Who says vacations are only for the summer? With bathing-suit season a thing of the distant past, there are still plenty of reasons to load up the car and fit in a weekend getaway with your main squeeze or best friends this winter.

With the holiday season upon us, and tons of exciting and festive events on the horizon, why not pay our province's sweet little capital a visit?

Not just bunnies and old people out here, guys! Victoria, BC actually has a lot going for it. Granted, Vic feels more like a glorified village than a city - but in a good way. Quaint and picturesque with a lovely marina, Victoria is the perfect option for a winter-time getaway. Only a short surprisingly-slow-but-beautiful ferry ride away, these winter attractions are well worth the trip:

via @thebutchartgardens

Buchart Gardens Magic Of Christmas // 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay

Buchart Gardens, the world-famous National Historic site, is worth a visit year-round, but is fully decked out with lights each December, turning into a horticultural wonderland. Running from December 1st to January 6th, 'Magic of Christmas' features a stunning light display, an outdoor iceskating rink, a beautiful carousel, and festive meals.


Island Farm Santa's Light Parade // Government Street

This cherished annual event draws thousands to Victoria's downtown core; starting at Government Street from Victoria's Inner Harbour at Belleville, the parade features marching bands, stunning floats and good cheer. This year, the parade is on November 26th, at 5:45pm. Following the parade check out the festivities at Centennial Square:

via @tourismvictoriabc

Centennial Square Ferris Wheel // Centennial Square

Go to Centennial Square for the big ol' holiday ferris wheel (beginning November 26th), for the very best views of downtown all covered in festive lights. With food trucks, bands, and night-long entertainment, you're not going to want to miss Santa officially declaring the start of Christmas in Victoria.

via @everydayvictoriabc

Marina Light Up // Inner Harbour Marinas

Held in conjunction with the events at Centennial Square, on November 26th at dusk Victoria's Inner Harbour, Wharf Street, and Fisherman's Wharf marinas will be officially lit up. Grab some hot coco and witness an already beautiful marina come to life with holiday cheer.

via @kurtbronson

Victoria Tuba Christmas // Market Square

See more than 65 tuba players from across the world come together in Victoria's Market Square. This year the event will be Saturday, December 10th from 1pm-3pm.


Victoria Festival of Trees // The Bay Centre and The Fairmount Empress

Visit the Bay Centre or the ever-stunning Empress to see their forests of beautifully decorated Christmas trees. Decorated by sponsors, local businesses, organizations and individuals, the trees range in decor, some more silly or irreverent than others - but all worth the visit. Visitors are encouraged to donate to vote for their favourite tree, with funds raised going straight to the BC Children's Hospital Foundation. Come support child health in our province starting November 16, 2016 to January 05, 2017.


Take in the lights around the city// The Empress and beyond

Basically all of Victoria transforms come December. Go for a walk through downtownand take advantage of how small the city is. You can see most of these attractions on foot, so whether you're in Victoria for good or hopping on over for a weekend, you'll be able to take in enough holiday spirit to tide you over 'till next December.


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