Victoria, the charming capital city of British Columbia, Canada, is a picturesque gem that seamlessly blends history with modernity. Nestled on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is renowned for its exquisite natural beauty, including stunning oceanfront views and lush gardens. The city exudes a sense of elegance with its historic architecture, notably exemplified by the iconic Fairmont Empress Hotel, a grand symbol of its colonial past. A vibrant cultural scene thrives here, with numerous art galleries, theaters, and cultural events that reflect the city's artistic spirit. The Inner Harbour stands as a bustling hub, offering a delightful mix of waterfront attractions, from street performers to gourmet restaurants and boutique shops. With its mild coastal climate, friendly residents, and a laid-back atmosphere, Victoria remains a captivating destination that captures the hearts of both locals and visitors alike.
Here are some fun things to do this autumn in Victoria:
Leaf Peeping & Salmon Running
With its mild climate perfect for growing flowers, Victoria is known internationally as the City of Gardens. Come fall it's also one of the best places for leaf peeping.
Take in these idyllic views across the city with a visit to Goldstream Provincial Park, which offers incredible trails filled with fall foliage (you may even spot a bald eagle!), and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of millions of salmon making their way upstream from mid-to-late October into early December during the annual Salmon Run.
Head to East Sooke Regional Park for a happy combination of west coast wilderness and fall foliage. The 31 miles of trails feature coastal views, pockets of beaches and tide pools, and, of course, the vibrant colors of fall.
Additionally, Jocelyn Hill is a lovely half-day hike that beautifully displays Pacific Ocean scenery and lush forests decorating the trail with the colors of fall. For those looking to enjoy fall beyond the bounds of traditional city living, Victoria offers a perfect palette displaying the famous colors of the season to be enjoyed and admired by visitors and locals alike.
Discover another perspective on the beauty of fall at the world-renowned Butchart Gardens - a must-see oasis that will celebrate 120 years in 2024 and is now a National Historic Site of Canada. In its peak bloom during the fall, the Japanese Garden is the section of choice to see the marvelous parade of red, russet, and gold. In September and October, check out the garden’s 700 dahlias or hop over to the field nursery and greenhouses to see the orange, yellow and bronze chrysanthemums through the end of October.
Spirits & Spirits
From spooky history to tasty cider, Victoria is a destination for every fall traveler's bucket list.
Explore Victoria’s spookiest landmarks and sites where spirits of generations past have been known to wander with Tally Ho’s Haunted Halloween Tour. From October 20th to the 31st, guests can explore the dark and twisted past of Victoria’s most haunted buildings all by means of a private carriage! For more chilling tours, book Discover the Past’s Ghostly Walks Tour, or learn of murder and mayhem on the Beacon Hill with a BOO! tour from Boston By Foot.
From tree to tap, take the classic fall activity of apple picking to another level by venturing to Merridale Cidery & Distillery to enjoy their world-class, award-winning ciders and spirits that celebrate the spirit of Cowichan Valley. For a one-of-a-kind experience, book a stay in one of Merridale’s luxury one-bedroom yurts for the ultimate glamping experience, available through mid-October.
Head to the Saanich Peninsula to experience the gorgeous Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse, which features panoramic water views, tours, and tastings and focuses on crafting traditionally fermented ciders from organically grown apples. This 10-acre farm is home to more than 1,300 apple trees, made up of more than 50 varieties of heirloom apples.