Updated July 8, 2019

The sun is out, the days are ultra-long, summer is here and the whole city is full of energy for our prime season! If you’re as excited as we are, now is the time to get out on the town and celebrate Victoria’s summer charm chock-full of music, food, art…and festivals galore. Lucky for you, we’ve uncovered some of the most anticipated events in BC’s Capital City with our definitive list of 12 things to do in Victoria, BC this August. No matter what your travel style or interests, we’ll point you in the right direction!

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1. Creatures of the Night August 2

One of our favorite things about summer is that there is no shortage of opportunities to get outdoors! Take full advantage of August’s warm nights to scope out the nightlife on a Creatures of the Summer Night tour at Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary.

Under the guidance of an expert naturalist armed with a bag of “tricks,” you’ll be on the lookout for owls, bats and other nighttime animals. You’ll even pick up new knowledge on how the creatures are adapted to nocturnal life along the way.

2. Victoria Symphony Splash – August 4

Water, music and fireworks, oh my! When it comes to epic summer events, the Victoria Symphony Splash is top-notch. Celebrate the 30th anniversary of the show and catch the VS orchestra as they perform live alongside special guests from a floating stage in the Inner Harbour.

Grab a spot along the grassy banks by the water or rent a kayak to view the festivities from the front row! The night’s capped off with a finale performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture synchronized with a firework show you won’t forget.

3. Victoria International Dragon Boat Festival – August 9-11

Watch as dozens of dragon boat teams take to the Salish Sea in an all-out competition to prove their prowess on the water during the 25th annual Victoria International Dragon Boat Festival.

Over the course of the three-day festival, check out thrilling boat races, live music, delicious eats from around the globe and cultural performances along the waterfront. Plus, be sure to stop by Friday evening for a breathtaking display of paper lanterns during their Lights of Courage Campaign, with proceeds going to the BC Cancer Foundation.

4. North Saanich Flavor Trails Festival – August 16-18

Feast on Vancouver Island’s bounty from the land and sea by partaking in the award-winning, 12th annual North Saanich Flavor Trails Festival.

Grab a bike or pick up a rental car at Budget downtown, and cruise through the picturesque Saanich countryside on a self-guided tour of the region’s outstanding farms, bakeries, wineries and breweries. Explore the greenhouse, orchard and honey bee hives at the 10 Acres Farm, and meet the farmers that produce all goodies destined for the 10 Acres Kitchen, Bistro and Commons restaurants in downtown Victoria.

Sip on an estate-grown wine paired with wood-fired pizza at the Roost Farm Winery (Insider tip: Take a farm tour afterward to check out grapes, grain, gardens, classic cars, a school bus and giant pumpkins). Or sample Blackberry Lavender Ale, as well as flights and fills of many other types of beer, at the small-batch Howl Brewery.

Fancy yourself a dog person? Don’t miss the West Coast Canine Academy Sheep Herding competition on the 18th, where you can watch as these intelligent animals herd sheep through gates and obstacles.

5. Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria – August 17

Looping around Victoria to Metchosin and up into Brentwood Bay and back, the Tour de Victoria offers unrivaled views of the southern tip of Vancouver Island.

Dust off your bicycle and choose from a 15 km route all the way up to 160 km trek to match your skill level and stamina. With its mix of waterfront paths, peaceful twisty-turny country roads and a refreshing pint and hot meal waiting for you at the end, this is one of the best ways to enjoy the season of sun.

6. Pet-A-Palooza – August 17-18

If you’ve got a soft spot for four-legged fur balls or identify as a “fur parent,” Victoria’s Pet-A-Palooza will be right up your alley. Set on the lush grounds of Bullen Park, this free, dog-dominated event gives you a chance to show off your pooch’s talents.

Race through a 120-foot mud pit obstacle course in the Mud Run – “Ruff Mud” event, practice your best downward dog yoga pose with puppies, enter a wiener dog race or watch the cutest event of them all: a puppy stampede. After the excitement, swag bags full of goodies and the chance to tire your pup out in the off-leash adventure park are sure to get tails wagging. And yes, your fluffy friend can join you aboard the Clipper!

7. Victoria Fringe Festival – August 21-September 1

A Vancouver Island tradition for 32 years and counting, the Victoria Fringe Festival takes over downtown each summer for a 12-day theater extravaganza. Catch live performances from around the world including an eclectic blend of spoken word, drama, musicals, dance, comedy, magic and theater, plus free outdoor events for the whole family.

8. Cowichan Valley Wine Festival – August 23-25

Wine aficionados rejoice! Journey to the heart of Vancouver Island’s wine country to sip, swirl and savor mouth-watering vintages at the Cowichan Valley Wine Festival. Indulge in complimentary tastings, chat with the winemakers and enjoy special treats such as mystery wine releases.

Depending on the location, enjoy live entertainment, vineyard tours, cooking demonstrations as well as snacks such as paella, pizza and ice cream. With some of the region’s finest wines ranging from crystal-clear Ortegas to red Pinot Noirs from 12 local wineries, your cup will runneth over with possibilities.

9. Night at the Museum Maya – August 31-September 1 

Ever wish you could be a kid again just for one day? Now’s your chance! Pack your sleeping bag, pajamas and favorite stuffed friend and indulge your childhood sleepover camp nostalgia by spending a night inside the Royal BC Museum’s galleries! Get ready for midnight fun, plenty of eats, entertainment and adventures throughout the museum, inspired by their new feature exhibit Maya: The Great Jaguar Rises.

10. Classic Boat Festival – August 30-September 1

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Nothing screams summer like a day full of fun on the waters of Victoria’s idyllic Inner Harbour. Make your way down to the docks for a celebration of the region’s marine heritage at the 42nd annual Classic Boat Festival. Bring the kiddos and check out classic boats, cheer on your favorite vessels as they race along the waterfront and explore tons of floating exhibits.

11. Vancouver Island Blues Bash – August 31-September 2

End the month on a sweet note and soak in the rhythmic stylings of guitars, drums, string, horns and pianos at the Vancouver Island Blues Bash! Catch local and international blues and R&B artists during a weekend of free and ticketed outdoor performances at the Ship Point Picnic Site. Bring your camera along to snap a photo as a spectacular sunset falls over the Inner Harbour!

12. Free-B Film Festival – Fridays & Saturdays All August

As the sun sets over Victoria, kick back and spend a balmy evening relaxing on Beacon Hill Park’s lush lawn during the city’s Free-B Film Festival. Gather up your friends, some snacks and take in films ranging from the 1988 favorite Dirty Rotten Scoundrels to more recent hits such as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The best part? As the name suggests, these screenings are indeed free!

With warm, sunny weather, Victoria feels like paradise in August. Whether you’re lounging in a lush park, taking in a favorite film or soaking up a stunning waterfront sunset from the Ogden Point Breakwater, you won’t run out of ways to enjoy this PNW paradise. Let the adventures begin!

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Feature Photo: Thomas Dawson