THE ULTIMATE TRAVEL GUIDE TO NEW ORLEANS

EVERYTHING IN 72 HOURS

As you know, these broke girls LOVE to travel as much as we can. Most recently we took an awesome trip with some friends to New Orleans to celebrate Jacquie’s birthday, where we ate, partied, toured, and danced for 5 awesome days. We know planning a trip can be overwhelming so we wanted to provide you with a NOLA travel guide with what we did, what we thought, and the prices. We organized our days so that everything was in walking distance of each other and we wouldn’t need to use transportation.

**Thursday and Monday were mostly spent travelling, so we’ll focus on the 3 days where we did all the good stuff. 

DAY 1: FRIDAY  

Breakfast: Cafe Du Monde $

800 Decatur St. is the original location!

Cafe Du Monde is the original Beignet shop in New Orleans. If you don’t know what a beignet is, it’s like heavenly deep-fried dough covered in icing sugar (you can see the cartoon version of them in the movie The Princess and the Frog). 

Nic’s Thoughts: Absolutely delicious and amazingly affordable! You get 3 big beignets for 5 dollars and you really only need 1. We got 2 plates for 4 people and it was inexpensive and they tasted incredible! Service isn’t amazing but they are taking care of A LOT of people so you have to understand. A definite must-do. 

Jac’s Thoughts: LOVE! It’s a must! Great treats and great people watching! I had a beignet and the, highly recommended, ice coffee (it’s literally an ice capp from Tim Hortons ahah) and listened to the street jazz performers and watch the groups of bachelorette parties stroll in. 

STREETCAR $

The streetcar’s in NOLA are very cool and old fashioned. 

Nic’s Thoughts: The streetcar was cool, but we have streetcar’s in Toronto so it wasn’t too special. However, if you have to travel somewhere, I suggest taking the streetcar because why not? It’s only $1.25!

Jac’s Thoughts: I loved the streetcar, they are old and wooden (perfect for pics!) and I really needed that breeze, it was so dang humid. 

FRENCH MARKET $-$$$

700-1010 Decatur St.

The French Market is a big flea market with tons of cool trinkets and lots of delicious food stands. 

Nic’s Thoughts: The french market was very cool. If you don’t buy anything, it’s completely free! But there are lots of cool little things to look at, and I got a pretty delicious crepe. 

Jac’s thoughts: We came here because it worked in the schedule and I was HANGRY! I kinda walked right by all the souvenirs and went right to the food part of the market. Definitely recommend eating here for a snack or for lunch! SO fresh! I had shrimp tacos and I swear it tasted as if they literally caught the shrimp 10 minutes before I ordered. So delicious! Also, a great way to try some authentic NOLA cuisine in small portions. 

DINNER: ACME $$ 

724 Iberville St. (In French Quarter)

A restaurant just off of Bourbon street that came recommended by a few locals. 

Nic’s Thoughts: This place was recommended to us for Oysters, and that was a good recommendation, go for some chargrilled oysters they are DELICIOUS! However, the rest of the food was only so-so for me. 

Jac’s Thoughts: FIRST time having oysters and I …loved them! Didn’t think I would but how could I not at Acme. Great service and cool ambience. Like Nic said… not the best food. They did give you the option on the menu to try small portions of Gambo, Jambalaya, beans and rice and very flavorful sausage! I shared this plate with our pal Maddy and it was perfect! 

HAUNTED PUB CRAWL $$$ 

We wanted to know more about the history…and have fun doing it so we found a haunted pub crawl. It was $25 a person, not including drinks. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and kept it funny and interesting. We booked our tour with Ghost City Tours

Nic’s Thoughts: This pub crawl was SO FUN! I loved learning about the history (and haunted history) of the city. Each bar was unique, different, and off the regular Bourbon street path which was nice. It allowed us to find places we usually would not have and enjoy some great drinks and cool stories. 

