While I was in Seattle, I took a 2-day side trip over to Victoria on the Clipper ferry, a high-speed passenger ferry from downtown Seattle to Victoria's Inner Harbor area. Victoria is a beautiful, small city with just enough to see for a 2 or 3 day visit.
The Fairmont Empress Hotel, famous for their afternoon tea
I visited the Royal British Columbia Museum, with exhibits on the natural history of the area, the First Nations' people, and the modern history of the area, as well as a traveling exhibit on the Vikings. The weather was great so a walk around the harbor was in order. I was able to walk everywhere I wanted to go within the city; it is compact.
Statue of Queen Victoria in front of the Provincial Government building
I also went to Butchart Gardens, which is located outside of the city. (It is an amazing botanical garden situated in an old quarry. (I took a tour bus offered by the ferry company to get there.)
Waterfall at Butchart Gardens
Victoria has a lot of restaurants serving fish and I had some excellent meals. I particularly recommend the Steamship Terminal restaurant, located on the harbor in an old building that was formerly a steamship terminal. I sat on the terrace outside and watched the water taxis and ferries in the harbor. There are several marinas nearby as well.
I stayed at the Oswego Hotel, a newer boutique hotel located on a quiet side street about three blocks from the harbor. I give this hotel 5 stars for comfort and service!
Keep Victoria in mind if you need a west coast getaway or are planning a visit to Seattle or Vancouver.