What To Do in Victoria Outdoors

Are you wondering what to do in Victoria outdoors? Wonder no more. We have compiled a list of the most popular things to do or places to go outdoors. From my favourite places to walk to where to play golf, below is a wide-ranging list of outdoor things to do in Victoria. This list focuses on activities on land, for experiences on water, be sure to check our adventure water sports guide. Let’s get started!

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

1. Walking & Hiking

What to do in Victoria on a beautiful day? Get out in nature of course! You don’t have to hike the West Coast Trail or the Juan de Fuca Trail to enjoy the great outdoors. There are plenty of options for all fitness levels in the Greater Victoria region.

Some of the popular walking paths in the downtown area are Ogden Point Breakwater, The Dallas Road Waterfront Trail and The David Foster Harbour Pathway.

There are so many great spots to walk and hike around the region including many of our terrific beaches and parks. I can't name them all but scroll down for more of my favourites. 

For all walking and hiking around Victoria I recommend the use of hiking poles

A hiker and his furry friend in Victoria BC

They help with balance and support and I think they make me more confident when I'm out exploring because I'm not concerned about twisting my ankle (I've actually broke both ankles at different times in my life so I rarely walk anywhere without them now). For hikes in our more remote regions, we recommend using a local guide.  

11 Popular Day Hikes

These 11 popular day hikes around Victoria cover a variety of terrain from easy chip paths to steeper forested trails. There is something for everyone. Read more.

Flat & Easy Places to Walk

If you like flat surfaces and easy walking with minimal inclinations, these 5 places will be perfect.

City of Langford Lakes

The City of Langford is blessed with natural beauty that includes spectacular city, ocean and mountain views and three scenic lakes located within the city limits. Langford Lake, Glen Lake and Florence Lake each boast a swimming beach, boat launch, fishing opportunities and walking trails. 

Esquimalt Waterfront

With the Pacific Ocean to the east, south and west and the Gorge waterway to the north, the Township of Esquimalt is practically an island! The stunning panoramic views are endless. And public parks and greenspaces that take advantage of the breath-taking scenery are one of the reasons why exploring E-town should be on your list. 

Macaulay Point

Macaulay Point is a now a 7.6-hectare multi purpose municipal park but it got its start as a Hudson Bay farm and later became part of Fort Macaulay. The rich military history can be seen in the bunkers, lookouts and defensive berms. These military ramparts give children a special place to play and pretend. In addition to the historic fort zone, there is a rock-climbing zone, a swimming and picnic area and off-leash dog walking area. The park can be accessed from Fleming Beach as well as Munro Street.

Saxe Point

Saxe Point is another greenspace where the military history of the region is evident. During World War 2, a searchlight was installed as part of Canada’s shoreline defense. Stroll one of the many trails or enjoy a picnic lunch on the greenspace overlooking the beach all while enjoying spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and Strait of Juan de Fuca. Depending on how busy it is, you may have to park and walk to get to the picnic area. For this reason (and the fact that it is insulated and holds everything you need) I highly recommend a picnic backpack. Mine is no longer available but this one is similar.

West Bay Walkway

Accessed from Lower Head Street, the West Bay Walkway is a nearly 3 km fully accessible shoreline walking path and boardwalk that connects West Bay to the Songhees Walkway. The Songhees Walkway continues for approximately another 2km to Victoria’s downtown. The entire walkway is popular for running, strolling and commuting however cycling is not permitted. It is also sometimes referred to as Westsong Walkway.

Esquimalt Gorge Park & Pavilion

This park is located on the Esquimalt side of the Gorge Waterway and can be accessed off Tillicum Road, south of Gorge Road. The recently constructed pavilion is the feature attraction of this park that also has plenty of space for picnics, a kids playground and a walking path around the perimeter. 

2. Bicycling

Bicycling is extremely popular in Greater Victoria as you'll soon discover. Because of our incredibly mild climate, it is an activity to be enjoyed throughout the year. We have a network of trails that connect Sidney to Sooke as well as designated cycling lanes on our most popular roadways. We even have dedicated bike lanes in the downtown area. I encourage you to use caution cycling downtown and follow the signage carefully.

One of the best ways to see the area on bike is to join one of our popular bike tours. 

