Saturday, April 30, 2011

Little Qualicum Falls near Coombs Vancouver Island

Little Qualicum Falls is not far from Parksville and even closer to Coombs on Vancouver Island. It is so beautiful and in the spring the water is raging. There is a circular route from the parking lot to the lower falls, then the upper falls and back to the parking lot. Walking steadily, it might take you 30 to 40 minutes, but you will want to stop often to take pictures. This is one of many quality photo ops on Vancouver Island. Enjoy. For more pictures of this incredible area go to our Facebook page. Check out Coombs on our website.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Cordova Bay Golf Course Victoria BC

Cordove Bay is one of the better golf courses in greater Victoria. I used to be a very good golfer when I was young and appreciated golf courses that challenged me. Now I feel like those championship course just beat me up. I am a recreational golfer and like a course that doesn't beat me up. I leave that to my sister..."down the middle" Sandy. Cordova Bay is such a course. The holes are not to long, well laid out and very well groomed. The rough, sand traps and water....add some challenge, but not too much. This is a great course. Give it a try. They have great food in their restaurant, the staff are accommodating and friendly and the course is ready. It is not a private course. Call in or book online.
For more pictures check out our
facebook page. For info and links to Victoria and Vancouver Island Golf Courses, click here.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Butterfly Gardens Event - Victoria BC

Tonight Butterfly Gardens hosted a "Caribbean Party" and hosted members from the hospitality and tourism industry. Appetizers were provided by Truffles Catering. The Sea Cider Ciderhouse and Farm had samples of their products as did the Canoe Brewpub. The purpose was to introduce the new displays and the gardens to people who deal with tourists coming to Victoria. It was an amazing evening as you will see when you look through these pictures. If you have not been to the Butterfly Gardens in a while, it is time to return. It is better than ever. Well done Butterfly Gardens. For more pictures, check out our Facebook Page.

101 Plus Things to Do - Victoria BC

Todays suggestion from our web page of 100 plus things to do on Vancouver Island is to go Whale Watching.

Whale Watching is a "must do" for most people visiting Vancouver Island. The od...ds of seing a whale, particularly between the months of May to September are very good (in the 80-90% range). That is because three resident pods (J,K, L) spend their spring and summers in local waters. In addition you can see transient Orcas (Killer Whales- the ones that eat seal, sea lions and fish), grey whales, minke whales, humpback whales, and much more!Check our Facebook page for many more photos of Whales in the waters around Vancouver Island.

Welcome to Whale Country.
Find a good Whale Tour Company here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Great Picnic Spot - Inner Harbour Victoria BC

On a warml summer day this is probably one of the best spots in Victoria for a picnic. You just have to be the first person there. Only one table but what a view. From here you can watch the harbour traffic come and go - pleasure craft, the Coho Ferry, float planes by to dozen, whale watching charters,kayakers, the 3-hour sail, fishing charters, fish boats, the coast guard, Helijet to Vacouver and much much more! You can also see the Olympic Mountains across Juan de Fuca Strait and watch marine vessels and cruise ships come into the Port of Victoria. It is truly amazing what happens here on any given day. Check out our facebook page for more photos and "Like Us" while you are there and win!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Contest - Win a Book

Rather than hide some Easter eggs for you, I have created a contest. Please visit our facebook page for details and how to enter. You could win a book. It is our insider's guide to Southern Vancouver Island. We call it the Best Kept Secrets of Victoria. Tell us the location of the picture above. Be sure to go to our facebook page.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Downtown Public Markets - Bastion Square and Centennal Square Victoria BC

You can tell that spring has arrived when the public markets open up downtown!

Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from now until October 15th, Bastion Square is transformed into a colourful and eclectic European-style artisan's showcase and open-air marketplace; vendors sell original paintings and prints, stained glass, multi-media jewelry, woodwork, pottery, herbal soaps, clothing and accessories, and so much more.

