For Day 2 of our Victoria 3-day trip, the plan was to see the sights along the coast. We headed out of downtown in the morning and drove westward along Island Highway/BC-1A W to Sooke Potholes Provincial Park. It was about an hour drive. A brisk walk brought us to a spot where we could look down at the river and its natural potholes.
Leaving from Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, a 45-minute drive brought us to China Beach. We walked the 15-20 minute trail down to the beach. It wasn’t very difficult but it does get steep at some parts, so be sure to wear sturdy shoes! Stepping out from the forest onto the sand was amazing. The waves hit the pebbly beach and the shoreline seemed go on as far as the eye could see. An eagle glided gracefully above us and perched atop a tree, balancing perfectly in the wind. There weren’t a lot of people and the few were strolling along, enjoying the scenery.
For our next stop, we drove another 45 minutes from China Beach to Botanical Beach Provincial Park. I highly recommend coming here! A short 15 minute walk from the parking lot was all it took to reach this beautiful place. Black basalt and tide pools housed various marine life. The wind was quite strong, so we sat down to relax and take in the rhythmic waves.
In the early evening, we drove back eastward for almost 2 hours to reach Esquimalt Lagoon. You can drive along a road where the lagoon is on one side and the Strait of Juan de Fuca is on the other. There were different types of birds resting by the lagoon as it is a migratory bird sanctuary. I can see why locals would enjoy spending a nice afternoon here on the beach.
Leaving the peaceful Lagoon, it was only a half hour drive back to downtown Victoria where we parked the car. Again, street parking is free on weekends. I read superb reviews about Red Fish Blue Fish, so we walked down to Victoria’s Inner Harbour where the waterfront eatery was located. It was around dinner time and there was a long line, but that’s a normal sight for this place. We queued for close to an hour before reaching the ordering counter and another 15 minutes or so to get our food.
Seating is outdoor on the deck and we enjoyed our seafood chowder, fish and chips and albacore tuna tacone. It felt great to eat delicious seafood by the water. If you have time, I recommend queuing up to try their food!
As we were finishing our food, we watched the sun start to set. It was the perfect time to go on an evening stroll to see the night lights. The Fairmont Empress and Parliament Building were lit up, casting a warm glow in the evening sky. Street performers brought up the energy and the area was bustling. It was a great atmosphere to be in as we walked back to our hotel for the night.