Nestled atop a 50-foot bluff along the steel-blue waters of Dungeness Bay, Juan de Fuca Cottages overlooks the Dungeness Spit that teems with lush plant life, waterfowl, shorebirds, and seals. In the distance, the New Dungeness Lighthouse stoically guides ships, and the Olympic Mountains rub their jagged, snow-peaked backs against the horizon. With many cottages and suites sporting amenities such as whirlpool tubs, fireplaces, and full kitchens, Juan de Fuca Cottages assure relaxation and leisure amongst a landscape brimming with natural beauty. While the cottages keep guests cozy, the staff's mission is to get their guests out among the wild splendor throughout the seasons with onsite rentals of kayaking, biking, and snowshoeing equipment. The new addition of the Dungeness Bay Lodge also opens the region's effulgence of flora and fauna for parties, weddings, or pet-naming ceremonies.
Seasoned charioteers at Black Beauty Line navigate winding routes past Victoria’s most picturesque locales. The average 30-minute tour circles the neo-baroque Parliament buildings that border the Inner Harbour and clip-clops toward historic James Bay Village. Riders can snuggle under provided quilts as buggies glide past sites such as the Heritage Homes, whose snowy veils on winter rides melt away for spring rides to reveal manicured gardens and groggy lawn ornaments. Along the way, charioteers impart tales and tidbits about the tour attractions, and good-naturedly pose for photos after the ride. The well-kept carriages are also available for private event rental, often for weddings. Owner Rebecca Spray brings 30 years of caring for horses to Black Beauty Line. As a member of Carriage Operators of North America, she ensures that horses are healthy, well groomed, and not actually a horse impersonator looking for real-world experience. Pets are welcome to come along for the ride, and everyone must make reservations before the tour.
Though CVS Cruise Victoria's fleet of biofuel-powered coaches are adept at getting passengers from point A to point B, they do even more. Besides making regular trips to tourist-friendly sites in the city, the company’s multitalented drivers also narrate sightseeing tours of picturesque and interesting spots endemic to Victoria's history. During the daily Butchart Gardens tour, for instance, drivers fill passengers in on the gardens’ background story before letting them wander its stone paths and foliage-lined streams for two hours. Passengers on the 90-minute deluxe Victoria city tour get to know the city by visiting Old Town, Chinatown, Antique Row, and other iconic spots. Beyond trips for the public, the company’s 29- to 56-seat motorcoaches also provide private charter service to events ranging from sports games to multiday excursions to the grocery store.
The Salish Sea hosts one of the largest killer-whale gatherings on the planet. From its three large pods of fish-eating resident orcas to the pods of transient orcas that hunt for larger mammalian game, the Salish's waters often churn with a flurry of activity. Five Star's captains give passengers a glimpse of this underwater entertainment by charting courses through the sea's whale-filled waters atop stable catamarans outfitted with four separate viewing platforms. From these lookouts, guests may spot the black and white behemoths, as well as mink, gray, and humpback whales and other marine life. Between sightings, crews keep parties comfortable within the heated cabin by supplying them with complimentary coffee, hot chocolate, and liquefied Herman Melville novels.
During the warmer months, Victoria's streets teem with Big Bus Victoria's fleet, making their daily stops around the city's sites. Customers hop aboard for 90-minute hop-on-hop-off tours that trek down a route that wends past Victoria's most compelling attractions, enabling guests to create flexible sightseeing outings that proceed at a convenient pace. Tour captains take passengers past city landmarks such as Empress Hotel, Legislative Building, and Craigdarroch Castle, letting passengers spring out of their seats before picking up ticket-holders and tumbleweeds eager to make their way across the city.