It may be back to school for some, but that doesn't mean that summer is over in Victoria. The days are perfect for getting outdoors and enjoying those last weeks of sunshine before the fall truly arrives. From outdoor adventure to music festivals, there's no shortage of things to do this month. Here are eleven awesome things to consider for your September trip to Victoria:
1. Attend Rifflandia Festival
From September 15-18, Victoria's largest three-day music and arts festival will return for its ninth year, bringing big-name bands of all genres to the main stage at Royal Athletic Park and showcasing all types of music at venues around town each evening. For Victorians, Rifflandia Festival is the last hurrah of summer and is a great opportunity to kick back (and enjoy a selection of local brews from Phillips Brewing). You can get a single, two or three-day pass, so go check out the schedule and line up online!
Tip: if you're planning to attend the festival, pick up your wristband early at the Atomique Productions headquarters as it will get you lots of deals around town during the whole month of September!
Image: A day at Royal Athletic Park during Rifflandia Festival. Photo by West Coast Live.
2. Get Lost in the Vancouver Island Corn Maze
This month, head to beautiful North Saanich to enjoy the Vancouver Island Corn Maze at Pendray Farms; over 14 acres of corn fields that have been transformed into an intricate, life-sized maze. This family-friendly, B.C.-themed maze is open for anyone to try, and is just part of the fun that Pendray Farms has planned for the season.
They've also got a treasure hunt, kids maze and corn sandbox available to play in. There will also be a special dog-friendly event on September 16, if you'd like to bring your pooch along to help you complete the maze.
Tip: There are approximately 8 designs hidden in the maze. Can you spot them all?
Image: Aerial view of the Vancouver Island Corn Maze
3. Taste Some of the World's Finest Craft Beers
The Great Canadian Beer Festival has become one of the world's must-attend beer events, where brewers from around the world and right here in Victoria will gather to showcase their finest brews. This year, the festival will take place on September 9 & 10 at Royal Athletic Park. Get your tickets early as this event sells out every year!
Image: Pulling a pint of fresh Hoyne Brewing beer at the 2015 Great Canadian Beer Festival
4. Enjoy the Wonders of the Saanich Peninsula
If you've taken a BC Ferry into Swartz Bay, you'll likely be familiar with the incredible ocean vistas and rolling landscape of the Saanich Peninsula. Home to attractions like The Butchart Gardens and the Brentwood Bay Resort, the Peninsula is a wonderful place to spend the day just getting away from it all. Enjoy a day in Sidney or head to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse to take a tour of their orchard and cidery.
Tip: Sea Cider will be hosting their annual Apple Day Celebration on Sunday, September 25, which is a free, family-oriented event where guests will be invited to explore the orchard, learn about cider making, listen to live music and partake in a scavenger among lots of other fun activities. Check out the event listing for all the details.
Image: A range of ciders available at Sea Cider
5. Shop Local at the James Bay Community Market
The end of summer is just around the corner, and that means that our summer markets are only on for a few more weeks! Head to the James Bay Community Market to shop handmade, homemade, locally-produced products from award-winning artisans and enjoy live music, wine, beer and liquor tastings.
Tip: There are still lots of summer markets in Victoria that are on for a few more weeks - check out our 2016 Summer Market Guide for a full listing of dates and locations.
Image: Fresh, locally-grown produce at the James Bay Community Market
6. See Classic Boats in the Inner Harbour
From September 2 to 4, classic and traditional boats of all shapes and sizes will cruise or sail into Victoria's Inner Harbour for the 39th Annual Victoria Classic Boat Festival. Head down to the Inner Harbour to see the yachts and workboats and meet the dedicated community of advocates and enthusiasts who maintain and showcase these classic vessels.
Image: Classic boats in Victoria's Inner Harbour. Photo by Rob Bagshaw.
7. Sip & Savour Great Local Wines & Food
Wine lovers, take note: September is your month in Victoria. On the 23 and 24, the Victoria International Wine Festival will showcase some of the best wines from around the world in a welcoming and engaging setting that will appeal to wine lovers of all experience levels. Check out the full schedule of tastings and seminars online.
Also taking place this month in Victoria is the beloved Savour Cowichan Culinary Festival. During this 10-day festival, you'll be able to visit local operations and talk to experts who are passionate about what they do, including master winemakers, cider makers, brew masters and sommeliers.
Tip: You'll also be able to participate behind the scenes, ask questions and of course, you're encouraged to liberally sample along the way!
Image: Unsworth Vineyards in the heart of the Cowichan Valley
8. Take Part in the Royal Visit
That's right, Will and Kate are coming! The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will visit the country from September 24 to October 1. The couple will be in Victoria on September 24, 28 and October 1, as well as visiting Vancouver, Bella Bella, Haida Gwaii and Kelowna in British Columbia, followed by Whitehorse and Carcross in Yukon.
Tip: Check out our recent blog post on Will & Kate's Victoria Favourites for more of what we think they would enjoy on their visit to our Capital City.
Image: Statue of Queen Victoria in front of the B.C. Legislative Buildings.
9. Experience Farm-to-table Dining at The Roost
If you want a passionate farm experience this fall, a visit to The Roost Farm Bakery & Vineyard Bistro in North Saanich is a must. Here, you'll have a chance to tour their brand new bistro and tasting bar, see their 500-pound pumpkins and enjoy pizza from their special wood oven. The Roost roosts on 10 acres of farmland where wheat is grown and milled on-site to create a true farm-to-table experience.
Tip: Don't forget to ask for a tour of the Roost's Classic Cars and get a picture on their Pumpkin Carriage!
Image: Homegrown pumpkin and wine basket from The Roost
10. Soak in the Final Rays of Summer
While we may be in denial that crisp, fall days are just around the corner, the reality is that this beautiful summery weather won't be around forever. Make the most of these last weeks of sunshine by getting outside! Take a relaxed bike tour with The Pedaler or Bike Tours Victoria, or challenge yourself to a guided road ride with North 48 Bicycles. For the ultimate in cruising, rent an e-bike from Pedego Victoria and let your bike do all the work while you sit back and enjoy the scenery.
Go on a guided hike or coastal landmark tour with HikeVictoria.com. Rent a kayak or a stand-up paddleboard from Ocean River Kayak Adventures, SUP Rebel or SUP Victoria. Or, just spend the day relaxing at one of Victoria's best secluded beaches. Whatever you do, just make sure you do it outside.
Image: Ocean paddle on a sunny day with SUP Victoria
Bonus* Play Golf for a Cause
Tourism Victoria is very proud to be partnering with the BC Hospitality Foundation (BCHF) to present the annual BCHF Golf Tournament on September 19. This tournament directly supports the BCHF whose goal is to provide financial support for individuals within the hospitality and tourism community who are coping with a crisis arising from health or medical conditions and provide educational scholarships for rising stars within the industry.
If you'd like to support this cause and get in a round of golf at the world-class Bear Mountain Golf Course, you can register online now.
Image: A scenic round at Bear Mountain Golf Course
That's it! If you're still looking for more awesome things to do in Victoria this month, check out our online event calendar or our things to do page. Make sure to visit the deals and promotions page to ensure you're getting the best deals on everything.