Things To Do in Victoria

With so many things to do in Victoria, the hardest part is deciding what to do first! You will want to incorporate some of the main attractions into your itinerary for sure but I’m pretty certain you’ll want to do more than that! 

Whether you are super chill and want to explore the city on foot (downtown Victoria) or get your heart racing with an invigorating activity like windsurfing, Victoria has it all!

For Those Who Like to Walk

West Coaster’s love to get outside to explore our natural surroundings as much as possible and we’ve got some great places to do just that. One of my absolute favourites is the Esquimalt Lagoon – a serene area located in Colwood, very close to Hatley Castle and Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse national historic sites. With a protected bird sanctuary on one side of Ocean Boulevard and the open ocean on the other, it is a place to awaken the soul. Search among the log strewn beach and you may even find a painted rock!

Some of my other favourite places to walk are:

The City of Langford is not usually on people’s list when they think of beautiful places to walk, but a trip to one of their 3 small local lakes – Langford Lake, Glen Lake and Florence Lake - may have you thinking differently.  

Maybe you weren’t thinking of an ocean-front walk or under the canopy of towering trees. Urban walking is very do-able in Victoria. It is flat and compact and there are lots of sights to see. If you like history and architecture, a walking tour of churches in Victoria should be considered. 

Sightseeing Without the Walking

The very best way to see all the cute squares and alleys and funky shops of Victoria is on foot. But for many reasons, sometimes that’s just not possible (like blisters from all the walking you did the day before!) When you just want to relax but still experience some of the great things to do in Victoria, guided trips and tours might be just the ticket. Pick a tried and tested tour or let a professional guide help you plan the perfect west coast adventure. See popular Victoria BC attractions with these tours:

Things to Do in Victoria On the Water

There’s no doubt that many people are attracted to Vancouver Island for the abundance of water activities that includes:

Check out the Beaches and Parks pages for more water activities and things to do in Victoria.

Fun for the Whole Family

Whether it is romantic ideas for couples, family-friendly activities or something to do when its raining outside – we’ve got you covered with these entertaining things to do in Victoria: 

Farmers Markets

Support Local, farm to fork and boat to bowl are all philosophies that many Victorian’s live by. We are willing to pay a little more for quality products, made or grown locally. If you’re looking for a place where you can sample some kombucha, pick up a jar of summer grilling relish and discover one-of-a-kind clothing, jewelry and accessories, then visiting a Victoria farmers market must be on your list of things to do in Victoria. Our markets have something for everyone and you can find one nearly every day of the week! They are the perfect escape to enjoy the slower pace of island living.

My personal favourites are the Esquimalt Farmers Market and the Moss Street Market

Museums, Galleries and the Arts

Victoria and the surrounding Gulf Islands have always had an artsy vibe. There are no shortage museums, galleries and independent artisans displaying (and selling) their goods. The spectacular Royal British Columbia Museum is a must see and for Robert Bateman fans, his namesake gallery at the Inner Harbour should be on your list also. Our most famous event celebrating the arts has got to be the Moss Street Paint In. Add this to your list of things to do in Victoria in mid July.

Other galleries include:

  • The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, 1040 Moss Street
  • The Avenue Gallery, 2184 Oak Bay Avenue
  • Out of the Mist Gallery, 740 Douglas Street
  • Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates Street
  • Madrona Gallery, 606 View Street

For performing arts:

  • McPherson Playhouse, 3 Centennial Square
  • The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton Street
  • The Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Avenue

For more folksy arts and crafts, try creating your own at a place like 4Cats Arts Studio or participating in a Yaymaker event like a Paint Nite

For Sports Enthusiasts

Victoria won’t disappoint sports fans either! We have professional and semi-professional teams playing nearly every sport and tickets aren’t nearly as hard to get as in some major cities. Enjoy these local sports entertainment options:

Adult Stuff

If you’re 19+ and looking for a little adult entertainment in the way of drinking, smoking and gambling, Victoria has some great options. Especially if craft beer is your thing – because craft beer is definitely our thing! For a unique west coast experience, take a stroll along the beautiful waterfront Songhees walkway to Spinnakers, home of one of the old craft brewhouses in the west. There we invite you to enjoy lunch from their locally-sourced menu with a pint of Raspberry Lager, made with – you guessed it – local raspberries! Have a few too many of those and hop in a harbour ferry right outside their doorstop and enjoy a leisurely cruise back to the Inner Harbour. 

Other 19+ activities may include a visit to our local casino, a wine tasting tour, brewery, cidery and distillery tour or a stop at any one of our incredible pubs.  

Vancouver Island Travel

As fabulous as Victoria is, we recognize that some of our visitors want to see even more of the west coast. And quite frankly, we don’t blame them! There are some spots just too magical to miss if you have the time. Cathedral Grove is one of them. Located in MacMillan Provincial Park just east of Port Alberni (en route to Tofino) this place will take your breath away. Get there if you can.

Tofino and Ucluelet are two other destinations worth of a visit – you’ll want to spend at least 2 or 3 days in the area if you make the journey. It is an approximately 4.5 hours drive (or bus) from Victoria with Hwy 4 being especially scenic.   

Two other spots worthy of your time are French Beach and Goldstream Provincial Park

Finally, when planning a trip, you need to know essentials like what the weather might be like, what foods are in season and what’s going on and all the things to do in Victoria. Our handy vacation planner will answer those questions and so much more!

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