THINGS TO DO:
Join us for a thrilling adventure on one of our Zodiacs! During the month of October, many salmon species return to our local rivers to spawn. This means lots of food for the whales, which can often be found in “super-pods” as two or more of our resident pods work together to hunt the salmon. With the beautiful weather we are experiencing, there is no better time to be out on the water!
Tour the Waterfront Drive
Drive, bike, or ride the waterfront drive starting downtown and following Dallas Road and Beach Drive. Stops of interest include Beacon Hill Park, Clover Point, Ross Bay Cemetary, the viewpoint at Trafalgar Park, Oak Bay Marina, Willows Beach, Cattle Point, and Cadboro Bay. This scenic seaside route is the perfect way to spend a sunny afternoon exploring Victoria’s neighbourhoods and catching the iconic view of Mt. Baker across the water.
Watch the Salmon Run at Goldstream Provincial Park
Starting in October, visitors at Goldstream can witness Chum salmon spawning in Goldstream River. Riverside trails and observation platforms provide spectacular views of this annual phenomenon, which also attracts many Bald Eagles to the area. No salmon? Stroll down the river’s edge and visit the Freeman King Visitor Centre to learn about the Goldstream Estuary, or, if you are feeling more adventurous, hike the beautiful Mount Finlayson.
Bike the Galloping Goose Regional Trail
This picturesque multi-use trail, formerly a railway line, moves through urban, rural, and wilderness scenery on its 55 kilometre journey from Victoria to Sooke. Free of motorized vehicles, this trail offers a tranquil ride perfect for cyclists. Enjoy the views at the historical Swan & Selkirk trestles, and perhaps stop in at Roche Cove or Thetis Lake.
Tour the Local Craft Breweries
Victoria is well-known as BC’s Craft Brewery Capital. As well as downtown’s many brewpubs, there are multiple breweries which call Victoria home, most of which offer tastings. You can pick and choose which to visit, or join West Coast Brewery Tours for your craft beer experience.
PLACES TO GO:
Royal British Columbia Museum
Experience BC’s El Dorado in the RBCM’s limited time Gold Rush exhibit (ending Nov 1). Highlights include multiple rare artifacts as well as the largest gold nugget ever found in BC. The museum also showcases permanent Natural History, First Peoples, and Modern History galleries. Spend an afternoon soaked in BC’s rich history, and visit the museum’s IMAX theatre to round out the day.
Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the gems of our Inner Harbour. Grab a bite at one of the many food shacks, including some of the best fish & chips in town, and stroll through the colourful float home village. You can even buy some fresh fish and feed the Harbour Seals that frequent the waters around the wharf.
Victoria Bug Zoo
The Bug Zoo is great fun for the whole family. Nestled in Victoria’s downtown core, it hosts over 40 fascinating insect species to marvel at – and even hold! This must-see mini zoo hosts beautiful praying mantis, giant walking sticks, glow-in-the-dark scorpions, hairy tarantulas, and Canada’s largest ant colony.
Butchart Gardens & Butterfly Gardens
Once an abandoned quarry, Butchart Gardens has been transformed into BC’s most famous floral display. Autumn heralds a stunning display of red, russet, and golden maples and is one of the best seasons to visit the tranquil Japanese Garden. Add on a visit to the Butterfly Gardens and marvel at the various butterflies, moths, and other tropical creatures living in this warm oasis.
Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre
Located in downtown Sidney, the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre gives a sneak peek into the underwater world of the Salish Sea. This aquarium showcases over 150 species including a few of the most iconic animals in our local waters such as salmon, rockfish, sculpins, and even a Giant Pacific Octopus! A touch pool never fails to delight with sea anemones, starfish, sea cucumbers, and more.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS:
Moss Street Market
The Moss Street Market is held every Saturday from 10am-2pm until the end of October. As well as local and organic farm-fresh produce, the market also features vendors of local foods, artisan clothing, and handmade pottery, jewelry, and other crafts.
Here in Victoria, Oktoberfest is celebrated all through the month of October. The Victoria Public Market is hosting Stein & Dine on Oct. 2nd, with traditional Oktoberfest foods and craft beers from around BC. The Victoria Edelweiss Club opens its doors on five different nights, inviting the public to join in great food, great beer, and lots of dancing including performances (and lessons) by traditional German dancers.
Every October, over 400 artists from across Vancouver Island converge in Sidney for a 10-day celebration of arts and culture. Events include paint & wine nights, local artist demonstrations and showcases, and a theatrical gala performance, fundraising for the “Arts in the Schools” program.
BC Cider Week
On October 18th, Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse is thrilled to open its doors for the grand opening event of the very first BC Cider Week. Come join representatives from “cideries” all across western Canada & the Pacific Northwest as they celebrate the art of craft cider. Tickets include four cider tastings and live entertainment.
The Art of the Cocktail
The Art of the Cocktail is a 2-day event showcasing the art, craft, and traditions of cocktails. On October 24th is the Grand Tasting at Crystal Garden, followed by seminars and workshops to pique your inner mixologist on the 25th. The Best of the Pacific Northwest professional bar-tending competition is sure to impress any cocktail enthusiast.