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Indulge your sweet tooth at the Royal BC Museum

There's no harm in indulging your sweet tooth every now and then. For travellers on Vancouver Island, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that, from snacking during an elegant tea time at a Victoria boutique hotel to stopping at local shops during a stroll around the inner harbour area. The Royal B.C. Museum is upping the ante, however, as one of its upcoming events is set to focus on the sweeter side of life. 

"B.C. Bites & Beverages: Victoria's Sweet Secret – 100 Years of Confectionery History" will celebrate the city's delicious relationship with candy and chocolate at 7 p.m. March 21. Historian Sherri Robinson will provide information about the old methods of production and creation, which attendees can listen to as they munch on samples of some modern-day offerings from local vendors. 

Tickets must be purchased ahead of time, so guests who will be in the area should make room in their schedules now. 

If you're planning on visiting Victoria for this sweet event or others, be sure to book a room at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa. Ideally located in the city centre, guests can walk to several nearby sweet shops or make their way to the Royal B.C. Museum for the special celebration. 

Ghost Walks shed a spooky light on Victoria’s past

Victoria may have a reputation for being among the most haunted cities in all of Canada, but its spirits don't just make themselves known around Halloween. Graveyards, historical sites and some urban legends have kept the spooky spirit alive and well in the City of Gardens, and curious travellers can take walking Ghost Tours of the Victoria inner harbour area to try and get a glimpse of these restless figures. 

One of the most popular offerings is Ghostly Walks, a tour of Victoria's inner harbour and Chinatown that brings travellers to some potentially haunted spots. The 90-minute walk is led by John Adams, a historian who has been bringing visitors around the city on these adventurous tours for several years. He usually encourages individuals to feel the spirits around them, tapping into the energy of different hot spots around the city, the Times Colonist reports. 

Favourite establishments like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa may not be haunted, but the boutique hotel still offers its own unique charm and elegance. It also boasts a convenient location right in the heart of the city, making walking the downtown area easy for any visitor. 

Cheer up in one of BC’s sunniest spots

Are you feeling the effects of the winter blues? The surefire cure for those cold weather doldrums is some good old-fashioned sunshine, and several spots in British Columbia can provide just that. 

Victoria is the province's sunniest spot, receiving an average of 2,193 hours of sun per year. Environment Statistics Canada claims that the B.C. capital gets more sunshine than any other major city in the nation, excluding those in the southern Prairies, Saanich News reports. 

In addition to the seemingly endless stream of sun, the city also boasts a relatively moderate climate, so locals and visitors can spend time outside at any time of year. That's perfect for exploring the Victoria inner harbour, which is packed with wharves, shops and eateries that regularly delight travellers. 

Luckily, there is an endless list of places in Victoria where you can go to enjoy the sunny outdoors. If you can manage to tear yourself away from the elegant Magnolia Hotel & Spa, take a stroll down to the inner harbour area and do some shopping or sightseeing. Exploring favourite spots in the City of Gardens, such as the Butchart Gardens, is also a popular pastime. 

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with the newest exhibit at the Royal BC Museum

People in Victoria will be honouring the Chinese New Year during the month of February, but thanks to a new exhibit at the Royal BC Museum, visitors can get an inside look at this culture throughout the year. “Traditions in Felicities: Celebrating 155 Years of Victoria’s Chinatown” is the latest addition at the museum, and it gives all guests a peek into the city’s history. 

From February 7 to September 29, visitors to the museum can see the roots of this fascinating culture in Victoria. Historical artifacts, documents, paintings and other informational displays will be present as part of the exhibition, along with video installations and interviews with prominent members of the Chinatown community. 

“Traditions in Felicities showcases the distinctive heritage of Victoria’s Chinatown, both as an important early gateway between Asia-Pacific and North America and as an important site for Chinese-Canadian community development through the centuries,” Tzu-I Chung, history curator at the museum, told the Times Colonist. 

After a visit to the museum, guests staying at a Victoria boutique hotel like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa can make their way to the Chinatown district for some authentic cuisine or head to other historic attractions throughout the inner harbour. 

Victoria named Canada’s most romantic city

Love is in the air in Victoria. According to the latest rankings from Amazon.ca, the British Columbia capital is the most romantic city in the nation, landing the coveted top spot on the fourth annual list from the website. 

Victoria rebounded back to the number one spot after falling to fifth in last year’s rankings. The online retailer selected the winner by looking at sales of romance novels, relationship books and romantic comedy movies in cities across the country to see which location’s residents feel the love, The Canadian Press reports. 

The B.C. city was followed by North Vancouver, which came in second place, and Waterloo, Ontario, which landed the third spot. 

Couples who make their way to Victoria for a romantic getaway have no shortage of equally stylish hotels to choose from. The inner harbour district is packed with top accommodations, and places like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa pack an old world elegance and charm into their walls. Travellers in search of the perfect place to stay while on an adventure with a loved one can find everything they’re looking for at this Victoria boutique hotel. 

