We had the most wonderful trip on our Victoria BC tour. Traveling from Seattle, we started at the airport and headed straight to Port Angeles. The Black Ball Ferry brought straight into downtown Victoria. We saw the Washington State Capitol building in Olympia from the freeway, and we made a stop at the S’Klallam Indian rest area for a break. We arrived in Port Townsend with plenty of time to walk over to Dairy Queen for ice cream, then re-boarded the bus for the ferry ride. The Black Ball Ferry are so different than the Puget Sound ferries. The openings where the vehicles go in actually close after all the vehicles are in!
Upon arrival to Victoria BC, we made our way to the Marriott hotel. This hotel is in a perfect location to explore the city on foot. The rooms were super comfortable and the staff friendly and helpful. We had a few group meals in the conference room and the food was excellent. A bunch of stars in my book!
We took a spin via bus through town and then headed to Buchart Gardens, an always beautiful garden property. The history here is worth the visit: We learned about lime mining and kilns and master gardening. Flowers and gardens are breathtaking any time of year and we loved it! Well layed out and easy to walk, these gardens compare and possibly exceed the beauty of the Keukenhof gardens in the Netherlands for layout and design. Ask me, I’ve been to both!
Back in Victoria, we did a few walking tours. One to explore the historical fort area. Victoria BC originally began as a Trading Post for trading beaver fur via the Hudson’s Bay Company. Their first Post -and Fort- was located on the Columbia River, in Washington State, bordering Oregon. Great Britain and the United States were negotiating the US Canadian border. The area was called the Oregon Territory, for you history buffs. Hudson’s Bay Company realized the border might be decided further North from their Post on the Columbia River. With that, they moved their Post to Vancouver Island. And it came to pass, it was determined the border would be at the 49th parallel, so they made the right decision to move!
The Royal British Museum is always an excellent visitors destination. Parliament too. Another must see is the waterfront and the Buskers. buskers sing, dance, and do street shows. We found impressive paintings and art from local and First Nation artists. There were lots of various items for sale. You can also experience the double decker tour bus, the aquarium, and the horse-and-buggy rides.
We returned to the US via the Tsawwassen Ferry, which travels North and West from Victoria BC. It travels to the mainland via through some Canadian islands. It is very different from the Black Ball ferry experience, and is a beautiful must-see experience in my book. The ferry was like being on a cruise ship with several places to eat and plenty of seating on several decks.
The border crossing took a long time, but we appreciate our safe borders! My special thanks to Leaman Tours for all their assistance planning this tour.