Nestled between the tail end of summer and the start of the winter holidays, October is often overlooked when it comes to seasonal activities. But why not embrace autumn’s arrival and soak in this short, vibrantly-hued season with a fall getaway to Victoria, BC?

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What tickles your fancy? Zombies? Beer? Corn mazes? This month you don’t have to choose just one! Here’s our guide to 11 things to do in Victoria, BC this October you won’t want to miss. Be sure to also check out this comprehensive Fall Guide to Victoria from Destination Greater Victoria!

1. Haunted Victoria Getaway – Until October 31

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Discover the hair-raising history behind the country’s most haunted city on a ghostly overnight getaway to Victoria, BC! Get into the spirit of the season under the guidance of Discover the Past Tour‘s expert local historians.

Explore some of the city’s spookiest neighborhoods as you’re regaled with stories of eccentric citizens, shocking crimes and tragic accidents that bring the city’s dark past to life.

2. Fall at The Butchart Gardens

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Packed with 55 acres of lush foliage, the ever-stunning Butchart Gardens is likely the first place that comes to mind for taking in some fall color on Vancouver Island. Golden witch hazel, striking red Japanese maples and a field of fiery chrysanthemums give The Gardens an unforgettable autumn glow as the sprawling grounds transition from summer to fall. (Psst, here are a few more spots to catch some stellar fall color around the city!)

While you’re there, don’t miss the chance to indulge in one of the coziest Victorian traditions – Afternoon Tea. Tucking into an array of tiny house-made treats while you sip on a steaming cup of tea might be the best possible way to usher in autumn!

3. Brewery & Bites Tour – Monday – Friday Until October 31

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Fancy yourself a PNW craft beer aficionado? Well, you haven’t quite earned that badge ‘til you’ve sipped your way across BC’s capital! Get a taste of the city’s best brews and bites at local hop spots and sample delicious small plates of food expertly paired with sips from local microbrewers on a West Coast Brewery Tour.

With a resident beer expert as your guide, you’ll also get behind the scenes access. Meet the brewer, get a hands-on introduction to the brewing process and taste the freshest possible beer sampled straight from the source!

4. Castles, Hoods and Legends Bike Tour – Daily until October 31

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Travel back into Victoria’s past via bicycle on a guided historical tour of the city! Start things off with a scenic tour of the Dallas waterfront and iconic landmarks of the city’s Chinatown neighborhood (Canada’s oldest!).

Then, cruise over to the historic Craigdarroch Castle, through the city’s lush Beacon Hill Park and on to bustling Cook Street Village. With its level topography and breathtaking trail views, Victoria is a city best explored on two wheels!

5. Victoria Marathon – October 9

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Looping around Victoria to Oak Bay, north into Uplands and back, the Victoria Marathon boasts unrivaled views of the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Choose whichever race matches your skill level and stamina, from an 8K Turkey Trot or a half marathon all the way up to the full 26.2 miles.

With a course as scenic as this one, the Marathon offers a great excuse to spend a day al fresco – whether you want to cheer on the runners or lace up your sneakers and join them!

6. Fresh to Death Fresh Hop Festival – October 16

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Raise a glass to one of the season’s most celebrated crops — hops! — at Victoria Beer Society‘s Fresh to Death festival. Sip your way through the fragrant, ultra-seasonal beverage al fresco at The Esquimalt Gorge Park Pavilion, alongside locally-sourced grub from the Bird & Basket food truck. Or treat yourself to Premium tickets for an expert-guided tasting led by the Thirsty Writer’s Joe Wiebe, plus gourmet canapés from Rock Bay Market.

7. Art of the Cocktail – October 19

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Suit up in your best “after five” attire and head out for a night on the town at this year’s Art of the Cocktail! Sip on some of the region’s finest boozy beverages paired with bites crafted by top-tier local chefs. Plus, don’t miss the event’s guided tastings and Masterclasses lead by industry pros to pick up insider tips and tricks of the trade!

8. Stein & Dine – October 19

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Quench your thirst in true autumnal style with an Oktoberfest-inspired lineup of BC craft beer! Deepen your brew IQ with everything from hop-forward PNW concoctions to malty-er Germanic styles at Victoria’s Stein & Dine celebration. Get into the spirit with live accordion music, traditional dancers and competitions ranging from stein-holding contests to giant Jenga!

In classic Oktoberfest fashion, the Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop will be preparing favorites such as pork schnitzel with braised cabbage, delicious beer-braised bratwurst alongside cheesy spaetzle.

9. Victoria Zombie Walk – October 29

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Time to practice your stiff-legged steps and don your post-apocalyptic garb for this year’s Victoria Zombie Walk! An annual tradition in BC’s capital, the zombie walk draws huge crowds of the undead, limping, stumbling and dragging their way through the streets. Consider this the official precursor to Halloween!

10. Bite Night: A Vampire Soirée – October 28

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Enjoy a fang-tastic three course meal like you’ve never experienced before at L’Apéro‘s Bite Night. Get answers to the burning questions you’ve carried with you all your mortal years from Peter Golz, Associate Professor in the department of Germanic and Slavic studies — and the professor behind one of North America most popular university courses on Vampires — at the University of Victoria. Dress in your Gothic best and be prepared for a night full of surprises!

11. Galey Farms Pumpkinfest – October Weekends

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Celebrate the harvest season surrounded by its most iconic crop at Galey Farms’ Pumpkinfest! Featuring hayrides, you-pick pumpkins, a haunted house, train rides and even a corn maze, the festival is fun for the whole family.

Come autumn, Victoria is alive with fall colors, an array of exciting events and a slight crispness to the air that signals fall’s arrival. Whether beer and cider lift your spirits, or ghosts and ghouls are more your fancy, BC’s haunted capital is full of wicked fun this month!

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Feature image: The Butchart Gardens