Jac’s Thoughts: LOVED THIS! Although it was expensive, I did learn a lot. I recommend doing the tour at the beginning of your trip so you have a better understanding of your surroundings and the culture that goes with it. Use the tour guide for their knowledge! They are locals and will give you the best of the best recommendations. Drinking at the bars are optional, but when else are you going to drink absinthe in an old haunted jail from the 1890’s?…only in NOLA.

BOURBON ST. $-$$

Break time club snack…don’t sit on the curb of Bourbon St… your shorts will smell like puke

The party street in NOLA where we capped off every single night 🙂 

Nic’s Thoughts: I mean…it’s Bourbon. It’s soooo much fun. The entire street is one giant party with beads flying everywhere and music blasting out the doors of the clubs and bars. You can even take your drinks from one bar to the next and just party through the street itself. It smells like puke, but other than that it’s amazing. 

Jac’s Thoughts: Nowhere compares to Bourban St. This street is INSANELY EPIC! There is a bar/club for everyone! There is no cover so you can go in and out as many times as you want. I felt like an ironing board dancing because everyone around me had so much rhythm. Great people watching! 

FAV BARS AND CLUBS

  • Razzoo (big dance floor – got an indoor and outdoor – plays top 40’s) 
  • Bourbon Bandstand – guaranteed a great time  
  • The Worlds Famous Cats Meow – if youre international they only accept a passport as ID – great karaoke from what we heard from outside 
  • Fat Catz Music Club – a great place for dancing 
  • Bourbon Cowboy – GREAT time if you love country music – people are always line dancing and doing the two-step and willing to teach you!  

DAY 2: SATURDAY

BREAKFAST: THE VINTAGE $$ 3121 Magazine St.

Highly recommended Cafe in a very cute part of New Orleans we had to bus to. 

Nic’s Thoughts: I am IN LOVE with this little cafe/restaurant.

  1. They played my favourite band (the 1975) multiple times while we ate.
  2. everything is vintage (hence the name) with a huge focus on old school classic music which is EVERYTHING to me. If you know me, you know I live for old things.
  3. The food was amazing. I had a breakfast sandwich on the softest biscuit i’ve ever had in my entire life and a raspberry filled Beignet which was like the best Jelly Donut. If I lived in NOLA you would find me in this place 99% of the time. It was priced well too! I gave it 2 $$ because it’s more expensive than Cafe Du Monde – but still cheap. 

Jac’s Thoughts: This place is AMAZING! The food, the aesthetic, the pictures, the location…everything is perfect! This is a must! It is more of a local spot…check it out if you want to get away from tourists. 

LAFAYETTE CEMETERY No 1 $

1427 Washington Ave

Nic’s Thoughts: This cemetery was beautiful, but the amount of history behind every part of it was definitely the most interesting. I highly recommend you do this with a tour because it will make it so so much better than just looking at graves with no context. 

Jac’s Thoughts: Definitely! Agree with Nic! DO THE TOUR! The stories and reasonings behind the graves are so interesting. There are walking tours that are by donation. Check out our blog post on ”How We saved money in New Orleans” for more information.

GARDEN DISTRICT $

The Garden District is where you find all of the huge, beautiful, historical houses in New Orleans. 

Nic’s Thoughts: The Garden District has some beautiful homes and is great to just walk around in. Again, I recommend a tour since otherwise you may just be looking at houses. We saw a Django Unchained house, historical homes, and Sandra Bullock’s house!

Jac’s Thoughts: This was one of my favourite afternoons! It was so fun wandering the streets spewing fun facts about each house. Everyone is so different and built with such intention to the culture and the period it was constructed in. For football lovers, we saw the house Peyton and Eli Manning grew up and where they’re parents still live. 

P.S. For a cheap way to get all the info you need for these two excursions, use the app“Atlantis “ Every tour is $1.00 and you just walk around following a map and listening to the tour. 

LUNCH: NEYOW CREOLE CAFÉ $$

3332 Bienville St.

No frills restaurant where lots of stars come to eat for the home-cooked food, like Queen Latifah and Tristan Thompson! Again, $$ not because it’s expensive, but because it’s more than the cheapest things we did. 

