Celebrating the Summer Solstice in Victoria, BC

Activities to immerse yourself in the great outdoors on the longest day of the year.

The longest day of the year is fast approaching, and what better place to celebrate the Summer Solstice than in vibrant Victoria, BC? Immersed in natural beauty from ocean to orchards, Greater Victoria is a shining example of a community living in harmony with nature’s rhythms.

If you plan on spending the Summer Solstice in Victoria, or any of summer’s beautiful long days, here’s a short overview of some iconic activities (along with some hidden gems) to spark inspiration ahead of your travels.

 

Embrace the Dawn

With sunrise a little past 5am, waking up to catch a radiant sunrise might be a challenge, even for the most cheerful of morning people. However, just because you aren’t up at the crack of dawn, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the dazzling glow of the sun over the Haro Strait.

Here are a few of our favourite places to soak in the morning sun.

 

Hike to the top of PKOLS (Mt Douglas)

This ~1 hour hike offers multiple routes to ascend, and any of them will be well worth the trek. Scaling the east side of the mountain, you’ll experience unparalleled panoramic views over Victoria’s Gordon Head neighbourhood and the Pacific Ocean.

 

Look out from Clover Point

An iconic spot for both sunrise and sunset gazing, Clover Point provides an excellent vantage point to feel the combination of warm morning sun and cool ocean breeze on your face. Nearby Trafalgar Park offers a similar (but often less crowded) viewpoint.

 

Stand atop Walbran Park

Just a stone’s throw away from Trafalgar Park, Walbran Park offers one of the most unobstructed views of McNeill Bay and Gonzales Bay. With the right conditions, you’ll be able to see Discovery Island and possibly even Mt Baker. While you might not be selfie-ready, you’ll definitely want to snap some photos.

 

Take a stroll through Oak Bay

Sunrise is good almost anywhere along Oak Bay’s shoreline, but Willows Beach and the Oak Bay Marina especially stand out for early birds and photographers alike. With coffee in hand, a stroll along soft sandy beaches is pure bliss.

 

Immerse Yourself in Nature

After the sun rises, celebrate the raw natural beauty of Greater Victoria by spending some time in the great outdoors. Like our sunrise suggestions, there are activities for every type of visitor.

Looking for a casual, scenic stroll? Look no further than our Take a Walk blog.

Fixing for a bicycle ride along the Galloping Goose or Dallas Road? Check out The PedalerCycle BCOak Bay Bikes or Pedego Electric Bikes for a bike rental!

Or fancy a journey on a paddleboard or kayak? South Island SUP, Ocean River Sports and Pacifica Paddle Sports have you covered.

Whether you’re a first-timer or returning guest, a trip to The Butchart Gardens is always a worthwhile excursion for botanical enthusiasts, with 55 acres of gardens and 900 bedding plant varieties on display.

 

Savour Local Flavours

As you celebrate the Solstice, we invite you to partake in Greater Victoria’s rich culinary scene. With some of Canada’s most exceptional farm-to-table dining experiences, connect with food and nature in a new way.

As a jumping off point for your journey, we recommend checking out the Flavour Trails—a hand-crafted collection of some of the region’s most splendid foodie stops. Wherever you venture, you’re sure to find delicious food and friendly faces.

Visit the Flavour Trails webpage for itineraries, regional maps and local vendors.

 

 

Bask in the Warm Sunset

At the end of your day, you’ll be ready for relaxation and a memorable sunset. For this, we have many places to recommend!

 

Iconic Locations

Beacon Hill Park: an oasis between downtown, James Bay and Fairfield, Beacon Hill Park is one of Victoria’s most popular attractions. As the sun sets, the park becomes a botanical paradise, filled with blooming vegetation and wandering peacocks. Set your own pace as you navigate the park and enjoy the evening glow.

 

Dallas Road: one of Victoria’s most famous walking paths, Dallas Road offers an incredible sunset view over the water. Quiet yet filled with passersby, it’s an opportunity for reflection and awe-inspiring beauty.

 

Inner Harbour: you’re likely familiar with the iconic Inner Harbour, but there’s a reason that locals continue to walk along the waterfront at the end of the day—it’s just so darn picturesque! It’s the perfect place to slowly walk off your dinner or rest on a bench as harbour taxis dance across the water.

 

Ogden Point Breakwater: another famous landmark in the James Bay neighbourhood, Ogden Point Breakwater makes for an immersive sunset experience. As you walk along the Breakwater, the sounds of the city are drowned out by the noise of crashing waves and the gentle whisper of the wind. The Breakwater Lighthouse also makes for a great photo op as the sun sets directly behind it.

 

Lesser-Known Locations

Mt Tolmie: a little way out of the downtown core but still within reasonable distance of most hotels, Mt Tolmie will reward you with 360-degree views of Greater Victoria and the Olympic Mountains. This secluded spot is perfect for those wanting to get away from the crowds, and you’ll find many places to lay a picnic blanket as you enjoy the changing colours on the horizon.

 

Saxe Point Park: located on the southern shore of Esquimalt, Saxe Point Park is a hidden gem for sunset lovers. Wander through the park’s trails or sit along the rocky shoreline as the sound of lapping waves provide the perfect backing track to an evening of relaxation.

 

Finally, if you’re looking for a dash of adventure in your evening, a sunset whale watching tour might be up your alley! With a range of expert operators available, a sunset cruise is the perfect way to wind down your day as you explore the marine life around Greater 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.