Many artisans will be demonstrating their work on-site from 11am on.
On May 1st, the popular Government Street Market moves into Centennial Square, to offer its exciting assortment of crafts, locally-designed clothing, imports, food, and entertainment, as well as a farmer's market. The "Sunday Market in the Square" will run from May until September 25th, every Sunday from 11 am - 4:30 pm.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Washing State Ferry Runing from Sidney BC to Anacortes

The Washington State Ferry Chelan runs once daily between Annacortes Washington and Sidney BC on Vancouver Island. These photos are of things and sights we saw along the way. The Ferry ride takes three house including a short stop in Friday Harbour. It is less expensive that the BC Ferry from Vancouver Island to Vancouver BC. So you might want to give it consideration when coming to Victoria and Vancouver Island. It is a beautiful route and is very protected throughout the passage. Most of the time you are in the American San Juan Islands. Enjoy the photos and be sure to read the captions. For more pictures, visit our Facebook Page and Like Us while you are there....and by Liking Us, you will be entered in a draw for a Free Insider Guide to Southern Vancouver Island (called Best Kept Secrets of Victoria).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Record snow at Mount Washington -Closing for the season

Photo Credit: Mount Washington Alpine Resort

If you want to ski or snowboard at Mount Washington, this weekend is your last chance to hit the slopes. The final weekend of the snowiest season on record sees the resort reopen this Friday, April 22nd through to Easter Monday on April 25th.

“We've seen more snow fall on the mountain this winter than any other on record,” explains resort spokesperson Brent Curtain. “Our total snowfall accumulation to date is over 1840 centimetres, which surpasses our previous record of 1835 centimetres in the 1998-99 season.”

The old record fell last week when a significant weather system moved through the region. The system dumped over 40 centimetres of new snow onto Mount Washington's slopes. The La Nina weather phenomenon, which was predicted in early fall, brought a barrage of snow early to the mountain in November and never let up.

“Even with snow settling and less frequent snowfall over the last two weeks, the amount of snow we have up here for late April is amazing,” adds Curtain.

Ideal late season conditions have enabled the resort to keep its Ozone Snowtubing Park, Nordic Centre, and Sunset Ski programs running right up until the final weekend.

“You can still go cross-country skiing, night ski, or slide down the lanes in our Tubing Park in near perfect snow conditions,” says Director of Business Operations Don Sharpe. “This will also be the last weekend for our Green Chair, the longest serving chairlift on the mountain.”

The venerable Green Chair is the anchor of Mount Washington's Green Zone learners area and was installed when the mountain began operations back in 1979. The mountain will remove the lift this summer and there are plans already in place for a whole new look for next season.

“Our main goal is to make the new Green Zone as user-friendly and accessible as possible,” explains Sharpe. “If you want to ride the Green Chair one more time for nostalgia's sake, now is the time to do it!”

Mount Washington's last weekend is jam-packed full of great events which includes the two-day Monster Rail Jam-o-rama beginning Friday evening and an Easter Egg Hunt on Sunday. Don't forget that the first two stages, the alpine and nordic legs, of the Royal LePage Snow to Surf Race take place on the mountain on May 1.

For all the details on Mount Washington's final weekend of the season, surf to

Mount Washington Alpine Resort's final weekend of winter operations takes place April 22-25. The resort is located 30 minutes above The Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. WestJet, Central Mountain Air, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and Island Express service the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ). To find out about accommodation and package information, call Mount Washington Alpine Resort at 1-888-231-1499 toll free or locally at 250-338-1386. Surf to for additional information including our live snow cam.

Bear Mountain Golf Course and Golf Academy Victoria BC

Photo courtesy of Bear Mountain.

One of the best golf courses on Vancouver Island is Bear Mountain...there are actually 2 - 18-hole golf courses - the mountain course that features the 19th hole shown above and the Valley Course. My favourite is the Valley Course because every hole looks like a signature hole to me. John and Lori Randall are the pros that run the golf academy at Bear Mountain. They are two of the best instructors around. My wife Linda and I have taken some lessons from Lori and she was great! Check out Bear Mountain soon.

