly popular. This is the ULTIMATE instagram/photoshoot location because it is obviously too beautiful, and there's zero people, AND it's free !

Mel and I spent hours here taking photos around the castle and in the garden. There's a tour to visit the inside of the castle, but because no photos are allowed, we didn't participate. The Hatley Castle is hands down my favorite itinerary in Victoria and I can't wait to return in different seasons to witness how nature can paint this place into a hundred different colors, okay maybe not a hundred, but you know what I mean.



I hope this post can give you some excitement and ideas on your next weekend getaway. No one place is the same if you are willing to explore deeper, further, and view it from another perspective. 


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