Nic’s Thoughts: Well. This has to be one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. The fried chicken was everything I could want in a meal and more. With a side of incredible Mac and Cheese and some classic hush puppies…I was in heaven for only $10.50. And super full too!

Jac’s Thoughts: I had shrimp and rice…BEST Shrimp and rice of my life! So flavourful and delicious. Definitely recommend this place. Its where the locals eat, so why not eat here? Oh, MAN Nic’s Mac & Cheese was tooooo die for! So cheesy! 

DINNER: R’EVOLUTION $$$

777 Bienville St.

The very fancy, upscale restaurant we took Jacquie to for her birthday as a treat. They provided an amuse-bouche, bread with regular butter and cane sugar butter, our appetizers (of crab meat beignets), our main meals and desserts, plus a birthday dessert for Jacquie AND a wooden box full of treats. 

Nic’s Thoughts: This place is awesome if you’re looking to splurge. Every room is decorated differently but they’re all beautiful and unique. The food was incredible, I had crab and shrimp dressing stuffed cornish hen, and Jac and I split a bread pudding creme brulee for dessert. Every bite was delicious, service was wonderful, but it was very expensive as we expected. 

Jac’s Thoughts: I have the best friends! This was such a treat. The food was incredible! It just kept coming and getting tastier and tastier! I would fly down and visit this restaurant just for the cane sugar butter, it was that good. Made tones of good memories at this restaurant and dad the best birthday dinner! Xo 

FRENCHMEN STREET

We were told this is where the locals go out instead of Bourbon street. It was an area with lots of jazz bars and some night markets where people sold art, jewellery, etc with sitting areas and board games. 

Nic’s Thoughts: This area was very cool but not really the scene I was looking for. It was much more relaxed and probably somewhere I’d also go if I was a local or looking to wind down. I did love the little night market though, so cool!

Jac’s Thoughts: This is the local’s spot, but this particular night I was ready to get rowdy…so not quite my vibe. We did wander through a cool art market and play some Jenga but I was ready to take shots and dance. 

DAY 3: SUNDAY

BREAKFAST: FRENCH TRUCK COFFEE

@frenchtruck 1200 Magazine St.

We were in a rush, so breakfast came “to go” from a coffee shop. 

Nic’s Thoughts: I didn’t get any food here so I can’t review it but the place itself was cute. The drink I got was too sweet but that as likely my own fault in ordering. 

Jac’s Thoughts: Great chain coffee shop! I got ice coffee and a muffin. So fresh and so tasty! 

SWAMP TOUR: $$$

We booked our swamp tour and plantation tour through Combination tours at the cheapest rate we could find. They picked us up from a location near our hostel and took us to the swamp first. 

Nic’s Thoughts: I was falling asleep because the movement of that boat was so relaxing, but other than that it was cool! You see lots of alligators and they even let us hold one, plus the driver told a lot of stories about the swamp including a haunted one. 

Jac’s Thoughts: This was super cool! It was the excursion I was least excited for but is now one of my highlights. This the tour that Will and Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish took…if it’s good for them it’s amazing for us! 

LUNCH: DEBRIS Po Boy’s from MOTHERS $$

401 Poydras St.

Ordered for take out in the morning so we could have them during our day of tours. A Po Boy is a sandwich, named so for the type of french bread. We all got the Debris (the meat that has fallen off the bone in its au jus) but there are so many different kinds. Ours came with pickles and mustard on it as well. 

Nic’s Thoughts: HOLY SMOKES it was an incredible sandwich. Mmmm I still think about it. I would say it’d be even better hot (since we got them to go and ate them hours later) but if it was that amazing cold I can’t even imagine what it’s like fresh. I also got a piece of pecan pie from here which was delicious. 

Jac’s Thoughts: My mouth is watering… I’m not a huge meat eater but this sandwich…oh my gosh. I ate half at the swamp place but literally couldn’t wait to eat the other half, so I made our friends wait for me in the pouring rain under a coffee shop pergola so I could finish it. I would love to go back to Mother’s and try more foods on their menu. 

PLANTATION TOUR $$$

There were two to choose from and we chose The Oak Alley Plantation at random. 

