Vancouver Island Wine Tours

Did you know that there are more than 20 wineries in the Vancouver Island region?  I didn’t.  Not until I stumbled across a wine tour while looking for limo services in Victoria.

I haven’t tried many Vancouver Island wines yet.  Cherry Point Vineyards is in Cobble Hill, just up the street from our venue.  I have popped by there for a quick tasting in the past and left with a bitter taste in my mouth.  Apparently, they have won awards as a newer vineyard in the region, so maybe I should give them a second chance.

If you have a free afternoon, you may want to do a wine tour while you are in town.  There are plenty of reputable vineyards right in the Cowichan Valley that offer tastings and food:

Grand Wine Tours and Crush Wine Tours offer day food and wine tasting trips in the Cowichan Valley starting at around $89.  TI Executive Limo has a Grand Wine & Culinary Package via limo for $109pp.

You can find a downloadable map (above) and more info about the Vancouver Island Wine Regions at the Wine Islands Vinters Association.

Benvenuto

With themes changing each season, Butchart Gardens, originally named Benvenuto, is a flower lover’s and photographer’s paradise. Nestled on 55 acres in Brentwood Bay, the gardens is a lovely place to spend an afternoon. Pack a picnic, hop on the Mill Bay Ferry and you will be there in about 35 minutes. Or if you are in Victoria, it is about 15 minutes north.

Welcome to Butchart Gardens, Flickr photo by Donnali



Summer Gardens, Photo courtesy of Garden Web

Photo by “Mary” on Flickr

Wedding Season
If you are a bride getting married in the winter months (Jan 15-March 31) on Vancouver Island, Butchart Gardens is now open for small wedding parties of 60 or less.

Fireworks
Every Saturday night throughout the summer, there is a beautiful fireworks display just after the sun goes down. On August 9, we will be able to see the fireworks across the bay around 9:15.

Fireworks over the bay, Flickr photo by Bob & Nadia

A spot of tea
Enjoying afternoon tea while visiting Victoria is apparently a check point on a visitor’s to-do list. Since I live in Vancouver year round, I have never really found the time to enjoy this myself. If this is your thing, Butchart offers afternoon tea year round in their dining room.


Afternoon tea, Flickr photo by Mikamika

Parksville Beach Festival

I have yet to visit Parksville personally but everyone I know, who has played there raves about the sandy beaches that stretch on for miles.  On August 8-10, the 2008 Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition will be in full swing and the festival will continue on until summer ends.

Living Tree Sculpture, originally uploaded by rhymehatcher.

Parksville is about an hour north of Mill Bay, so if you are interested you could spend part of the day there checking out some of the amazing sculptures like the Living Tree above.