VISIT A LOCAL PARKGreater Victoria is home to an abundance of green spaces, from regional and provincial parks to manicured gardens. Beacon Hill Park's 200-acres is the crowning jewel of Victoria’s public park system and is an urban oasis with ample space to physical distance. Goldstream Provincial Park offers the opportunity to take in the Island's temperate rainforest and explore a diverse eco-system. Gowland Todd Park is home to endless trails from sea to sky and Abkhazi Garden is an off-the-beaten-track oasis with a royal history.
TAKE A SWINGVictoria’s mild weather means whether you’re a golfer or tennis player, there are plenty of places to play year-round. Bear Mountain Resort’s recently completed clay courts offer the opportunity to play tennis rain or shine. Henderson Park’s outdoor courts offer the opportunity to play a drop-in game.
In the District of Saanich, visitors can enjoy a game of golf at Cedar Hill Golf Course with a panoramic view of Greater Victoria and the Olympic Mountains. There’s also a nature trail to walk or jog along that surrounds the golf course.
Budding golfer among you? Check out the par 3 course at Henderson Park. Operating on a first-come, first-served basis, it’s a great spot for all ages and abilities.
PADDLE OUTWith amazing stretches of coast, it’s no surprise Vancouver Island has more than a few surfing hot spots. Paddle out to catch some waves at Sombrio Beach.
Rent a kayak from Blue Dog Kayaking in Mill Bay and commence your day mastering a new skill or refining an old one. You may even end up with a front-row seat to our local and abundant wildlife.
Stand-Up paddle boarding more your style? Rent a paddleboard from Ocean River Adventures and head to your spot of choice! We recommend paddling around Cadboro-Gyro Park, known for its calm bay and fun atmosphere. When you’re ready for a break, head across the street to Smuggler’s Cove for delicious comfort food and a cold brew.
GO FOR A RUNRunning along Dallas Road is a favourite pastime for many local joggers. This uninterrupted 3km stretch of walkway winds along the length of Dallas Road and offers unapparelled views of the ocean and Olympic Mountain range beyond.
A route through Beacon Hill Park rewards with beautiful sights and sounds as you jog through 200 acres of manicured gardens. Take in the ponds, cherry blossoms and break for the occasional duck or peacock crossing.
Trail running more your pace? Bear Mountain offers access to Mount Finlayson, a challenging 6km looped trail, gaining over 400m in elevation. If you’re looking for less elevation gain on your run, we recommend the trail around Upper and Lower Thetis Lake. It’s also easily accessible via BC Transit Route #50.
EXPLORE GREATER VICTORIA BY BIKEIf you’re looking for a fun and physically distant way to see Greater Victoria, we recommend renting a bike or setting out on a cycling tour. You can rent a bike in James Bay at The Pedaler which operates out of the Pendray Inn. Alternatively, join a bike tour and explore some iconic sites with a small private group and knowledgeable guide. Keen to explore beyond the city limits? Rent a bike at Trek and easily jump on the Galloping Goose or Lochside Trail to access Vancouver Island’s section of The Great Trail, a system that connects Canada from Coast to Coast.
More of a rugged and wild rider? Bear Mountain’s Trail Network offers intermediate to advanced trails that mountain bikers can access from Westin Bear Mountain Resort. Hartland is also an easily accessible riding area in Greater Victoria, home to over 75 trails ranging from easy to proline. More comfortable having a guide show you the trails? Alex's Mountain Biking Tours are the perfect way to experience Vancouver Island's mountain biking scene like a local.
TAKE A HIKEFrom coast to peak and everything in between, there’s no shortage of epic views around here. If you’re lost as to where to begin hiking in Greater Victoria, a guide can provide the perfect taste of the outdoor offerings around Greater Victoria. Mark from HikeVictoria.com can guide you through Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the fjord below. Ryan from The Natural Connection can lead you to secret waterfalls, hidden lakes and will even nourish you with some foraged fair. Rainforest Tours can ensure you have the ultimate West Coast experience as you explore parts of the Juan de Fuca. Looking to immerse yourself in the ancient practice of forest bathing? John from Mystical Rainforest Tours can guide you through this practice.
WHAT’S NEXTCheck out our Victoria tours or Flight & Hotel packages to get started on your trip to Hollywood North.
This post was written by Destination Greater Victoria. To see more Victoria travel tips, visit their website.