17 Ways to Have a Very Victorian Victoria Day

 

HAPPY VICTORIA DAY!

 

2.    Embark on the BC Ale Trail – Victorian edition

Explore British Columbia’s bounty of craft beer right here, in Victoria! As the cradle of the craft beer revolution, Victoria’s scene of breweries and craft beer suppliers is diverse, flavourful, eclectic, and fun. The BC Ale Trail is a collaboration with not only Victoria, but of several different regions scattered around the province that are known for their tasty brews.

For the Victorian chapter, we have plenty to celebrate. Our 17 different participating businesses – including Île Sauvage, The Drake Eatery, Driftwood Brewery and more are eager to stamp your Ale Trail passports and serve you up a pint of their craft. Pick up your Passports at our Visitor Centre (812 Wharf Street) and head out to any of the participating breweries. 6 stamps will enter you into the contest – a grand prize of 2 nights at Spinnakers Guesthouses

 

3.    Enjoy a Magical Journey through Butchart Gardens

Known as the Garden City, Victoria’s mild climate allows horticulture to flourish here – and it shows in our local gardens. Victoria is home to the world-renown Butchart Gardens, a 55-acre award-winning garden that is a must-see when visiting. It does not get more pinnacle-Victoria than a show-stopping trip to Butchart!
 

 

4.    Attend the Victoria Highland Games

Held at Topaz Park, the 159th Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival is returning in full force after two “downsized” years. The Games know how to put on a show, filling the park to the brim with pipe bands, International Heavy Events, Highland and Irish dance performances, Celtic Music, Celtic Vendors and a food court, and whisky and wine tasting schools… and we’re just getting started!

For more information and tickets, visit their website. In true Scottish fashion, the Highland Games will take place rain or shine.  Please note that dogs are not permitted at the park during Games weekend. 

5.    Prepare for Take Off at the Aviation Museum

Fun and highly educational for all ages, take a trip up to Sidney to visit the BC Aviation Museum. For May 21st-23rd, they have prepared for a number of Military Reenactors to march through the museum, courtesy of the Victoria-Esquimalt Military Re-enactors Association. A group of all ages will be dressed in period costumes from WWI to present day, including retired military vehicles on display. You don’t want to miss this! 

 

6.    Visit the Luxton Spring Fair

Held all weekend, West Coast Amusements returns for Victoria Day Long Weekend for the Luxton Spring Fair, held at Luxton Fairgrounds near Colwood. Expect the whole package-deal: Carnival rides, deep fried food, nachos, fair games, vendor booths, and more. This spring fair will also showcase antique farm equipment, a heritage museum, and even a guest Vancouver Island blacksmith in true Luxton Fair style! Enjoy a packed event of family-friendly fun. 
 

 

7.    Get a dose of Vitamin Sea 

The waters surrounding Victoria are rich in biodiversity. Most well-known is our population of southern resident orca that call the Salish Sea home. Humpback whales, seals, otters, waterfowl, and more can be spotted in a marine excursion as well. Witnessing our island’s wildlife first-hand is best done with local whale and wildlife watching companies, who guarantee safe and sustainable viewing experience for both yourself and our sea life. 

 

8.    Tour the BC Parliament Buildings

Since 1864, the impressive Parliament Buildings are where elected representatives meet to shape the future of our province. Architect Francis Rattenbury was just 25 years old when he won the competition to design the new buildings, which are still known as a Canadian architectural icon to this day. Visitors are welcome to participate in one of their free 45-minute guided tours. Insider Tip: Return to the Legislature at sundown, when the building is transformed with over 3,000 dazzling white lights.
 

 

9.    Pinkies up with Afternoon Tea

Some traditions are well-established in Victoria. Notably, afternoon tea! Visitors can find delicious and unique variations of this tradition around the city. Run through these equally beautiful options, such as the iconic Fairmont Empress, Butchart Gardens, The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden, Pendray Inn and Tea House and White Heather Tea Room.
 

