Updated: Jul 12, 2018
If you live in the Seattle area and haven't been to Victoria, B.C. WHAT ARE YOU DOING?! This has to be my favorite quick weekend getaway location! I have been during all seasons and I always have a great time, but there is something about Victoria during the holidays. In this post, I will share all about how to have an amazing time in just an overnight trip!
Getting to Victoria
The Clipper leaves right from Pier 69 in downtown Seattle and takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to get to Victoria. For one night hotel stay and a round trip ride on the Clipper, prices currently run at around $390 for two people.
Pros: Convenient downtown location to catch the Clipper
Cons: On the pricier side, since the boat is small any rough water, you will really feel it.
Black Ball Ferry Line
This is the only way I have traveled to Victoria and I love it! The ferry line is in Port Angeles so we will generally take the later ferry and arrive in Victoria in the early evening. The return ferry from Victoria departs in the early evening so there is plenty of time in Victoria. For one night stay and a round trip (walk on) ride on the Black Ball it will cost about $180 for two people. The ferry ride is only 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Pros: Inexpensive, large ship so rough waters aren't felt, shorter ferry ride
Cons: Longer drive time to get to Port Angeles
Holiday Activities in Victoria
The great thing about the inner harbor of Victoria is that it is all walkable. Both the Victoria Clipper and Black Ball Ferry Line drop you right in the middle of town. The main holiday activities are all walkable.
Butchart Gardens - Prices begin on Viator at $55 a person
This is the only activity that you need to coordinate transportation for. You can schedule a tour to the gardens which will pick you up in town, includes entrance fees, and take you back to Victoria. This is a MUST SEE any time of the year, but during the holidays it is a Christmas light wonderland! I definitely recommend stopping in the café before you walk the grounds for a nice, hot drink. You really don't need to follow a map and can just wander the grounds. You will find an ice skating rink and merry go round you can pay additional for as well. I have done this twice and it has been amazing both times!
Ferris Wheel - 1 for $3 or 2 for $5.
This is only set up during the holidays and can be found in Centennial Square. We managed to be one of the last people to get on that evening and were able to get a bunch of extra rides.
Gingerbread Showcase - Free
If you have been before, you probably visited this display at Laurel Inn. It has since moved to the Parkside Hotel and Spa for viewing! I cannot believe how talented people are! The gingerbread houses are so intricate. Don't forget to vote for your favorite!
Festival of Trees - Free
This is a fun thing to do. If you have visited in previous years, it was on display at Fairmont Empress. This year it can be found in the Bay Centre. Each tree is decorated with a different theme.
Horse Drawn Trolley Rides - Free
These rides will take you through downtown so you can enjoy all of the decorations in Victoria. The stops the trolley makes includes: Store St, Johnson St, Langley St, and Government St.
Though this is around year round and doesn't have a ton of holiday specific items, plan a visit to the Royal B.C. Museum. i have been 2 times and it has to be one of the better interactive museums I have been to in awhile!
There are many other activities that happen on specific dates in Victoria and can be found on their tourism site
Have you been to Victoria during the holidays? What was your favorite activity?