Nic’s Thoughts: I loved learning about the history of the plantation. There is a lot of sadness in the history when learning about slavery, but the property itself was quite beautiful. They did a very good job of duplicating how rooms would have looked and rebuilding parts of it that would have been there in the 1800s but are now gone. 

Jac’s Thoughts: This property was absolutely stunning! The tour was only for the mansion where the plantation owners lived, and it was very cool to see their way of life during that period. I would have loved a guided tour about the slaves of that period. 

JACKSON SQUARE $ 701 Decatur St.

A square not far off Bourbon with a big statue of Andrew Jackson (the 7th U.S. President).

Nic’s Thoughts: We just walked through this and it didn’t take long. It’s free to do and it’s very pretty, I recommend. It’s very easy. 

Jac’s Thoughts: This place is said to be haunted…don’t worry they close it up at night so you won’t accidentally find yourself wandering. This is where all the voodoo, palm readers and crystal and psychics will go to acquire the business. Take a seat on a park bench and watch all walks of life around you. 

DINNER: OCEANA $

739 Conti St.

Nic’s Thoughts: I wasn’t that hungry at this point, but I got some shrimps that were scrumptious. This place was not fancy, very no frills, but great food! 

Jac’s Thoughts: I was on a hunt for Jambalaya ALL trip and this was my last chance to get it. Lucky me they had Jambalaya with… ALLIGATOR sausage. It was delicious!! I shared this Maddy and we both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  

CAROUSEL BAR

214 Royal St. in Hotel Monteleone

We only popped in for a minute after the bar was closed to get the feel for it. 

Nic’s Thoughts: Love the concept! You just sit and it goes around and moves you slowly. Drinks are expensive but you have to go at least once just to sit. 

Jac’s Thoughts: This is no bourbon street. Come for before or after dinner drinks. We hid our beads in our purses. Definitely a must! Very fun ambience. 

EXTRAS worth mentioning!

RAZOO: Razoo is a bar on bourbon that was sooo fun! The entertainer there had tons of people coming up doing twerking contests and the vibe was always really cool. There is a HUGE back patio if you want to go out and be away from the music or grab a drink. We went there every night.

HURRICANE’S: Hurricane’s are a classic alcoholic drink in New Orleans but you have to know where to go. Lots of alcohol and fruit juice, so if you go somewhere that loads it with sugary juices it’ll be a killer hangover. Pat O’Brien’s is known for it, but I really loved the one I got at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar bar on the haunted pub crawl (Nic) I got mine at Razoo and literally after ten sips… I was gone and needed to go home (Jac) 

SUNDAY NIGHTS Bourbon on Sunday nights, at least at this time of year, is a lot more dead than every other night. If you’re going to have a relaxing or chill night in, we recommend you make it a Sunday. 

BEADS: Theory is… boys have the beads and the girls acquire them by flashing their boobs. Do what you want with this information. 

XOXO

Your fav broke girls

Walking to all of Barcelona’s Must See Sights

BARCA! You a special place in my heart. I didn’t have any expectations but a good time and a good time is forsure what I got. I was in Barcelona for about 6 days which was a great amount of time, a bit too long but also I didn’t do and see everything on my list. I stayed in the Urbany Hostel which I am so lucky because it was in walking distance to almost everything. I created this list so that you can also be in walking distance to everything. That does mean bring good and comfortable walking shoes. I normally do not complain about shoes but even I had to buy little sneakers for the rest of my exploring…Then it started pouring with rain so those little sneakers were soaking wet and I had to buy an umbrella. So be prepared for almost anything… oh and keep in mind the siesta time because they are not kidding…when it’s time to nap oh its time to nap! This just means that the little local stores and restaurants are going to be closed. I found that it tended to start around 3:30/4 and ended around 7:30ish and sometimes 9. So make sure that you have your snacks and water ready! I noticed that the chains like burger king and McDonalds were still open so there’s always that option so you’re not hangry in Barca! Also here’s a little tip Head to the supermarket- like carrefour get some snacks there is a ready to eat counter at most of them! Also you can eat your snacks at Parc Guell, on the beach at the Bonkers!

