By Suzanne Ellison
Victoria
Canada
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Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is known by many as the "Top City in the Americas."  So full of life, you are likely to run out of time before seeing everything this fabulous area has to offer.  Located on spectacular Vancouver Island, the pulse of the city is hard to miss.  In this wonderfully mild climate, your kids can run wild as they discover what so many before them have; Victoria is a perfect mix of entertainment and relaxation.

While planning your trip to Victoria, EscapeWizard.com highly recommends you spend some time exploring Hatley Castle.  Completed in 1908, Hatley Castle sits nestled on the grounds of Hatley Park.  Housing a wonderful museum, Hatley Castle is also a popular destination at for seasonal celebrations such as Christmas. Though, once a military college that was known as Royal Roads Military College, in 1995 the former ceased to exist and became the Royal Roads University.

The fact that Victoria is located on Vancouver Island; your options for arrival are varied.  Inner Harbour offers boarding jetties for both Canadian and United States airlines that utilize the Victoria Inner Harbour Airport.  Let EscapeWizard.com simplify your travel by clicking on (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php).  Just 22 km north of Victoria, you will find Victoria International Airport (YYJ) located on the Saanich Peninsula.  

Because Victoria hosts such a mild climate with warmer and drier weather than the rest of Canada, year-round golfers can enjoy over fifty courses that are tucked away in mountain, coastal and lake view areas.  Private country club or public course, Vancouver Island is a golfer's paradise offering several tailored golf vacation packages.

Smuggler's Cove offers pristine water, just perfect for a day of Kayaking.  One of many hidden coves, you will see wildlife and other secluded spots worth a stop.  Juan de Fuca Strait, just a little southwest, will take you to the Pacific Ocean and to Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park; but it's Victoria's Inner Harbour that allows paddlers to begin their trip right from the downtown area.

Inner Harbour's waters are normally calm and just a short five minutes walk from downtown Victoria.  A good place to find your home-away-from-home is by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).  From cozy cottages to high-end hotels, The Inner Harbour has it all along with shops and restaurants all within walking distance.  Old English architecture graces the shoreline and a popular, two-tiered walkway.  Enjoy a cup of coffee while listening to local musicians or indulge in a horse-drawn carriage ride.  

And then there's Whale Watching: By boat, the best time to view Orcas (Killer Whales), is from May to October.  These magnificent mammals entertain visitors with their variations of breaching and songs that radiate from the water below.  Pacific Gray Whales can be seen migrating north during the months of March and April.  If you are a land-lubber, you can still partake with the help of mounted telescopes in the area of Long Beach.  Many Pacific Grays will spend their summers feeding in the waters surrounding Vancouver Island.  Other sea-life includes the wonderful Humpback Whales, Pacific White-sided Dolphins and Harbour Porpoises.
 
And just when you think you've seen it all; there is still Symphony Splash as another great attraction in the city.  Taking place every August, Victoria's Inner Harbor is transformed into a concert venue of huge proportions.  Set up on a barge across from the Parliament Buildings, the Orchestra and other entertainers accompanied by monstrous speakers, draw thousands of visitors and locals alike.  The largest outdoor event in Canada, you will find outstanding food and souvenirs. This free event closes with the playing of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture by the Victoria Symphony and fireworks!

So whether it's castles or museums, kayaking, gardens or zoos, let EscapeWizard.com make your vacation to Victoria, British Columbia one you will never forget! 
Hotels in Victoria
By Sandy O'Neal
Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour
728 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC
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When your travels take you to Victoria, British Columbia and you are looking for a fantastic place to stay, an excellent choice will be the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour. The hotel is within walking distance of the world famous Inner Harbour which has an array of things to see and do. If you are traveling to the area by air, the hotel is just 16 miles from the Victoria International Airport. It’s also just .2 mile from the Victoria Bus Terminal and 1 miles from the train station.  If you are traveling with your four legged friends, you will be pleased to know that pets are allowed with non-refundable deposit. Check in is at 4:00 p.m. and check out is noon.

The hotel boasts of 228 rooms and 8 suites sprawling 16 floors. All rooms offer a spectacular view of the city. Room amenities may vary depending on your room selection. Typical room amenities include 32” flat screen TV, high speed internet access with wireless capabilities, a writing desk, in-room safe, luxurious bathrobes, and a coffee/tea maker.

During your stay, keep up with your conditioning routing with a visit to the hotel fitness center. After that grueling workout, you may want to take a few minutes to sit in the whirlpool, sauna, or simply cool off in the solarium. When you’ve got some down time, enjoy an exhilarating swim in the indoor pool.

If you are looking for a location to host a conference, convention, or group meeting, look no further. The hotel has 5,000 square of meeting space and 10 meeting rooms that can be arranged to suit your needs. Certified event planners are on staff to make sure everything is perfect down to the last detail. 

Dining is available right on site. The Fire and Water Fish and Chop House is a warm and cozy place to enjoy an excellent meal in a casual environment. If you enjoy the outdoor climate in Victoria, you can dine on the patio at the Fire & Water Patio. At the end of the day, gather with friends and family and enjoy your favorite beverage at the Fire & Water Lounge.

