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Old March 21st, 2010, 11:31 AM
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Default Victoria - What to do?

Our cruise has a six hour port of call in Victoria, arriving at 6:00pm on a Saturday. Can anyone tell me if anything, other than restaurants or bars, is open then?

I requested (and received) a travel guide from the Victoria BC travel bureau. In the "shopping" section of the guide, they list a number of shops and business, along with their web sites (for those that have them.) I visited some of the web sites for stores that appeared interesting, I noticed that everyone located in the inner harbor area shuts down between 5 & 6 pm on Saturdays.

If all the attractions and stores are closed, what purpose would it serve to stop there?
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:39 PM
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Wow.. I live on Vancouver Island. Victoria is three hours from me. What an odd choice for shore leave timing!

It would appear that dinner is pretty much all you could do, but I do know that they do evening horse drawn carriage rides through Beacon Hill Park. My family took it once and it was quite pretty, even though it did get quite dark in some areas where the park wasn't lit.

If you are to have dinner and want to see some neat architecture, the Empress Hotel has a few restaurants and one very nice bar, the Bengal Room, reminiscent of Britain's Indian heritage (complete with carved elephants and tigers). They are very expensive however. The Parliament Buildings are lit up at night and are very pretty. All of these are clustered on the waterfront and the harbour itself would be pretty in the evening hours.

You can walk through the Empress for free as long as you don't loiter around, so you could eat on ship and just do some walking tours of Victoria. It's a very, very pretty city, with globe street lamps and huge baskets of flowers. It is our capitol and it's been designed to look like old england.

You may want to see if there is an excursion to Butchart Gardens. It would be a 1/2 hour bus ride. They do night tours with the paths lit up, and I believe they do fireworks every night. They also have a restaurant but it is certainly not cheap. Butchart Gardens is pretty much world famous however.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 01:18 PM
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The Gardens would be our choice. Been there during the day so can't say what an experience it is at night.

Empress is a really nice place, too.

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Old March 21st, 2010, 02:34 PM
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My vote is also for Butchart Gardens. We have been there both day and night and it is gorgeous at either time. To tell the truth we do prefer the gardens at night as the lighting is just fantastic.

Enjoy your time in Victoria.

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