I organized the list in the order that flowed well with proximity ! I hope it helps!


Bonkers del Carmel – This is a great view point! It is quite a climb up and we did have to crawl over and under a few barriers. I’m not totally sure if this is a city approved location or just a local hangout but it has an amazing view of the city also a great place to watch the sunset or have a picnic.

About a 16 minute walk to…

Parc Guell MUST MUST MUST Get your tickets to see the mosaic benches a head of time! It just guarentees you a time to view them and you don’t have to wait in line. The benches are really pretty and they do give you a great view point of the parc and the entire city! But it is free to walk around the parc and go up the mosiac steps. If you do one thing in Barcelona it should be to see this park. Also if you post one pic on instagram from your time in Barca it should be from this park…it is just so picturesque! Good job Gaudi!

About a 24 minute walk to…

Sagrada Familia – Be organized and Buy your tickets online! From my experience you should probably book a few days in advance! The outside is really cool, like no other building I have ever seen before and of course pictures to ot do it justice for its beauty. I was not organized and did not get to see the inside but that is on my list for next time. The friends that I made said the inside was even more breathtaking than the outside.

About a 20  minute walk is a really great place for brunch at Firebug Restaurant! Such amazing and food that will fill you up for all the walking you’re about to do. The prices were very reasonable! And you can actually see the Arco de Triunfo from the patio of the restaurant.

About a 4 minute walk to…
Arc de triunfo –  It is very pretty and again great for people watching! I sat on a bench and journaled for a few hours. There is a big park that you can definitely walk around or have a picnic if the weather is great!

About a 22 minute walk to…
Casa Batllo – skeleton Balaconies – there is a museum to go inside – since I was on a budget I did not go through the museum – I came to barcelona for three reasons… the tapas, the nightlife and casa batllo. This building did not disappoint! Highly recommend that while you get your steps in that you walk past this beautiful place.

About a 17 minute walk to…La Boqueria – the most amazing food market – walk around check what there is and then walk around a second time – there is so much food, fresh food, enchiladas, freshly squeezed juice, crepes – bring cash – there’s a little atm right outside of it and one further down the street – don’t stress – you can get fresh juice from 1 Euro and like empanada for 3 euros and a full crepe that will need some help finishing for 8 euros. If you keep going along the street you will find…

La Rambla – Shopping !! Shall I say more! All the best european brands are steps away! Check out Stradivarius and Bershka some of the coolest clothes.

About 8 minute walk to…

Barcelona Cathedral – in gothic quarters – another great barcelona building that has so much beauty in a very gothic looking neighborhood.

About a 17 minute walk to…

Barcelonetta  – The beach!! This beach is quite a long one! Taking a long walk down it is the most relaxing and there’s benches to sit and be nostalgic! Be careful I’m gonna warn you…I did see a couple of rats sooo just watch your step 😉 There is also great people watching

Extras

FC Barcelona Camp Nou – book in advance too – I didn’t have time to do this but the friends that I made really enjoyed their time on this tour, they are also big soccer (football) fans. When I go back to Barca I will definitely put this near the top of my list.

Montjuic

Have an extra day – Fountain of Montjuic – check for fountain show times they do change them per the season

For Midnight adventures ! Just a heads up the Spanish start eating dinner at 9 and I’m sure you’re familiar with tapas so they keep eating till around 12 and then hit the disco! …They also don’t come home till about 6 in the morning (see why the siesta time is so important!) Ahah so what I did was eat dinner at 9, then sneak off back to the room and nap for a couple hours and wake up at midnight ready to drink my cervesa. I went to the club Opium, it is definitely one of the best clubs I have ever been to. Really good music (worldwide top 40’s), such a great vibe it was right on the beach (but be careful because I saw a girl’s purse get snatched while she was making out with a guy on the beach). I remember the cover being a bit expensive but it included your first drink so kinda evens out. Ten out of ten recommend!

A map just to glance at and help you when you begin to plan and organize your exploring!