When your travels take you to Victoria, British Columbia, the Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour is an excellent choice for your stay. EscapeWizard.com invites you book you room by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Victoria
By Sandy O'Neal
The Magnolia Hotel & Spa
623 Courtney Street, Victoria, BC
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The Magnolia Hotel & Spa in Victoria, B.C. is truly a magnificent boutique hotel. It is located in downtown Victoria within walking distance of the spectacular Inner Harbour where you will find an array of things to see and do. The hotel is a perfect choice for that destination spa or just a weekend getaway. It’s just 26 km from Victoria International Airport.

With just 64 rooms, you will find this hotel and spa quaint and charming. Your room selections include a superior room, superior corner level room, or diamond level room. The superior room offers 300 square feet of comfort and bliss. In the superior corner level rooms, you will enjoy 350 square feet of sophistication with a glimpse of the harbour. The diamond level rooms are on the top two floors and they feature gas fireplaces, ceilings over 10’ high with floor with floor to ceiling windows which make the view even more magnificent.  The guest room amenities include fresh fruit, bottled water, bed side chocolates, lavish bathrooms with marble floors and a deep soaking tub, luxurious bathrobes, imported coffee and teas, flat screen TV, and high speed internet access with wireless capabilities. 

Without a doubt, you will want to schedule a spa treatment at the Magnolia Spa during your stay. Staying in shape will be a breeze with a visit to the fitness center which has an infrared sauna. Every morning you will enjoy a scrumptious complimentary continental breakfast which includes coffee and tea, fruit juices, fresh waffles, baked goods, cereals and  granola, yogurt, as well as meats and cheeses.

Enjoy dining at the Prime Steakhouse which is adjacent to the hotel lobby. Here you can savor aged Prime beef, seafood, lamb, and poultry. The chefs use fresh local ingredients in their fare. You can also enjoy your favorite cocktail or glass of wine. 

If you want to schedule an impromptu meeting or intimate reception, the hotel is a perfect place. The hotel has over 1,000 square feet of space that can be arranged in a style that suits the needs of your meeting.

Plan your next destination spa excursion or weekend getaway with a trip to the Magnolia Hotel & Spa.  EscapeWizard.com invites you book you room by following this link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Victoria
By Keleigh M. Quinn
Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria
1999 Country Club Way Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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The Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria offers a true retreat for travelers of all ages. This resort offers stunning natural surroundings, endless activities and luxurious accommodations. Just twenty minutes away from Victoria, British Columbia, this resort is located on the Southern portion of Vancouver Island. Just a few miles away you will find the Craigdarroch Castle, the Maritime Museum of British Columbia and the Great Canadian Casino. However, the real attraction to this location is the outdoors. You can go whale watching, hiking, biking or kayaking. Enjoy a wine or beer tour or stroll along the waterfront. You can hike to the top of Mount Finlayson and take in the views or explore the several large parks in the area, as well as landscaped gardens.

Of course, many come to enjoy the activities located right on the resort. Golf enthusiasts will be thrilled to try out both of the 18 hole golf courses on the property, the Mountain Course and the Valley Course. Both courses are beautifully designed by Jack and Steve Nicklaus and provide extraordinary scenery and challenging play for golfers of all levels. If you’re not interested in golfing, you can spend your time at the Mountainside Athletic Club, which offers modern equipment and exercise classes. There is also an outdoor heated pool, a juice bar and the Sante Spa, offering numerous spa treatments, a mineral pool and complimentary teas and snacks.

The luxurious rooms offer a relaxing place to go after a day outside. You can choose rooms located right on the golf course, or one that provides easy access to the resort village. Some offer private balconies and scenic views. All of the rooms offer televisions, DVD players, complimentary high speed internet access and coffee makers.

There are also five restaurants on the property, including a Japanese restaurant. There are casual options, like the Masters Lounge, or you can dine in style at Panache, a steak house overlooking the 18th hole.

EscapeWizard.com can get you on your way to a truly fabulous vacation when you click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).
Hotels in Victoria
By Keleigh M. Quinn
Four Points by Sheraton Victoria Gateway
829 McCallum Road, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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Located just off of the Trans Canada Highway, and close to many exciting activities, the Four Points by Sheraton Victoria Gateway is a comfortable, yet modern, hotel with great access to the outdoors. This hotel provides a quiet, secluded location, yet is only 10 minutes from downtown Victoria. Explore your natural surroundings and head to Zipwest Eco Adventure Tours, Thetis Lake Provincial Park or Goldstream Provincial Park; there are also two wonderful golf courses just a few miles away. Take some time to learn more about the history of the area by visiting the Royal BC Museum or the Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse, or try your luck at the Great Canadian Casino, less than 4 miles from the hotel.

Of course, there is plenty of entertainment right at the hotel. You can take a relaxing swim in the indoor pool, soak in the hot tub or sit back in the sauna. There is also a fitness center, and even a Nintendo Wii to keep things interesting. Get some sub on the beautiful outdoor terraces, take a walk around the park, or go shopping just a few minutes away.

In addition to the wonderful restaurants nearby and in Victoria, you can also try a meal at West Coast Tap House, located right in the hotel. This restaurant, with a casual, pub-like atmosphere, is a favorite of guests and locals. Here you can enjoy one of the local beers, have dinner, and watch the big game on one of the many flat-screen televisions.

If you prefer, you can have the food delivered right to your room where you can eat while watching your very own 42” flat screen TV. You can choose a guest room that fits your needs, with one or two beds, a balcony and even a Jacuzzi tub. All of the rooms also offer complimentary high speed wireless internet access.

Explore the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort with EscapeWizard.com when you click here (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).