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Budget Travel - From Washington State To Victoria British Columbia

Updated on July 6, 2012
The Empress Hotel, Victoria BC
The Empress Hotel, Victoria BC

Traveling on a budget requires thorough and careful planning. $3000 is probably not much, but if you plan your vacation in advance and choose travel off-season, budget hotels and cheap eateries you probably even can travel to hot US destinations or to some inexpensive exotic places outside of the country. However, I wouldn't suggest doing that. You would probably spent third of your budget on airfare, spend most of the rest on a hotel and wouldn't have much time to explore the place. Washington State is absolutely beautiful and has plenty of interesting places to visit. You always can explore Washington and Oregon by car. But, if you want to travel outside, why not to take an advantage of Washington State location - its closeness to British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia has a lot beautiful places and quite different from Washington State. Last year, during my vacation in British Columbia, I spent a few days in Victoria and I really liked it.

Harbour Floatplane in Victoria BC
Harbour Floatplane in Victoria BC
View from the plane
View from the plane

Victoria is a British Columbia's capital city and an internationally renowned visitor destination. You have plenty of travel options how to get to Victoria from Washington State. You can take a quick flight from Seattle or a ferry from Bellingham, Port Angeles, and Anacortes or a catamaran from Seattle. There are also flights and ferry services from Vancouver, British Columbia, in case if you want to visit Vancouver on a way. Actually, getting to Victoria is half the fun. By air, ferry or on land, it is easy and enjoyable. I chose to take a ferry on a way to Victoria and a floatplane on a way back. You can watch for marine wildlife from the decks of a ferry or observe beautiful islands and peninsulas while soaring over the coastline in a harbour floatplane - both of these traveling options were really fantastic and affordable.

Parliament Buildings, Victoria BC
Parliament Buildings, Victoria BC
Bastion Square, Victoria BC
Bastion Square, Victoria BC
Hatley Castle, Victoria BC
Hatley Castle, Victoria BC

When you arrive to Victoria, you will notice right away how different it is from any other Canadian or American cities. The history of the city goes many centuries back. By the mid-1840's, the British were established there when Fort Victoria was installed by the Hudson's Bay Company. The fort became the hub of activity that the city grew up around. When the gold rush began in the 1850's, Victoria became the port and starting point for waves of miners of European and Asian descent. You can see the evidence of British, European and Asian cultural influences everywhere you go in Victoria: the Parliament Buildings and the Empress Hotel, Victoria's Old Court House and Bastion Square, beautiful castles and heritage buildings, tearooms and pubs, horse-drawn carriages and double-decker buses. You can find pretty charming hotels and bed and breakfasts on a budget in Victoria. For example, for only about $100 a night, Bedford Regency Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Victoria, bordered by beautiful Government Street and Bastion Square. Within walking distance to major local attractions including the Inner Harbour, the Royal BC Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, Beacon Hill Park, China Town, and the Royal London Wax Museum.

Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC
Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria BC
The Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC
The Butchart Gardens, Victoria BC

Depending on your interests, Victoria can offer a lot of cultural and outdoor activities. Art galleries, museums, theaters and concert hall are throughout the city. The city has endless number of art galleries and exhibits, and unofficially known as the "BoHo" capital of British Columbia. Naturally, with the Pacific Ocean around, many of the most popular activities in Victoria are marine-based. Whale and wildlife watching, sailing and fishing, kayaking and windsurfing, diving - the area as second only to the Red Sea for diversity of marine life and water clarity. You can just swim and relax on a beach - the water and scenery are absolutely great and free. Or you can climb one of the four mountain peaks within 30 minutes of downtown Victoria and get even better view and great pictures. Or rent a bike and take in the spectacular scenery along Victoria's designated cycling routes. The city has a lot of inexpensive restaurants and pubs. To immerse yourself into British culture, try fish & chips, afternoon tea ceremony, and great English Ale. Have a great time in Victoria!

Chinatown, Victoria BC
Chinatown, Victoria BC

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