 

10.    Trek through Trees with Wildplay

The natural landscape surrounding Victoria is nothing short of incredible. Why not partake in an adventurous aerial course with Wildplay Element Parks to soak it all in? Sign up for the ultimate tree top trekking adventure by walking across tightropes, climbing up cargo nets, sliding down ziplines, flying through the air on rope swings, leaping onto swinging logs, and balancing on wobbly bridges – all in our lush Pacific Northwest rainforest setting.

 

11.    Hike through Goldstream Provincial Park

Massive trees, majestic waterfalls, and a meandering river are but a few of the attractions that draw people to Goldstream Provincial Park. For hikers, trails range from easy, wheelchair accessible walks to challenging elevated hikes and un-even track along creeks. While you’re there, visit the 47-metre high Niagara Falls, Goldstream Falls, and if you’re feeling up for it – the peak of Mount Finlayson, one of the highest points surrounding Greater Victoria.
 

 

12.    Be charmed by Fisherman’s Wharf

Around the corner from Victoria’s Inner Harbour lays one of our most charming treasures: Fisherman’s Wharf. Wander down to the docks with your lunch, buy boat-to-table fresh seafood, and check out the eclectic and colourful float home moorage. It’s a great spot for lunch – Barb’s Fish and Chips and the floating Fish Store await with crispy-fried halibut, salmon, cod, and freshly shucked oysters. Take a seat and watch Victoria Harbour Ferries sail by with happy passengers, river otters curiously swim by, and the warm coastal breeze pleasantly drifting through. 

 

13.    Take a Stroll through Canada’s First Chinatown

Our Chinatown neighbourhood is a true gem in Victoria. Rich with history, a walk through this lantern-adorned neighbourhood follows in the footsteps of gold miners, merchants, labourers and revolutionaries. Fan Tan Alley is tucked away in this neighbourhood, known for the narrowest street in the country. 

You can delve into the city’s history with Discovery Walks History Tours, feast on authentic Chinese bakeries and other treats with Off the Eaten Track Tours, or check out the temporary exhibit “First Steps: Chinese Canadian Journeys in Victoria”. This exhibit details the fascinating tales of early Chinese migrants during the Gold Rush, shedding light on the adventure, heartbreak, and social upheaval that would impact the development of British Columbia and China.  

 

14.    Take a Sunset walk down Dallas Road

Soak in the splendour of the salted Pacific air, stretching sun rays, and crashing ocean waves that our city is known for. A walk down Ogden Point Breakwater to reach the lighthouse, or alongside Dallas Road is a beautiful way to take in the Salish Sea and Olympic Mountain range views that Victoria is known for. 

 

15.    Treat yourself to brunch

If there’s one thing you need to know about Victoria, it’s that the city lives, breathes, and devours brunch. And what’s not to love about it? Brunch is a great way to indulge in local cuisine and culture, catch up with friends, and celebrate the weekend. Some great spots for a sit-down brunch include Floyd’s Diner, Cora Breakfast and Lunch, and Heron Rock Bistro. For a checklist of breakfast ideas, visit our 2022 Victorian Brunch Guide
 

 

16.    Take a blast to the past with a horse-drawn carriage tour

Get a taste of royalty by embarking a historic sightseeing experience with Tally-Ho Carriage Tours. Majestic horses and knowledgeable guides escort you on a charming vis-à-vis carriage, taking you through notable communities in Victoria. Each personalized carriage tour can take a maximum of 6 guests. Tally-Ho’s herd of draft horses are extremely well-loved and respected, and their health and well-being are of the utmost importance to the owners, staff and local residents who have grown attached to these amazing animals. 

17.    Go on a Cycling Excursion!

Whether trail, road, or downhill – Victoria is a cycling destination like no other. Equipped with bike paths and deemed one of Canada’s most cyclable cities, there are plenty of beautiful trails to pick from. Some of our hotels (Robin Hood Inn & Suites, the Parkside Hotel & Spa) offer complementary bikes for their guests. You can even opt to take guided historic tours or foodie tours around Victoria by bike – for this, check out the Pedaler Cycling Tours and Rentals

Why not pair a leisurely bike ride with a beer tasting? Lighthouse Brewery Company is located a quick 10 minute ride on the E&N Trail from downtown Victoria. The tasting room also offers growlers, squealers, and retail items for sale. 
 

 

HAPPY VICTORIA DAY!

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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.