Want something a little more challenging? 

The Canadian National Mountain Bike Team makes it home at the Bear Mountain resort where the amenities include a training centre, dirt jump park and bike trails. The Bear Mountain Trail System is an outdoor adventure destination for people of all ages and abilities. 

Cycling on the Galloping Goose Trail in Victoria BC

Just off Westhills Parkway is the Jordie Lunn Bike Park which is a year-round recreational cycling park catering to cyclists of all ages and abilities. The track combines elements of dirt jumping, a pump track, skills area and mountain biking trails and is free to the public. 

A smaller bike park opened in View Royal Park and is attracting young riders although all are welcome.

One of Victoria's popular cycling activities is the Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria. The event draws hundreds of riders with varying skill levels to Victoria each August. With 8 distances to choose from, there's a ride for everyone! 

3. Bird Watching

When you're looking at what to do in Victoria, it's perfect when you find a location that suits many family members and that's just what the Esquimalt Lagoon is. Not only an oceanfront destination perfect for walking, playing on the beach, marveling at the driftwood art, but also home to the Esquimalt Lagoon Migratory Bird Sanctuary where you may see:

  • American coot
  • mallard
  • northern pintail
  • green-winged teal
  • American wigeon
  • hooded merganser
  • black oystercatcher
  • pacific great blue heron

Visit the Government of Canada website to learn more about this protected sanctuary. Other places for bird watching include Goldstream Park for the Eagle Extravaganza each winter and:

Birds at the Esquimalt Lagoon

Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary

  • 3873 Swan Lake Road, Victoria, B.C. V8X 3W1
  • 250-479-0211 
  • Guided bird walks every Sunday @ 9:00 a.m. 
  • Bring your binoculars and walking shoes and meet in the parking lot for an informal and informative walk around the lake area
  • Donations appreciated 

Victoria Natural History Society

  • P.O.Box 24061, Royal Oak, Victoria, BC, V8Z 7E7
  • 250-704-2555 (events listing)
  • Become a member in the society to participate in their outings
  • Approximately 4 outings weekly

4. Skateboarding

What to do in Victoria if you're a teenager? Visit one of the skate parks popping up around town. The most popular one still is the Victoria Skate Park on Esquimalt Road in Vic West (close to downtown) although locals are anxiously waiting for the next new bike park to open at the Westshore Parks & Recreation complex. 

5. Golf

Many of our visitors know exactly what to do in Victoria - golf! Bear Mountain Resort in Langford is Golf Canada’s official training centre so that should tell you something about golf and Victoria – it’s a pretty big deal around here. 

Greater Victoria consists of the following 13 municipalities:

  • Central Saanich
  • Colwood
  • Esquimalt
  • Highlands
  • Langford
  • Metchosin
  • North Saanich
  • Oak Bay
  • Saanich
  • Sidney
  • Sooke
  • Victoria
  • View Royal 
Golf clubs in Victoria

The golf courses listed on this page are all located within Greater Victoria. I recently found one listing that included a golf course in Squamish and identified it as being located approximately 24 miles from city centre. Clearly not written by anyone living here because what they failed to tell you is that Squamish is on the mainland and those "24 miles" did not include the 1.5 hour ferry ride! I think you'll find it helpful to have a local provide you this listing because I'm only identifiying the golf clubs in Victoria (Greater Victoria) here. Sit back and plan your next golf getaway!

Note: All municipalities (with the exception of Esquimalt) within Greater Victoria use "Victoria" as their official Canada Post address. So many times you'll see the address as "Victoria" but it is actually in a neighbouring community. I will identify the municipality where each of these golf clubs in Victoria BC are physically located.

