In honour of Victoria’s 150th anniversary, and with the help of our local audience, CVV Magazine has produced a list of 150 things to do in Victoria BC! We also sent our entire staff out to sample from the list and help us compile some footage for this video. We managed to capture some truly amazing shots! Just goes to show you what you can accomplish when you have so much great material to work with. Victoria has a LOT to offer! Big thanks to everyone for sending us so many great ideas!
150 Things To Do In Victoria BC
CVV Magazine asked our audience, “What’s your favourite thing to do in Victoria BC?”
Below are 150+ of the most frequently submitted answers, with links so you can find more info!
Farm hopping… checking out local produce at some of the island’s best farms
Hike Mt. Work then have a ginormous sandwich at Red Barn Market
Hike Mt. Finlayson for the gorgeous ocean view (or the trestle bridge to induce vertigo)
Visit East Sooke Park
Fiddle jam sessions with Daniel Lapp
Wandering into Rogers’ Chocolates on Oak Bay Avenue
Snorkelling at Gonzales Beach
Diving at Ogden Point
Exploring the CRD’s many amazing parks – big and small
Dallas Road stormwatching
Beachcombing along Victoria`s extensive waterfront
Swimming at Sooke potholes
Spending the day at Thetis Lake
Taking in a movie at Cinecenta
Dancing at Upstairs Cabaret
Rifflandia music festival
Discovering new tastes at Victoria’s many great restaurants
Enjoying 26 years (and counting) of the Fringe Festival!
Getting spooked on a Ghost Tour
Taking in top-quality professional theatrical talent at The Belfry
Discovering lost history by exploring downtown, like Fort Victoria’s original well
Free B-Fest at the Cameron Bandshell
Wandering around the Royal BC Museum on a rainy day
Soft ice cream at the Beacon Hill Drive-In
Sunset walk through Beacon Hill Park
Work out with Studio 4 Athletics’ Darcy Dommett, voted “Best Trainer in Victoria”
Busting a move at the Victoria Electronic Music Festival
Paddling the Gorge and seeing the city from the water
Visit UVic’s natural spaces like Finnerty Gardens and Mystic Vale’s trails
Seeing what’s on stage at Metro Studio -there’s always something cool!
One yummy word: sushi! Be sure to try Azuma Sushi on Yates!
Getting a dozen cupcakes from Ooh La La Cupcakes and sharing them with friends… or not!
Micro-neighbourhoods like Fernwood Square, Haultain, Estevan and Craigflower, and seeing what the rest of Greater Victoria has to offer
A sunny stroll along the Vic West seawall with a relaxing break at the Vic West driftwood throne
Sipping and schmoozing at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria’s Urbanite mixers
Staycationing at Sooke Harbour House
Ziplining at AdrenaLINE !
Being handed a sample of tea when you walk into Silk Road Tea
Taking in the fine fare at the Victoria Film Festival, and being surprised by their year-round events
Hanging out at the dog parks and getting chummy with your canine companions
Spending the day at Mount Doug – from hiking to the top of the hill to wandering the ocean at the bottom of the trail
Seeing the stars at the Centre of the Universe on West Saanich Road
Talking to the fish guy at Thrifty Foods on Fairfield
Camping close to home at Goldstream Park or Bamberton
Riding along the Galloping Goose in the fall and munching on fresh blackberries while you ride
Skimboard at Gonzales Beach
Longboard along Dallas Road
Second Slice Pizza at 2:05am
Rooftop Surfclub on Sunday nights
Visiting Fairfield’s Abkhazi Gardens…a hidden Victoria gem in all seasons.
Have a pint and play a round of darts at Spinnaker’s (in that order).
Appies and cocktails at Milestone’s on sunny days on their lower patio while watching the tourists
The toonie swim at Oak Bay Pool. It’s every night from 11pm-1am
Walking through Mt. Tolmie Park and taking in 360 degree views.
