Victoria: Enjoy the Waterfront or Explore the Island!

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Only 17 nautical miles separate the vast outdoor adventures of Olympic National Park in Port Angeles and the beautiful, lively waterfront of Victoria B.C. Thus, why not experience both destinations? Earlier this month, Peninsula Trips embarked on a three-day weekend exploration in Victoria and had quite the action-packed adventure exploring the Inner Harbour and the outdoors!

Friday

8:20 AM Ferry From Port Angeles

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We drove on board the MV Coho for the 8:20 AM sailing out of Port Angeles and enjoyed a gorgeous, sweeping view of the harbor and Olympic Mountains as always. As usual, I got caught up taking pictures as we sailed across the Strait of Juan De Fuca and the 90 minute sailing flew by.

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Exploring The Inner Harbour

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After checking into the Royal Scot Hotel, we enjoyed a scenic stroll throughout the Inner Harbour. The legislative buildings and Empress Hotel were as beautiful and awe-striking as ever. For lunch, we decided to try Red Fish Blue Fish, a top rated Victoria waterfront restaurant, and we were not disappointed. The long line was certainly worth the wait as we enjoyed their fish tacos with a cup of tasty chowder in their open outdoor seating area, which featured a spectacular view of the harbor.

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Shoreline Walk to the Fisherman's Wharf

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Later that afternoon, we hit the David Foster Harbour Pathway and took the waterfront walk to the Fisherman's Wharf. The wharf was definitely one of our top experiences. The atmosphere was bustling! You descend down into a marina of boathouse restaurants and venues surrounding the docks. The perfect place to grab great eats and drinks! 

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The icing on the cake was being able to feed the harbor seals. You could tell this wasn't their first rodeo at the wharf. The seals popped their heads up and slapped their fins in the water to grab your attention and you could buy seafood treats to reward their efforts!

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The Breakwater Walk

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We continued along the David Foster Harbour Pathway to the Ogden Point Breakwater, one of the iconic landmarks in Victoria. The breakwater is just that – a long marine barrier to shield the harbor from the incoming waves. The result, however, is a super scenic venue to enjoy sweeping views of the Victoria shoreline, Strait of Juan Duca, and Olympic Mountain Range.

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Afterwards, we decided to grab a cold beer and dinner at the Breakwater Café & Bistro, which was the perfect restaurant venue for a waterfront sunset.

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Saturday

Mount Work at Gowlland Tod Provincial Park

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After a morning brunch, we decided to hit the road towards Gowlland Tod Provincial Park. After talking with a few locals at the trailhead, we decided to embark on a climb up Mount Work. Mount Work was a nice 2 mile climb gaining 1,000 feet elevation. It provided incredible views of Vancouver Island, and my personal favorite, the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Olympic Mountains, but I’m biased!

View of Vancouver Island

View of Vancouver Island

View of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Olympic Mountains

View of the Strait of Juan De Fuca and Olympic Mountains

The Railroad Trestle at Goldstream Provincial Park

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With Vance Creek Bridge being so popular in Washington, we wanted to see British Columbia's own popular railroad trestle at Goldstream Provincial Park. It's a less than a mile hike up to the Railroad Trestle, however, there are a variety of scenic views along the way. The most notable stopping point would be “Niagra Falls.” Clearly, this isn’t the falls you first thought of, but it is definitely a neat waterfall to stop by and appreciate. 

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We arrived at the Goldstream Railroad Trestle and it was definitely an awesome experience. We had the place to ourselves, which was probably a good thing, because it took us a few seconds to get used to seeing the 300 foot drop-off between footsteps.

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Sunday

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After a full day of adventures on Saturday, we enjoyed a late brunch, took one final waterfront stroll, and packed up for the ferry. It was an absolutely perfect day on the water and I actually stayed on the bow from start to finish for the entire 90 minute sailing.

4:00 PM Ferry from Victoria

Departing Victoria B.C.

Departing Victoria B.C.

The Olympic Mountains as we approach Port Angeles

The Olympic Mountains as we approach Port Angeles

Summary

My colleague and I definitely enjoyed our 3-day weekend in Victoria to its fullest and are excited to plan a return trip and do more exploring. If you have any trip planning questions about traveling to the Olympic Peninsula or Victoria, please contact us!

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