Victoria in May
Discover the Spectacular Things to See and Do During Your Visit

Updated for 2021

If you are planning a trip to Victoria in May, then you’ve probably got questions like:

  • what’s the weather going to be like
  • what to pack and what to wear while you are here
  • what’s happening in Victoria in May
  • what are some things to do
  • and what local food is in season

Disclaimer: I make a small commission from some of the links on this page.

If you’re visiting in May, you're in for a real treat with colourful flowers everywhere, bright blue skies, warmer days and little chance of rain. The festivals and activities really start ramping up at this time of year and we normally welcome nearly 50 cruise ships with approximately 130,000 passengers in this month alone! Unfortunately, the Canadian Government announced cruise ships carrying 100 or more people will remain prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until February 2022 due to COVID-19. 

All the farmers markets that moved indoors for the winter are back outside again and the ones that only operate in summer months kick off their seasons too. See our full list of markets in the region for dates and time.

Lilacs bursting with colour and aroma!Lilacs bursting with colour and aroma!

Langford normally plays host to international women's rugby with a stop on the HSBC Canada Women's Sevens Rugby tournament at Westhills Stadium, usually around Mother's Day weekend. This is an exciting weekend of high calibre rugby - worth planning your trip to Victoria in May around this event! The 2021 event has been cancelled due to COVID-19 - see you in 2022!

Monday, May 24, 2021 is Victoria Day in Canada and is a statutory holiday. Most shops and activities are open on this day however all banks and government offices are closed.

Victoria Day honours Queen Victoria's birthday and has been celebrated in Canada since 1845. The Queen's actual birth date was May 24, 1819 and the holiday is affectionately referred to as "May two-four". It is the unofficial beginning of summer in Canada.

The City of Victoria is also named after this Queen, so it's a pretty special day around here! One of the ways we celebrate is by hosting one of the largest parades in the Pacific Northwest, attracting over 100,000 people. The parade features Canadian and American marching bands, community and commercial floats and numerous cultural performances. Get there early to claim your viewing spot on the parade route.  The 123nd annual parade is scheduled to be held on May 24, 2021. 

Weather in May

Victoria in May is absolutely beautiful. The average high temperature is 18 degrees with lows around 8. It is much drier than April with an average precipitation of just 26 mm. We are getting closer to summer solstice and people are out and about, enjoying the longer, brighter days. To make the most of your visit to Victoria in May, we invite you to join us in one of our amazing outdoor activities. Use TourScanner to compare the prices and get the best deal

Dressing for the Weather

Capris and sandals are definitely making their way out of winter storage by now. Summer is in the air and locals are dressing like it. But depending on what kind of climate you are used to, you may or may not find a daytime temperature of 18C warm enough for summer clothes, especially when you factor in the almost constant light ocean breeze. So, if you are used to warmer weather, you may still be most comfortable in long-sleeved tops, pants and closed-toe shoes. When it cools down in the evening, there's a good chance you will want a light jacket or sweater also. 

What's in Season

Several of our local restaurants take advantage of local seafood, meats, cheeses, breads, beers, wines and produce. May still has somewhat limited fresh fruits and vegetables but what is available is bursting with flavour - especially the asparagus! Food tours are extremely popular.

Fruits & Veggies

  • Asparagus
  • Celery
  • Chard
  • Kale
  • Mustard Greens
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions (green)
  • Peas
  • Potatoes
  • Radishes
  • Salad Greens
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Rhubarb

Seafood & Herbs

  • Clams
  • Cod: Pacific
  • Crab
  • Crab: Dungeness
  • Flounder/Sole: Pacific
  • Halibut: Pacific
  • Lingcod
  • Mussels
  • Oysters: Pacific
  • Prawns: Jumbo
  • Prawns: Spot
  • Sablefish (Black Cod)
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp: Side Stripe
  • Shrimp: West Coast
  • Spring Dogfish
  • Bay Leaves
  • Chives
  • Chervil
  • Cilantro
  • Dill
  • Fennel
  • Mint
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Savory
  • Sorrel
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme

Things to Do in Victoria in May

May is definitely a time to get outside and enjoy the plethora of activities in the region (use TourScanner to find the best deals on activities that suit your family). From the international flair of the Swiftsure Yacht Races to the community spirit of Buccaneer Days in Esquimalt, you'll love being in Victoria in May. 

And if you just want to go for a stroll or a bike ride, you'll find a fabulous network of flat and accessible trails throughout the region. The main trail is the Galloping Goose Trail which connects to the Lochside trail heading to Sidney and the E&N trail that goes through View Royal and Esquimalt. The entire network connects Sidney to Sooke.

You'll see families and people of all ages out and about on their scooters and bikes or walking or jogging.

The network of trails goes right through our downtown core and now includes easy access to our dedicated bike lanes. 

There are several places to rent bikes if you want to join them. Check out our land activity guide for contact info. 

Festivals and Events include: 

  • 3-Apr-20 to 21-Oct-20 - Cruise Ship Season, Port of Victoria Cancelled until February 2022
  • 2-May-20 to 3-May-20 - Women's Sevens Rugby Tournament, Westhills Stadium in Langford (2021 cancelled due to COVID-19)
  • 9-May-21 - Mother's Day
  • 8-May-20 to 10-May-20 - Buccaneer Days, Esquimalt (possible 2021 dates not yet released)
  • 15-May- 21- Victoria Cheese & Meat Festival, The Parkside Hotel & Spa
  • 15-May-20 to 18-May-20 - Luxton Spring Fair, Luxton Hall (possible 2021 dates not yet released)
  • 22-May-21 to 24-May-21 - Highland Games and Celtic Festival, Topaz Park
  • 23-May-21 to 24-May-21 - Victoria Day Weekend Band Festival, BC Legislature Lawn
  • 23-May-21 - Parade of Bands and Drum Battle, BC Legislature Lawn
  • Victoria Day weekend until Labour Day Weekend - Harbour Ferry Ballet, Sundays at 10:45 am in the Inner Harbour and occasionally on Saturday as well
  • 24-May-21 - Victoria Day Parade, Douglas St from Finlayson to Humboldt 
  • 24-May-21 - Victoria Day
  • 18-May-19 to 19-May-19 - Scattered Artists Studio Tour, various locations (possible 2021 dates not yet released)
  • 21-May-20 to 25-May-20 - Swiftsure International Yacht Race, Clover Point and Juan de Fuca Strait (event cancelled in 2020; possible 2021 dates not yet released)
  • 26-May-19 - The Village Block Party, Cook Street Village (Oscar St. to Park Blvd) (event cancelled in 2020; possible 2021 dates not yet released)

I truly hope you enjoy your visit to Victoria in May.

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