150 Things To Do In Victoria BC

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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

Doing a tasting at Sea Cider or any of our local wineries on a warm summer day

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

Rock climbing at Crag X or the new Stelly’s gym

Fiddle jam sessions with Daniel Lapp

Wandering into Rogers’ Chocolates on Oak Bay Avenue

Moss Street Paint-In

Our vibrant theatre scene: Theatre Inconnu, The Belfry, MacPherson, Royal Theatre and more

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

Creating your own art walk of the independent galleries in town: Open Space, Morris Gallery, Red Gallery, Luz Gallery and more

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

Celebrating our neighbourhoods through community building events like FernFest, Quadra Village Day and Vic West Fest.

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

Wandering around Fisherman’s Wharf with fish and chips at Barb’s Place . . .

Acupuncture at Heart and Hands CollectiveStillpoint Community Acupuncture, or Active Health & Wellness Clinic

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!

Local coffee joints and bakeries (Habit and Bubby Rose’s among them)

Secondhand clothing shops

Check out Eves of Destruction Roller derby

Getting hair done at the Aveda Institute

Beach Volleyball at Rooftop Surf Club

Golfing at our incredible golf courses: Victoria Golf Club, Cordova Bay Golf Course, Uplands Golf 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

Backyard BBQ’s

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.

Take in Symphony Splash and the Canada Day fireworks

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.

Celebrating 4/20  at Centennial Square

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

Enjoying the sun from some of the city’s great pub patios: Irish Times, Canoe, Glo

Get a straight razor shave a Victory Barber and Brand

Take a dance class at Lynda Raino Dance

Listening to Grapes of Wrath guitarist Tom Hooper play live while having a pint of Guiness at Irish Times

See Pacific Opera perform at the Royal Theatre

Walk around downtown Victoria with  no specific destination in mind!

4 Comments

  1. [...] week, we debuted our 150 Things to Do in Victoria video. That was our contribution to the city’s 150th anniversary, but there’s a lot more [...]

  2. Glad to see Russell’s listed but Munro’s Books is one of the country’s most gorgeous bookstores and the staff are terrific. Chapters does story-time for kids on Sundays as well. Checking out a baseball game at Canarvon or a little league game in Fairfield, Hillside or Hampton Park is always a good time. Maybe I missed it but the Lighted Truck Parade and Food Drive is one of the highlights of the Victoria Christmas season and I think the Pride Parade and the after party in James Bay each summer is always a blast. Even without those additions though, this is a terrific list–we live in a gorgeous city and I’m proud to call it home.

    Katie on 16 August 12, 4:22pm
  3. Thanks for those great additions Katie! -PP

    PP on 16 August 12, 10:47pm
  4. Speaking of cafes, Fort Cafe should be listed and it’s not (unless I missed it).

    Femiluv on 19 August 12, 6:36am

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