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

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 receive 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. Festivals and activities really start ramping up at this time of year and we welcome nearly 50 cruise ships with approximately 130,000 passengers in this month alone! 

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.

Monday, May 22, 2023 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. The day honours Queen Victoria's birthday (Queen Elizabeth's great-great grandmother) 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 123rd annual parade is scheduled to be held on May 22, 2023. If you're in Victoria in May, this is a spectacular sight not to be missed!

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. I recommend you check out the many activities found through Get Your Guide. Get Your Guide will connect you with locals who provide guided tours or help you find tickets to local activities. 

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. I'm a big fan of fleece jackets like this one

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 an extremely popular way to try a variety of local specialties and learn about the city.

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

What's Blooming at Butchart Gardens

A visit to Butchart Garden's is a bucket-list item for many - and we can't blame them. Here's what's blooming at the gardens in May:

  • African Arrowroot
  • Aubretia
  • Bleeding Heart
  • Checkered Lily
  • Chilean Rhubarb
  • Columbine
  • Daylily
  • English Daisy
  • Forget-Me-Not
  • Foxglove
  • Foxtail Lily
  • Fuchsia
  • Grape Hyacinth
  • Heliotrope
  • Himalayan Blue Poppy
  • Iris
  • Labelia
  • Leopard’s Bane
  • Milkweed
  • Nectaroscordum
  • Oriental Poppy
  • Ornamental Onion
  • Peony
  • Rock Cress
  • Shamrock
  • Siberian Wallflower
  • Stock
  • Summer Snowflake
  • Trout Lily

Things to Do in Victoria in May

May is definitely a time to get outside and enjoy the plethora of activities in the region. 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. Or even better, book yourself on a guided bike tour with a local

Festivals and Events in Victoria in May include: 

  • 11-Apr-23 to 29-Oct-23 - Cruise Ship Season, Port of Victoria 
  • 04-May-23 to 07-May-23 - BC Boat Show, Port Sidney Marina, Sidney
  • 07-May-23 - Super Sprints Races, Fairway Gorge Paddling Club (FGPC)
  • 12-May-23 to 14-May-23 - Buccaneer Days, Bullen Park, Esquimalt 
  • 14-May-23 - Mother's Day
  • 18-May-23 to 21-May-23 - Luxton Spring Fair, Luxton Hall
  • 20-May-23 to 21-May-23 - Highland Games and Celtic Festival, Topaz Park
  • 20-May-23 to 21-May-23 - Victoria Day Weekend Band Festival, BC Legislature Lawn
  • 22-May-23 - Victoria Day, STAT holiday
  • 22-May-23 - Victoria Day Parade, Douglas St from Finlayson to Humboldt
  • 22-May-23 - Parade of Bands and Drum Battle, BC Legislature Lawn
  • 22-May-22 to 5-Sep-22 - Harbour Ferry Ballet, Sundays at 10:45 am in the Inner Harbour and occasionally on Saturday as well (2023 dates not yet published)
  • 27-May-23 to 28-May-23 -  Scattered Artists Studio Tour, various locations
  • 27-May-23 to 28-May-23 - Swiftsure International Yacht Race, Clover Point and Juan de Fuca Strait 

I truly hope you enjoy your visit to Victoria in May in 2023.

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