Image above taken at The Butchart Gardens.
Spring has officially sprung in Victoria, and that means it's time to leave the winter jacket at home and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine in Garden City. To help you make the most of the sweater weather, we've put together a list of our Top 10 things to do in Victoria this month.
1. Take a Walking Tour
If you like to choose your own path, take a relaxing stroll through picturesque Beacon Hill Park or along the Ogden Point Breakwater. You'll see colourful flowers, flowing fountains, vast ocean and majestic mountaintops. It's a lot to take in, but we think you can handle it.
Image via HikeVictoria.com
Those who prefer to take a predetermined route with commentary from a knowledgeable local guide can consider a guided walking tour. Come See Victoria offers a History & Architecture Walk that will let you in on the stories of Victoria's many 19th century buildings, and Discovery Walks offers a range of great walking tours including a Chinatown Walk and a special tour that celebrates influential Women of Victoria through history. There are also several garden tours available for those who are especially interested in seeing the best of Victoria's spring blooms.
Don't be afraid to get out there. Again, you can go your own way on a number of incredible hikes round the city and surrounding areas, or choose from one of two guided options from HikeVictoria.com. Either way, you'll get your heart pumping and your legs working, and the view is always worth the work. Can you say photo op?
Recommended hiking areas: East Sooke Park, Gowlland Tod Provincial Park and Goldstream Provincial Park. If you're willing to venture a little farther out of town, check out the great hiking trails around Jordan River and Port Renfrew.
Image via HikeVictoria.com
3. Explore the region on two wheels.
Victoria is super cyclist friendly. With many wide bike lanes on major roads throughout the city and car-free trails that meander the Greater Victoria area, there's no better way to see the sights at this time of year than from a bicycle. If you've got the hang of it and want to explore on your own, check out our trail maps to plan your own trip.
Image via The Pedaler
The Pedaler offers several guided bike tours with lots of options for neighbourhoods and sights to choose from along the way. Take a two-hour Castle Hoods and Legends tour and explore downtown's funky neighbourhoods and deep history, or immerse yourself in some serious garden gawking during a self-guided Butchart Gardens Tour.
Tip: You can choose to ride a pedal or electric-assist bicycle!
4. Visit Fisherman's Wharf
One of Victoria's most colourful attractions is the floating Fisherman's Wharf, where you'll explore unique vendors and vibrant houseboats. It's a fun, quaint spot where the spirit of Victoria truly shines and you'll likely have an opportunity to meet some locals, whether they're working as vendors or standing next to you in line at the taco stand.
Tip: make sure to say hello to the cheeky harbour seals who flip and frolic in the waters surrounding the wharf.
Image: Fisherman's Wharf houseboats and a Victoria Harbour Ferry.
5. Enjoy an Epic Lunch
Once you've experienced Fisherman's Wharf, you'll likely be in the mood for some fresh fish. You're in luck; there are a ton of options for great seafood within walking distance. Try one of the Wharf's own vendors or wander across the street to Finest at Sea.
A short stroll through the harbour will take you to Red Fish Blue Fish, another dockside eatery that is a local favourite and features an entirely Oceanwise-approved menu. If you prefer a sit-down meal, check out Darcy's Pub, 10 Acres Bistro or Northern Quarter.
Image: Fisherman's Wharf
6. Play a Round of Golf
Here in Victoria, we play golf year-round. With the days of the 4 p.m. sunset far behind us and the concept of snow bringing visions of faraway lands, spring in Victoria is a perfect time for a relaxing round of golf. Take your time and enjoy 18 holes while basking in sunshine and island air all afternoon long.
Try Bear Mountain Golf Course for an oasis-like course just out of town, or opt for Cedar Hill Golf Course if you'd like to golf with panoramic views of the ocean and the Olympic Mountains just down the fairway.
Image: Bear Mountain Golf Course
7. Shop 'till You Drop
It's not all gardens and golf. Downtown, explore Lower Johnson for boutique shopping or Fabulous Fort Street for some of the city's best antiquing. Check out Baggins Shoes who boast the largest collection of Converse shoes in the world, or The Patch for a huge selection of vintage clothes and accessories.
Image: Market Square at Lower Johnson
8. Experience the Cowichan Valley Wine Region
Just a short, scenic drive north of Downtown Victoria, the Cowichan Valley is home to a number of wonderful wineries and cideries, many of whom offer tastings and tours to the public. If you're driving, visit incredible stops like Blue Grouse Estate Winery, Rocky Creek Winery, Averill Creek, and Merridale Ciderworks at your own pace.
You can also take a tour if you'd rather have a chauffeur and guide for the day. Try Island Time Tours, Cheers Cowichan Tours, Luxury Wine Tours or Cowichan Cellar Doors among other great wine and culinary tours.
Image: Merridale Ciderworks
9. Patio Hop
We know, it's not quite summer yet. Even though it may be a bit early to break out your swimsuit and hit the beach, many of Victoria's bars and restaurants have already opened their patios for al fresco service. Soak up some rays on the patio at Canoe Brewpub or Lure, or overlook the Inner Harbour from the patio at Steamship Bar & Grill.
Image: Canoe Brewpub
10. Take in a Live Show
What better way to end off a perfect spring day? Immerse yourself in the magic of Victoria's theater scene at a live show with Langham Court Theatre, Saint Luke's Players, the Canadian College of Performing Arts or the Belfry Theatre. This month, the Belfry will be presenting the classic musical Putting On the Ritz in celebration of their 40th anniversary, and the Canadian College of Performing Arts will be presenting Mary Poppins.
If live music's more your style, visit our calendar of events for all the local music listings.
Image: Alix Goolden Hall
There you have it; 10 fantastic things to do in Victoria that will let you make the most of spring. Looking for more options? Check out our Things to Do page, and don't forget to scope out deals and promotions to make sure you're getting the best prices on everything.
You can also sign up for the Victoria Visitor monthly newsletter by clicking the purple button below this blog post for upcoming events and getaway ideas in Victoria.
The image used at the top of this blog post was taken at The Butchart Gardens.