May has arrived along with sunshine, long days and tons of colourful spring flowers. If you’re planning a visit to Victoria this month, you’ll have lots to choose from, including everything from family-friendly events to extraordinary culinary tours. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

1. Enjoy the Victoria Day Parade

Take in Victoria’s largest parade of the year, the Victoria Day Parade on May 22. This colourful annual event welcomes locals and visitors to gather together and see marching bands, floats, decorated cars, community and multicultural performers. Tip: The parade lasts around three hours so make sure to come prepared with folding chairs or a blanket, water and snacks.

You can also take part in Celebration Square from 8am-2pm, a family-friendly event at Centennial Square that will feature bouncy castles, entertainment and food trucks.

Image: The Victoria Day Parade. Doug Clement Photography 

2. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo 

Ring in Cinco de Mayo with a celebratory lime-infused seasonal cider and a special Mexican-themed dinner at Merridale Ciderworks. They’ll be serving up authentic Mexican street food and tapas that pair wonderfully with their ciders and spirits that are made on site. Yum!

Image: Merridale Ciderworks

3. Make It All About Mom

Treat your mom like a queen this Mother’s Day. Whether she’s an avid brunch connoisseur (try the Marina Restaurant in Oak Bay) or a spa savant (we love the Magnolia Hotel & Spa), there’s something for every mom in Victoria. 

If your mom’s the outdoorsy type take her on a scenic hike with or rent some kayaks with Ocean River Adventures and get out on the water to explore Victoria’s coastline.

You can also check out our Mother’s Day blog post for more ideas! 

Image: A Mother’s Day hike at Jocelyn Hill with

4. Pedal for Pints

If you love bikes and beers, then The Rolling Barrel is for you. Somewhat like a traditional “beer bike”, this pedal-driven pub crawl stops at 3-4 of Victoria’s iconic pubs over the course of two hours. Each stop includes special offers for Rolling Barrel guests, plus you’ll have lots of time throughout the tour to take photos and play games along the way.

Image: The Rolling Barrel 

5. Hang Out With Birds of Prey

Ever wanted to meet a bird of prey? This month, visit the Pacific Northwest Raptors in Duncan, about a 45-minute drive north of Victoria. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to get up close and personal with live eagles, hawks, owls, falcons and vultures as you learn about their personalities, ecology, habitat and hunting techniques.

Afterward, head over to the BC Forest Discovery Centre to ride a historic train and learn about BC’s important forestry industry. 

Image: Handling a Bald Eagle at Pacific Northwest Raptors 

6. Take a Relaxing Garden Tour

Spring has sprung in Victoria, quite literally. There are colourful flowers and blossoms just about everywhere! Whether you’re exploring the famous Sunken Garden at The Butchart Gardens or partaking in an intimate guided tour of private gardens around the city with Victorian Garden Tours, there are lots of ways to learn about local flora and see Victoria’s most exquisite cultivated gardens.

If you’re an art lover, make sure to visit Emily Carr House. It has a beautiful garden of its own and the friendly staff there will tell you all about Emily’s life and her time living in the quaint heritage home.

Image: Spring tulips and daffodils at The Butchart Gardens 

7. Shop (and Sip) Local

A visit to Nourish Kitchen & Cafe is always a great idea when in Victoria. Their unique cashew hollandaise and house-made kefir are two good reasons to give them a try (can you say brunch?), as well as the fact that the restaurant is located in an adorable heritage home in the heart of historic James Bay.

Nourish will be hosting a special Artisan Night on May 2 complete with wine and handmade wares by 15 local artisans. Shop ceramics, air plants, jewellery and more – you’ll be sure to find something unique and wonderful to take home as a reminder of your trip to Victoria.

Image: Nourish Kitchen & Cafe 

8. Celebrate the Arts

Calling all theatre and arts lovers! Intrepid Theatre’s UNO Fest is back. Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this year’s festival is set to feature 11 days of genre-defying, boundary-pushing performances including everything from performance art to salsa lessons. Each Opening Night show is pay-what-you-can for tickets at the door.

Image: UNO Fest 20th Anniversary 

9. Make Every Day #TacoTuesday

Locals do it, and you can too. What we’re saying is, you can’t visit Victoria and not get tacos. Using only the freshest ingredients (including catch-of-the-day), our local taco shops are always serving up incredible variations on traditional tacos with a west coast flare.

Try La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop on Fort Street for authentic Mexican street tacos, or Red Fish Blue Fish for one of their famous fish tacones.

Image: Tacos at La Taqueria

10. Up Your Culinary Game

Take your culinary experience to the next level with a Spirit Culinary Excursion. Planned and personally guided by award-winning Executive Chef Shirley Lang, these excursions include a full day of guided culinary adventure complete with sightseeing, hands-on demonstrations and of course, lots of incredible, local food.

You’ll learn about seaweed harvesting and west coast sea salt, speak with marine biologists and local chefs, enjoy a unique seaside lunch, and taste locally-made wines and Victoria Distillers spirits along the way.

Image: Victoria Distillers 

If you’re still looking for more, you can check out great adventure ideas on the #VictoriaDelivers page. Don’t forget to enter the contest, you’ll be eligible to win a bouquet a day for the month of May and a grand prize sweepstakes of a 4-night getaway to Victoria. 


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Destination Greater Victoria is honoured to be based on the traditional territory of the Lekwungen-speaking peoples of the Songhees Nation and the Esquimalt Nation, whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.