If you are planning a trip to Victoria in September 2023, then you’ve probably got questions like:
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If you’re coming in September, you are in for a real treat with some of the best weather our region experiences; peak season is just behind us - it is busy but not overly crowded, there is still plenty of things to do and there is an abundance of fresh seafood and produce available to tantalize your taste buds.
The first Monday in September is Labour Day - a national statutory holiday that has its origins in the labour union movement. Most shops and activities will still be open however they may operate on reduced hours. Schools, banks, Provincial and Federal offices will all be closed.
September 30 is the National Day for Truth and Reconcilation, a day that honours the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities. It is also Orange Shirt Day - an Indigenous-led grassroots commemorative day. You can purchase orange shirts directly from the Orange Shirt Society to ensure all the money raised goes to the intended recipients.
September 30 has been formally recognized since 2021 as a Federal statutory holiday and is now also a Provincial statutory holiday. As with Labour Day, many shops and activities may operate on reduced hours and all schools, banks, Provincial and Federal offices will be closed.
With 55 scheduled arrivals in September, cruise ship season is still well underway. Although cruise season is typically starting to wind down in September, in 2023 Victoria will see just one fewer ship than we saw in August. Victoria expects to welcome over 100,000 visitors throughout the month of September from the various cruise ships who will be in port between 4 and 16 hours each.
One of the most enticing aspects of visiting Victoria in September is the delightful weather. As summer winds down, temperatures start to drop from the highs of July and August. In September, you can expect mild, comfortable daytime temperatures ranging from 15°C to 20°C (59°F to 68°F). Evenings are cooler, usually falling between 10°C and 15°C (50°F to 59°F). This mild climate creates an ideal environment for exploring the city without the discomfort of summer's heat or winter's chill.
With average precipitation of 41mm, it is possible it will rain occasionally while you are here but for the most part, we are still experiencing warm, dry weather.
As Autumn approaches, the foliage begins its dramatic colour changes before the leaves begin to fall.
Although I tend to wear my sandals well into the fall (I practically live in my birkenstocks), many people are opting for closed toe shoes by September. For walking around Victoria and seeing the sights, comfortable walking shoes are your best bet and I rely on my SAS shoes. They are made in the USA and have a wide variety of widths to fit even the most hard-to-fit. Waterproof footwear is usually not necessary at this time of the year.
You will likely be most comfortable in a short-sleeved top and shorts/capris during the day however once the sun sets, the evenings will cool down quickly. A polar fleece jacket is common attire for the locals on a cool day or evening. I personally wear one by Columbia.
Although the chance of rain isn’t very high in Victoria in September, you may still want to pack a lightweight waterproof jacket just in case. Helly Hansen are budget-friendly and popular out here, but if you can afford it, I recommend an Arc’teryx jacket. They are stylish, functional jackets designed and tested here in British Columbia.
Finally, you may want an umbrella or packable, waterproof hat like 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. September is a month of abundance with the following foods in season:
Fruits & Veggies
Seafood & Herbs
The world-renowned Butchart Gardens, a short drive from downtown Victoria, is a botanical wonderland. Visiting in September allows you to witness the gardens' transformation as the vibrant summer flowers give way to the rich colors of autumn. The Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, and Sunken Garden are particularly captivating during this time, with their foliage changing to brilliant hues of red, orange, and yellow.
I highly recommend you tour Butchart Gardens on your trip to Victoria in September. Here's a list of the beautiful flowers you can expect to see in bloom.
The quintessential Canadian bucket list item – salmon fishing – is a perfect expedition in Victoria in September. Other highlight activities include Butchart Gardens (see above for what's blooming), a tour of Craigdarroch Castle or Hatley Castle (or both), a visit to China Town.
Victoria's proximity to the Saanich Peninsula, a burgeoning
wine region, makes it an ideal base for wine enthusiasts. In September, the
vineyards are abuzz with activity as the grape harvest season begins. You can
tour wineries such as Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, Church & State
Wines, and de Vine Vineyards, sampling exquisite wines and ciders while
surrounded by lush vineyards.
Of course many people come to the region for our fantastic outdoor adventure activities. Nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts will find Gowlland Tod Provincial Park to be a hidden gem. Located just a short drive from Victoria, this park boasts a network of trails through ancient forests, leading to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the Saanich Inlet and Gulf Islands. In September, the weather is perfect for a day of hiking without the summer heat.
Visiting Victoria, BC in September is a delightful experience filled with pleasant weather, reduced crowds and a plethora of activities to enjoy. Whether you're exploring the autumnal beauty of Butchart Gardens, embarking on thrilling whale-watching adventures or savoring local wines, September offers a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure.
Remember to dress in layers, bring comfortable footwear and be prepared for the occasional rain shower to make the most of your unforgettable trip to this picturesque Canadian city.
I truly hope you enjoy your visit to Victoria in September 2023.
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