10 things to do in Victoria this July

From garden days to ocean bays, July has so much to offer!

July is one of our favourite times of year. Patios are bustling throughout the city, beaches are lined with sunbathers and paddleboarders, and there’s a general sense of excitement in the air. It’s a time when community comes together to appreciate the sheer beauty of the natural landscape that surrounds us.

This month is also one of Greater Victoria’s busiest months for festivals, with notable July events including the Phillips Backyard Music Festival, the Langford Beer Festival, Roses and Rosé, and the ArtisTREE Festival.

Come along as we journey through our top 10 things to do in Victoria this July!


1. Celebrate Canada Day at the Inner Harbour

Kick off July with a bang at Victoria’s Canada Day celebrations! The Inner Harbour will be alive like never before with headliner DJ Shub, a Juno award-winning Indigenous artist, as well as the Harbour’s first ever drone show, designed by contemporary Indigenous artist Rande Cook. Plenty of food options will be available throughout Belleville Street with an “International Food Village” of trucks lined up.

Whether you’re a local or travelling in from out of town, there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the July 1st festivities. Visit canadadayvictoria.ca to learn more about the musical lineup and family friendly activities throughout the day.


2. Experience the Electricity of the Phillips Backyard Music Festival

Following the Canada Day weekend, let the party continue at the Phillips Backyard Music Festival. Now in its 10th year, Phillips Backyard will run over two summer weekends: July 5-7 and August 9-11. Prominent artists on the July weekend include Saint Motel, Jessie Reyez and Orville Peck. Visit phillipsbackyard.com to purchase tickets and get ready to dance the night away!

For more beer-themed celebrations, check out the Langford Beer Festival, taking place on Saturday, July 13 at Starlight Stadium. Featuring 80+ beers and ciders, this event is sure to impress craft enthusiasts of all palates. If you’re looking for hand-crafted beer itineraries throughout the year, the BC Ale Trail is a great resource. Featuring the best breweries in Greater Victoria, this trip is one best made with friends! Learn more at bcaletrail.ca.


3. Celebrate Summer at Ship Point

Just because the weekend is over, it doesn’t mean you need to take a break from soaking in summer and enjoying the city’s vibrant arts scene. On most Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between June 11 and September 19, the City of Victoria is proud to showcase Summer at Ship Point.

With regular fitness and wellness classes, as well as happy hours and food trucks from 4-8pm on select days, there’s so much to enjoy down in Victoria’s most iconic setting. Take this opportunity to connect with our community and learn what the island life is all about.


4. Join in the Victoria Pride Parade

On July 7, celebrate love and diversity at the Victoria Pride Parade. Now in its 30th year, this colourful event is a staple of Victoria’s summer, bringing the community together in a joyful celebration of love and inclusion. Following the Parade at 11:00 AM, festivities continue until 6:00 PM at MacDonald Park in James Bay. Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this uplifting and vibrant parade!

If you were already at Phillips Backyard, keep the party going as acclaimed country artist Orville Peck closes out Victoria Pride Week at the Phillips Backyard Music Festival on July 7. For a cold beverage at any time during the festival, check out Friends of Dorothy for a chic lounge experience.


5. Explore the Flavour Trails

Greater Victoria is filled with incredible locally sourced food and beverages, and the Flavour Trails are one of the best ways to experience the region’s culinary richness. With hand-crafted itineraries and countless resources for foodie inspiration, the Flavour Trails offer a unique perspective on the fertile Saanich Peninsula and Southern Gulf Islands, and a closer look into the lives of the people behind these tantalizing creations. From farm-fresh produce to artisanal goods, you’ll discover rich flavours and even richer stories behind each local delicacy. Explore the Flavour Trails today!


6. Spend a Day at the Beach

Nothing says summer like a relaxing day at the beach. Surrounded by water on virtually every edge of the city, Victoria boats several beautiful, sandy beaches that are perfect for an afternoon of rest and relaxation. Some of our favourite spots include Gonzales Beach and Willows Beach, as well as more secluded areas like Mt Douglas Beach, Cadboro-Gyo Beach and Banfield Park. Pack your beach day essentials and get ready for a fabulous day in the sun!


7. Browse Victoria’s Summer Markets

If you haven’t already read our definitive Guide to Victoria’s Summer Markets, you definitely should! Over summer’s beautiful sunny days, thousands of residents and visitors flock to markets across the city to interact with the local artisan community and purchase specialty goods you won’t find in other places. Whether you’re shopping for local ferments or pottery and clothing apparel, these markets are sure to deliver a delightful experience. Visit our markets blog for a full guide to everything happening this summer.


8. Tour Local Gardens

We’d be remiss if we didn’t call out some of our magnificent gardens as a top summer activity. Thanks to the region’s mild climate, summer in Greater Victoria is tastefully decorated with plenty of vibrant flora and vegetation. Whether you’re travelling solo or in a group, carving out some time in your schedule to unwind in one of the city’s tranquil gardens is sure to invigorate any outing.

For some free, public options, Hatley Castle, Government House and Beacon Hill Park all offer a considerable amount of natural space to explore, with specialty gardens for aspiring botanists and home gardeners to enjoy. If you’re looking for exotic species and a more defined tour, The Butchart Gardens, Abkhazi Garden and The Gardens at HCP provide a pleasant way to spend the day, along with a great photo op.


9. Go Wine Tasting

Summer dresses and wine tasting go hand-in-hand, and what better way to connect with the land than on a wine tour? With TwoFiveO Tour Co. at your side, explore picturesque vineyards and enjoy some of the region’s finest wines on a relaxed, hassle-free tour. While you’re in the touring mood, check out L.A. LimousinesLuxury Wine Tours for a full service wine touring experience. Included in your day of fun is lunch from a local bistro and all fees associated with the wine tastings.

The Victoria International Wine Festival is also hosting a new event on July 27: Roses and Rosé. Taking places at the Parkside Hotel, this one-of-a-kind event will feature a gala-style tasting format alongside live classical guitar performances. To embrace the event’s spirit, attendees are encouraged to dress in pink.

Finally, for a fine wine experience in the city, visit L’Apero Wine & Cheese Bistro for a dining experience centered around bringing people together. Enjoy remarkable cuisine and internationally renowned wines for a special outing in the heart of downtown. Keeping on the French theme, stage. is a wine bar in the Fernwood neighbourhood known for its simple approach to bistro classics and locally sourced cuisine. Adorned with brick and tasteful lighting, stage. is a comfortable spot for late night wine and snacks.


10. Celebrate Local Art

After an eventful month, wrap up your travels with a visit to the ArtisTREE Festival—a celebration of art, music and nature. Located at the historic Government House, this festival runs from 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM on Saturday, July 27 and 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM on Sunday, July 28. Celebrate community and creativity in the heart of Rockland at one of the most beautiful times of year and connect with nature in a new way.

Additionally, the 2024 Sooke Fine Arts Show is running from July 27 to August 5 at the SEAPARC Recreation Centre. The Main Gallery will house over 300 pieces from artists living on BC’s coastal islands, while the Youth Art Gallery will showcase emerging artists from the region. Learn more at sookefinearts.com.


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