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Victoria a Place of the Heart...

Located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, the city of Victoria glitters like a jewel. Enclosed by t the Pacific Ocean, the city is a tourist delight, famous for its splendid architecture and lavish greenery. The surrounding island is a wilderness playground carpeted with forests and sprinkled with shimmering blue lakes . Victoria, British Columbia's capital, is located at the south end of Vancouver Island. Its population is approximately 300,000, suburbs included, with a distinct 19th Century feeling

The Downtown streets are lined with quaint restaurants and a selection of arts and crafts shops. The focal point of downtown Victoria is the Inner Harbour. A brief drive from Victoria, the Butchart Gardens blankets 50 acres of a deserted quarry which was transfigured by the Butchart family into a floral prominence .

The Empress Hotel is the heart of the Inner Harbour. The Victorian-era Parliament Buildings, overlooking the Inner Harbour, link a colorful past with the present. At night this legendary building lights the city with thousands of sparkling lights. A walk along Wharf Street in the heart of Old Town provides a look at many examples of Victorian architecture.

Stroll the famous Inner Harbour and visit the Victoria Marine Adventure Centre where you can access a wide variety of marine adventure services. Float planes charters, as well as, regular scheduled flights depart from the same area.

With Victoria's mild climate outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling and golf are year round activities. The game of cricket has been played in Victoria since 1858, with over 90 teams active in the area.

There are countless parks in the city with Beacon Hill Park being the most popular. With more than 184 acres, Beacon Hill supplies magnificent views of the ocean.

Another more than interesting spot is Craigdarroch Castle. Constructed from 1887-90, by the Coal Baron Robert Dunsmuir. The castle is lavished with period furnishings and breathtaking stained glass works. Crystal Gardens, across from the Victoria Conference Centre on Douglas Street has a wide variety of tropical birds and plant life indoors. A tropical paradise under glass.

Below is the scenic drive I took , of course stopping along the way at the different parks. Specutucular views. Also driving very slowly to try to get a glimpse of some very stately waterside homes. You can get info of this scenic drive and other scenic drives at the visitors centre.

One of the nicest scenic drives in Victoria is from the Waterfront to the Oak Island Marina.

VICTORIA ACCOMMODATIONS FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

ACCESS CANADA

Access Canada is a program designed to meet the needs of seniors and people with disabilities using accommodation in BC. Participating establishments will display the Access Canada logo with their designated level.

LEVEL 1 For active seniors and people with minor disabilities: LEVEL 2 For seniors and people with moderate disabilities. LEVEL 3 For people with advanced agility, hearing, mobility and vision disabilities, independent wheelchair users LEVEL 4 For people with severe disabilities

LEVEL 1 ACCOMMODATIONS IN GREATER VICTORIA Chateau Victoria Harbour Towers Super 8 Motel

LEVEL 2 ACCOMMODATIONS IN GREATER VICTORIA

Clarion Hotel Grand Pacific Ocean Pointe Resort Pitcairn House B&B Quality Inn Harbourview Stan 'N Save Motor Inn

Victoria Regent Hotel-This is the Hotel I recommend and personally stayed here. It is recommended for seniors and those with moderate disability. They had good facilities and super attitude. You felt very safe and secure. Added feature was underground parking, one block away from downtown. On the waterfront. They also had just a darling breakfast room with the happiest staff I ever have met. All staff was excellent.. Give them A for attitude.

LEVEL 3 ACCOMMODATIONS IN GREATER VICTORIA Coast Harbourside Hotel

A popular pastime while visiting the Island is to take an ocean cruise, and there are many possibilities for your enjoyment. You can take a leisurely morning, afternoon or evening dinner cruise, or to one of the many Gulf Islands just off-shore, or you can charter for a days fishing or whale watching .

Several pods of Killer Whales make their home around the San Juan and Gulf Islands and at the on the west coast of the island. The waters surrounding Southern Vancouver Island are home to three pods of killer whales. Known as the Southern residents, they total over 100 individuals. Although killer whales, or Orcas, do not migrate, they are most consistently seen in these waters during the summer months, as the salmon, a main part of their diet, are returning from the Pacific.

I recommend Able II Charters for whale watching. They have 44 LOA boats which are comfortable , safe and wheelchair accessible. Heated washrooms and on board naturalist. Also a really neat thing is an onboard hydro phones so you can listen to the whales under the water.

Whale watching is a must when you visit Victoria!!

Victoria a place of the past yet in touch with the future. A place of magnificent beauty and yet simple pleasures, a place to find an activity and yet serenity as well. A place of beauty of scenery but also beauty of the heart. Certainly a place to visit and enjoy this treasure, called Victoria

Contact Information Victoria Tourist Bureau - 250.953.2033 Victoria Regent Hotel - 1.800.663.7472 Hertz Rental Cars - 1.800.263.0600 Able 11 Charters - - 250.597.7386

Jane Danielson is a Freelance Writer for the Disabled and Poet and has been published in extensively in Canada and United States. She became mobility disabled 13 years ago and uses a cane, wheelchair and electric scooter Jane believes that traveling is a prescription for a healthy optimistic outlook, especially for the disabled but really for everyone. Some of Jane’s articles include Camping in a National Park and, Whale Watching on Brier Island, Fun in Florida and Healing Powers of Hawaii. Her travel articles always look at the positive experience of traveling, with a realization of the obstacles that must be overcome to achieve this experience. Email: Jane@disabled-traveler.com


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