After taking a couple days holiday time off to spend with my family, and friends, I am back to finally share my Victoria BC Winter Getaway back from end of November. I am warning you ladies, this travel post is very picture heavy as I was having a blast taking a million of photos during all the fun outings we did.

As it was super cold when we were in Victoria we skipped most of their famous gardens, and outdoors places. We thought we would go back for those in spring when all the flowers are blooming. I’ll show you our top five “MUST SEE”  places in Victoria especially in cold weather.

IMG_8507 This was the view from our hotel room. Even in a bit of fog, and cloudy skies it was gorgeous.

We had our kids with us ages ranging from 10 to 4; all these places we chose are perfect for adults but are also very kid friendly for all you moms. If you would like to see my Weekend Beach Getaway post from summer find it here. I LOVE visiting museums so this was the perfect cold weather trip for me. If you ever head to Victoria I highly recommend you see/experience these five places.

1)  HATLEY PARK & CASTLE IMG_8390 Built in the beginning of 1900’s Hatley Park & Castle is so pretty. It was the first place we went to see, and the only one in huge outdoor grounds. Our first day in Victoria, the weather was milder; we took advantage, and spent the earlier portion of it at Hatley. Commissioned to be built by James Dunsmuir the castle is a 40 room mansion in the Scottish Baronial style, and is surrounded by formal gardens. Some parts of the gardens were closed, under maintenance. The grounds have been a part of Royal Road University since 1995. When we were visiting school was in session, the inside of castle was not open for guests. So no pictures from inside. 🙁

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2) CRAIGDARROCH CASTLE

IMG_8495 The famous Craigdarroch Castle was built by coal baron Robert Dunsmuir during the reign of Queen Victoria. He died before he could actually live in it but his wife, and children did for years. I  loved seeing all the beautiful gowns, and home decorations from the era, and was snapping photos non stop. Here is a compilation of my favorite parts of the house. If you go to Victoria Island you absolutely HAVE to see this place.

IMG_8416 IMG_8414Look at this dress, what a beautiful color.

IMG_8422This is the formal dining room, ready for any special occasion. Love the table settings.

IMG_8469In the portrait is the lady of the house.

IMG_8459One of the Dunsmuir girls loved drawing/painting. This is her room, and some of her work. My 10 year old who is also very artistic loved this room.

IMG_8487In the rooms of different ladies of the house, there were picture frames, beautiful objects, collectibles everywhere you looked. I loved looking again, and again to discover new details.

IMG_8483 IMG_8486Stylish shoes of the era.

IMG_8472Ball room wear.

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3) HiGH TEA AT WHITE HEATHER TEA ROOM

IMG_8498High Tea for a huge tea lover like me is a must do. It is the tradition of having tea with a three tiered tray of goodies usually starting with sandwiches, going up to sweets. My mom took me to my first High Tea in 5th grade, and when I have the chance I occasionally do them continuing the tradition. Even if you are not a big tea fan like myself, I think you would still enjoy this almost ceremony like tea party.

I really wanted my kids to try it with me so even before we headed to Victoria I made our reservations at Fairmont, which serves the High Tea of all High Tea’s in Victoria. A day before our reservations, another mom friend told me, with younger kids White Heather Tea Room may be more fun as it is not as formal as the Fairmont. I so wanted to dress up and go to Fairmont plus I love formal High Tea, but in the end took the logical road to White Heather. 🙂

I think it was a decision well made, the servers were very knowledgable but the atmosphere was a bit more laid back for families.

IMG_8503Loved the teacups that were each unique and different.

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4) VICTORIA BUTTERFLY GARDENS

IMG_8537Victoria Butterfly Gardens is so beautiful, has a huge variety of butterflies, exotic birds, even flamingos. It is kept tropically hot in there so make sure to get your camera lens conditioned in the entrance with the blow dryer. I saw this a bit too late lol.