Beacon Hill Petting Zoo, watch the goat run at the end of the day, or the peacocks going into the trees at night.
Purchase a Harbour Ferry punchcard in the summer and then patio hop from Milestones to Canoe to Glo to Spinnakers!
Americanos at Caffe Fantastico‘s Dockside Green location. Even better when the sun’s out!
Stop in at Sam’s Sideshow Boutique on Johnson for conversation and clothes!
Ice cream at Fisherman’s Wharf
Walk the waterfront, Inner Harbour to Clover Point.
Wander around Victoria’s great public markets, eg. Moss Street Market
Walking Ogden Point
Check out the best Indonesian food in Market Square
The World famous lasagna at Pagliacci‘s!
Secondhand clothing shops
Check out Eves of Destruction Roller derby
Getting hair done at the Aveda Institute
Beach Volleyball at Rooftop Surf Club
Getting fancy and having a drink at The Bengal Lounge
High fiving Kenno at Cactus Club
Putting, Slack-lining, Bocce in Beacon Hill Park
Chatting with Iain and Dale at Outlooks
Patio beers at Canoe Brewpub
Strolling down to Clover Point on a breezy day with a kite
Watching the wind and kite-surfers bouncing on the waves along Dallas Road for hours.
Halloween at beautiful Craigdarroch Castle
Taking kids to Princess and Prince tea at the Empress Hotel at Christmas
Seeing a Giggling Iguana production at Craigdarroch Castle
Cheering, jeering and toasting your favourite Atomic Vaudeville characters
Packing a picnic dinner and heading to Government House
Checking out Fibrations in the orchard at St. Ann’s Academy each August to learn all things fibre.
Voting at the annual Monobrow Slam during UnoFest each May
Donning your best plaid for Victoria’s annual Tweed Ride atop a bicycle in your finest chapeau
Extending your Fringe-going experience by mingling with the performers and catching local cabaret shows starting at 10PM every night at the Fringe Club.
Participating in a game of Manhunt downtown: a variant on hide-and-seek that has you running around with strangers trying not to get tagged
Super soaker version of Manhunt at Topaz Park every spring.
Eating brunch almost anywhere in the city in any season on any day of the week. Shine Café, Blue Fox Café, Jam Café (noticing a pattern here?), Mo:lé, The Village, The Superior, Bon Rouge .. I could go on, they’re all fantastic.
Pouring over the city’s Active Living Guide twice a year and taking a class in something totally unfamiliar: jam-making, hand-drumming, kung fu—you name it.
Rolling out on a brewery tour with a group of friends; Victoria is home to a pile of amazing microbreweries/brew pubs and taste-testing them all is a lot of fun. So is the Great Canadian Beer Festival at Royal Athletic Park every September.
Daring to go bare at Prior Lake, or one of the other unofficial nude beaches. (Don’t forget the sunblock!)
Spending a few fall nights ghost-hunting for the restless spirit of Doris Gravlin on the Victoria Golf Club in Oak Bay.
Enjoying one of the many seasonal pop-up drive-ins that happen around greater Victoria. Bring your own popcorn!
Spending a seasonal day at Butchart Gardens: either in the summer—when you can take your own picnic, enjoy a concert, take time to smell the roses and then stay for the amazing choreographed firework display—or in the winter—when the dark falls earlier, the seasonal lights are out, kids can get free hot chocolate by cutting out their own snowflake, the strolling musicians are out, and you ride the merry-go-round just to get warm.
Go bouldering at Fleming Beach in Esquimalt. And while you’re there, explore the forlorn buildings and WWII-era gun emplacements at the old army base. Unparalleled views from the top of the hill! (It’s also a great dog park.)
Try a 24-hour cycle in Victoria—start by facing east for the sunrise at Willows Beach, go for a sunset at Mount Doug and shoot for moonrise on Mount Tolmie . . . what you do between all that is up to you!
