6 Ways to Spend a Day Outdoors in Victoria

If you're looking to spend a day in the outdoors, Victoria has a ton entertaining of al fresco adventures

These outdoor adventures will be a breath of fresh air during your next trip to Victoria

Victoria plays host to an abundance of heritage houses, theatres and museums, but as summer days approach, there’s a need for sunshine and fresh air. Luckily, when you hit Victoria there are plenty of ways to get outside. Catch some rays and take the opportunity to explore a city full of colourful communities and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking to get active with a hike or pack a picnic and settle in for a day of lazy relaxation, Victoria offers plenty of options.

Dig into a Garden

Victoria is a garden lover’s paradise, and the warm summer months are the perfect chance to stop and smell the roses. The most famous garden in the area is Butchart Gardens. The price can be a bit steep, but with six thriving gardens it’s worth a visit. The Gardens at Horticulture Centre of the Pacific are another great option for a summer stroll. Their many diversely themed gardens are as educational are they are beautiful. If those only whet your appetite for the city’s finest floral features, you can check out Finnerty Gardens, Abkhazi Gardens or the gardens in Beacon Hill Park (keep reading to hear more about the park).

Beacon Hill Park

Located within walking distance of Victoria’s iconic Inner Harbour, Beacon Hill Park is a must-see. The park stretches across 200 acres and includes everything you need for a summer outing, from picnic-perfect meadows to a water park. While kids are sure to love the petting zoo, wildlife is abundant throughout the park. Free-roaming peacocks are joined by over one hundred other species of birds, raccoons, river otters and more. Visitors young and old can also enjoy live entertainment at the Cameron Bandshell; the summer lineup can be found in the Victoria CITYVibe Guide.  

Fisherman’s Wharf

You’ll find one of Victoria’s most lively neighbourhoods floating (yes, you read that right) a short walk from downtown. Fisherman’s Wharf is a dock that formerly housed disorderly commercial fishing crews and a handful of eclectic houseboat dwellers. Present-day Fisherman’s Wharf is a vibrant community of quirky float homes and delicious seafood. Keep an eye out for some popular aquatic residents: bold seals that have no trouble entertaining tourists in exchange for fish. Can’t make the trip to Victoria? You can keep an eye on the seals from your own home with their seal cam

Hiking at Mount Douglas

If you’re willing to put in a little effort for stunning views, take a trip to Mount Douglas Park. Don’t let the “Mount” portion of the name scare you – the summit of this picturesque park rises to only 213 metres and takes around an hour to hike. Named by Captain G. H. Richards, it was granted the status of mountain despite being technically too short so as not to offend its namesake, the second governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island.

For a less lengthy walk, check out nearby Mount Tolmie. Tolmie is an easy hike for any age and the panorama of downtown Victoria from the peak is more than worth the effort.

Explore the Beaches

Whether you’re looking to soak up some Vitamin D beside the ocean or cool off in a lake, there is no shortage of beach options on Vancouver Island. If you’re not too afraid of Cadboro Bay’s resident legendary sea monster, Cadborosaurus, you can enjoy the playground, picnic tables and sandy beaches at the picturesque Gyro Park. Keep in mind that there are too many oceanfront vistas to list, so pack a blanket and set out to find a place to watch the sunset.


Downtown Victoria is ideal for picking up unique fashions, souvenirs or simply doing a bit of window shopping. A few blocks from Inner Harbour is Johnson Street, the perfect place to check out some of Victoria’s brightest heritage buildings and shop some local boutiques. Market Square, a historical area located on Johnson Street, offers a flea market every Sunday. If you need a break from shopping, grab a gelato from Famoso Pizza or grab a seat on a bench and people-watch.