10 Outdoor Adventures to Experience in Victoria
Posted by Tom Westley on
Victoria and Vancouver Island in general are renowned for their outdoor beauty and nature, enjoyed by residents and tourists alike. There is no shortage of scenery or activities to be done, from relaxing cycles to adventurous kayaking.
Here are a few such outdoor adventures that are sure to delight and want you coming back for more.
1. Wild Play: The #1 Zipline Adventure Course in Victoria
Never been ziplining before? Try it here! Ziplining attaches the person to a line with a belay system and then they zoom down over a landscape high up in the air. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
If that's not enough, Wild Play in Colwood offers an entire adventure course where you can go from tree to tree by using tightropes, rope swings, cargo nets, swinging logs, and wobbly bridges. There is a beginners course, an advanced add-on adventure, and even a kids’ zipline course for children age 5 and up. Plus they offer axe throwing and a 40ft plunge from a platform on a safety line. For adrenaline and thrills, this is the place to be!
2. Drive the Pacific Marine Circle Route
The Pacific Marine Circle is the area around Vancouver Island known as “The West Coast’s West Coast.” Along with beautiful seaside views, and rugged trails, the Pacific Marine Circle Route drive offers the chance to see everything that southern Vancouver Island has to offer.
You can take a leisurely several-day road trip, or hit it all in one beautiful and busy day. Go from Victoria to Sooke to Port Renfrew for the west coast then hit Lake Cowichan and drive down through Duncan, stopping at Sidney before ending again in Victoria. For the truly adventurous and fit, you can even cycle this route!
3. Walk Dallas Road and the Breakwater
Dallas Road is one of Victoria's iconic walks, being an oceanside paved trail approximately 4km long. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll across the entire trail or smaller portions while enjoying the waves.
At Ogden Point there is the Breakwater, a cement structure from Dallas Road out towards the Juan de Fuca Strait to a lighthouse on its furthest end. Wildlife is commonly spotted along the breakwater, from seagulls playfully gliding through the harbour winds to seals hanging around as fishermen cast their lines from the edges of the breakwater.
4. Kayaking in the City
Victoria offers an endless variety of kayaking experiences, from the serenity of a calm lake, or the bustle of an urban paddle on the inner harbour, to the excitement of a fast moving tidal current. The mild climate makes watersports possible for most of the year, with the ideal time being April through October.
The Harbour makes for a particularly memorable experience, however keep in mind that the Port of Victoria is a very busy working harbor and aviation and marine traffic has increased over the past few years, so it is essential that you follow the rules and regulations for operating a paddle craft in the harbour. If you are to kayak, pay particular attention to the areas designated as seaplane landing and takeoff areas.
For more information about kayaking in BC and to hire a guide visit SKGABC.
5. Cycling the Seaside
The Seaside Touring Route, one of Victoria's designated cycling routes, follows the coastline, granting gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Mountains leading through some of the city’s most beautiful residential areas.
Beginning at the southwest corner of Beacon Hill Park, travel east following Dallas Road along the coastline, stopping at any of the numerous parking areas to take in the views. Along the way, Dallas Road’s name changes to Beach Drive and continues into the Oak Bay. At the Oak Bay Marina, watch the antics of seals playing in the water and check out the yachts. The next stop is Willows Beach for a stroll along the shoreline. Carry on to the exclusive neighbourhood of Uplands, the location of Uplands Park and the Cattle Point lookout. Wandering through quiet residential neighbourhoods and densely wooded estates, the Seaside Route heads towards Mount Douglas Park and along suburban Royal Oak Drive to connect with the Lochside Trail. This is where the route heads back towards downtown Victoria.
6. Golf Excursions for Everyone
Victoria and Vancouver Island offer golf experiences with some of the best vistas on earth. A pleasant climate and breathtaking seascapes draw golfers from around the world to play on beautiful and challenging courses. While staying at Salish, explore the courses nearby and enjoy a golfing experience you’ll never forget. Here is our recent blog highlighting 5 beautiful courses.
7. Enjoy a Horse Drawn Carriage Tour
Victoria has a rich history and what better way to see those sights than in a horse-drawn carriage? For 118 years, Tally-Ho Carriage Tours has been recognized as Victoria’s iconic sightseeing experience. Immerse yourself in the stories of the past as you tour the places where they happened. Choose from a variety of tours, and even learn about the horses themselves and how they came to be tour guides.
8. Take a Sailing Tour on a Tall Ship
Anyone can learn to operate a motorboat and get out on the water. But sailing is a special experience, especially on a tall ship. Enjoy a day on the water on an authentic 20th-century heritage sailing vessel. Grab a takeaway meal from one of Victoria’s local restaurants to bring out on the water while you relax on a leisurely ride.
9. Whale Watching Tour
Of course one of the most famous animals to see when in Victoria are the majestic whales. To see them it is best to book a tour, where experienced seafarers can take you out safely to see whales in their natural habitat.
You’ll be able to see orcas and humpback whales while also catching views of eagles soaring above you and other seafaring animals (like seals!). This adventure is complete with the comfort of a warm, dry cabin that’s excellent for a little break or shelter from harsh weather.
10. Try Paddle Boarding and Learn to Soar on The Water
This emerging water sport is better known as “stand-up paddle boarding,” often abbreviated to “SUP.” It involves standing up or sitting down on a board in the same style as a surfboard, where the person paddle boarding uses a long paddle to steer their way and glide along the water.
Many who have tried this standing up attribute the feeling of standing as they glide to what it might feel like to fly. There are many locations for paddle boarding all over Victoria and Vancouver Island as well as instructions on how to get started.
Your adventure awaits in Victoria! Let us help you plan your excursions, book the best restaurants, and enjoy all that Victoria has to offer. Just get in touch to book and get your vacation started.