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Where to Make a Splash on Your Trip to Victoria

Posted on March 26, 2019

As the weather warms up, sun-seekers flock to our abundant seaside beaches and lakes to cool off and soak up the sun. However, with easy access to seemingly endless waterfront trails, ocean shoreline, aquatic activities and wildlife watching, there’s no shortage of experiences to be had on or in the water, year-round in Victoria. 

Hop Aboard a Harbour Ferry

All aboard! Victoria’s classic  floating taxis are the perfect way to go for a quick loop around the Inner Harbour. If you’re in the mood to cruise, enjoy a more scenic tour through the Gorge.  
If patio drinking is in the forecast, the Pickle Pub Crawl is guaranteed fun that will have you whisked across the harbour to several of Victoria’s best  waterfront pubs.  Think bar hopping in a water taxi with a ferry captain as your designated driver .  You can never go wrong with a pitcher of Cocojito’s from Lure Restaurant & Bar or a pint to go with your deep fried pickles at Swans Brewery

Victoria Harbour Ferry


Kayaking/Paddle Boarding

Equal parts peaceful and exciting, get a fresh perspective of Victoria by launching a kayak or stand-up paddleboard into the Inner Harbour and watch for an abundance of seals and seaplanes.  Embark on a self-guided adventure or book a tour with Victoria Kayak.

If you’re seeking a scenic kayak tour of Victoria’s natural coastline, head to Brentwood Bay Resort & Spa.   From there you can rent a kayak or paddle board and head to the tranquil Tod Inlet, where you can catch a glimpse of the iconic Butchart Gardens from the water. When you’ve had your fill of the Salish Sea, stop in at the Brentwood Bay pub for a tasty snack and cozy up by their outdoor fire pit.  

For the full West Coast experience, head towards Sooke and join a kayaking tour through the Juan de Fuca Strait with West Coast Outdoor Adventure. Experience rugged coastlines, windswept cliffs, and an abundance of wildlife. 

Paddle Boarding


Pacific Marine Circle Route – Victoria to Sooke

If you’re looking for scenic seascapes and lush trails to explore, you won’t be disappointed driving the Victoria to Sooke portion of the Pacific Marine Circle Route, with a day-trip to Sooke.  

Begin your adventure at East Sooke Regional Park, home to over 50 km of trails and many pocket beaches. The opportunities to explore here are endless!  We recommend the 10km Coast Trail that takes you along the shore-line with scenic views throughout the entire hike.  A popular area for marine life, you never know what you might see!

No visit to Sooke is complete without a trip to Sooke Potholes, a series of deep, smooth rock pools filled with crystal clear water.  In the spring there are plenty of trails to explore with cascading waterfalls, and in the summer there is no better way to cool off than braving the chilly water, hopping from pool to pool. 

Insider tip: Be sure to venture past the main parking lot and head upwards to find some of the best view points. 

After a fun filled adventure, stop at Sheringham Distillery on your way back to Victoria, and taste the best contemporary gin in the world, their classic Seaside Gin; or for a unique dance on your palate, try their newest gin infused with green tea and cherry blossoms.

Sooke Potholes


Lake Life

Both Elk Lake and Thetis Lake have fantastic family-friendly sandy beaches, perfect for picnics and swimming.  If you’re up for a walk, head down one of the many trails running around the entire lake to enjoy panoramic lake views and find the perfect secluded spot to enjoy a picnic. 

On the way make a pit-stop at Red Barn Market for some fresh snacks or hit their sandwich bar for what locals often refer to as one of the best made sandwiches in Victoria.

Insider tip: These lakes can get quite busy in the summer months!  Pick up a floatie on your way to the lake and paddle away from the crowd to spend your day relaxing in the middle of the lake. 

Thetis Lake

Photo Credit: James X Vision

Marine Life Viewing

Get to know our residents—orcas that is! In Victoria you can set sail on a wildlife watching tour year-round, so take your pick between an exhilarating experience on a Zodiac (bonus: you get to wear a snazzy looking floatation suit) or a cozy cruise in a covered boat. 

On your tour keep your eyes out for more local wildlife like seals, sea lions, humpback whales and even minke whales. Find the wildlife watching experience right for you here.

Orca Greeting


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