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Royal BC Museum hosts sleepover this weekend for families

Tourism in Victoria has never looked better, partially thanks to the latest exhibition in the Royal B.C. Museum: Race to the End of the Earth. Not only is the Antarctic showcase boosting attendance at the prestigious museum, but it's significantly increasing the number of visitors to this region of B.C., according to the Times Colonist. Rob Gialloreto, Tourism Victoria president, told the news source that 2013 is anticipated to have a 1.5 per cent increase – or more – in hotel occupancy, compared to last year.

"For the first time probably in the last five years, we are not just cautiously optimistic, we are flat out optimistic for the summer," Gialloreto told the news outlet.

He also shared the excitement surrounding the exhibition, and that many guests, visiting from nearby Victoria boutique hotels like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, have stated that it's the type of display that they need to come and explore more than once because of its sheer volume of unique artifacts.

This weekend, Victoria News reports that the museum will host a family sleepover once the institution closes inside the new exhibition. Among the festivities, attendees will get to listen in on a live phone conversation with Becky Goodsell, who's situated at Base Scott in Antarctica.

Victoria plans to honour 60th anniversary of royal coronation

Victoria is known across Canada as one of the most English-inspired cities in the country. With a culture, style and atmosphere that is decidedly European, the metropolis fully embraces its role as a beacon of old-world elegance – so it's only right that the city hosts a special celebration to honour the British monarchy. The Point Ellice House will host a Garden Party to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. 

A full day of festivities is scheduled for June 1. Although this is technically the day before the anniversary, the party won't be any less festive. Visitors who book stays at a local accommodation like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa can enjoy the elegant decor of the hotel before making the trip to the Point Ellice House for the festivities. 

The Point Ellice House is the perfect setting for a royal celebration. Meticulously preserved since its construction in 1861, the home has long been one of the most stunning structures in all of Victoria. Its extensive gardens and grounds will serve as the backdrop for the English party, so guests will have an opportunity to tour the house and grounds, listen to speakers or enjoy an afternoon tea. 

Catch the action at the Swiftsure International Yacht Race

One of the most intense races in the Pacific Northwest is returning to Victoria at the end of May. The 2013 running of the Swiftsure International Yacht Race will grace the Victoria inner harbour with its presence May 25 to 27, giving travellers and locals a chance to check out the action while soaking up the gorgeous coastal landscape of the city. 

The 70th annual race will bring participants and spectators to some of the most stunning spots in the B.C. capital. Starting at the Victoria waterfront and zipping across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, this beloved contest should add an element of friendly competition to the good-natured pastime. 

Visitors who are staying at a local Victoria boutique hotel like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa can stroll down to the inner harbour and check out the race, which runs from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. There are a number of spots along the waterfront that offer a perfect view of the action, so you can sip on locally made craft brews and delicious meals without ever taking your eyes off the competition. 

New exhibit opens at Royal BC Museum

When travellers book stays at a Victoria boutique hotel like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, they're often too caught up in the elegance of the city to worry about things like happenings in the far corners of the world. However, you'll soon be able to immerse yourself in history with a stop by a local Victoria museum. 

The Royal BC Museum's latest exhibit, titled "Race to the End of the Earth," recounts the drama that surrounded the race to Antarctica that took place in 1911. With two separate exploration teams heading to the remote land, there was an aura of mystery and danger surrounding the entire expedition – a feeling museum visitors will get to experience as they take a look at some of the surviving relics of the momentous journey. 

Although the full collection of artifacts is normally displayed at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, most of them have been loaned to the Royal BC Museum, the Times Colonist reports. The showcased items provide insight to the conditions and images that the teams saw on their treks to the South Pole. 

The five-month exhibit opens May 17, so you'll be able to relive the drama during your summer jaunts to Victoria. 

Concert promises to bring together all genres of music

Whether you're a fan of jazz, soul, blues or contemporary music, you're going to want to take note of an upcoming performance in Victoria. The David Murray Infinity Quartet is coming to the B.C. capital city, and it is bringing an array of fantastic musical arrangements as well as famous vocalist Macy Gray to the inner harbour. Gray, whose soulful, raspy voice sold more than 14 million albums, made her mark in the 1990s with the hit song "I Try."

David Murray, a Grammy-winning saxophonist, is no stranger to the international jazz community, and neither are his band mates. The quartet is made up of Murray, Nasheet Waits on drums, Marc Cary on piano and Jaribu Shahid on bass, and the group will be playing along with Gray's vocals to fuse together several genres into one amazing performance.

Held at The Royal Theatre, this June 26 performance is sure to be one that music fans throughout Victoria won't want to miss. You can purchase tickets and book rooms at a Victoria spa hotel, such as the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, to fully enjoy all that this show promises to be.