Hope you enjoy this video of me and my friends having the best time ever exploring the streets of Barca! Hehe Just kidding… you millenials will remember its the hit some strut by the Cheetah Girls 2 Movie but notice a lot of the places I recommend in the video!

Tips for a Stress-free Flight

This year I have had my share of airplanes from 40 minutes flights to an 11 hour flight. I’ll be honest I’d rather be on an 11 hour flight than a 40 minute one. I find I get so much more flying anxiety when it comes to the short ‘up annnnnd now your down’ rides. I have learnt a few tips and tricks to help me stay calm, cool and collected during the whole thing.

(more…)

My 10 Packing Tips

Here are my packing tips for your next trip!! Most of my vacations involve a giant backpack, but these still work if a suitcase is more your style. I wish I could say I can afford to bring 3 suitcases worth of stuff (because that’s what I want to do) but I can’t, so I usually try and stuff it into a carry on! Hope these help you pack for your adventure 🙂

(more…)

Checklist for Victoria, British Columbia

I was in Victoria for little over a month, the first week I was there was all it took for the city to completely take my heart. The city has the country feel with city ambiance, it’s magical. My favourite memory is sitting on these steps between two restaurants(The Local and Darcy’s)  at Bastion Square, listening to a busker (Fintan O’neil) who’s there most Sundays definitely look him up urg amazing! Looking into the distance at the port where water planes are landing. It was a home away from home feeling. 

(Bastion Square- Finton O’neil busking)

(more…)

A Weekend in Vancouver

How a day trip to Vancouver turned into a weekend.

We went out the Friday night to Sticky Wickets, our favourite place in Victoria, and end the night earlier than usual but still at McDonalds. Because we were getting the first ferry out to Vancouver. We say goodnight and four hours later we meet back at the parking lot with a good morning.

That McDonalds was not enough for dinner, after bar snack and breakfast…so unfortunately we stayed in line for breakfast on the ferry the entire way and got mediocre eggs but filled bellies for tons of walking.

Off the ferry we get a day bus pass because we plan on seeing most of this city in the next 10 hours… Beginning with Granville Island. It was really cute. Reminded me of the distillery district in Toronto but surrounded by mountains and ocean. The food there was amazing. Grab some fresh bagels & smoked salmon, calamari, fish and chips and settle yourself a little picnic. SO delicious my stomach is growling writing this.

Next stop… we walked all around the pier. The 2008 Vancouver Olympics was an exhilarating time for me. I was old enough to understand and get the hype of the olympics plus they were in my country how could one not get hyped about it. So seeing the flaming torches was incredible and brought me back to my grade 8 excited self. Saw the huge cruise ships ready to doc to Alaska. It was a lovely walk, saw bridal parties, a hobo fishing for change in the fountain, lots of dogs… what a great stroll.

We then rented bikes from a store called Spikes, and rode them all around Stanley Park. I rode an old school bike and made the stroll so much better. It was a beautiful ride. Even my friend Maria, who is not into biking at all and really did not want to partake in this touristy activity, loved it. The ride was amazing and seriously so many spot for pictures and selfies with the group or by yourself. ALSO sooo many great spots for a picnic, literally anywhere. You can choose a spot with a mountainous view or a beach view, a great people watching view.. I may have seen a semi nude beach riding along.

**Still to this day when I’m bored I think to myself ‘’man if I were living in Vancouver I’d be riding my bike around Stanley park’’**

We went around for an hour, returned our bikes and all took a little siesta in a patch of grass in Stanley park. Ahah living that tourist life, nap wherever you can. We then went to Ladurée, the famous Macaron store, but the only one in Canada. MMMmmm it was definitely what I was waiting for. That salted caramel sweetness. Ate dinner at Milestones, ahah I know not to local but it was right there and we were hungry. After a great meal took our buses and trans back to the station.

