What do people and dogs do in Victoria?
October 25, 2011 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Three young adults and two dogs have one day in Victoria, BC. What shall we do?

We're taking the ferry from Port Angeles up to Victoria for Pumpkin Pull (an ultimate tournament) this Friday and we'll have most of the day to check out the town. We're in search of ideas that would be fun for three people who love eating and the outdoors and two dogs who enjoy the same things so far as we can tell.
posted by Cogito to Travel & Transportation around Victoria, BC (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Victoria is a really pretty city. Your ferry will dock in the Inner Harbour, and it's definitely worth walking around. You could also head over to Beacon Hill Park, the urban park. There are ducks and beautiful gardens and a petting zoo (look, you are never too old to pet goats, okay?) and lots of space to wander around.

As for food, Zambri's is yummy. I haven't been there myself, but I hear Pig is super good. If you feel like going for a drive up the coast for about 35 minutes (it's a nice drive), go to the EdGe Restaurant in Sooke. I know, I know, the website is underwhelming but speaking as a foodie the chef and owner, Edward, is hands down my favorite chef ever.
posted by jess at 12:48 PM on October 25, 2011

Well, the ultimate location for dogs and their friends is the off-leash area of Beacon Hill Park along Dallas Road. It's a great walk with a fine view of the Olympic Peninsula (when it's not raining), and it's possible to walk along the water all the way from the Inner Harbour where the Coho docks (not all parts of the walk are off-leash).

Assuming this meets your fancy, you could also check out Cook Street Village. Cook Street runs north/south and ends at Dallas Road and the off-leash area (remember that not all parts of the park are off-leash). So, after giving the dogs a good romp (the beach at Clover Point is good for exploring and ball-throwing), walk a couple of blocks down to the village.

There are several coffee shops, including Starbucks, but the real treasure in the Village is Cafe Fantasico, which is part of a unique "food court" built in a converted heritage house. It has an open patio where dogs are welcome, and different kinds of foods, including Ethiopian, Mexican and Japanese.

There's also a pizza place in the Village and a bunch of other shops, and there is another food court on Cook Street with food stalls and trailers.

Going back to the Inner Harbour, a great walk with dogs would be up Government Street. The sidewalks a pretty broad (enough to accommodate 3 dogs), and it's a lot cleaner than Douglas Street.

For food, I would want to head towards Chinatown. Wah Lai Yuen has cheap, authentic Hong Kong-style noodles, as well as a bakery with barbeque duck and pork. No dogs allowed inside, though.

Bean Around the World down the street sells great coffee and some sandwiches, and you can sit outside with your dogs.

Going back to the Inner Harbour, if it's open, Red Fish Blue Fish on the wharf, at the foot of Fort Street, just below the old pinkish Custom House has great fish tacos (just ask them to hold the salt), and I would say that dogs are allowed.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:53 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

our favourite dog walks include Thetis Lake and Elk Lake; both a short drive out of Victoria proper. The afore mentioned Dallas Road (section 4-5 on KokuRyu's map) is a very social place for puppies.

Pluto's is fun, has outdoor seating if you want it and falls into the cheap/good end of the spectrum. Patisserie Daniel is, for my money, the best bakery in town and is just a couple blocks up on Cook. Closer to Dallas/Beacon is the Beacon Hill Drive In. Of course, it's across the street. It's still summer if you can go to the Drive In for ice cream. I'm pretty sure I read that somewhere.
posted by mce at 1:29 PM on October 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Fair warning if you're taking KokuRyu's advice...Cafe Fantastico is being kicked out of their location in Cook St. Village. Sadness. They have another location on Herald St., a 10-15 min walk from Cook St.
posted by talkingmuffin at 2:01 PM on October 25, 2011

Oh, one more thing. Here's a really interesting page about historical artifacts of the city that are hidden in "plain sight". There are some real gems in there.
posted by talkingmuffin at 2:15 PM on October 25, 2011

Cafe Fantasico should still be there this Friday!

Anyway, you can visit another Cafe Fantastico (I prefer Bean Around the World myself) with your dogs over in the Dockside Green development. It's quite a nice walk from the Inner Harbour, traveling over the Johnson Street Bridge to the Ocean Pointe Hotel, over Esquimalt Road and the E&N railway tracks, to the start of the Galloping Goose regional trail. Cafe Fantasico is quite close by, just past the shipyard (it's way more interesting that it sounds), and there are a couple of nice walks you can take there - go along the waterway and go over the old railway bridge to Selkirk Development (it's beautiful in the fall) or, after Cafe Fantasico, head south through old neighbourhoods, recross Esquimalt Road, stop for a pint of craft beer at Spinnakers, and then take the walkway along the water back to the Inner Harbour.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:28 PM on October 25, 2011

Just wondering how the weekend went, if you got to do anything fun and if you had any feedback that might be useful for future visitors. it's always nice to find something new and I find we tend to get comfortable enjoying the same (wonderful) bits.
posted by mce at 10:46 PM on October 31, 2011

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