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9 Ways to Make the Most of August in Victoria

Posted on July 26, 2017

Eat Local

While Victoria’s climate means you can eat fresh, local cuisine pretty much year-round, the summertime harvest takes farm-to-table to a whole new level. Try 10 Acres Bistro + Kitchen + Commons + Farm, where most of the produce and animal products come from 10 Acres farm on the Saanich Peninsula, or Finest at Sea Seafood Boutique where “catch of the day” is always on the menu. One of Victoria’s lesser-known seafood stops, this fish shop and food cart is just across the street from Fisherman’s Wharf, so you’ll get the same amazing quality fish without the crowds.

Images: 10 Acres Bistro + Kitchen + Commons + Farm (top), Finest at Sea Seafood Boutique (bottom)


Experience Evening Illuminations & Fireworks at The Butchart Gardens

Even if you’ve visited The Butchart Gardens, this is a great opportunity to experience it like never before. If you've never been, there's really no better time for a first impression. Arrive early for live music, pack a picnic (or order one from The Gardens!), tour the blooming, fragrant rose garden, the Japanese Garden, and the famous Sunken Garden. On Saturdays, stay late and settle in for a spectacular fireworks show. Make sure to check the live music schedule before heading out to The Gardens so you know when performances will be taking place. You can also opt for a Whales & Gardens tour with Prince of Whales which combines a wildlife viewing tour on the Salish Sea with a visit to The Gardens. 

If you love fireworks - don't miss the Symphony Splash (live symphony, fireworks) in downtown Victoria on August 6. 


Images: Fireworks (left) and the rose garden (right) at The Butchart Gardens


See the Free-B Film Festival

Victoria loves film (we’ve played host to many film crews including X-Men, Deadpool, and Gracepoint), and this summer, the Victoria Film Festival is bringing back the Free-B Film Festival for everyone to enjoy. Throughout the month of August, films including Rush Hour, Spice WorldDirty Dancing, and Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory will be screened for free during evenings in Beacon Hill Park. There will also be a free screening of Jumanji on the Legislature Lawns at the Inner Harbour on Friday, August 4.


Image: Free-B Film Festival on the Legislature Lawn, via Victoria Film Festival


Attend Day Camp (for Grown-Ups) 

Home to some incredible permanent and rotating exhibits (Terry Fox: Running to the Heart of Canada, Our Living Languages, Maritime Exhibit), the Royal BC Museum has also been stepping up its events game with some seriously cool programming for adults. With happy hours (think wine, yoga, tours), guest lectures and discussion forums, the museum has been making sure it’s not just kids who get to have all the fun (and talk about important issues).

On August 11, reawaken your inner child and explore nostalgic summer camp themes with a grown-up twist at Grown-Up Camp. You’ll get behind-the-scenes at the museum and deconstruct classic camp themes with hands-on activities. Ditch the kids, pack a lunch and bring a friend for a day camp like no other. Explore the human history collections, engage with historical crafting tools, and learn how to make cedar bark crafts. 

Tip: When you visit the Families exhibit, share photos of your own family - whatever that means to you - using the hashtag #RBCMFamily. It'll appear on screens as part of the actual exhibit in the museum!


Image: Museum Happy Hour at the Royal BC Museum


Participate in the Tour de Victoria 

Did you know that Victoria is known as the Cycling Capital of Canada? With lots of winding, coastal roads and new separated bike lanes in the downtown core, it’s easy to get around the city on a bike. This August, take part in Ryder Hesjedal's annual Tour de Victoria; a mass-participation cycling event that includes three route options for riders of all fitness levels. 

For those who still want to ride a bike but don’t feel like participating in a competitive event, rent a bike with The Pedaler or Bike Tours Victoria and choose from one of their many guided rides. We suggest the Craigdarroch Castle ride, which not only takes you to the historic Castle, but also explores some of Victoria’s most beautiful, historic residential neighbourhoods. If you want to get on a road bike, opt for a guided spin with North 48 Bicycles. They've got several rides to choose from including a scenic Saanich Peninsula ride


Image via Ryder Hesjedal's Tour de Victoria


Watch the Dragon Boat Festival

From August 18-20, the 23rd annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival will return to the Inner Harbour. The only dragon boat festival in Canada to take place in a working harbour, spectators can look forward to three days of dragon boat races, ceremonies, live entertainment, food, and activities for kids and families. This year’s festival will kick off with a traditional Eye Dotting Ceremony, where Taoist priests will awaken the sleeping spirits of the dragon and bless the competition.


Images via Victoria Dragon Boat Society (top), Deddeda Stemler (bottom)


Get in a Kayak

It’s that time of year, after all. While the sun’s still shining and the days are long, take advantage of the ample coastal kayaking available in Victoria. Enjoy a scenic paddle of the Inner Harbour with Ocean River Adventures or explore the waters around Fisherman’s Wharf with Kelp Reef Adventures. Alternatively, head to Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa for a serene paddle through the calm waters of Tod Inlet. If you’re new to the sport, take an introductory lesson to learn the basics and get comfortable. If you’re a little more experienced, choose to book a guided tour or simply rent some kayaks so you can explore the shorelines at your own pace. 


Image via Fairmont Empress


Patio Hop

Victoria is known as a foodie destination, and with its location on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and boasting rights that it has more restaurants per capita than almost any other city in Canada, you can bet there are some fantastic outdoor dining opportunities. Al fresco is basically a way of life here. Check out nine can't-miss patios (plus a full list of restaurants in Victoria that offer outdoor seating). 



Celebrate Canada 150

Don't forget - entrance to all National Parks and National Historic Sites of Canada is free for all of 2017! That means you can get into Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites absolutely free this year. Celebrate Canada's 150th with a scenic tour aboard Harbour Air Seaplanes' red and white float plane, or take a selfie with the ultimate backdrop at the Canada 150 sign on the north side of the Inner Harbour. 


Images: Instagrammer @heitadegeneres (top left), Tourism Victoria (top right, bottom)

Still looking for more? Take a look at the online event calendar for more information on what's taking place in Victoria this month.