We get to the station and the machines aren’t working, they’re not letting us buy a ticket to the ferry to Victoria. We go to the counter and ask to buy a ticket with the attendant, and she replies with ‘’it’s gone’’… that’s all she says. She looks up and realizes our blank stares, ‘’the last ferry is gone, it left at 9:30’’. We turn to each other, AHAH WHAT! There is 6 of us, how did that tiny bit of information slip all of our minds. We immediately start brainstorming. What do we do…

We are on the phone for about an hour until we find a motel in West Vancouver. Thank gosh. Our other option was to sleep at the airport. Now our next mission is to get to the motel before our day bus pass runs out. There we go take two trains, two buses, telling everyone on our way how dumb we are and how we’re in this situation now. Everyone just courtesy laughs. I mean we’re those crazy strangers.

We get to the motel, but on the phone we said there were only two of us soo the rest of us have to sneak in. Just our luck our room is two doors down and directly across the front desk.. So we really have to sneak in. This little room was not bad.. Although with all of our smelly shoes, leftover food, and sweaty bodies the room was not smelling so nice. But for a motel was not to bad, have definitely stayed in worse… don’t ask.

We wake up at 6am and get the first ferry back. Oh man we were all in moods. But it was just the cities way of telling us that one day is just not enough.Lesson learned always check the times, no matter how many there are of us.

~stay tuned for videos of this crazy weekend! ~

XOXO

Jac

My Top 5 Things to do around Victoria

Victoria has my heart! These are my top 5 things to do in my favourite place. As you will notice by the end of this post, yes they are all outdoorsy things. If you’re not an outdoorsy person push yourself to go on at least one of these because the view and the Insta pics are worth it!

1.Sooke Trails

This is one of the best hikes I have ever been on. It’s got tons of inclines, tones of tree roots to climb over. It has amazing classic BC views along the way. Bring lots of water and snacks! The beach is a great end point. We stopped and ate lunch with an amazing view of the snowy mountains across the ocean in Washington Park. 

2. Sooke potholes

This is by far the coolest place on the island… well that I’ve seen. You’ll need to be quite adventurous for this place. There’s a hole in the fence that you have to climb to go through. Climb down a rocky hill and you’ve found these pockets of water between rocks and some have little cascades and waterfalls. If you climb around you can jump in. Most places are deep enough to jump, but just a warning check the pothole before you jump!! There are rocks everywhere so be careful! I could spend every weekend there if I could.

~I didn’t bring my phone or camera for pics because knowing me I would have left with water damage to both… but soon there’s a BC video so stay tuned for those vids! ~

3.Mystique Beach

Definitely worth IT! I would say this was a highlight of time in BC. It was a bit out of Victoria, a 2k hike, with roots and inclines but don’t stress. I didn’t get the memo that we would be hiking to the beach… I thought we were just having a beach day… so that’s what I wore…flip flops and jean shorts but it was still fun. There’s a beautiful suspension bridge and huge trees. The beach is like no other. It was simple picturesque with a rope swing… which is way harder than I thought. A day well spent. When we were packing up I saw many people getting their camping gear ready so I’m assuming it’s a great place to camp as well.

4.Town of Duncan

This town is small, very small. We stopped for an hour on a Sunday and that was all we needed.There’s 80 totem poles around the whole town, with beautiful architecture. It has a large First Nations population and it is definitely apparent in the boutique stores, very cute stores. (The ones that are open on Sundays)  

5.Goats on a roof – Town of Coombs

This was interesting… very interesting. There’s grass on the roof tops so that the goats can feed off of. It’s a lovely little street with ice cream and souvenir shops but goats on the roofs… like how? What? I woke up from a nap when we arrived and thought everyone was just fooling me. But no there are goats on the roofs of the stores. They are so cute.

~ my BC video will be out soon where I show the really cute little goats on a roof! ~

If you check out any of these places don’t forget to tag @thebrokegirlsofficial so that I can see all the awesome adventures you went on

XOXO

Jac

Must Try Pubs and Restaurants in Victoria!

Food is always one of my favourite things to do on vacation…well in my everyday life too. But I mean while on vacation checking out new restaurants and local specialties is one of the most exciting things about the trip. During my time in Victoria, BC I tried to go to as many local places as possible. Most of these places are well in the student budget and I guarantee will fill your belly for more exploring and walking!