It’s a paradise in there, and while my kids were running after a parrot and ended up having her land on my hubby’s arm, I was following the butterflies so I can get a closer shot at their beauty with my camera. This one above had me circling the place for about half an hr to get a decent picture, I was so happy to finally capture its intricate detailing.

IMG_8546 IMG_8553The heart shape is adorable. <3

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5) ROYAL BC MUSEUM

IMG_8606 Having lived a part of my life in a super historical country, and traveling to many parts of the world I know my museums, and have seen some amazing ones. I think Royal BC museum can rival world class museums.

Our day here was a whole day event. My husband, and kids enjoyed it as much as I did. The museum has Natural History, and Human History sections that are impressive, detailed, and lets you peak into the history of Victoria BC. Look at this mammoth in the entrance. We learned the muscle over its head is massive to balance the ginormous tusks.

IMG_8629The Chief costume from the first occupants of the island.

IMG_8627How their house looked like outside, and inside.

IMG_8651This town section of the museum showcases how life changed after the British came to the island. Look at those pretty tea cups.

IMG_8649 I have to admit these hats had me at hello. I spent some extra time staring at them, and my husband had to take a couple pictures of me before I agreed to move forward to the next exhibit. 🙂 How cute is the white lace one?

IMG_8638More fashion that came in ships.

IMG_8676 IMG_8661 Some examples of the elegant purses from the old times. Hope you enjoyed this journal of my Victoria BC visit. I strongly recommend you see my top five especially when you plan a fall/winter getaway to the island.

Have you ever been to Victoria BC? What are your “MUST SEE” list for winter sightseeing/fun there?

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  • Cheryl

    Looks like such an amazing trip. I love the rich history behind the castles. I’ve never been to Victoria, but will definitely put it on my travel list. Thanks for sharing your trip!

    • Theboxqueen

      Cheryl when you have time you should see Victoria, it’s surely worth putting on the travel list :-)) The castles are lovely, and beyond that the town, the gardens we haven’t seen, the marina are all pretty and quaint as well. Very welcome my dear, XOXO, Elif

  • Looks like an amazing place to visit. I hope I get there someday!

    • Theboxqueen

      It is a very nice place to visit, perfect for any age and plenty to do, and see. 🙂 XOXO, Elif

  • Tban

    Soo Victorian, made me want to take a trip. It looks like you had so much fun!

    • Theboxqueen

      It is very Victorian and I LOVE history. It was a really fun family trip Tulay, would recommend for you guys, and your girl too! Happy first day of the year, XOXO, Elif

  • Looks like a wonderful trip! You saw so many nice places 🙂 The high tea sounds really lovely, and the clothes in the castles are so beautiful 🙂

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    Away From The Blue

    • Theboxqueen

      I was so pleasantly surprised to see such variety of fashion styles from the era Mica. The dresses were so elaborate. 🙂 Hope you had an amazing holiday season as well. Happy New Year dear, XOXO, Elif

  • Sibel Gultekin

    I have not been in Victoria before; after reading this post, I felt as if I were there. I really like all of them. I find the British tea cup set especially appealing. Yet another wonderfully prepared post.

    • Theboxqueen

      Thanks so much Sibel so happy you enjoyed it. 🙂 The British tea was a highlight for me for sure. You should see Victoria! Happy New Year, XOXO, Elif

  • I’ve never been to Victoria before but it looks like an amazing place to visit! Those castles are so gorgeous and the butterfly garden would be lovely to see!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    • Theboxqueen

      I recommend it to everyone I know now, the trip had everything for the whole family. Many things to enjoy for the adults, and kids of all ages. The butterfly garden was a wonder. 🙂 Happy New Year my dear, XOXO, Elif

  • This is a great post. Loved your museum shares and photos. I love exploring history so much!

    • Theboxqueen

      Me too. I love history, museums, and learning of times before us. 🙂 So glad you liked Lu. Have a very happy New Year!! XOXO, Elif