I have traveled the globe, been to countless countries in five continents and still, every summer, I am remain convinced that there is no place anywhere in the world that I would rather spend my summers. Victoria, BC is THE place for me. Here’s why…
Breathtaking scenery and parks everywhere. Witty’s lagoon is one of my son’s favorite for skim-boarding.
Thetis lake is another family favorite, especially during those (rare) super hot summer days. Fresh water swimming with a nice trail walk around the lake and soft sand to boot! Bring snacks and spend the day (facilities are available).
Bike the Galloping Goose trail to Sooke, or Lockside trail up to Sidney (if heading up to Sidney stop at Mitchell’s farms for fresh berries and treats! Keeps you going that extra kilometer)
Catch the Busker’s festival in the inner harbor. Great atmosphere and some amazing street performers. Make your way downtown in the later afternoon, catch a set or two and then make your way to dinner.
Fancy fish? Then head to fisherman’s wharf for fish and chips on the docks. Barb’s Fish and Chips is perhaps the most famous establishment, though I personally prefer Finest at Sea, where all fish is caught by local fisherman using sustainable practices. They also have a store where they sell the days catch (and the item label even comes with with descriptions of how the fish was caught( (long-line, etc), where, and by which vessel. And try the fish tacos!
Rent a canoe or kayak downtown from Ocean River Sports and cruise down the Gorge Waterway. 5pm-8pm usually has special rates in the summer. They also have a new Oak Bay Marina location where rentals are on a first come first serve basis.
Play beach bum for the day at Willows beach. Also, not to be missed is the MEC Paddlefest held yearly in July at Willows beach. Every Tuesday at 6pm yoga there is yoga, and every Wednesday there is a concert happening (usually at 6:30pm).
Head to Dallas road for some water fun (kite-boarding, wind-surfing, you name it).
Catch music in the park. Free concerts daily in Beacon Hill park during the summer months. Not to be missed.
Indulge in fresh salmon on the BBQ and blueberries!
Feed the seals at the Oak Bay Marina. THE business model. The tackle shop at the beginning of the marina sells chopped up sardines for $2.50 (about 5/6 pieces) and the wild seals play up the chance to be thrown a morsel. Don’t feel like spending that money (I never do) then just wait for the tour-buses to come in and people will soon make their way down to feed them. What’s really cool is that the seals can distinguish the engine throbbing sound of the big open-top tour buses and start to swim over (my theory and not statistically proven but I think it’s true!)
Finally, looking for some rainy day family entertainment? The Game Board Cafe is the place to be! A happy mix of a cafe with all sorts of board games that you can play till your heart desires (as well as purchase your favorites). Downtown on Yates St.
If you still need more suggestions, check out the Tourism Victoria website for an updated calendar of events. Enjoy!