1. El Furniture Warehouse – @elfurniturevictoria

This place is awesome! Whether you’re on a low budget or want to feast on many things! This place is your place! EVERYTHING on the menu is $4.95… yea EVERYTHING! I had french onion soup on the side of a grilled cheese, but let me tell you about this grilled cheese! Oohh it was like the Joey, a friend we made in Switzerland who fed our pour asses made us dutch grilled cheese! This grilled cheese had goat cheese, white cheddar and cream cheese, urg so good my mouth is watering thinking about it… and the cost.. Did I mention it was $4.95!!! Also they’re open till late.. Like 2 am! So yea I know they have these everywhere but when you’re travelling why not eat somewhere to save a few extra coins.

2. Red Fish Blue Fish (best food truck in Victoria)

This is a Victoria must… fish and chips from a food truck… looking at the water.. I don’t need to say anymore other than it’s really good.

3. Bard and Banker @bardandbanker

THIS PLACE IS A MUST! I walked into this place every time I passed by. It’s an old bank from 1885, that in 2008 got turned into a pub but they left all the original staircase and lights. It has a Gatsby ambiance that makes you want to stay for hours. They serve lunch, dinner and amazing drinks! Also live music every night! It is an older crowd but definitely worth a visit! SO much Fun!

4. The Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant- 919 Douglas St

Oh dear this place! The first couple days all our friend decided to go here. When I called to confirm the where everyone was I understood it as Sixteen Witches, so there I was going up to anyone on the street asking for directions to sixteen witches and every local was like ‘oh no that must be new’… which is why I though maybe thats why it  wasn’t on google maps… nope just my brain.

So eventually we figure it out after about an hour, but seriously every town should have a place like this. It has an amazing rooftop patio with heating lamps (those are important) and and AND a volleyball court! The downstairs portion has a great big bar with tones of seats and then in the back… a dance floor that turns into every into a hot, sweaty Shakira. So this place has really got it all.  

5. The Local – 1205 Wharf St.

This place so yummy! Patio food with Insta story worthy patio pics, facing the water.

6. Milestones – 812 Wharf St.

Oh man my favourite restaurant! Monday nights girls nights! Seriously the view from this place is like no other! Right on the boardwalk port! Facing parliament!

7. High Tea at The Fairmont Empress-721 Government Street… But it’s really expensive if you still want the experience of high tea in Victoria find a sugar daddy … maybe you’ll have better luck than me! But I hear it’s an amazing place to feel bougie ! Maybe one day!

8. Darcy’s Pub-1127 Wharf St. 

OOOOOoo yea ! Again this is just beside the local and is your basic pub but with an amazing view. At night they have live bands and great people walk in, definitely a lot of opportunity to make some friends.

9.Chocolats Favoris- 1010 Government St.

Ah-Mazing place for a little sweet craving! I recommend getting the smallest size because it can be so rich and that’s coming from me! I love sweets! So you can pick your ice cream and then what ever flavoured chocolate you want it topped with. My go to was chocolate ice cream with s’mores chocolate coating! mmmmm Mmm mouth still watering.

10. The Joint- 1219 Wharf Street 

This has the best pizza in the city. Best for mid day snack touring around or midnight snack after a night on the town. Right beside the restaurant to the right theres a window… that sells mac and cheese and it is beyond amazing. Sometimes if you go at the right time, they may give you a free one… also fun fact BC is very eco friendly so their forks are wood…adds flavour.

~A video of my Victoria Adventures are to come!!~

XOXO

Jac

Saving that vacation $$

Most of us know that travelling is one of the best experiences you can have. It allows you to immerse yourself in new cultures, learn more about other parts of the world, gain independence, and have a lot of fun. However, it is not usually the cheapest thing to do, and as a broke girl sometimes the thought of affording a trip seems unrealistic. I’m going to share with you guys how this broke girl saved her butt off to afford a 2 week trip through Europe with her girls. This is going to be a documentation of personal experience, but hopefully you can relate it to yourself and use some of the tricks I used.

(more…)