If you are planning a trip to Victoria in October 2023, then you’ve probably got questions like:
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If you’re coming in October, you are going to experience my favourite time of the year. Our weather is too good to stay inside and with so many great places to explore outside, who wants to? Art and craft shows and sales start popping up at this time of year and foodies are still enjoying an abundance of fresh seafood and produce.
The second Monday in October is Thanksgiving Day and is a national statutory holiday. It originated as a way of giving thanks for the annual harvest. It has transformed into a day we give thanks for all of our blessings, and typically enjoy a turkey dinner with stuffing, potatoes and a wide variety of vegetables with family, friends and neighbours.
Most shops and activities will still be open however they may operate on reduced hours. Banks and Provincial and Federal offices will all be closed.
Normally cruise season is winding down in Victoria in October with an average of just 10 scheduled arrivals and about 30,000 guests. However this year there has been a resurgence in cruising and 32 ships will call on the Port of Victoria with nearly 100,000 guests. The final ship of 2023 will arrive on Sunday, October 29th.
Outdoor farmer's markets are either closing up for the winter months or moving indoors. This is a time of year we still hang on to glimpses of the sunny warm days of summer but settle in to the cooler, shorter days of autumn.
Halloween is on October 31st and is celebrated by dressing up into costumes - mostly kids and party-goers but everyone is welcome.
Other activities include:
One of the most appealing aspects of visiting Victoria in October is the mild, comfortable weather. While October marks the official start of fall, temperatures in Victoria remain pleasantly moderate. Daytime highs typically range from 12°C to 16°C (54°F to 61°F), while evenings cool down to around 7°C to 11°C (45°F to 52°F). It is definitely sweater, fireplace and down duvet weather now but this climate offers the ideal conditions for outdoor exploration without the summer heat.
The average precipitation is 85 mm so the rain is coming but most days will still be crisp, cool and dry.
Autumn arrives on September 22 and fall is in full swing by October with foliage having changed colours and leaves dropping to the ground. It's time to enjoy the outdoors before the rain becomes more prominent.
Although I may still wear sandals in October, most others have put them away for another year and pulled out the closed toe shoes and waterproof boots.
For walking around Victoria in October and seeing the sights, comfortable walking shoes are still your best bet (I personally love the SAS brand of shoes. They are sturdy, made in the USA and fit a range of foot sizes from narrow to extra wide). Waterproof footwear may be occasionally required depending on where you are going.
You will likely be most comfortable in a long-sleeved top and pants with a sweater or fleece vest during the day. When I first moved here, it seemed that everyone wore birkenstocks, a fleece vest and a backpack. It was like a "uniform". Now I too own all three - and wear them constantly!
Once the sun sets and the evening cools down, a polar fleece jacket is common attire for the locals. I personally wear one by Columbia.
With the chance of rain increasing at this time of the year, you will want to pack a lightweight waterproof jacket. Helly Hansen brand is fairly popular and for those who can afford to splurge, an Arc’teryx jacket is a great choice. They are stylish, functional jackets designed and tested here in British Columbia.
Finally, you may want an umbrella and packable, waterproof hat. I just love this very fun and cleverly designed Hairbrella.
Several of our local restaurants reinvent their menus seasonally to take advantage of local seafood, meats, cheeses, breads, beers, wines and produce. Victoria in October is a month of abundance with the following foods in season:
Fruits & Veggies
Seafood & Herbs
Visiting Butchart Gardens in October is an absolute must. As summer flowers give way to autumn blooms, the gardens take on a new enchanting character. The Japanese Garden, Sunken Garden, and Rose Garden are particularly breathtaking during this season, with vibrant fall foliage adding to their charm.
Here's a list of what you can expect to see in bloom in October.
For the ultimate West Coast experience, head to Goldstream Provincial Park for the magnificent old growth trees - some estimated to be approximately 800 years old and the beginning of the annual salmon run. In mid-October until early December each year, approximately 30,000 (mostly Chum) salmon return to the river at Goldstream to spawn and die. This is an incredible natural phenomena and if you're lucky enough to be here in October, I encourage you to get out to Goldstream Provincial Park.
If you enjoy live sports, the Pacific FC club is winding up their regular season, the Victoria Royals hockey team have hit the ice and there is lots of high calibre rugby being played in the region.
Annual Festivals and Events include:
Visiting Victoria, BC in October is a splendid opportunity to witness the city's natural beauty at its peak. With comfortable weather, fewer crowds and a plethora of activities to enjoy, this charming Canadian city welcomes travelers with open arms.
Victoria in October offers an unforgettable journey into the heart of fall's enchantment. So, pack your bags and get ready to explore this fall wonderland on Vancouver Island. I truly hope you enjoy your visit to Victoria in October 2023.
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