Showing posts with label Victoria Inner Harbor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Victoria Inner Harbor. Show all posts

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday Meanderings: Footloose in Victoria B.C.

The Inner Harbor and its surrounding neighborhoods in Victoria B.C. are a walker’s paradise. Free, easy and definitely, scenic. We filled our recent three-day stay with strolls through some of the most interesting places; places like:
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1. Ogdon Point Breakwater – a 2,500-foot-long breakwater that stretches out into the Strait of Juan de Fuca; an art walk in itself as murals  along its side, created by First Nations artists, showcase the local native history.  It also provides great views to the Washington State Olympics – on sunnier days than we had.
Ogdon Point is near the cruise ship terminal just a bit beyond the Inner Harbor. We wound our way on tree-lined sidewalks past the ferry landing on the Inner Harbor and through a charming neighborhood to reach it.

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2.  Fisherman’s Wharf and Floating Homes – We couldn’t resist a stop here as it is conveniently located between Ogden Point breakwater and the Inner Harbor.   Time and again locals have told us not to miss the fish and chips to be had here at one of its several floating eateries. I don’t know how those who live here can resist those wafting food smells. . .

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3.  We could spend hours just walking along and watching the activities of the Inner Harbor where artisans display their work and street musicians entertain.  Whale watching tours depart, chartered boats tie up  and the tiny water taxis, the Victoria Harbour Ferry, that regularly zip across the harbor all have stops here. Tourists and locals stroll the walkway no matter what the season.

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This is one of those tiny little ferry boats picking up passengers over at Fisherman’s Wharf.  When being ‘footloose’ tires you out, just catch one and see the sights from the water.

CashmereVictoriaBC 201Stop by Victoria’s Visitor Center, 812 Wharf Street, open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It also on the Inner Harbor and pick up a map before setting out to explore.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Room with a View in Victoria, B.C.

CashmereVictoriaBC 180Psssttt!  We stayed on Victoria’s Inner Harbor in a ‘room with a view’ at a delightful place you’ve probably never noticed.   And that’s because it sits in the shadow of the more well-known Empress Hotel, an icon of the city and its busy harbor.

CashmereVictoriaBC 121We stayed at its lovely next door neighbor, the equally elegant and elderly Union Club of British Columbia.  (That’s our room right under the flag pole as a matter of fact.)

The Club, eh? Doesn’t that mean ‘private’ with membership?  Not necessarily. . .read on:

The Union Club has been in this landmark building for 99 years although the gentlemen’s club was in existence long before that time.  (Ladies have been welcomed as members since the 1990’s). 

CashmereVictoriaBC 125We discovered the Union Club some half dozen years ago and following a delightful stay there, became non-resident members. (I think it was the view - in the photo to the right - to the Inner Harbor from this outside patio that won us over.)

CashmereVictoriaBC 168These days you don’t need be a member to experience the private club life because a portion of the 22-guest rooms that make up the upper two levels of the club are available to the public. (This was our king room without all the fancy doo-dad pillows on the bed.)

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And this was our view. I did a quick check this morning on and and the price for a harbor view room at the Empress Hotel was $414 a night, as compared to this room which was $357 for two nights (Victoria’s hefty tax of 14 percent wasn’t added to either of those rates.)

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It is still a private club at heart though so it may not appeal to everyone.  A dress code applies to all who stay (as in ‘no jeans or shorts’ in common areas) and cell phones are kindly requested to be quieted as well in the common areas, which include an elegant reading room and a cozy library.  (We’ve been known to spend hours in that reading room enjoying any of a number of English, Canadian and American newspapers and some two dozen magazines.)

CashmereVictoriaBC 235There’s no pool or spa, but there is a bar and restaurant . . .some of the best food in Victoria is found in the Union Club restaurant.

A card room and a billiards room harken to the days of old, and still attract a good number of guests. 

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It is a place  where Ladies Nights and Men’s Nights occur with special buffet dinners once each week and on those nights members of the opposite sex are not to be seen in the restaurant or bar, but can dine and socialize on the patio or reading rooms.

CashmereVictoriaBC 233The old carpeted floors creak and oh the stories those rich wood-paneled walls could tell.  Nestling into the green leather chairs with your feet up on the matching ottoman is the perfect cure for weary travel feet.

If you want an out-of-the-ordinary travel experience, The Inn at the Union Club, 805 Gordon St., Victoria, B.C. is our recommendation for the place to stay.

For information or reservations:,, 1-800-808-2218, 250-384-1151, or


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