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.
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.
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.
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.
If you like flat surfaces and easy walking with minimal inclinations, these 5 places will be perfect.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
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:
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.
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:
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
Bear Mountain Golf Club
Cedar Hill Municipal Golf Course
Cordova Bay Golf Course
DeMamiel Creek Golf Course
Glen Meadows Golf & Country Club
Permanently closed in 2021
Gorge Vale Golf Club
Henderson Park Golf Course
Highland Pacific Golf
Juan De Fuca Golf Course
Metchosin Golf & Country Club
Mount Douglas Golf Course
Olympic View Golf & Country Club
Prospect Lake Golf Course
Permanently closed in 2015
Royal Colwood Golf & Country Club
Royal Oak Golf Club
Uplands Golf & Country Club
Victoria Golf Centre (formerly Green Acres Golf Course)
Victoria Golf Club
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
Do you know what to do in Victoria if your idea of fun includes climbing, jumping and ziplining through nature? Wildplay!
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.
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.
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.
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