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Outdoor & Wildlife Activities

With the mildest climate in the country, Victoria is Canada's destination for year-round outdoor adventures on both land and water. The city’s beauty and natural surroundings inspire people to get outdoors and stay active. Victoria has easy access to endless scenic trails and sites that incorporate mountains, old-growth rainforests and rugged ocean shores. Here are five activities to try in Victoria:
 

CYCLING

According to the Government of Canada (Statistics Canada 2011), Victoria is Canada’s cycling capital. Per capita, more people in Victoria commute by bicycle than in any other Canadian destination. Use one of the city's many bike lanes and cyclist-friendly streets or pedal the Galloping Goose and Lochside Regional trails, a massive trail network stretching over 90km from Swartz Bay ferry terminal all the way to Sooke. Taking a cycling tour is a great way to explore the city and get acquainted like a local. 
 

PACIFIC MARINE CIRCLE ROUTE

The best way to experience the West Coast’s west coast is at your own pace, with time to wander and take in the sights, sounds and scents of the route. This one to five day road loop through Victoria, Sidney, Cowichan, Port Renfrew, and Sooke takes you from rugged coastal trails, to beaches, tranquil lakes, rolling vineyards, restaurants and delightful places to stay. Drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route and sample everything Southern Vancouver Island has to offer.
 

WHALE WATCHING

The clear waters surrounding Victoria are home to an abundance of marine wildlife, making them perfect for whale watching. Cruise with local certified naturalists by booking with one of the city’s many whale watching companies for a chance to see orca’s, humpbacks, minke whales, and other aquatic neighbours including sea lions, seals and many marine birds!
 

KAYAKING & SUP

Equal parts peaceful and exciting, one of the greatest ways to experience Victoria and Vancouver Island is by kayak or SUP (stand up paddleboard). Explore the Inner Harbour and Gorge Waterway from a different vantage point, or paddle the calm waters around Brentwood Bay and Tod Inlet. Local kayak outfitters provide rentals and lessons along with full day and overnight adventures. 
 

HIKING

As a city on the edge of nature, it’s easy to access hiking trails only kilometres from downtown Victoria. Hike to the top of Mount Douglas for panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and Victoria below, or drive to Goldstream Provincial Park and find the Niagara of the west-coast and the historic wooden railway trestle. Head out to East Sooke Park and walk the coastal forest trails. Keep an eye on the ocean, it’s often possible to see eagles and whales if you’re lucky.
 

Header Image: Field & Forest Co.

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