If you are looking for the best things to do in Victoria this August then you are in the right place. As the sun-kissed days of summer arrive, Victoria transforms into a coastal paradise that captivates both locals and visitors alike. Nestled on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, this enchanting city boasts a symphony of vibrant colors and irresistible charm in August. With its temperate climate, breathtaking landscapes, and a plethora of outdoor activities, Victoria is a haven for those seeking the perfect summer escape. Whether you find yourself strolling along the picturesque Inner Harbour, exploring the lush Butchart Gardens, or basking in the warmth of the sun on its sandy beaches, August in Victoria beckons you with an invitation to immerse yourself in its idyllic coastal wonders.
Things to do in Victoria in August
Book a High Tea
The tradition of afternoon tea in Victoria has its roots in the city’s rich history and British influence. The practice can be traced back to the late 19th century when Victoria served as a bustling hub for the British Empire in North America. Check out where to have high tea in Victoria this fall.
Go Whale Watching
If you are wanting to experience the stunning West Coast nature whale watching is a must-do when you come to Victoria in August! Head out of the harbor on a boat in search of the majestic orcas. This is a truly unique way to learn about whales and marine life in one of the best places on the planet!
Book Online: here
Book a Local Photoshoot
A super unique idea is to book a local photographer while you and your family is in Victoria! It is easy! If you believe that memories make the best souvenirs, then book a photo shoot before your trip! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot while in Victoria (or many other locations in BC)
After your shoot make sure you print those photos! Photowall creates beautiful canvas prints that you can display on your walls at home or give to family for gifts!
See Van Gogh Like Never Before
Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience is coming to Victoria this summer! Guests are transported through history learning Van Gogh’s background while witnessing hundreds of iconic masterpieces, including instantly recognizable classics “The Starry Night,” “Sunflowers,” and “Café Terrace at Night” as well as many revealing self-portraits.
Freed from their frames, Van Gogh’s spectacular paintings appear on projection-swathed walls inviting guests to fully immerse themselves into the incredible detail of his work. Vincent’s own dreams, thoughts, and words are set to a symphonic score while guests are enveloped in his ever-shifting, swirling, and colorful flowers, cafes, and stunning landscapes, creating an unmatched narrative experience.
Dates: Until August 20, 2023 Tuesday – Thursday, Sunday: 10:00am – 8:00pm Friday & Saturday: 10:00am – 9:00pm
Prices: start at $31.99 for adults and $23.99 for children (ages 5-15), plus fees.
Location: Starry Night Pavilion at Bayview Place 355 Catherine Street, Victoria BC
Take a Bike Tour
Visit Craigdarroch Castle, a historic mansion that offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of the wealthy elite in the late 19th century on a local castle bike tour! You will also see local neighborhoods including the Inner Harbour, Cook Street Village, and Chinatown. Enjoy fine views over the Dallas Road waterfront, Moss Rock Park and Beacon Hill Park, and Fernwood.
Booking: Online here
Experience the magic of Butchart Gardens with all of the gorgeous colors of summer! Butchart Gardens is an internationally-renowned 55-acre display garden located in Brentwood Bay, British Columbia. The gardens were created by Jennie Butchart, and are still privately owned and operated by the family. The Butchart Gardens was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004. Whether you live in the city or are visiting from out of town, this is something we always include on our three-day Victoria itinerary. You can also book high-tea service during your visit to Butchart Gardens.
In August, there are plenty of special events incluing Fireworks Saturdays!
- Aug. 5: 9:30 p.m.
- Aug. 12: 9:15 p.m.
- Aug. 19: 9:15 p.m.
- Aug. 25: 9 p.m.
- Sept. 2: 8:45 p.m.
Visitors are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chair to enjoy the firework shows, which Butchart describes as “world-class” displays of “pyrotechnic magic” featuring aerial and ground arrangements, all choreographed to music.
Note: Fireworks are presented after weekly consultation with the Central Saanich Fire Department and may be cancelled due to extreme weather.
Location: 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay
Take a Food Tour in Victoria in August.
