Fisherman's Wharf yields quaint and colourful finds.
Overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the upscale Inn at Laurel Point recently transformed its spacious lobby and Aura restaurant, completing plans by legendary architect Arthur Erickson that date back more than 30 years. At this environmentally conscious, 200-room hotel, executive chef Ken Nakano incorporates organic ingredients from the on-site garden into dishes such as squash soup and deep-fried sushi.
For motorhome owners, the nicely maintained Salish Seaside RV Haven offers West Bay harbour views, with 36 pads with full hookups, plus propane fire pits and bike rentals.
From either property, it’s a leisurely trek along the waterfront Songhees Walkway to Spinnakers. Founded in 1984, the homey spot was Canada’s first brewpub. Sip classic beers like Blue Bridge Double Pale Ale and Departure Pilsner alongside the likes of Nut Brown Ale-braised beef ribs and house-smoked salmon pizza. And don’t miss the beer pairings with handmade chocolate truffles.
Not far from the green-domed Parliament Buildings, Nourish Kitchen & Café serves vegetarian fare like smoked carrot lox and cashew cheesecake in an 1888-built heritage home.
Inspiration abounds at the Inner Harbour, and that goes beyond the grand facade of the Francis Rattenbury-designed Fairmont Empress Hotel. Next to the Royal British Columbia Museum, marvel at the awe-inspiring First Nations poles and traditional big house, created by Kwakwaka’wakw chief Mungo Martin and Haida and Gitxsan artists.
The Bateman Gallery, housed in the venerable CPR Steamship Terminal, showcases Robert Bateman’s award-winning nature paintings. For more active pursuits, Eagle Wing Tours and Prince of Whales launch their eco-friendly boat adventures nearby, with Pacific Ocean sightings including orcas, sea lions and cormorants.