Wanderlust. That invisible force that gets you out of the house on weekends and fuels an unquenchable thirst for exploration. While we’re all for far away excursions, safaris, cross-country road trips and the like, there’s more than enough adventure awaiting you less than three hours north.

A quick Victoria Clipper ferry ride from downtown Seattle through the Salish Sea lands you in vibrant Victoria. Down every alleyway, there is an undiscovered local boutique. Up every avenue, more cherry blossoms than your eyes can believe. With an abundance of springtime activities around town, the options are endless! It’s high time to satisfy your inner explorer and work through our roundup of 11 things to do in Victoria, BC this April.

1. Experience Victoria’s Season of Bloom – Now – June 15

For us, spring means two things: lots of beautiful blooms and the perfect excuse to spend time outside soaking in their vivid colors. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the season and explore Vancouver Island’s incredible network of secret gardens. Oh, and how about the world famous Butchart Gardens? Or the historic the Government House Gardens? With so many places to get your flower fix, the hardest part will be trying to pick which one to visit first!

Credit: @thebutchartgardens

2. Go Whale Watching – Now – October 31

Who doesn’t love whales?! Seize the opportunity to get a glimpse of these incredible marine mammals on a Five Star whale watching tour! Take in outstanding scenery as your experienced onboard naturalists search for humpbacks, minke whales, seals and sea lions, as well as mammal-eating and salmon-eating orca whales. You’re also bound to learn something new as they share valuable insights into these creatures and the stunning environment they inhabit.

Credit: @fivestarwhales

3. Check Out the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival – April 1 – May 8

For five weeks each spring, greater Victoria shines a spotlight on more than 9,000 students of music, dance and drama from around the region. Catch classical guitar, choral, dance, musical theater, speech, dramatic arts and more as the Greater Victoria Performing Arts Festival takes over the city for its 93rd year. Showcasing the stylings of some of the city’s youngest talent, it’s the perfect opportunity to get inspired and applaud the future.

Credit: @gvpaf

4. Celebrate Tartan Day – April 5

Don your best plaid and head downtown to Market Square to celebrate Victoria’s strong Scotish heritage on Tartan Day! Hosted by the Victoria Highland Games Association, the 4th annual free event will feature bagpipe players, highland dancers, kilt makers, live fiddlers, and lots more. Whether you have Scottish roots or you’re just interested in the culture, dance and music, it’s sure to be a wee bit o’ fun for the whole family.

Credit: @victoriahighlandgames

5. Soak in the Great Outdoors on a CRD Regional Parks Nature Walk – April 5 – 26

With the sun starting to peak out from behind the clouds with a bit more regularity, it’s time to leave your Netflix queue behind and get outdoors. Hike to the summit of Mill Hill Regional Park with a local naturalist and soak in a riot of color as early spring wildflowers burst to life.

Have some little ones in tow? Take them to Francis/King Regional Park for a guided walk to scope out local feathered friends and see if you can spot some nests!

Credit: @crd_bc

6. Visit Abkhazi Garden

Tucked away behind a hornbeam hedge, Abkhazi Garden is a sweet romantic spot, within a 15-minute walk from downtown Victoria. Carpets of alpine flowers and blooming 100-year-old rhododendrons fill the one-acre grounds, creating a tranquil springtime. Be sure to stop by the cozy teahouse for afternoon tea. With treats created with locally grown produce, it is one of the best in the city!

Credit: @sopor44

 7. Take the Kiddos to Easter at the Market – April 10

Hippity hop on down to Victoria Public Market for Easter at the Market. This free family event features live music from VINYL WAVE, balloon twisting and magic shows with Tricky Magic and a free photobooth. The best part? A trick-or-treat-style Easter egg hunt for the kiddos! It’s their chance to score yummy chocolate eggs from each vendor in the market. Just don’t forget your basket!

Credit: @attractions_victoria

8. Indulge Easter Brunch – April 12

What’s better than celebrating the arrival of spring with our favorite meal of the day – aka brunch?

Nosh on a luxe Easter brunch buffet under glimmering chandeliers in the Fairmont Empress’ Crystal Ballroom. Work your way through gourmet breakfast offerings from a juice bar and mini mushroom fritattas to sustainably-caught seafood and a sumptuous dessert table. Afterward, let the kiddos burn off brunch on an egg hunt with the guest of honor – The Easter Bunny!

Credit: @fairmontempress

Or head to Oak Bay Beach Hotel for a sumptuous meal paired with jaw-dropping views of the mountains across the water. Fill your plate with freshly-baked pastries, quiche, candied salmon, and lots more. Plus, little ones will delight in their own “special treat” at the end!

Credit: @selena0503

9. Score Unique Treasures at the Easter Vintage, Retro & Collectible Show – April 12

Following an Easter brunch in Victoria, head Up Island to the charming seaside town of Sidney for the annual Easter Vintage, Retro & Collectible Show. A thrift-shopper’s dream, the event features a goldmine of curios and antiques. Scope out the colorful stalls for your chance to score everything from First Nations collectibles to pre- and post-war jewelry to retro furniture and 50’s vintage clothes and accessories.

Credit: @inatimewatches

10. Eat Local at the Farmed & Foraged Earth Day Event at Sea Cider – April 22

Celebrate the natural bounty of Vancouver Island with a handcrafted, locally-sourced brunch at the charming Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse!

Join the award-winning cidermakers for a gastronomic adventure inspired by BC’s dynamic ecosystems. The multi-course feast will feature foraged foods from the nearby forests and ocean, alongside farm-fresh produce and meats. And of course, cider pairings will be offered to complement each course. Cheers!

Credit: @seaciderhouse

11. Become One with Nature on a Swan Lake Christmas Hill Bird Walk – April

Birders rejoice! Boasting several sites where you can catch a glimpse of unique and fascinating birds, the South Coast of Vancouver Island is a haven for spotting feathered friends. To learn more about these fascinating creatures, gather up your flock, grab your binoculars and join a naturalist-guided bird walk! Through games, activities and crafts, you’ll explore the lifecycles of different egg-laying creatures and keep your eyes peeled for tree-top nests and underground burrows.

Credit: @shaynekayephoto

 

Victoria is full of surprises come springtime. A stroll through Beacon Hill Park merits a stop to smell the flowers and a visit to the goats at the newly reopened children’s farm. A wander down Yates or View Street offers sights of thousands of cherry blossoms. With new discoveries waiting for you around every corner, Victoria offers the perfect springtime escape to satiate that weekend wanderlust!

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Feature Photo: Scott Meis