Are all seasons the best time of year to visit Victoria BC?
You’ll have to visit to find out!
What is the best time of year to visit Victoria BC? They say timing is everything. From the big moments in life like buying your first house. To the mundane like giving a toddler chocolate before bed. We can all agree that timing matters. When it comes to travel, it’s no different. You want to make sure you time it just right to make the most of your vacation! While in beautiful Victoria BC, we have some seasons that are definitely better than others. With our temperate weather, we’re lucky to say that Victoria is stunning and accessible all year ‘round.
In the spring, the entire city bursts with blooms from fragrant hyacinths and vibrant daffodils to fluffy cherry blossoms and enormous magnolias. It’s this time of year that has chilly spring showers interspersed with gloriously warm days and bluebird skies. Spring is a perfect time to book some activities. You can miss the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season in late summer.
The spring is the perfect season to go whale watching. While you can encounter some inclimate weather, the spring is the time of year where guests are more likely to see Humpback, Orcas, Minke and Grey Whales as they migrate.
As the days get warmer and longer, kayaking is a wonderful way to spend a sunny spring day. While the temperatures won’t have reached their summertime peaks, if you prepare for a slight chill, this laid back, easy sport is a perfect way to get out of your comfort zone and explore Victoria from a new perspective.
In the spring, all across the city, restaurants begin to unfurl their umbrellas ushering in one of the best seasons for local and visiting gourmands: patio season. Victoria is a culinary city and prides itself on using fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and the spring brings a cornucopia of locally sourced, fresh produce, seafood and meat. The time of year where Victorians begin to come out of their wintry confinement to live and dine alfresco.
As spring turns to summer, the sun begins to leave its mark on the city. Cherry blossoms are replaced by leafy layers that intertwine to create living canopies over quiet, sun-baked streets. Families flock to beaches, cyclists abound and every patio is filled with happy people and cold drinks. This is the time of year when the rain is scarce and life can be lived outdoors.
If you are looking for soft, sandy beaches Gonzales, Cadboro and Willows are all stunning beaches with soft sand and clear waters. Dallas Road may be known for the beautiful seaside trail that you can walk from downtown to Beacon Hill Park and beyond but just over the edge are some beautiful hidden beaches all waiting to be explored. Clamber over the boulders to find tide pools and seek out little coves to spend a few hours in the sun.
The Indigenous Cultural Festival offers visitors a chance to watch performances, see artisans at work and try some heavenly BBQ salmon, fry bread and clam chowder. Victoria is one music loving city and the longevity of the International Jazz Festival is proof! Celebrate Canada’s Birthday with the Canada Day Celebrations downtown Victoria! One of the most joyful festivals happens for an entire week during Victoria Pride Week – come celebrate and support our LGBTQ+ family! Symphony Splash is the beautiful marriage between the Victoria Symphony and fireworks – need we say more?
One of the best parts of summer in Victoria is the abundance of summer markets. In every borough and town, all throughout Victoria and the surrounding areas, you can find incredible farm markets selling everything from fresh local produce, honey, cheese, jams to stunning artisan jewelry, pottery and so much more!
While the fall brings shorter days and cloudier skies, in Victoria, early fall can be gloriously sunny and warm with a fresh crispness in the air. Green leaves turn amber and gold and the rainy season hasn’t returned in earnest. It’s the perfect time to avoid the large crowds of the summer but still enjoy sunnier skies.
Cideries, Breweries and Distilleries
Victoria is home to so many incredible craft breweries, artisanal cideries and some stunning distilleries. Simply call ahead or visit a tasting room or two, you’ll learn about the process, taste inspired libations and have fun!
As the crowds of the summer disperse and the weather cools, hiking is a great way to get out into nature and soak up the beauty of fall on the Island. Right in Victoria you can take a seaside stroll along Dallas Road, get above the city on Christmas Hill, Mount Douglas or Mount Tolmie. For a moderate hike, Thetis Lake is a great loop around a beautiful lake not too far from downtown.
Best Time of Year to Visit Victoria BC? Festival time! Brewery and the Beast Culinary Festival is a mouthwatering good time aimed at celebrating local, sustainable farming practices and encouraging conscientious consumerism to support local farmers. Hosted by the Victoria Film Festival, Art of the Cocktail puts the fun in fundraiser, where ticket holders can taste cocktails and learn how to make some eye popping drinks. Every year, the Coho salmon swim upstream en masse in a writhing, glittering surge known as the Salmon Run at Goldstream Provincial Park – come watch one of the most fascinating and important events in BC’s biodiversity.
In comparison to other Canadian cities our winters seem balmy but make no mistake, winter in Victoria is wet, grey and cold. That doesn’t mean that it’s not still worth a visit though! In between rainy days, Victoria can see some snow and chilly sun during the winter and if there’s one thing Islanders know is that winters can be peaceful and cozy.
Hygge all the rave right now! The Danish word for feeling sung and content through the long winters has grown in popularity for good reason! All you need is an incredible place to stay and some accoutrements to make your space cozy and inviting. If you’re looking to splurge on locally made treats, you’ll find everything you need at the Victoria Public Market. For the freshest produce and largest selection of organic foods, the Market on Yates is your best bet in Victoria.
For all you culture vultures out there, the winter may be one of the best times of year to visit. Escape the cold with a visit to the RBCM. This is where visitors can spend hours exploring the exhibits and watching a movie at the IMAX. Spend a quiet afternoon of contemplation at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Enjoy the stunning, Gothic style Christ Church Cathedral. Kids of all ages will love the Bug Zoo, Miniature World and the beautiful Butterfly Gardens. There’s so much to do in Victoria and with the summer crowds long gone. The attractions are easier to navigate and quieter so you can enjoy at your leisure.
The weather outside is frightful but the festivals in Victoria are delightful! The annual kick-off to the Christmas season is the Festival of Trees at the Bay Center! Get into the Christmas spirit at The Magic of Christmas at Butchart Gardens and don’t forget to watch the lighting of the Christmas tree at the Legislature during Christmas Lights across Canada. New Years blues are forgotten at the Lunar New Year celebrations in historic Chinatown.
No matter what time of year you plan your trip, Victoria is always fun, peaceful and beautiful. What is the best time of year to visit Victoria BC? Anytime is the best time to visit Victoria BC!