Month: January 2015

Victoria Presents 50 Ways To Love Your Lover

kgoodphoto-113Victoria, British Columbia has been rated the Most Romantic City in Canada by and is one of the top three best romantic getaways in North America, according to a recent USA Today poll. It’s no wonder as this idyllic Canadian destination is filled with encounters that warm the cockles, light the fire and set the mood with everything from dining and entertainment to outdoor adventure and modest budgets.

Are you ready for a ride on the rails? If so, here’s the top 50 ways to love your lover in Victoria:

TOURV_CoupleMale_Harbour_Narrow_MedDining and Entertainment:

  1. Get fresh with a cross-country Saanich Peninsula winery or cidery tour with stops at markets stocked with locally grown produce so you can pick up ingredients for a romantic dinner.
  2. Indulge in a traditional treat and go for afternoon tea at one of Victoria’s many tea rooms. Make it a Downtown Abby-themed date and arrive via horse and carriage.
  3. The creative juices will be flowing with an evening of French or Spanish couples’ cooking class with The London Chef Dan Hayes. You’ll leave with memories and recipes to try at home.
  4. Is the object of your desire a vegetarian? Go for a healthy, flavorful and uniquely exquisite bite at Be Love or Rebar.
  5. Lose yourself in the smells and tastes of Victoria’s greatest tea collection. Take home your favorite Silk Road tea for the perfect memory in a cup. While on location, enjoy an organic couples massage.
  6. Nothing melts the heart like Chocolate. Stroll through Victoria and stop by the historic Roger’s Chocolates for the city’s most mouthwatering treats.
  7. Get moving with a lindy hop or jive on Monday and Tuesday nights when the sounds of swing dancing music fills Swans Brewpub.
  8. If the way to the heart is through the stomach, discover culinary hotspots with a walking tour along Fort Street or the Victoria Public Market with Feast Concierge Tours or Off the Eaten Track.
  9. Get your happy on with a “Hoppy Hour” cycling tour of local micro-breweries with The Pedaler.
  10. For a morning date, or after a decadent sleep in, head for Sunday brunch at one of Victoria’s fabulous breakfast specialists like Shine Café, the Marina Restaurant or Il Covo Trattoria.


The Great Outdoors:Kiss_2011_DVBA1

  1. Go for a grand whale watching adventure and experience the thrill of viewing the majestic Orcas in the wild.
  2. Get up close and personal with seals and eagles on a kayak built for two as you tour along the Pacific coast at sunset.
  3. Get ready for your extra-curricular activities by stretching out on the ocean with a session of paddle board yoga.
  4. Enjoy an intimate moment in the forest on a hike along the beautiful coast of Sooke or explore Victoria’s network of trails.
  5. Explore completely new landscapes together underwater with a diving adventure at Ogden Point.
  6. Get your adrenaline pumping as you zip through the trees at AdrenaLINE Zipline Adventure Tours or discover your inner Tarzan at WildPlay Elements Park.
  7. Experience the thrill of the catch with a fishing excursion, either on your own or learn from the experts.
  8. The most fun that can be had on two wheels…rent a scooter at Cycle BC and go for a ride along the coast.
  9. Discover the natural beauty of Vancouver Island’s temperate natural environs on a rainforest tour.
  10. Release your inner bad-ass with a whirl around a motocross

Kiss_2012_DVBA3Arts, Culture and HistoryKiss_2012_DVBA2

  1. Let the stunning beauty of this world take your breath away at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Exhibit at the Royal BC Museum.
  2. Laugh together with a humorous theatrical production at the historical Belfry Theatre in the Fernwood community followed by killer cocktails at Stage Wine Bar.
  3. Snuggle up at the movies with the Victoria Film Festival, running from February 5 to 16, 2015.
  4. Date like a prince or princess. Created in 1946 by Prince and Princess Abkhazi, Abkhazi Garden is a heritage site famous for its majestic trees and dramatic location. Prince and Princess Abkhazi began creating their garden in 1946, the same year they married and settled in Victoria, after living separate lives touched by both privilege and tragedy.
  5. Step back in time at Craigdarroch or Hatley Castle and re-enact all your historic drama fantasies.
  6. Stroll together through The Butchart Gardens and let the fragrances fill your senses. There is a plethora of romantic nooks throughout the gardens perfect for kissing.
  7. Visit the Royal Theatre or McPherson playhouse for delicate dances, charming concerts, outstanding operas and other phenomenal performances.
  8. Looking for visual indulgence? View the area’s greatest artist, contemporary art work and historical pieces at one of Victoria’s many art galleries.
  9. After strolling through Victoria’s Inner Harbor, enter the Legislature and take the free tour showcasing the building’s historic architectural splendor. (Note: thisay be for those that need the intellectual stimulation…)
  10. No man is an island, but who doesn’t like to visit one? Take a ferry to the Gulf Islands and discover the abundance of small galleries, craft shops and artisan studios.