PGA Tour Canada to open its 2013 season in Victoria

Golf fanatics will want to circle June 3 on their calendars, as that’s when the season gets underway in Victoria for the Times Colonist Island Savings Open. Set at Uplands Golf Club, the round should see some of the nation’s biggest names in golf going head to head as they battle it out for a strong start to the season – and the $150,000 prize that goes to the winner. 

“This is a very solid starting point for our schedule,” Jeff Monday, president of the PGA Tour Canada, told TSN. “Our goal is to provide our members with quality events with long-term commitments, which leave a lasting impact in the communities we play and we feel we are well on our way to achieving those goals. We are working on several opportunities to increase the number of events not only this year but in 2014.”

Fans who want to make the most of this event should plan trips to Victoria and the Magnolia Hotel & Spa in order to make the most of their weekend. With so much excitement stemming from the golf tournament, as well as all of the activities and attractions to take in around the inner harbour, travellers can create a memorable and action-packed weekend. 

World Curling Championship coming to Victoria

Victoria has always been a hot spot for travellers who like to stay active, and this spring some world-class competitors are making their way to the city to put their talents on display. From March 30 to April 7, Victoria will be hosting the 2013 Ford World Men’s Curling Championships, where the top curlers from across the globe will compete for the title of world’s best. The action is set to take place at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, where fans will pack the stands to watch the competition and other fantastic performances during the event. 

The City of Gardens previously hosted the tournament in 2005, and that was the year Team Canada won the title in a dramatic fashion. If the trend holds, fans who attend the 2013 event are in for a treat. 

Whether you are a world-class athlete or simply planning a trip to the bustling Victoria inner harbour area, the city is sure to have plenty of activities and attractions that will keep you busy during your stay. Between the sights around town and the amenities that fill popular accommodations like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, visitors may find it difficult to fit everything into their one exciting getaway. 

Victoria’s blues scene hits all the right notes

Does the arrival of winter have you singing the blues? That may be the case for some people throughout Canada, but travellers who make their way to Victoria have the advantage of escaping the extreme chill of the season without giving up their blues – the music, that is. 

The Mary Winspear Centre is welcoming two of the premiere blues musicians in all of Canada next month. On February 28, the venue will play host to David Gogo and Jason Blue, each of whom are set to serenade the audience with their catchy melodies and smooth vocals. Gogo has previously performed with musical legends like B.B. King and ZZ Top, while Blue has toured with favorites like Jeff Healey and Buddy Guy. Several of their songs will be recognizable to music fans, as they mix in classic tunes to go along with their original creations. 

If you’re ready to enjoy some blues music in the greater Victoria area, consider booking a room at one of the city’s boutique hotels. Not only can a stay at an accommodation like the Magnolia Hotel and Spa help you relax, but it also provides the opportunity to visit some of Victoria’s top attractions and restaurants. 

Victoria’s Driftwood Brewery named the best in BC

If there’s one thing Victoria knows how to do right, it’s have fun. With so many top restaurants, pubs and lounges scattered throughout the city, there are plenty of options for travellers looking to have a good time. One of the best places to do just that is Driftwood Brewery, which was recently named the top brewery in all of British Columbia for the third consecutive year.

Vancouver’s chapter of Campaign for Real Ale voted earlier in the month on the best breweries in the province. Driftwood came out on top, beating Victoria’s Philips Brewery – a spot that was voted number one in 2010.

The brews on tap at Driftwood also garnered several awards. Its Fat Tug IPA won gold for best beer available year-round, while seasonal brews like Singularity Russian Imperial Stout, which is available in January, and Sartori Harvest IPA, on tap in the fall, also earned recognition.

During your next visit to the Victoria inner harbour area, be sure to stop by the Driftwood Brewery to see what all of the fuss is really about. Staying at a Victoria boutique hotel such as the Magnolia Hotel & Spa is the perfect way to create a memorable getaway.

Victoria Wedding Walk returning to the city

Planning on saying “I do” in Victoria? It’s easy to see why so many people would – the city’s old English charm, picturesque scenery and top notch hotels make it a prime location for weddings. There’s a lot of planning that goes into creating a dream wedding in the City of Gardens, but luckily the area’s annual Wedding Walk is back for its 2013 edition on February 2 and 3.

Couples can stroll around the Victoria inner harbour area, making their way to different spots around the city that lend themselves perfectly to these special events. When they reach a destination decorated for the walk, they’ll have an opportunity to see the spots as they wouldlook on wedding days while also seeing different works from musicians, artists, designers and more.

“The Victoria Wedding Walk is all about exploration, discovery and inspiration within the very venues that could become the perfect location for your wedding,” said Christine Smart, founder of the walk, on the event’s website.

If you’re staying at a Victoria boutique hotel like the Magnolia Hotel & Spa and want to see just how magical the spaces could look on your special day, then grab your tickets for the Wedding Walk and get ready to let your imagination run wild.