Get a Harbour Ferry punch card and enjoy discovering the further reaches of the Inner Harbour—Point Ellice House, Westbay Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf, Dockside Green, etc. At $35 for eight trips, it’s the cheapest and best way to see our ever-changing waterfront.
Enjoy a summer evening canoe ride at Elk or Beaver Lake. Don’t have a canoe? The CRD offers extremely inexpensive summertime how-to-canoe classes that come complete with all equipment.
Grab a pile of rope, a hammer and some big nails, then head down to any of Victoria’s local beaches and make your own raft . . . then see how long you can stay afloat!
Grabbing a few of your best-pitched friends and booking a karaoke room into the wee hours of the morning at Lotteria on Yates
Breaking out your best brooch for high tea at least once in this city. Try The White Heather in Oak Bay.
Strolling about Chinatown (the oldest in Canada) to shop for tea, veggies and crafts before going for dim sum
Feeding the seals at the Oak Bay Marina—you can even buy treats for these appreciative (and spoiled) animals on the dock now.
Spending hours with the friendly staff in Russells Books on Fort to build up your summer (or winter or whenever) reading list from scads of used books in great shape
Bombing around town on rented scooters—it’s the best way to take in the waterfront drive up to Cattle Point and back, bar none.
Toting your camera along to Ross Bay Cemetery on any given afternoon; the grounds make for a beautiful walk and the mixed and matched headstones from eras gone by make for gorgeous photo subjects.
Heading down to Market Square on a Saturday afternoon in early December to take in the annual Tuba Christmas (34-years strong in 2012), a quirky and brassy gala concert to raise money for charity that tends to start the holiday season off with a toot—err—bang.
Concession food picnic while watching a ball game at Carnarvon Park
Taking a tour of the Emily Carr House – birthplace of Canadian icon, rebel, environmentalist, feminist
Ride the famous bicycle touring routes
Visit the Viberg boot factory
Jog along Dallas Road and along the break water
Hike the Goldstream trestle
Sample Victoria Gin
Skinny dip off a secluded beach (bonus points if done during the winter time)
Shop Johnson Street
Slurp Oyster in the harbor
Look for shed deer antlers in Uplands Park
See Victoria from above with a tour from Helijet
Go in or watch the Swiftsure yacht race
Have an 1812 cocktail at The Veranda, the patio restaurant of the Empress Hotel
Going to the IMAX in the Royal BC Museum
Finding the famous graves at Ross Bay Cemetery (Emily Carr! Judge Begbie!)
Brightening up the neighbourhood by doing some telephone pole painting
Watching the salmon run at Goldstream Park each fall . . . and the eagle feast afterwards!
Random conversations in your neighbourhood that lead to meeting new people—like the 91-year-old man Fernwood man who had once seen a sasquatch up close
Getting a tarot reading from one of Victoria’s famed witches
Finding out the history of the city, and its role in the creation of the province, by taking one of the costumed Legislature tours
Feeling like Gulliver in the tiny, trippy surroundings of Miniature World
Spiralling inward on one of the many local labyrinths
Meeting new people and helping your community thrive by volunteering at any of the many cultural festivals
Standing in the middle of Beacon Hill Park with your eyes closed and listening to the cacophony of sounds surrounding you: peacocks screeching, children laughing, horses clopping, ducks quacking, music playing
Vespa-ing along Beach Drive
Going to a reading by one of the many local writers
Kayaking up to a paddle-through restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf
Showing your colours at Pride Week
Walking through the Christmas Tree display at the Empress Hotel at Christmas time
Hankering for some haggis and flashing your kilt at the annual Highland Games
Exploring nearby Sidney by strolling the pier, visiting the aquarium, seeing the annual Lego show . . .
Working on your tan at Willows Beach
Get a straight razor shave a Victory Barber and Brand
Take a dance class at Lynda Raino Dance
Walk around downtown Victoria with no specific destination in mind!