Ardmore Golf Course

  • 930 Ardmore Drive in North Saanich (close to the airport and the quaint seaside town of Sidney)
  • (250) 656-4621
  • 9 hole course with red and white tees
  • public and member rates
  • Ardmore Golf Course

Bear Mountain Golf Club

  • located within the Bear Mountain Golf & Tennis Resort Community at 1999 Country Club Way in Langford 
  • (250) 744-2327
  • public course
  • 36 holes of Nicklaus design golf
  • Bear Mountain

Cedar Hill Municipal Golf Course

  • 1400 Derby Rd in Saanich
  • (250) 475-7151
  • public course
  • 18-hole, 5,200 yard, par 67 course
  • Cedar Hill

Cordova Bay Golf Course

  • 5333 Cordova Bay Road in Central Saanich
  • (250) 658-4444
  • public course; memberships available
  • 18 hole The Bay Course + 9 hole par 3 The Ridge Course
  • a certified Audubon Sanctuary
  • Cordova Bay

DeMamiel Creek Golf Course

  • 6518 Throup Road in Sooke
  • (250) 642-8000
  • public course; season's passes available
  • 9 hole par 3
  • open seasonally end of April through mid-November; check website for hours of operation
  • DeMamiel Creek

Glen Meadows Golf & Country Club

Permanently closed in 2021

Gorge Vale Golf Club

  • 1005 Craigflower Road, Esquimalt
  • (250) 383-6451
  • semi-private course
  • 18 hole, par 72 course over 143 acres
  • Gorge Vale

Henderson Park Golf Course

  • 2291 Cedar Hill Cross Road, Oak Bay
  • (250) 370-7200
  • public course
  • 9 hole, par 3
  • Henderson

Highland Pacific Golf

  • 450 Creed Rd, Highlands
  • (250) 478-4653
  • public course
  • two 9-hole layouts
  • Highland Pacific

Juan De Fuca Golf Course

  • 1767 Island Hwy, Colwood
  • (250) 474-8621
  • public course, first-come, first-served - tee time not required
  • 9-hole. par 3
  • Juan de Fuca
  • Juan de Fuca golf course is one of many amenities located on the property of the Westshore Parks & Recreation complex 
Golfers at Juan de Fuca Golf Course in Victoria BC

Metchosin Golf & Country Club

  • 4100 Metchosin Road, Metchosin
  • (250) 478-3266
  • semi-private course
  • 9-hole course with yellow tees for front 9 and blue tees for back 9
  • Metchosin Golf

Mount Douglas Golf Course

  • 4225 Blenkinsop Road, Saanich
  • (250) 477-8314
  • public course
  • 9-hole
  • Mount Doug Golf

Olympic View Golf & Country Club

  • 643 Latoria Road, Colwood
  • (250) 474-3673
  • private course
  • 18-hole, par 72 course, 6,600 yards
  • Olympic View

Prospect Lake Golf Course

Permanently closed in 2015

Royal Colwood Golf & Country Club

  • 629 Goldstream Avenue, Colwood
  • (250) 478-8331
  • private course
  • 18-hole, par 70 course
  • Royal Colwood

Royal Oak Golf Club

  • permanently closed in 2017

Uplands Golf & Country Club

  • 3300 Cadboro Bay Road, Oak Bay
  • (250) 592-7313
  • private course
  • 18-hole. par 70 course; 120 acres
  • Uplands

Victoria Golf Centre (formerly Green Acres Golf Course)

  • 3970 Metchosin Road, Metchosin
  • (250) 474-2123
  • 9 hole, par 3
  • public course
  • foot golf and disc golf also played on same course
  • Victoria Golf Centre

Victoria Golf Club

  • 1110 Beach Drive, Oak Bay
  • (250) 598-4321
  • private course
  • 18-hole
  • Victoria Golf
  • Fun facts about the Victoria Golf Club - it is the oldest 18-hole golf course in Canada in its original location, the clubhouse is a designated Canadian Historic Place and you can literally drive right through the middle of the golf course by staying on Beach Drive!

Did you notice? There actually aren't any golf clubs in Victoria BC! That's right - there are no golf courses within the City of Victoria boundaries but all of the courses listed above are within about 30 minutes of the downtown core. Book your tee time now and enjoy your golf vacation in beautiful Victoria BC!

6. Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides

What to do in Victoria when you want to sit back, relax and enjoy a fully narrated tour of some of the city's most famous downtown sights? A horse-drawn carriage ride of course! For the ultimate in romance or just a fun way to see the sights, an iconic carriage ride is one of the most beloved activities here in Victoria. Book a carriage ride here.

