The sun has been shining, the weather's been sweet, and Victoria has started to look pretty darn spring-like these days. With a long weekend right around the corner, there's no better time to hop on a ferry or plane and enjoy some outdoor adventure in Garden City.
Check out the Cherry Blossoms
They're all over town right now, and it's a pretty incredible sight. While much of Canada is still covered in snow, Victoria is experiencing a little whiteout (or pinkout) situation of its own. To see the blossoms yourself, start downtown and take a meandering stroll or bike ride through the adjacent neighbourhoods of James Bay and Fernwood. If you'd like to map your ride, check out this blog post which outlines the top spots to see blossoms.
Don't feel like going free range? Sign up for a Victorian Garden Tour and get an intimate look at some of the city's finest public and private gardens.
Image by ItkasanImages
Take a Cooking Class at the London Chef
The London Chef is a fully interactive cooking school in downtown Victoria which offers a ton of diverse cooking classes all year long. The layout of their kitchen encourages socializing and provides a great opportunity to meet new people or spend time with old friends while you are learning to cook.
Visiting Victoria with kids? Take The London Chef's Sweet Easter Treats cooking class on March 19. You'll bake and decorate cotton-tail bunny cookies, melt chocolate to make your very own decorated chocolate egg lollies, and prepare layered fruit smoothies in the cheery colours of springtime. Suitable for kids aged 4-10.
Embark On An Outdoor Adventure
What better way to enjoy the spring weather than by getting outside? Stay close to downtown and enjoy classic views of the ocean and the Olympic Mountains from Dallas Road, or take a short drive out of the city center and immerse yourself in the magic of Victoria's surrounding boreal rainforests. Check out this blog post for more ideas on where to hike in Victoria!
Visit the Beacon Hill Children's Farm
Whether you're traveling with kids or just want to let out the kid in you, a visit to Beacon Hill Children's Farm is always a good idea. Re-opening for the season on March 11, this petting area is home to goats, chickens and a few resident peacocks. It's not every day you get to hold a baby goat on your lap, and yes, it's just as adorable as it sounds.
Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Irish Spirit
St. Paddy's day officially lands on Thursday, March 17 this year, but you can celebrate early (or late) at one of Victoria's many pubs all month long. Irish Times is the obvious choice for St. Paddy's and is highly recommended as they've got daily live music and an incredibly vibrant atmosphere, but this isn't the only place you can go to enjoy a Guinness in the spirit of St. Patrick. Try the Bard & Banker, Canoe Brewpub, Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub or the Breakwater Bistro.
Hop Aboard A Harbour Ferry
They're back! Victoria's classic little floating taxis are now up and running for the season, which means that you and your family can hop aboard and take a fun cruise through the Inner Harbour, say hello to some harbour seals and check out views of downtown Victoria from a different perspective.
Insider tip: If you're not traveling with kids, it's definitely worth checking out the Pickle Pub Crawl. You basically get taxied between waterfront pubs by the harbour ferry while eating free appies and being served delicious craft beverages. Need we say more?
Have Fun at the Victoria Public Market
On the ground floor of the historic Hudson Building in downtown Victoria, you'll find the Victoria Public Market, a cool indoor marketplace where you'll find fresh seafood, locally-produced cheese, local meats, farm-fresh groceries, handmade pies, a French bakery, oils and vinegars, fresh flowers, specialty retail and gourmet food service offerings. The day vendor program features even more of Vancouver Island's artisans and makers.
If you're planning to visit Victoria over Easter weekend, check out the Easter Celebrations at the Market on March 27. There will be lots of fun activities for the kids, including crafts, face painting and live kids music. They'll also be hosting a Springtime Centerpiece Crafternoon on Good Friday (March 25), where you'll learn to make beautiful Easter floral centerpieces to decorate your home.
See How Many Flowers You Can Count
We're serious about this. Every March, over the course of one week, the citizens of Greater Victoria collectively count all of the blossoms we can see and report these numbers online for the annual Victoria Flower Count. The flower count started in 1976, when over 130 million blooms were counted, and the tradition has continued each year.
2016 marks the 41st annual Victoria Flower Count, which is on now until March 9. So, when you visit Victoria this month, keep track of how many flowers you count and be a part of this fun Victoria tradition!
Explore Downtown and Visit the Toy ShopsTravel to colourful comic galaxies, take your favourite vintage toy down memory lane and discover Victoria's vibrant fan culture! Victoria boasts a number of unique toy and game shops which specialize in comic books, games and collectables. You'll find everything from old school toys to brand new video games and pretty much everything in between. Tip: Check out Canada's First (and only) National Toy Museum upstairs at Cherry Bomb Toys.
Visit The Butchart GardensIf you've never been here before (or even if you have), The Butchart Gardens are always worth a visit - especially in the spring! Did you know? The Gardens are now dog-friendly, so you can bring your pooch along for an on-leash stroll during your next visit.
Visit our things to do page for more ideas on fun activities in Victoria, and check out current deals and promotions to make sure you're taking advantage of the best prices on accommodation and transportation during your stay.