Junction Artist Market at Whippletree Junction near Duncan BC

The Junction Artist Market opened April 17th. This is NOT just another market -- It's like a Fair with workshops for the kids, Strolling Entertainers, and Special Interactive Events for the Whole Family. And they will be DIFFERENT, EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY!

Each and Every Artist will Dazzle you with their Abilities and Personality.

EACH AND EVERY VISITOR has at least one chance to WIN our Weekly Door Prize!

There will be beautiful hand crafted art objects on display,yours to be bought or won.
There will be events that you can talk about all week long!

We are just one hour away from both Victoria and Nanaimo, so after your Sunday Brunch, head over to Whippletree Junction and get in on the fun!

Every Sunday April 17 to October 16 from 11AM to 5PM. Will we see you at the fair? Hope so.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Check out Current Swell - Tickets on sale now....

Check out this great group at Sugar, 858 Yates Street...doors open at 9: pm, tickets $20 available at Lyle's Place.

Golden City Seafood Restaurant - 721 Fisgard Street Downtown Victoria

Last night I attended a familiarization dinner at the Golden City Seafood Restaurant - 721 Fisgard Street Downtown Victoria. The purpose of the dinner was to educate and demonstrate to members of the Victoria Guest Services Network how different and special a Chinese dinner could be. As Daniel Low, our host stated...."no chow main, no chop suey". His mission was to show our members how the restaurants chefs could prepare and present a different Chinese dinner experience to visitors coming to Victoria. All guest have to do is call the restaurant or have a hotel concierge contact the restaurant and indicate that they would like to have a different and special dinner. Golden City will custom make a menu that features local specialties and local cuisine. They can also accommodate dietary restrictions guests may have. The restaurant also serves traditional menu items, but after experiencing the dinner Daniel presented, I would certainly recommend his approach. The food was delicious and very well presented. Our mouths were watering before we dug in.

If you check our
Facebook page you will see more pictures of the restaurant and the unique dishes that were presented. The signature dish was Sauteed Prawns with pees and Honey Glazed Walnuts. The seafood was very fresh and super tasty. Every dish we had was very good.

Golden City is a large, well lighted and bright and clean restaurant that is tastefully decorated. There is ample space for large parties. The service was excellent and I would certainly recommend the delicious food.

Members of the Victoria Guest Services Network are all front line staff working in the hospitality sector. Through these kinds of sessions members learn first hand about services available to visitors to Victoria.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa Victoria BC

You can breathe in the fresh ocean air and take in amazing views of the Inner Harbour while staying in the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa in Victoria. The hotel is located next to the blue draw bridge that leads into the heart of downtown Victoria. The Harbour Ferry also stops at the Hotel. Tour the harbour and Fisherman's Wharf on these cute little Ferries. The hotel has excellent service and plenty of amenities. Hotel guest rooms in the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa offers guest comfort and style. However, for a more memorable stay in the hotel, guests can choose to stay in the Signature Club Guest Room where unobstructed views of the harbor can be seen from your room. These rooms also offer the best in travel services and luxuriously upgraded amenities. Guests in the Signature Club Guest Room can access and enjoy the services offered in the Signature Club Lounge. The Delta also has a fine restaurant, the LURE Restaurant and Lounge, as well as a fully equipped spa to entertain guests. Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort & Spa have all the entertainment needs for their guests within the hotel with their Recreation Centre that offers an Indoor Solarium Pool, Sauna, Hot Tub, Fitness Facility and Racquet and Squash Courts. Directly outside the hotel is the Victoria Harbor and local tourist attractions. We suggest you give it a try.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Don Mee Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown - Victoria BC

My aunt recently hosted a 21st birthday party for her grandson Tyler at Don Mee's Restaurant in Chinatown. If you have never been there before, it is a traditionally decorated Chinese Restaurant that is large and clean. The service was excellent and the food delicious. If you are looking for something reliable, consider Don Mee's.