One of the best things to do in any city is a food tour. One of the best is Victoria’s history and food tour! Follow a guide to highlights such as the Parliament Buildings, the Inner Harbor Causeway, Trounce Alley, Bastion and Market squares, Fan Tan Alley, the Harmonious Gates of Interest, and the Victoria Public Market. Along the way, stop for food tastings, craft beer, chocolate, tea, tapas, cheese, bread, olive oil, and have time to do some souvenir shopping for local products.
Take a Cowichan Valley Wine Tour
Visitors and locals are increasingly taking tours of local wineries. Located just outside of Victoria, Cowichan Valley is Vancouver Island’s thriving wine region. This Cowichan Valley wine tour takes you to several family-owned wineries and past scenic landscapes along the way. While wine is the focus, the day also features a farm-to-table lunch of your choice paired with a flight of local, organic hard ciders.
Tour the Parliament Buildings
If you ever wondered about the inner workings of the BC government, take a tour of the Parliament Buildings this August in Victoria. You will learn about the history of the province and its government. You may also run into a protest or two, but they are typically small and not obtrusive.
Parliament Building Tour Information: From May 22nd – September 4th, 2023 the Parliament Buildings are open for guided tours seven days a week. On weekdays, visitors may join one of the regularly scheduled guided tours or take their own self-guided tour. Tours are free and last approximately 40 minutes. Advance booking is not required. On weekends and holidays, visitors must join a guided tour. Tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Requests for weekend tickets are not accepted in advance. More Info
Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest one in Canada! Victoria’s Chinatown had its beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century in the mass influx of miners from California to what is now British Columbia in 1858. The neighborhood features brilliant red and gold colors, unique architecture, and an ornate archway marking the entrance. Here, you’ll also find Fan Tan Alley, known as the narrowest street in Canada.
Location: 500 Fisgard St, Victoria BC
Beacon Hill Park Carriage Tours
Horse Drawn Tours in Victoria are one of the most popular things to do at any time of year in Victoria but especially in August when the weather is bright and the city is full of color! Discover the beauty of downtown Victoria on this 45-minute Beacon Hill Park carriage tour. Hop into your horse-drawn carriage and travel in style along the winding roadways around Beacon Hill Park — Victoria’s oldest and, many would say, most attractive park. Discover top local attractions including St Anne’s Academy, the Empress Hotel, and the Church Of Our Lord, and listen as your driver shares tales and folklore from Victoria’s dim and distant past. Head along pretty pathways and enjoy fine views over the vibrant flowerbeds, peaceful ponds, and manicured lawns.
Watch the Harbour Water Ballet
When the harbour ferries were originally brought to Victoria in 1990, the skippers were amazed at their maneuverability. Taking inspiration from the world-famous RCMP Musical Ride, they set out to test their abilities by creating a synchronized performance. With no passengers on board, the captains were able to push their little boats to the limit, making them twirl around the water in and out of beautifully choreographed sequences.
And so began the affectionately named Water Ballet. The Harbour Ferry captains who volunteered to become “ballerinas” had no idea just how popular their performances would become. Watch from Steamship Terminal for the best view.
Dates for 2023: August 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27
How to Get to Victoria
Victoria is a ferry ride (or plane ride) from the mainland of British Columbia. There are commerical planes, float planes, busses and car ferries to get passengers to the island. Check out how to get from Vancouver to Victoria for details on how to make reservations etc.
Renting a Car in British Columbia
Rental Cars are very popular in British Columbia. There is just so much to see and there is not a train or bus network outside of Metro Vancouver or Victoria. If you plan on leaving Vancouver and want to see even the local ski hills, I suggest a rental car. You can get a rental car before you arrive.
Where to Stay in Victoria in August
Lindsay Nieminen is the creator of UncoveringBC.com. She grew up and still lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her family. She aims to inspire inform, and educate others about traveling in her home province of British Columbia. She is also the creator of carpediemourway.com which aims to show parents how to seek out adventure at home or abroad, with their children in tow!