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GET OUTTA TOWN: VICTORIA

GET OUTTA TOWN: VICTORIA

A gay guide to the perfect weekend getaway to gorgeous Victoria

When it comes to a quick weekend getaway, it doesn’t get much better (or easier) than Victoria. A scenic harbour, along with world-class restaurants and hotels are just a quick flight from downtown Vancouver.

GETTING THERE

There’s only one way to arrive in Victoria in style – Helijet. With 10 flights a day, Helijet gets you from downtown Vancouver to the Victoria Harbour in a mere 35 minutes (gorgeous aerial views of the gulf islands are an added bonus) – meaning you can leave work on Friday and make it to Victoria with time to spare for your dinner reservations (and come on, how often do you get to post to Instagram from a helicopter).

STAYING THERE

Enjoy the suite life at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. Even their smallest rooms have a full living room, separate bedroom and spacious patio (i.e., bigger than most Yaletown apartments). Steps from downtown, the hotel features resort-like amenities like a garden lobby, full spa, state-of-the art fitness centre and 25-metre lap pool. Bonus PINQ points: you can request the room Sir Elton John stayed in on his last trip to Victoria (true story!). Extra bonus PINQ points: Parkside is also a gold sponsor of Victoria Pride!

DINING THERE

Victoria has an ever-burgeoning food scene and is earning a reputation as a destination for fab foodies. While newcomer Agrius is currently the hotspot du jour (seriously, even Alexandra Gill raved about it), it was chef Kunal Ghose who blew us away at Fishhook. At first glance, Fishhook looks like a quick-serve sandwich spot, but as tasty as their tartines (open-faced sandwiches) are, it’s the rest of the menu that truly shines. Chef Ghose combines local and sustainable seafood with Indian influences to offer a daily fish curry, a spicy smoked fish and coconut seafood chowder and coconut curry mussels that are some of the best we’ve had, all paired with a list of local beers and BC wines. Open until 9 pm, Fishhook is a must-try for a casual lunch or dinner.

PLAYING THERE

If you’re looking for a reason to visit Victoria, Victoria Pride is just around the corner. The festivities begin June 30, culminating with the Pride Parade and Festival on Sunday, July 10. Share the love with tens of thousands of locals and visitors (just think of all the new faces on Grindr) and then close out your weekend at the White Party at Paparazzi Nightclub.

And that’s how you do a weekend in Victoria.