Don Mee Seafood Restaurant has been in the heart of Chinatown in Victoria for over 80 years. It has established a tradition of dining that has been passed on through generation after generation. Don Mee's lively and vibrant atmosphere is sure to make your dining experience a memorable one whether you're enjoying our daily dim sum lunch or celebrating a special occasion. Check it out and find out why people from all over the world keep coming back to the Don Mee Seafood Restaurant!

Monday, April 11, 2011

View Royal - Great Canadian Casino

Photo courtesy of the Casino

Tonight we attended the monthly meeting of the Victoria Guest Services Network which is comprised of front line staff from the tourism service industry. The meetings are moved around greater Victoria to help members learn more about the services available to visitors coming to our city. Our host, the Great Canadian Casino presented to the meeting educating us about there unique tourism attraction. They presented us with a slot tournament which was very exciting. Linda, who generally is not lucky managed to win the tournament. From now on she will be known as Lucky Linda. Presentations were also made by Adrenaline Zipline Adventure Tours which is on the way to Sooke. The video wet our appetites to get out there and give it a try. Looks like fun and Jonathon sure did a great job of promoting all that they have and also what is in the areal. Sharon from Butterfly Gardens also presented. We have been to Butterfly Gardens many times but it sounds like many changes are in the wind, so we will need to get back out there. We are scheduled to visit Adrenaline May 3rd. Stand by for a report on their attraction. Thanks to all, and especially Great Canadian Casino. They were great hosts and everyone in attendance will remember the excitement of the evening! If you have never been there, for an evening of fun and excitement, give it a try. I was amazed that the staff there encourage us to "cash out" when we win jackpots. Good advice! Thanks We went home with a positive cash flow! Check out facebook for more photos and captions.

Tofino - Long Beach A mystical part of Vancouver Island

Check out Tofino and find out why this area is my favourite area on Vancouver Island. We refer to it as Long Beach, a peninsula with Ucluelet at one end and Tofino at the other. So much to see and do. Whale watching is spectacular. Marine tours amazing. Hot Springs Cove, Meares Island, Cougar Annie's, Radar Hill, a unique golf course, spectacular local food, great accommodations - am I missing anything. You bet....check it out....if you do nothing else while on Vancouver Island. I call this area mystical. Visit and find out why. This is my number one recommendation if you have never been there before. It should be on everyone's bucket list. Check out our Facebook page for more photos and be sure to read the captions.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bon Rouge Restaurant in Downtown Victoria BC

Our visit to Bon Rouge restaurant was a pleasant surprise. There has been a restaurant at that location for years but we never went in. When we heard about it, we thought we would give it a try. We are so glad we did. The service was very good. Our waiter was very helpful and knew the menu well. He recommended a great wine. The food was delicious. Bon Rouge advertises that they offer an authentic Parisian Bistro experience, showcasing fresh local produce, seafood, game, cheese, wine and microbrews along with Old World decor and ambiance. The restaurant is located in a renovated 1920's building, only steps away from the popular picturesque Government Street and Victoria's spectacular Inner Harbour. Chic, yet relaxed, Bon Rouge offers french-inspired comfort food to indulge the senses. Our appetizers, main courses and deserts were to die for. We really enjoyed the visit and recommend it to all our friends. For more details, see the pictures of the food and restaurant on our Facebook page and if that doesn't convince you to give it a try, well we feel sorry for you! Located on the corner of Courtenay Street and Gordon St.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Race Rocks Light Station - superb scuba diving and more.

If you are looking for an ecological experience unsurpassed, you will want to go to Race Rocks. Many of the local whale watching tours often go to Race Rocks when whales are nearby but also go there when they cannot find whales because it is such a great experience. There are hoards of seals and sealions on and around Race Rocks as well as many sea birds. Below the surface is a world that surpasses Butchart Gardens. It is my favourite diving sight in this area.

For more pictures and a detailed description of the undersea life at Race Rocks please follow the link to our facebook page. While on Facebook, be sure to "LIKE US". You can also read additional information on our web site.