We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Victoria in mid-March

Kansas City, MO
Level Contributor
441 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Victoria in mid-March

My husband and I (mid-thirties) are looking to visit Victoria in mid-March. We don't really have any information to go from so far. I think someone mentioned renting an old fashioned car to go around. Can someone give me more details on this. Are the gardens nice to see in March? We do enjoy fine dining and would like to do high tea. Are there nice drives around the island or should we worry about renting a car? Any help in early planning would be appreciated. Thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
60,824 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Victoria in mid-March

Hi traveler1980 ~

Victoria is always a nice city to visit. Do you have any idea how much time you are going to allow for your visit?

Mid March can be chilly around here. You will want to dress in layers and have scarf, tuque, gloves handy, closed toed shoes and a waterproof rainjacket with hood. Victoria can sometimes have breezes/winds that will make you feel cold.

The gardens will be picking up with colour as Spring comes early to Victoria. They are always bragging :-) about their March flower count! :-) So by the time you arrive mid-March, there will be a lot of blossoms. If I recall, a hotel along Quebec Street would have a street full of cherry blossoms.

http://www.flowercount.com/guide.php

There are several places to have high tea: most expensive is the Empress Hotel. You might also look into the White Heather in Oak Bay and Butchart Gardens' version. I would definitely go to Butchart to see the gardens for 2-3 hours.

There are nice drives around the Island but that advice would depend on how much time you will have. You could definitely take Dallas Road from James Bay to Oak Bay with any number of stops along the waterfront.

For hotels, I would suggest you look in the sidebar to the left of this page and narrow down to a few according to the * class and amenities you prefer. Around the Inner Harbour would be a good location.

Also in the sidebar to the left, you can browse through the "Things to Do" to see what appeals. Not everything will be open in March and what is open will be more or less on a 9-5 basis.

Edited: 21 January 2012, 14:50
Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
60,824 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Victoria in mid-March

p.s. Spring break for our school system here is typically the third week of March. You don't say how you are arriving to Victoria. Perhaps on the Victoria Clipper from Seattle? But if you are coming across on the ferry from Vancouver, you could run into busy ferries. So knowing a bit about your arrival/departure situation could bring some helpful comments there as well.

Kansas City, MO
Level Contributor
441 posts
1 review
Save Reply
3. Re: Victoria in mid-March

I am a teacher here on the U.S. side and our Spring Break is from March 10 - 18. We would be coming from Seattle. Is the Clipper the easiest route? Would we need to hire a car from there? Are major companies all available? We would probably be in Victoria 3 nights.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
60,824 posts
64 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Victoria in mid-March

The Clipper is a catamaran pax only sailing from Seattle harbour to Victoria harbour. Very convenient. Check all the following ferry options for their March schedule, it's a slow time of year.

http://www.clippervacations.com/

Other options for getting to Vic would be the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes (north of Seattle) to Sidney (north of Victoria). You would need a car for this route.

http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries/

or the Coho from Port Angeles to Victoria. You would need a car for this route.

http://cohoferry.com/main/

With 2 full days in Victoria, and it not being tourist season, you could easily rent a car for a day and walk around Vic for a day. Plenty of rental car outlets in Vic.

The Royal BC Museum is an excellent facility.

www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/MainSite/default.aspx

You might be interested in Craigdarroch Castle as well.

hatleycastle.com/craigdarroch_castle_victori…

And Hatley Castle

http://www.hatleycastle.com/index.html

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Nanaimo, Vancouver Island
Level Contributor
5,291 posts
438 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Victoria in mid-March

Might also be worth your while to have a look at one of the online guide books, like Frommers, for Victoria. Lots of good info including walks and itineraries.

www.frommers.com/destinations/victoria/

Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
3,158 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Victoria in mid-March

As far as driving "around the island" is concerned, Vancouver Island is significantly bigger than many visitors realize. It takes 7 - 8 hours to drive north/south (the road goes up the eastern side of VI) and about about 3 1/2 hours to drive west/east at the mid-island point. There is a circular drive you can do on southern VI - the Pacific Marine Circle Route -

http://www.pacificmarinecircleroute.com/

However, it would take a long day from Victoria. With only three days, it might be preferable to focus on the Greater Victoria area and the Saanich Peninsula to the north of Victoria.

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for Vancouver
Level Contributor
7,479 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Victoria in mid-March

March in Victoria can actually be beautiful as it's when the spring flowers are starting to bloom. Even by February the cherry blossoms begin to bloom, so by mid-March it should be gorgeous. Sure, it's chilly, but it's not winery and can't be any colder than Kansas City in March. But do prepare for rain, as winter/spring is Vancouver Island's rainy season. Not that it will be torrential, but this is the time of the year when overcast skies are the norm.

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
22,181 posts
91 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Victoria in mid-March

Do visit the Butchard Gardens, they are lovely all year round, and the high tea there, while pricey is well thought of.. ( and still cheaper then the Empresses I think) .

Victoria, Canada
Level Contributor
3,783 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Victoria in mid-March

it's still pretty chilly here. Today is our warmest in a while and it's currently only 50f. Dress in layers for sure...

Newberg, Oregon
Level Contributor
6,127 posts
389 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Victoria in mid-March

Haven't noticed any mention of fine dining from other posters, and you mentioned that was one of the things you enjoy.

Our favorite "dress-up" place is Restaurant Matisse on Yates near Wharf. Classic French cuisine and wines at prices that aren't overly exhorbitant. Owner/maitre d' John will take very good care of you! The main dining room (Empress Room, not Bengal Lounge) at the Empress Hotel is fine dining at its grandest (and priciest!) in Victoria. Classic cuisine and service that makes for a very memorable evening. Il Terrazzo is another of our favorites for Italian classics and maybe the best wine list in Victoria. Atmosphere is a bit more casual and it can be noisy in the evening with a full house. And the final pick in my top 4 is Camille's, an intimate basement-level restaurant on the west end of Bastion Square whose very good food matches the equally romantic ambience. We sent our grandson there with his bride when they chose Victoria for their honeymoon. The staff made them feel like royalty and they couldn't thank "Grandpa" enough for arranging a special night for them.

Edited: 09 March 2012, 14:48
Get answers to your questions about Victoria
Recent Conversations