Horse drawn carriage ride in Victoria BC

Tally-Ho

  • 469 Belleville St, Victoria, BC V8V 1X3
  • 250-514-9257
  • Daily tours and custom tours
  • Reservations recommended

Victoria Carriage Tours

  • 600 Menzies St, Victoria, BC V8V 2G2
  • 1-877-663-2207 or 250-383-2207
  • Reservations are required
  • Each carriage holds 4-6 people

7. Motorbike Rentals

Renting a motorbike is a fun way to experience the island. If you are from BC, you will need a valid class 6 or a valid Class 7/7L. If you are from outside of BC you need to have a valid motorcycle license issued from your place of origin. Rentals are available from the following companies:

Cycle BC Rentals and Tours

  • 685 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A6
  • 250-380-2453
  • convenient downtown location
  • rent bicycles, scooters and motorbikes
Motorbike rentals in Victoria BC
Dirt and Gravel Motorcycle Adventure Company
  • 16-1338 Stelly's Cross Road, Brentwood Bay, BC
  • 250-885-1011
  • 1, 2 and 6-day guided adventure rides with an experienced local guide

Sweet Ride Victoria

  • Motorbikes delivered free in Victoria
  • Use contact form to make reservation

8. Paintball

Paintball is played outside on a wilderness course and requires a bit of speed, agility and the acknowledgement that it just might hurt a little when you get hit.

At least one paintball company offers your money back if you really aren’t enjoying yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose by giving it a try. 

Paintballers in Victoria BC

9. Scooter Rentals

If you're comfortable riding amongst the traffic, scooters can be a fun way to explore the city and see a lot more than relying on walking. 

Cycle BC Rentals and Tours

  • 685 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A6
  • 250-380-2453
  • convenient downtown location
  • rent bicycles, scooters and motorbikes
Scooter rentals in Victoria BC

10. Wildplay

Do you know what to do in Victoria if your idea of fun includes climbing, jumping and ziplining through nature? Wildplay! 

IMG_0122.jpg
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If you are looking for an exhiliarating outdoor adventure, Wildplay Elements Park in Victoria may be just what you're looking for. Wildplay Elements Park is an obstacle course suspended from the towering trees and it’s incredible. There are ziplines, cargo nets, swinging logs, tightropes, wobbly bridges and more throughout the course. Start just a few feet off the ground and the higher you get, the more challenging it becomes. 

A few years ago, my son was invited to the park as part of a birthday celebration. I always appreciate free parking and there was lots of that – bonus! We all signed a waiver and because the kids were under 13 at the time, we stayed with them to supervise. 

If your kids are older and you choose not to participate in the activity yourself, there are a ton of other things to do at the Westshore Parks and Recreation complex – including a fabulous walking trail that will loop you right back to the park entrance. 

You should come dressed for outdoor adventure including wearing clothes that fit snugly so they don’t catch on the trees or obstacles. Same for jewelry – remove it before you lose it. The most important thing to wear is closed-toe shoes – no sandals or flip flops. They do have an outdoor footwear loan program though if it’s a last-minute decision and you don’t have time to get the proper shoes. 

The Wildplay Elements Park staff gave our group a safety introduction first with instructions on how to clip in to the fasteners and maneuver through the course and then they were off.

At first it was exhilarating for all the kids to finally be let loose in the trees. Some were fearless and moved swiftly through the games, but we quickly discovered some that needed a little encouragement to move along.

IMG_0106.jpg

The fee for the kids includes completing the course twice and, in the end, all but one of the children in our group chose to go a second round. The maximum height off the ground for the kids’ course is 15 feet. 

The adult course, known as the classic course, includes 4 ziplines, is up to 40 feet high and can take 2-4 hours to complete. Need more thrills? Try the extreme course with games and ziplines up to 52 feet high!

If fear gets the best of you, there are always staff nearby that can safely help guide you down.

There is lots of adventure to be had on Vancouver Island and this one is right inside the city. Check their website for hours of operation and directions to get there. 

11. Explore Local Neighbourhoods

From the block party in Cook Street Village to Buccaneer Days in Esquimalt, the neighbourhoods of Victoria host unique events and offer many opportunities to explore their culture. Read more about some of our favourite Victoria neighbourhoods

Are you still looking at what to do in Victoria? Be sure to check these attractions and activities

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