St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner! On March 17, Victoria will come alive with Irish spirit. Whether you prefer to celebrate in nature, pretend you're in Ireland or really just want a green beer, here's how you can make the most of your St. Patrick's Day in Victoria.
Be Transported to Ireland
Victoria's locals know that Irish Times Pub is the place to be on St. Patrick's Day. Named one of the top Irish bars outside of Ireland by Irish Times newspaper in Dublin, this pub not only serves traditional house-made Irish comfort food and drinks, it serves up live Irish music every single night of the week.
Most importantly, Irish Times boasts the best "craic factor" in Victoria. In Ireland, craic means fun, merriment and mischief. If you don't know what that feels like in real life, we suggest you head to Irish Times to find out. Tip: If you're planning to visit on March 17, get there early. It always fills up fast!
Lace Up and Sweat it Out
If you're not interested in starting the day out with a coffee and Jameson (or even if you are), March is a great time to enjoy the outdoors in Victoria and St. Patrick's Day is no different. Get out in nature and experience the greenest day possible with a walk or hike through one of Victoria's great gardens or parks.
Escape to Wonderland
Okay, Have a Green Beer!We get it! It's fun to make everything green. On St. Patrick's Day, a ton of Victoria's best local pubs and restaurants will be partaking in the festivities. Read: live music or DJs, St. Patrick's-themed food and drink specials, games and of course, green beer. Here are some great places to try:
1. The Bard and Banker Pub - Old-school Scottish pub in a converted bank building. It's regal, and it's awesome.
2. The Guild - Feels like you're in an old tavern or socialhouse. Antlers on the wall, great beer on the menu. Insider tip: order a glass of candied bacon. You won't regret it.
3. Sticky Wicket Pub & Restaurant - A Victoria staple. Choose from several bars, dancefloors and a games room. Located adjacent to the historic Strathcona Hotel in downtown Victoria.
4. CANOE Brewpub Marina & Restaurant - Right on the waterfront. Did we mention they make their own beer? Live music on Thursdays.
5. Yates Street Taphouse Bar & Grill - This historic venue was once the oldest continuously operating hotel in BC, dating back to 1862. Now, this bar has a great ambiance and over 40 beers on tap.
6. The Local - Fun bartenders and a great patio. You can always watch the game at The Local.
7. The Bent Mast - Located in the heart of James Bay, The Bent Mast offers lots of local craft brews and tasty made-from-scratch eats. They've also got a great wine selection with bottles from all over the world.
8. Browns Socialhouse - Perfect for groups! This urban eatery is super stylish and great if you're a leaning more toward a sophisticated craft libation with friends than an all-out raucous Irish drinking party.
9. Cactus Club Cafe - If you're not a beer drinker, get a Cactus Club Bellini. No judgement; they're amazing.
10. Penny Farthing Pub - A true English pub that will transport you to the heart of the UK. This charming spot is a great pick if you'd like to enjoy a Guinness on St. Patrick's Day without venturing into downtown Victoria.
Dance it Off
Is there anything more Irish? While you may not have the chops to pull off a full-blown rendition of Riverdance, you can certainly bust a move in your own way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with spirit. Head to Darcy's Pub, Upstairs Cabaret or Swans Brewpub to dance the night away alongside a live band. Tip: If you're going to Swans and you like sour beers, try their brand new Sucker Punch Dry Hopped Citra Sour. It'll punch you in the face (in a good way) with aromas of pineapple, mandarin and apricot, and a sour candy finish.
There you have it, lots of options to get you buzzed on nature and Irish beer. If you're visiting Victoria and are still looking for more great ideas on how to fill out your vacation itinerary, check out our things to do page. Happy St. Patrick's Day!