Wintery Weekend in Victoria

[trip style = weekend getaway]

When you can't get away for a week, but you need an escape, it's helpful to have a few sure-thing weekend destinations in your back pocket. One of those places, for me, is Victoria, BC. This small capital city is at once charming and old-world while also hip and ever-evolving.

I arrived by seaplane on an icy morning after the season's first snowfall, and spent the weekend going out for breakfasts, browsing downtown boutiques, walking along the waterfront and stopping in for dinner and drinks at cozy tapas bars. Read on below for a few of my favorite spots to visit on a wintery weekend in Victoria.

Where to Eat

  • Jam Café - Victoria is a breakfast town, where Saturday mornings spent lining up in the cold for pulled pork pancakes is a right of passage. My shared dishes this weekend included pan-fried oatmeal with blueberries and lemon curd and a blackstone avocado benny. Jam's morning cocktails, which include gin cucumber lemonade and bourbon caesar, take the edge off after a chilly wait outside.
  • Hey Happy - The city's newest caffeine hot spot brews single-cup coffee in gorgeous ceramics by Mazama Wares with beans from Phil & Sebastian (Calgary), Ritual Roasters (San Francisco) and Heart (Portland). The hipster factor is high, with baristas in toques, a Gremlins thermos for cream and A Clockwork Orange screenplay for perusing.
  • Bodega - From the owners of the always-hopping Tapa Bar comes bar-next-door Bodega. Open from lunch till late, this tapas, wine and sherry bar boasts friendly service, delicious cocktails and gorgeous charcuterie boards.
  • Tacofino - From Tofino taco truck to West Coast taco empire, Tacofino's newest Commissary location is shaking up the downtown dining scene. You can never go wrong with the fish taco and chocolate diablo cookie.

Where to Shop

  • Reunion - Formerly known as Rebel Rebel, this shop is stocked with some of our favorite brands like Cheap Monday, Pendleton, Levi's and Malin + Goetz. 
  • Victory Barber & Brand - OK, OK, this is a barber shop, but they've got an incredible selection of grooming products in store and they're the nicest guys in town {OK, OK, they're my friends}. 
  • Sitka - This local success story/surf shop/café is a must-visit for anyone looking for super-soft sweatshirts, waxed-cotton outerwear and locally roasted coffee.

How to Get There

Instead of travelling to the island by ferry and bus for several hours this weekend, I flew over with Harbour Air, the world's largest seaplane airline. A 35-minute flight put me harbor to harbor from Vancouver to Victoria. Besides the obvious time and convenience benefits, it's arguably the best way to see the coast. Flying standby, I caught the first flight out on Saturday morning after an hour in the lounge reading the weekend paper, drinking a complimentary Americano and watching the sunrise.

Trip Styler Tip: Sign up for the next Turbo Ticket release, when the airline releases a limited number of $25 standby tickets {not including taxes} available in groups of four. The tickets never expire and are valid everywhere Harbour Air, Westcoast Air and Whistler Air fly. I paid a total of $20 in taxes for return flights from Vancouver to Victoria and had no wait on the way to Victoria and a one-flight wait on the way to Vancouver.

This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Weekending in Victoria
Spotlight :: 30 Hours in Victoria

[collages by @heatherlovesit & photos by @heatherlovesit & businesses mentioned]