With forecasts calling for another warm and sunny summer in Victoria, the beckoning of the great outdoors will be ever harder to ignore than usual this year. To get a head start on your summer plans, here are three great ideas to add to the bucket list. Authentic Experiencer traveller types will be particularly keen on these outdoor escapes. If you're not sure whether you're an Authentic Experiencer or not, click here to take our quiz to find out your unique traveller type. As a bonus, when you complete the quiz you'll be entered to win a roundtrip for two to Victoria!
Backpacking the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail
Although less travelled than the famous West Coast Trail, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail is still regarded as one of British Columbia's premier hikes. With the nearest trailhead 74km outside of Victoria, the 47km trail skirts the southwestern coast of Vancouver Island stretching from China Beach to Botanical Beach, just a few kilometers south of Port Renfrew. The trail can be hiked in part as a day trip or in full over four to six days. Along the way you'll be exposed to breathtaking views of the Juan de Fuca Strait, the Olympic Mountains and stunning rainforest vistas.
Touring the Gulf Islands by Bike
As close as you can get to the Mediterranean climate and lifestyle in Canada, the Gulf Islands are undisputed jewels of the province. With idyllic country roads, minimal traffic, sweeping ocean views and pocket bays and beaches, they're just begging to be explored by bicycle. Whether you choose to spend a couple days touring just one of the islands or up to ten days exploring them all, there's no shortage of options for any length of time. For quick weekend jaunts, consider ferrying to Saltspring Island and tracing its coastline around the entire island. Or, for longer trips, a popular route is to ferry to Mayne Island, make your way to the Pender Islands, continue on to Saltspring and then head back to Victoria, with a night spent on each of the islands.
Picnicking at Mackenzie Bight
If you're only looking to get outside for the day, consider bringing a picnic down to Mackenzie Bight. Located in Gowlland Tod Provincial Park - 1,219 hectares of pristine wilderness along the Saanich Inlet - Mackenzie Bight is only a 20-30 minute walk from the Mackenzie Bight Access parking lot, making it an easy day trip. With warm waters that are great for swimming, plenty of beach and rock spots perfect for a picnic and no crowds, it's one of the top spots in the Victoria area to spend a lazy summer afternoon.