The ultimate Victoria overnight itinerary

Victoria guide fairmont empress

My husband and I recently got away for a quick overnight trip to Victoria. 

It was our first time there together, and only my second time visiting the city. I'd forgotten how beautiful it is — it has such a unique vibe — it really felt like we went somewhere far away. 

We had such a wonderful visit that I thought I'd throw together a quick guide for an overnight getaway. From where to stay, to what to do — here are my suggestions. 

The ultimate Victoria overnight itinerary

The ultimate Victoria overnight itinerary magnolia hotel

The ultimate Victoria overnight itinerary magnolia hotel

Where to stay:

We stayed at the lovely Magnolia Hotel & Spa. Located centrally, mere steps to the harbour and downtown shopping/nightlife, the boutique hotel offers a luxurious accommodation in an intimate setting. 

Our room was stunning, the service was great, and we loved the hotel restaurant, The Courtney Room (more on that next!).

The ultimate Victoria overnight itinerary courtney room

The ultimate Victoria overnight itinerary ritual nordic spa cafe

victoria guide 10 acres bistro

Where to eat: 

We had several delicious meals while on our trip. 

For breakfast, we dined at The Courtney Room, a stylish eater attached to the Magnolia Hotel that's also a hotspot for happy hour and dinner. Next time we're in town, we'll be sure to stop by for one (or both!) of these options.  

For lunch, we opted for a spread of post-spa snacks at Ritual Nordic Spa. We enjoyed the apres-ski style snacks, which included a locally baked pretzel, sausage, fruit, cheese and more. We washed it all down with two crisp glasses of kombucha on tap. 

For dinner, don't miss 10 Acres Bistro. This place is seriously good. The downtown eatery was abuzz when we visited. And, after our meal, we could certainly understand why. Offering a locally focussed, fresh menu that features pastas, salads, meaty mains and more, it has a little something for everyone. Plus the cocktail list was pretty good, too!  

victoria day trip itinerary russell books ecologyst

victoria day trip itinerary russell books fan tan alley

victoria day trip itinerary russell books boutiques

victoria day trip itinerary russell books ritual nordic spa

victoria day trip itinerary russell books

What to do:

There's much to see and do while in Victoria. 

For our short stay, we decided to keep it fairly casual, adding only a few must-do itinerary items to our list. The rest of the time, we mostly wandered the downtown area, admiring the waterfront, the old-town vibes and all the boutiques that call it home! 

A few must-see (and must-shop!) spots include two cool bookstores — Russell Books and Munro BooksEcologyst, an eco-forward clothing company that manufactures its goods in downtown Victoria; and Out of Ireland, for fabulous knit sweaters and more that will have you thinking you're in a shop on the Aran Islands.

For a little rest-and-relaxation, we headed to the new Ritual Nordic Spa, which offers a hot-cold plunge and relaxation circuit. It's a must-do, in my opinion. 

Last but not least, while strolling around Government Street in the evening, we set out to find Fan Tan Alley, located in Victoria's Chinatown neighbourhood. The small corridor, which is homes to several shops and businesses, is billed as 'Canada's narrowest street.'

It's also an important part of the neighbourhood's rich history. To celebrate this, Fan Tan Alley is the site of an exhibition by the Royal B.C. Museum called Peering into the Past: Celebrating Canada's Oldest Chinatown.

That's my quick guide to a quick stay in Victoria. If you go, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my picks — or additions of your own!