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Laura Reilly’s Top 40 Travel Tips For Victoria, Vancouver Island and Vancouver

Simon Reilly | July 12, 2019 | Filed: Uncategorized

Our NAIFA Iowa friend and client Steve Dewey e-mailed and asked us what to see in and around Victoria, Vancouver Island and Vancouver.

Given that I’m deeply engaged in filming our new online course to launch this September, I thought I would offer Laura Reilly’s Top 40 Travel Tips as A Blog and for our July Newsletter.

Victoria is Laura’s hometown and we have lived in the Greater Victoria / Vancouver areas for most of our lives. 

We hope that you enjoy Laura Reilly’s Top 40 Travel Tips.

Both Victoria and Vancouver are very walkable and safe; both cities have a homeless problem – like most cities in North America.


Take the ferry to Victoria. It’s a beautiful trip, breathtaking and you might even see some killer whales or a school of dolphins!  

The must see for Victoria is the Inner Harbor where you will find;

The Hotel and the Parliament Buildings are interesting to see from an architectural viewpoint and history. You can book a tour of the Parliament Buildings, and the Hotel you can stroll on your own. 

Whale watching trips are available to book in the Inner Harbor as well if that is of interest. We’ve never done this, but have friends who have enjoyed it.

The Museum is outstanding – if you are into Museums. The exhibits provide an overview of the rich history of the province and people. This has always been my favorite place to take visitors.

The big MUST do while anyone is visiting Victoria is a trip to The Butchart Gardens https://www.butchartgardens.com/ . You can take a tour bus from the Inner Harbor https://www.tourismvictoria.com/see-do/activities-attractions/statues-landmarks/inner-harbour that will take you out to the Gardens. The Gardens are open year-round and are beautiful.

Another favorite to see is Craigdarroch Castle – this is Canada’s Castle https://thecastle.ca/

There is a very small Chinatown in Victoria with a famous alley – Fan Tan Alley; it’s famous because it’s so narrow. If you are crunched for time, I wouldn’t go to Chinatown in Victoria. Chinatown in Vancouver is much bigger.  

Restaurants in Victoria; I’ll give you a selection…..

For a ‘British High Tea’ experience the Empress does this well, but it’s very expensive. If you want to experience High Tea; go to The White Heather Tea Room https://www.whiteheather-tearoom.com/

This is where my mom takes visitors. It’s located in the neighborhood of Oak Bay. There’s quite a nice stroll around that area as well. Reservations will be required at all restaurants. To get out to Oak Bay, take a taxi, there is no Uber or LYFT in our province yet. A taxi ride will run you about $20 each way. Or you can take the city bus. The city has excellent bus service.

Tea and Sweets

  • Murchie’s Tea Shop and Roger’s Chocolate – both located downtown. They are iconic to Victoria. 




Fish and Chips

  • Barb’s Fish and Chips at Fisherman’s Wharf – a nice way to do lunch. An institution in the Harbor, Barb sold the business about 5 years ago (after 40 + years and the new owners haven’t changed a thing). It will be very busy but you are able to walk around and look at the houseboats and enjoy some good fish and chips. https://www.barbsfishandchips.com/ 
  • The other place we like for fish and chips is down in the Inner Harbor as well. Red Fish Blue Fish https://www.redfish-bluefish.com/ They have the best seafood chowder.

Breakfast and Lunch places

  1. Rebar: http://rebarmodernfood.com/
  2. MoLe Restaurant: https://molerestaurant.ca/ 
  3. Jam Café: https://jamcafes.com/menu/ 


Our favorite thing to do when we lived there and even now when we visit, is to walk or rent bikes and go around the Stanley Park Seawall. This will also take you to Stanley Park, which is the MUST SEE in Vancouver. People walk the seawall and then decide they are moving to Vancouver!

A trip to Granville Island is a MUST.  https://granvilleisland.com/  A massive market, artist studios, stores, restaurants, a theater, you can easily spend 4 hours there. 

Grouse Mountain, on the north shore of the city, is easy to get to and will provide a fantastic view of the city. If time allows, a trip to Whistler is also recommended. The drive to Whistler is about an hour.

If you are into Museums, the UBC Museum of Anthropology is worth a trip; https://moa.ubc.ca/ VanDusen Botanical Gardens is beautiful.

There are great neighborhoods in Vancouver to stroll;

  1. The West End
  2. Yaletown
  3. Kitsilano
  4. Kerrisdale

If you enjoy Theatre, this annual festival started in June and is really well done. You can get tickets online; Bard On The Beach https://bardonthebeach.org/2019-season/

For restaurants, there are so many! Vancouver is really on the cutting edge of cuisine and dining ranges $$$ greatly.

A few notables that we have enjoyed over the years;

The weather has been on the cooler side. About 70 F. So plan to ‘layer’ clothes. Bring a light jacket as the evenings can be cool and you may have a shower or too, but it should be mainly sunny while you are up here, just not hot. And make sure to pack walking shoes!  

Thank you for the opportunity to be of service,
Laura Reilly

About Simon Reilly

Simon Reilly Simon Reilly is a Financial Advisor Coach, Professional Speaker and Author who has provided training for financial advisors for over 20 years.

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Simon Reilly has written 2528 posts on his blog.


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