Ah, Victoria… I’ve said it before, but it really is an amazing place. We had such a great vacation there in May; we slept in, avoided making plans in advance, and stuck to doing whatever we wanted to do, when we wanted to do it. We ate, we drank, we relaxed, we walked [and walked and walked], we explored, and we laughed. For 5 days, we didn’t have a care in the world. And that, is exactly how a rejuvenating weekend away should be!
For those reasons, this vacation recap might not be that exciting for you guys. Don’t expect any adventure-filled recommendations here! However, if you’re heading to Victoria and are looking for some amazing food and a few out-of-this-world cocktails, you’ve come to the right place.
Let’s get right to it, shall we? I’m going to give you guys a quick list of all of our favourite spots, but I also want to touch on a few of my trip highlights! First things first; accommodation… I am personally a huge fan of Air BnB. I love that you can get a place in a fantastic location for a much lower price than hotels in the same area, plus you typically end up with somewhere to hang out in, a kitchen and other handy amenities! For Victoria, we booked a studio apartment months in advance with a couple that had great reviews on Air BnB. It was on the top floor of a renovated and restored soda factory, and the space was exactly what we needed for our weekend. I was able to buy some of our food from the market to balance out some of the more unhealthy food choices that I made, and we also had a spot to hang out when we didn’t feel like being out and about. It’s great to be able to go back and watch a movie at night, or to sit on the quiet patio in the afternoon and have a drink. And on top of it all, we ended up with the BEST host, who provided us with a ton of recommendations in the area which we would have never found without him. If you are planning a trip and want to check the place out (which I highly recommend), you can find the listing here!
When it comes to eating out, my birthday brunch was probably my favourite meal experience of the entire trip. We went to a restaurant called Nourish which I had read about before our trip, and which Carson told me I should warn people about before recommending it. I will admit that yes, it is a bit different, but it’s not TOO weird, so don’t let his opinion scare you. The food was absolutely delicious, and their drink menu made me want to sit there all day! It was, unfortunately, 10:00 AM on a Monday, but that didn’t stop me from ordering just one… it was my birthday, after all. I had the Just Because which was a green juice based cocktail with cider and mead and all kinds of delicious. The best part? It came with a side of fresh flowers. I couldn’t even handle the adorable-ness. The restaurant itself was built inside of an old house and it was truly the cutest little spot [and the wallpaper was seriously instagram-worthy!]. I couldn’t imagine a more “Jen” place to start off my birthday!
My entire birthday day was actually a highlight in itself. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and we spent hours and hours walking around the city and along the waterfront. Our time exploring mixed with great meals and a few patio breaks made for a perfect day. We also walked down the half-mile long breakwater, which I would highly recommend; it was a great little detour and was so peaceful even with other people around… and the views were spectacular!
I think it goes without saying that Victoria is full of all kinds of fantastic food and drink options, but here are a few of my favourites:
Phillips ◊ Hoyne ◊ Driftwood ◊ Moon ◊ Canoe
**These are the breweries that we had a chance to visit and they all have their pros & cons. I would still recommend dropping by each of them [and the others in the city!] if you have the time.**
Pubs / Cocktail Bars:
The Drake ◊ Bodega ◊ Veneto
**Drake is THE spot for great local beers, a laid-back atmosphere & delicious snacks. Bodega & Veneto are two fantastic cocktail bars; make sure to “spin the wheel” at Veneto!**
All in all, we discovered some great spots, and spending my birthday on the island was the absolute best choice! I also have to mention a gift that I received on my birthday, because Carson did such an amazing job. I woke up to a single red rose, a piece of gold and an apple, which he told me was a riddle that I had to figure out. It took me a while… but I finally figured out that it was a rose gold MacBook, which was waiting for me at home! I definitely felt very spoiled, but it was one of the best gifts I’ve ever received. I’m a lucky, lucky girl… thank you Carson!
Now that I’ve finally shared our Victoria trip with you guys… how long do you think it will take me to chat about Portland? 🙂