Image via Jasper Garratt
As the capital of British Columbia, Victoria is bursting with exciting activities. From shopping and museum-hopping to whale watching and relaxing by the beach, Victoria has a lot to offer. But sometimes it’s nice to escape the city and see another part of the province. Luckily, Victoria is well-positioned for all kinds of day trips. From exploring wineries in Cowichan Bay to hopping on the ferry to Salt Spring Island, check out the best summer day trips from Victoria.
Roughly 45 minutes north of Victoria lies picturesque Cowichan Bay. This seaside town is a must-visit if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Victoria. Whale watching is a popular activity here, especially between April and October, where visitors have been known to spot porpoises, humpback whales, Minke whales, sea lions, and bald eagles. Beyond the water, nearby Cowichan Valley is home to several wineries and one cidery. Be sure to stop by Cherry Point Estate Wines and Blue Grouse Estate Winery.
An hour and 45 minutes north of Victoria is where you’ll find the neighbouring towns of Parksville and Qualicum Beach. Bursting with charm, these oceanside locales are quiet and picturesque. The main attraction? The beach. Both are home to some of the most beautiful beaches on Vancouver Island. Visit Qualicum Beach, the beach after which the town is named, and Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville. Pack a lunch and have a picnic, go swimming, or rent a kayak or paddleboard and get out on the water.
If you’re looking to explore another island, why not visit the biggest Gulf Island. Salt Spring Island has long been known for its natural beauty, organic vineyards, artisanal shopping, and convenient location. Hop on the ferry at Swartz Bay and it’s only half an hour until you arrive on Salt Spring Island. Go for a hike in Mount Maxwell Provincial Park, enjoy coffee in Ganges, or wander around the island’s famous farmers’ market. Owing to the small size of the island, it’s easily doable in one day, just check the ferry schedules in advance.
If you’re visiting Victoria this summer, then be sure to plan a day trip to any one of the destinations above. And if you need a jumping-off point for your adventure, we’d be honoured to host you at the Best Western Carlton Plaza Hotel.