On a Budget Tourism Spring-162

  1. Wander through beautiful Beacon Hill Park and dream up the perfect wedding among the peacocks.
  2. Challenge each other…spend the day playing Monopoly, The Game of Life or a completely new game at the Board Game Cafe. Their milkshake brings all the boys to the yard with over a dozen homemade milkshake flavors…mmm and you will want to order one with two straws ~
  3. Wander through the streets and bookstores of Sidney, also known as Booktown. Pick out a book you both enjoy and read it to each other as you cozy up with a cup of tea or hot chocolate.
  4. Create a custom scavenger hunt for your sweetie…try finding Canada’s highest totem pole, the red phone booth, North America’s narrowest commercial street, the statue of Victoria,  Ann’s Academy Chapel and some cool looking sea glass or driftwood.
  5. Pack a picnic and head to the beach. If you’re both, musically talented and romantic, bring along a guitar and write a song together. Alternatively, grab coffee at Ogden Point and watch for wildlife by the breakwater.
  6. Get physical and climb Mount Douglas, for a breathtaking view of Victoria, the surrounding islands and distant mountains.
  7. Take in the Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk, an open-air gallery situated at the foot of Beacon Avenue, on the shores of the Salish Sea with Mount Baker as a backdrop.
  8. Head to Fishermen’s Wharf. Take a closer look at the decorations of picturesque float homes and meet the seals, Victoria’s favorite and cutest residents.
  9. Get spooked together. Take your special someone on a ghostly or historical walking The ghost stories are a great excuse to cozy up!
  10. Grab a camera and make some memories. Stroll through the Inner Harbor, take a picture with a horse, pretend you’re a wax figure and look for the unexpected, taking fun pictures along the way. Make the city your playground ~

Expecting the UnexpectedTourism Spring-180

  1. Take off to reach new heights with a private flight and scenic sunset tour with Harbour Air, they’ll take you almost anywhere on B.C.’s coast, so start dreaming of your favorite getaway.
  2. No tour of Victoria gets more romantic than a ride through cobbled streets in downtown and past historic buildings in James Bay in a horse-drawn carriage.
  3. Get away from it all and book a romantic getaway package at one of Victoria’s many romantic B&Bs.
  4. Instead of taking your date to just another movie, get the richer, bigger, better and bolder experience at IMAX Victoria.
  5. Why go whale watching in a group when you could charter a private boat and present your date with an exclusive sunset tour?
  6. Try the city’s best cocktails and walk the Cocktail Trail. Start at Clive’s Classic Lounge where you can get cozy comfy leather chairs and the elegant fireplaces. Next, enjoy the extensive selection of signature drinks with a view of the harbor at the Bengal Lounge. Then meet the mixologists at Veneto Tapa Lounge and try one of their signature dessert flights to cap off the evening.
  7. Explore the shops along Government Street and Lower Johnson. Pick out a fabulous future date outfit and if you happen to pass a jewelry store or two, it was completely coincidental. Hmmm????
  8. Up for readers’ input — or, room to grow on?
  9. Up for readers’ input — or, your special hidden secret?
  10. Up for readers’ input — or, launch your rocket with an over-the-top suggestion!

FullSizeRender2Share your ideas for the top fifty romantic things to do in Victoria by visiting and posting to…if you need the point of inspiration, check out or take a trip to this idyllic destination to create your own experience and report back!


San Francisco Introduces African American Freedom Trail Brochure

The San Francisco Travel Association and ReUnion: Education Arts Heritage have joined resources to create the African American Freedom Trail brochure which leads visitors to the various historic landmarks, such as the Third Baptist Church of San Francisco founded in 1852, that illustrate the remarkable contributions of African-Americans to the city.

The brochure is available at San Francisco Travel’s Visitor Information Center, located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround.  It is also available on San Francisco Travel’s website.  Visit

African American Trail

The African American Freedom Trail is a guide to African American attractions in San Francisco, sometimes called “the city that created cool.”  Fifty-five locations are identified on a citywide map and described in sections such “Cool Dining,” “Cool Culture” and “Important Event Sites.”

San Francisco’s role in the evolution of jazz is detailed, along with significant events involving African American leaders such as Capt. William Alexander Leidesdorff, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. Howard Thurman, Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett, Langston Hughes, Alex Haley, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou.

The trail was featured in the January 2015 newsletter of the State Office of Historic Preservation as the “Get Involved” feature and will be formally endorsed by the State Historical Resources Commission as a statewide resource at its Jan. 28 meeting in Sacramento. The Board of Supervisors unanimously endorsed the trail last June in a resolution by Board President London Breed, Supervisor Malia Cohen and current Assemblyman David Chiu.

