Unlike many might think, the “City of Gardens” in March is a delight. While the rest of the country may still be counting inches or even feet of snow, this city is counting the colorful bloom of the flowers. March things to do in Victoria are quite a bit different than what you’ll find in Calgary, Montreal, or Winnipeg. Here, the lush landscapes and city streets come alive with color, from bright yellow daffodils to pink cherry blossoms.

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Early March brings the Greater Victoria Flower Count. Everyone in the region is encouraged to count the blooms and record their numbers on the Victoria Flower Count tracker – and you’re invited to join them! An astounding 33.4 billion blossoms were counted in 2023. Of course, you’ll find plenty of other things to do in Victoria during March 2024, including these top options.

1. Downtown Food & City Tour

Credit: @offtheeatentrack

What better way to get to know Victoria than through its flavors? Take a delicious Victoria City and Food Tour to see historic landmarks like The Empress Hotel and Legislature Building in the Inner Harbour, sampling local bites as you go. You’ll discover some of the top hidden culinary gems while getting the inside scoop on the city and the local favorites. Indulge in everything from British Columbia wines and tasty charcuterie to sweet and savory pastries, decadent chocolate, and French macarons.

By the time it’s done, you’ll not only feel like a local, but your appetite is pretty much guaranteed to be satisfied. And, when it is time to dine again, you’ll know just where to go!

2. High Tea at The Butchart Gardens

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High Tea at Butchart Gardens, a bucket-list experience for tea and garden lovers, is available throughout March. While Jennie Butchart may no longer be around to serve you, her beautiful garden with some 700 varieties of plants blooming from March to October remains.

Take a seat in the Dining Room Restaurant where Jennie’s gracious atmosphere can still be felt. As you gaze out the window, you’ll get a taste of what it was like to be here around the turn of the 20th century. The picturesque scene is enjoyed with a steaming pot of tea complemented by seasonally-inspired dishes crafted with fresh, local ingredients.

3. Wildlife Photographer of the Year at Royal BC Museum – Starts March 1

Credit: @royalbcmuseum via Thrifty NW Mom

A perennial favorite, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit returns to the Royal BC Museum on March 1st. Now in its 59th year, showcasing a diverse selection of 100 photos of species captured by photographers from across the globe. Past highlights have included a three-legged Arctic fox on the tundra and beluga whales surfacing among sea ice in Nunavut. French underwater photographer Laurent Ballesta got the grand title for a glittering tri-spine horseshoe crab accompanied by golden trevally fish.

Many of the creatures depicted are at risk of extinction while others have been brought back from the brink. The exhibition delivers on its goal to leave viewers awe-inspired by the beauty of nature, with a drive to help protect it.

4. Catch a Live Show

Photo: @julianhpbarabas

Victoria hosts many venues for live concerts and a variety of performances throughout the year, including March. If you want to catch a show, some of the top offerings include the Victoria Symphony at the Royal Theatre. On March 23-24, enjoy the symphony’s long-time favorite, La Nef Sea Songs and Shanties. The maritime and shanties music is meant for sing-alongs and foot stomping.

In the mood for a laugh? Comedian Pinky Patel comes to the McPherson Playhouse on March 8, while Matt Rife’s hilarious comedy comes to the Royal Theatre on March 13.

5. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – March 16-17

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With Victoria’s distinct European vibe, it’s no surprise that the BC capital embraces Irish culture. That includes celebrations for St. Paddy’s Day on March 17th between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Government Street. There will be food vendors, market stalls, live entertainment, and family-friendly games. You’ll be steps from near the Irish Times Pub for live Irish music, dancing, and Irish comfort food afterward. Save room for the Sticky Toffee Pudding!

Or, consider celebrating across the border with a trip to Seattle. You might make a weekend of it with the city’s annual parade taking place on March 16 from Jefferson Street and 4th Avenue. One of the best in the country, it includes elaborate floats, pipe bands, Irish dancing groups, Irish setters, and more. After the procession, head to one of the many Irish pubs like the Owl ‘N Thistle in Pioneer Square for live music, craft beer, and classic Irish grub like Guinness beef stew.

Traveling with FRS Clipper March 5 – 18? Grab a brochure onboard and save up to 25% at our top picks for a St Patrick’s day bite and brew. From Bard and Banker and Swans Pub to Irish Times, sip, celebrate and save with us!

6. Butchart Gardens Spring Launch

Credit: @thebutchartgardens

A kaleidoscope of colors begins to splash across The Butchart Gardens in early spring. Exploring them is one of the “must” March things to do in Victoria. Whether you’re visiting on a day trip or plan to stay overnight, don’t miss the chance to revel in the start of the season. The aromatic shrubs of winter flowers persist and late winter flowering bulbs like Narcissus continue to provide their cheerful, sunny yellows. As the month progresses, you’ll catch the sweet fragrance of hyacinths while strolling beneath the pink blossoms of the crabapple trees. Flowering plants in the Iris family like the crocus create a scenery of fiery orange while classic spring heather appears in masses of whites and pinks.

7. Victoria Beer Week – March 1-9

Credit: @vicbeerweek

The 10th annual Victoria Beer Week will take place from March 1-9 bringing a variety of fun and tasty events. Highlights include the bus tour to Sidney on Sunday, March 3. You’ll enjoy a guided exploration of Field Five Farms to see where brewing grains are grown, harvested, and malted. Afterward, visit both Beacon Brewing and Small Gods Brewing. Moon Under Water Brewpub and Distillery hosts Marchtoberfest on Monday the 4th, featuring a German dinner paired with four German-style beers. Or, celebrate the event’s 10th birthday with a bash at the Victoria Press Building. It includes craft beers from top BC breweries, games, prizes, entertainment, and cake.

8. Spend an Afternoon in Beacon Hill Park

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Take advantage of a sunny day in March by heading to an oasis in the city. Beacon Hill Park is a local favorite spread across more than 75 acres along Juan de Fuca Strait. It’s the perfect place to escape the downtown hustle and bustle. Enjoy the blooms of rhododendrons, watch for colorful wild peacocks, take a tranquil stroll on Spiral Beach, or unwind with a good book at the edge of Goodacre Lake.

Families with children won’t want to miss the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. Kids (and kids at heart) can get up close to donkeys, pigs, chickens, and the herd of African Pygmy goats. Up for some friendly competition? There’s a mini-golf course too.

9. Grab lunch at Red Fish Blue Fish

Credit: @bites.withbri

Yet another reason to love March in Victoria is the reopening of Red Fish Blue Fish. This local favorite along the Inner Harbour offers outdoor seating on the pier and is renowned for its fresh, sustainable seafood. Dine on everything from classic fish ‘n chips to seafood chowder, grilled fish sandwiches, and even Caribbean jerk fish tacos while watching marine life, the seaplanes, boat traffic, and people.

10. Hop on a Harbour Taxi

Victoria’s bright yellow Water Taxis are the way to go when it comes to getting around the Inner Harbour. Sometimes referred to as “happy boats,” they’re run by Victoria Harbour Ferry. You can hop on one to take a tour of the historic Victoria Gorge Waterway, reach Victoria West for a tasty lunch on the balcony at Spinnakers, or gather your friends for the famous Pickle Pub Crawl!

We love early spring in Victoria. Not only are the crowds much thinner than what you’ll find in the summer, but color awaits around nearly every turn with flowers bursting into bloom. Whether you want to sample the mouthwatering food scene, sip a cold craft brew, celebrate St. Paddy’s Day, marvel at local wildlife, or thrill the kids with a flock of cuddly pygmy goats, you can do it all right here, and then some, in March.

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Feature photo: Courtesy of The Butchart Gardens