Vancouver Island Journals

Autumn on Vancouver Island

Best of IgoUgo

An October 2000 trip to Vancouver Island by Peregrine

Butchart Gardens Photo, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia More Photos
Quote: I had great expectations about Vancouver Island and I was not disappointed. We went in mid-October and were rewarded with blue skies, few tourists, one grey whale, and gorgeous autumn color.

Autumn on Vancouver Island

Overview

Quote:
Butchart Gardens are an absolute must if you have any fondness for flowers. It's a few miles north of Victoria, and is the type of place you could visit a dozen times and would be different depending on the season, the light, your mood. Next time, I want to see it at night when it is lit up. Take a walk along the coast. You have views of the water and the Olympic Mountains in Washington, and a possible whale spotting in one of the inlets. Have tea at the Empress Hotel. Its expensive, but filling. Quick Tips: Best Way To Get Around: We walked everywhere in Victoria. The downtown area is very compact and even though we were staying outside the downtown ...Read More

Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina

Best Of IgoUgo

Hotel | "Coast Harborside Hotel"

Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina Photo, Victoria, British Columbia
Quote:
I grew up on the East Coast and lived on the West for years before moving inland. As a result, whenever I get close to water, I want to linger and absorb the smells and the damp breezes. The Coast Harborside in Victoria gave me ample opportunity to do both. It sits on the water at the entrance to the Inner Harbor, which faces the main part of Victoria. From our window, we could wee the private marina and the beautiful collection of sailboats. The hotel is also at the end of a lovely walk along the edge of the water that eventually leads to the center of town. Every morning, before breakfast, we’d walk along this stretch of harbor and were rewarded by seeing stately heron s...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 29, 2000

Coast Victoria Harbourside Hotel & Marina
146 Kingston Street
Victoria, British Columbia V8V1V4
250-360-1211

Butchart Gardens

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Butchart Gardens Photo, Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
Quote:
Amazing what passion and determination can do. Mr. Butchart dug limestone and clay out of his quarry which was used in the construction of the government buildings in nearby Victoria. His wife, Jennie, felt the hole her husband’s work had left in the landscape needed a little prettying up, so she started planting flowers. A friend had told me not miss a visit to these gardens, but even her glowing praise didn’t prepare me for the shear size of these gardens. Jeannie Butchart’s early beginnings to pretty up her husbands quarry became 55 acres of gardens. From the neat flowerbeds at the entrance, to the sunken garden in the former quarry pit, to the fabulous Japanese gardens that open on...Read More

Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Ave
Brentwood Bay, British Columbia V8M 1J8
(250) 652-4422

Vancouver Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
The island of Vancouver stretches along the west coast of British Columbia nearly to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Deep inlets surround the island, as well as a scattering of smaller islands, many inhabited with waterside homes. Victoria, BC's lovely capital, sits on the southern end of the island, and smaller towns run up the coast, mostly along the eastern side. The farther north you go, the less inhabited. The BC Ferries stop at many of the eastern towns, as does the train. I only had a chance to explore the southern end of the island from Victoria to Swartz Bay, where the Vancouver Ferry docks, but I saw enough to want to return. This is where Canada’s wealthy come ...Read More

Victoria, the Jewel of Vancouver Island

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Skyline of Victoria Photo, Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Quote:
I can’t imagine a more lovely setting for a city. The Inner Harbor practically laps up to the steps of the regal Empress Hotel, one of the Canadian Pacific RR Hotels that dot the CP line across Canada. Built in the late 19th century in the chateau style, the turrets and towers of this gracious grande dame of Victoria fit right in with the horse-drawn carriages that park along the street in front of the hotel. The whole aura is that of a romantic, cozy little village despite the busy traffic and the imposing Parliament buildings. We were there in October and the trees in their glorious autumn clothes were breathtaking. Most places in town you can get to on foot and the streets, lined w...Read More

The BC Ferry

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
It’s like taking a mini cruise across to Vancouver Island from the mainland. We had clear skies and calm waters on our trip out to Victoria so we had a great view of the myriad of islands drifting past the ferry. We also had entertainment: seagulls catching any food tossed into the air and kids having great fun getting them to take the french fries out of their hands. Our trip back was on a rainy, gray day with choppy seas, which gave us a chance to see another of Vancouver's moods. The ferries are huge and very well organized. They manage to shuffle people and cars on and off quickly and with little hassle. Ports on both ends of the run from Vancouver to Victoria have a cluster of cra...Read More

Whale Watching

Best Of IgoUgo

Story/Tip

Quote:
One of the highlights of our stay on Vancouver Island was a three-hour whale watching tour off the southern end of Vancouver Island. I expected to spend those three hours battered by wind and spray and frozen to a Zodiac seat, but our group was large enough to warrant a boat with a cabin and hot chocolate, a naturalist, and a viewing deck. We were pushing the season (they only run the tours through October). The orcas had left, but the naturalist on board, had other surprises for us. We stopped near an offshore island covered with brown harbor seals. Pulling kelp from the sea, he offered us a taste – bland, a bit salty and very crunchy. He pulled up a handful of krill, little ant-sized...Read More