Are you celebrating Valentine’s Day in Victoria? This is when the capital goes a bit gooey. It is like being a part of a love-fest. Discover Victoria’s romantic side. From romantic to mushy to crazy and quirky, we list out 8 options to indulge in with your sweetheart in Victoria on Valentine’s Day.
Romantic Things to do in Victoria for Valentine’s Day
Feel like Royalty at the Craigdarroch Castle
Many won’t know but Victoria has a Castle! Built-in the late 19th century on a hill it overlooks Victoria. The views from Craigdarroch Castle are absolutely spectacular. The castle was owned by a wealthy coal baron whose fortune is reflected in the four floors of exquisite stained glass windows, intricate woodwork and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings.
Head to the Fisherman’s Wharf
One of the best places to be in Victoria on a Valentine’s day is the Fisherman’s wharf. This marine destination with a busy commercial centre might not sound romantic, but surprisingly it is. It’s a great place for seafood lovers. If the weather is ok, you can opt for kayaking. If you are looking for a getaway, you can book a floating home for a night or two facing the Salish sea to enjoy dreamy sunrise and sunset views.
Pack a picnic or book a picnic
There is no shortage of picnic locations in Victoria. It has numerous national parks, beaches, pristine reserves and gardens to spread your mat on. The Gowlland Tod, one of the preserved areas, is a great place to picnic, hike and notice some wildlife. Downtown Victoria has the Beacon Hill Park which is spread over a massive 200 acres. It has water bodies, fountains, bridges etc. Watch the Peacocks walk freely around you and ducks swim lazily in the ponds. A short drive from downtown is the Macaulay Point Park offering some splendid views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are trails and military ramparts which give the park a historic touch. Gonzales Bay is a good option, if you want to picnic on the beach. It is a small, low-traffic beach tucked away at the border of Victoria. Want to picnic in style and avoid the hassle? There are customised picnic packages offered by tour agencies!
Go on a long drive on the Pacific Marine Circle route
Driving on the Pacific Marine circle route is a different kind of Valentine’s Day experience in Victoria. Rent a car and drive on this 289 km long stretch located in southern Vancouver. An extremely picturesque road, you will come across stunning scenery. It has some breathtaking waterfalls and whale watching vantage points. The landscape keeps on changing making it one of the most scenic stretches in all of British Columbia. You will pass by small towns offering some decent food options. Other prominent attractions which will come on your route are the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, Sand Cut beach and the Mystic Beach. Sombrio Beach is one of prime surfing spots of British Columbia. Also you can include Botanical Beach, Botany Bay and Juan de Fuca Marine Trail located inside Juan de Fuca Provincial Park in this adventure of yours. The area is ecologically diverse. If you plan to break your journey, there are a variety of staying options including inns, cabins and campsites to choose from.
Experience the ultimate Whale Marine and Wildlife tour in Salish sea
How about indulging in a relaxed and enjoyable activity with your beloved on Valentine’s Day in Victoria. Book a cruise.These tours departing from Victoria’s inner harbour area are usually 3 hours long. You can lounge in the outer deck to take in some pristine sea views or sit cosy inside the heated cabins. Complimentary beverages are served as you cruise through the Salish sea. Expect to spot some whales, orcas, harbour seals etc. as they carry on with their daily routines. Rare marine birds are equally beautiful to look at. The sunset tours are considered to be more romantic. Your guide will be a knowledgeable marine biologist who will render some interesting facts about the local ecosystem. Tickets can be booked online, to avoid the hassle of waiting in line. Some cruise operators even guarantee that you will be able to catch whale views and if it does not happen, they will give you a free tour!
Victoria tour by helicopter or the sea plane
See Victoria, as a bird sees it. Victoria is beautiful, it has mountains, lush greenery and pristine clear water bodies. The route covers the Olympic Mountains, Victoria Waterfront and the sandy beaches of James and the Sydney Islands. From here the tour heads north to Saanich Peninsula and over the famous Butchart Gardens before returning back to the Victoria Harbor, the starting point of the ride. This thrill-a-minute ride can be the ride of a lifetime.
Indulge in some sensational sips of the best local produced wines
Raise a toast for your romance with some sensational sips of best of wines produced locally around Victoria. Just north of Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula’s mild temperatures and fertile valleys makes it an ideal spot for vineyards. There are numerous vineyards and tours to choose from. The well-known wineries are the Church and State Wines, De Vine Vineyards and Deep Cove Winery. The traditional artisan wines served here have no additives or preservatives. You also get to meet some friendly passionate people proud of their craft and products..
Go Conventional, go on a dinner date
This can never go out of fashion. Nothing quite invokes romance than booking a table for two at a dimly-lit restaurant. We handpick five:
Fireside Grill: It is located in a restored building in a Tudor estate. The interiors complete with some elegant woodwork, beautiful high ceilings and a big chandelier, will make you fall in love with the place itself. The regal oak trees and well manicured lawns add to its charm. It has won the ‘Finest in the Fine Dine Category’ the Victoria Times Colonist Reader’s Choice Awards for best in City (2017-2021).
4509 W. Saanich Road.
Victoria Harbour House: Make your date a memorable one by booking a table at the Victoria Harbour House. Serving for over 42 years, it is one of the oldest in Victoria. Enjoy good quality seafood and steak, their speciality.
607 Oswego Street
Little Jumbo: Toast your love at The Little Jumbo. Their cocktails are incredible and their bartendenders excel in the craft of designing and mixing drinks. Choose from continental, contemporary and the local food menu.
102-506 Fort Street
Q at the Empress: Q at the Empress is the fanciest and yes expensive! With an extensive menu, the Pacific Northwest cuisine is absolutely luscious and absolutely irresistible and surely shall impress your date.
721 Government Street
Terrazzo Ristorante: With brick fire-places and dim lit surroundings, Terrazzo Ristorante scores high on the romantic ambience. They are known for their Italian food. They have an extensive wine menu and stock international brands too.
555 Johnson St, Victoria
Our final tip: Go the extra mile and enhance these experiences by surprising your valentine with a bouquet of red roses or some maybe some fine chocolates from a local shop!
Featured Image Credit: Tourism Greater Victoria / Brett Ryan
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!