The brochure was curated by John William Templeton, author of “Come to the Water: Sharing the Rich Black Experience in San Francisco,” “Our Roots Run Deep: The Black Experience in California” and other books.  He is founder of ReUNION: Education Arts Heritage, an instructional video network designed to provide culturally responsive curriculum to schools globally.  Templeton also operates SF Soul Shuttle tours which bring the African American history and culture of San Francisco, including where to dine, meet, shop and worship.  For more information about the tours, call 415-272-7209.

“San Francisco’s African American heritage is central to American and global history, particularly the most important event in black history, the approval of the 13th Amendment on Jan. 31, 1865.  This new brochure is just one way that visitors and locals can explore and be enriched by this heritage,” Templeton said.

A complete list of more than 400 locations on the African American Freedom Trail is available at  Suggestions of places to dine and entertain can be found at

Speaking of the partnership that lead to the creation of the brochure, San Francisco President and CEO Joe D’Alessandro said,   “San Francisco Travel remains firmly committed to serving as bridge, catalyst and advocate for ensuring the African American community is prominently and accurately portrayed both domestically and internationally as an integral member of San Francisco’s richly diverse family.”

The African American Freedom Trail brochure is part of San Francisco Travel’s Diverse Destinations program, celebrating the cultures, neighborhoods and communities that make the city unique.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit or call 415-391-2000.  The Visitor Information Center is located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround.

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 34 international cities on 29 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. SFO is proud to offer upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit Follow us on and

Yountville Live Showcases Napa Valley’s Best Food, Wine & Hospitality: Top Musicians, Artists and Chefs Unite to Create an Unparalleled Arts and Culinary Lifestyle Experience

With performances by multi-platinum-selling musicians, food by celebrity chefs and local stars, and the finest Napa Valley wines, the 2015 Yountville Live event offers the ultimate Wine Country experience March 19-22 in Yountville, the heart of the Napa Valley.

Yountville Live provides a limited number of attendees unparalleled access to top recording artists, winemakers, and world- renowned chefs during a four-day event consisting of private and exclusive acoustic concerts, wine tastings, sumptuous meals, and private winery tours. The Napa Valley’s finest resorts and intimate inns are host to attendees who enjoy a total immersion in music, wine and food – not to mention Yountville’s spectacular Wine Country setting and breathtaking scenery. No other public show offers the access and intimacy afforded attendees by Yountville Live.

FOOD. Yountville Live features numerous local, national and celebrity executive chefs. Attendees enjoy world class foods, exclusive cooking demonstrations, a variety of local artisan foods and farm fresh products throughout the weekend.

WINE. Yountville Live breaks out into different tracks over the course of the weekend, providing smaller, more intimate tasting events for guests. Several events are hosted at wineries that are among the Napa Valley’s most notable and feature acoustic performances, tastings and food-and-wine pairings.

MUSIC. Yountville Live features intimate performances by multi-platinum and up-and-coming musicians, with a special focus on emerging talent. The small performing venues make it possible for guests to make personal connections and share memorable experiences with the artists in a social environment.

For information about Yountville Live and lodging, dining, shopping, and entertainment options, visit the website for the event at

Variety Cruises Announces Five New Cruise Voyages in 2015 and 2016

Athens, Greece-based small ship cruise line Variety Cruises has announced it will launch five new itineraries in 2015 and 2016, including cruises in the Red Sea, Greece and Turkey, the Canary Islands and in Madagascar and its Mozambique Channel Islands.e7b43903e234ef89d8ad68196d73727e

The Splendours of the Red Sea Cruise from Hurghada to Hurghada, Egypt allows for more time in Aqaba, Jordan with visits of Petra and Wadi Rum, as well as for more swim stops to enjoy the sun and the underwater treasures of the Red Sea. For more information, please visit

The Aegean Mosaic Cruise is a 7 night / 8 day program from Athens to Istanbul (or reverse), with 4 sailings in 2015 and 9 sailings in 2016. The cruise offers passengers six optional excursions and three swim stops at the most picturesque locations in the Greek islands. For more information, please visit


The Canary Islands Discovery on the 25-cabin Motor Yacht Harmony V is a 7 night / 8 day cruise program showing this 10 islands archipelago – a perfect fit for Variety’s small ships — with tremendous bio and cultural diversity and close to perfect weather conditions. For more information please visit

Madagascar and its Mozambique Channel Islands Cruise on the 21-cabin Motor Yacht Pegasus, is a 9 night / 10 day itinerary showing North West Madagascar in a way no land tour or cruise has done so before. For more information, please visit