Island Summer Games set for late June

One of Victoria's most beloved summer traditions is just around the corner. In late June, the annual Island Summer Games will return to the city for an amazing array of sports and fun social events. The competitions will take place at Topaz Park, and travellers and locals who are interested won't want to miss out on the action.

From June 29 to 30, the 2013 Island Summer Games will be returning to the B.C. capital. Events will start at 9 a.m. and run until 9 p.m. on each day, so spectators will have plenty of opportunities to check out the basketball, soccer, softball, ball hockey, dodgeball and touch football as teams compete in tournaments. 

If you're interested in checking out the festivities during the Island Summer Games, you can plan trips to the city and book rooms at a Victoria spa hotel. Whether you're cheering on friends and family or just watching some intense competition, you can enjoy the celebration taking place just steps from your hotel. Accommodations like the Magnolia Hotel and Spa are ideal for getaways like this, as it is close to many of the city's prime attractions and within walking distance of many landmarks in the famous inner harbour area. 

Butchart Gardens recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful botanical spots

The city of Victoria is known throughout Canada for its beautiful weather, quaint inner harbour district and lively atmosphere. Now that spring is returning, visitors to the city can enjoy each of these qualities during trips to the B.C. capital, and there is no better place to do that than the Butchart Gardens. 

Founded in 1904, the gardens have long been a beloved part of Victoria, and people from all corners of the globe have taken notice. Conde Nast Traveler recently named it as one of the world's most beautiful botanical gardens – one of only two places in Canada to earn the distinction. The recognition highlights the attraction, which is a must-see stop for most visitors in Victoria and should only be more stunning with spring's arrival around the corner. 

Thousands of blooms are set to add bursts of color to more than 20.2 hectares of land that the gardens cover, allowing visitors to enjoy seasonal displays and beautifully manicured grounds that are among the world's best.

Guests staying at a Victoria boutique hotel like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa are sure to appreciate the elegance of their accommodations, and when they do plan their trip, they can further immerse themselves in the old-world atmosphere with a trip to Butchart Gardens. 

Victoria offers yoga under the sea

Travellers who visit Victoria, British Columbia, often come to the capital city to relax and indulge themselves. With so many options for dining, sightseeing and shopping, there is never a shortage of things to do, and visitors can pass the time strolling through the quaint Victoria inner harbour area. 

While touring the inner harbour may bring you close to the water's edge, there is one new activity that can give travellers a peek below the surface. Starting April 3, the city's Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre will be hosting a weekly yoga class that allows attendees to meditate, reflect and relax while surrounded by soothing underwater habitats. Participants of all skill levels are welcome to attend one of the eight classes currently scheduled and spots are filled on a first come, first served basis. 

The yoga class may only be offered on Wednesdays, but the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is a worthwhile stop for visitors at any time of the week. Guests staying at a local boutique hotel such as the Magnolia Hotel & Spa should consider touring the fascinating facility during their stay in Victoria. 

Travellers can enjoy fishing in Victoria

The Victoria inner harbour is a popular place for walking, sightseeing and shopping, partly because of the stunning ocean views that greet travellers at nearly every turn. There are several ways to get a little more involved with the water, however, and visitors who are feeling adventurous can take advantage of the halibut fishing season that is about to arrive. 

Throughout March and April, large numbers of halibut can be found close to Victoria's shores. Any size fish can be reeled in between March 15 and 31, allowing for some people to compete for the biggest catch, but after April 1 anglers will have to follow certain size restrictions. Even with these rules in place, everyone from beginners to expert fishers can spend some time enjoying the spring weather and calm waters in the B.C. city. 

After a day spent fishing on the open water, visitors can relax at their Victoria boutique hotel, such as the Magnolia Hotel & Spa. With elegant and comfortable rooms that are sure to help guests relax, the accommodation boasts everything that a traveller could need – including an on-site restaurant that may even be serving up fresh halibut if you'd rather just taste the fish than catch it. 

Enjoy spa vacations in BC’s capital city

Travellers enjoying a stay at a local Victoria spa hotel, such as the Magnolia Hotel & Spa will want to get the most out of their rejuvenating treatments. Luckily there are some tips that can help you enjoy your session to the fullest, whether it's your first time indulging yourself or you're a regular customer. 

The first thing you should do before arrival is drink water. Hydrated muscles respond better to massages as they are easier to manipulate, so you can maximize the advantages of a treatment just by making an effort to drink a few glasses of water before you head to the spa. In the same vein, you should also shower beforehand, as the water and steam will open your pores – don't hop in the bath immediately after the spa treatment, however, as you could wash away all of the beneficial oils and treatments. 

Conde Nast Traveler reports that visitors to the spa should also provide some feedback to personalize their experience. There's no harm in asking for certain music or mood lighting to enhance your session, and letting the spa worker know what you'd like to get out of a treatment and what feels best can make the entire spa experience better for you.