Uh-oh! Mother’s Day is comin’ up quick, and Memorial Day is going to be hot on its heels. Don’t let May slip away! Whether you’re looking for a family getaway or just itching for a little easy exploration, look no further than our neighboring seaside city to the north – Victoria, BC!

Hop aboard the Victoria Clipper ferry in downtown Seattle for a quick, scenic cruise past the Olympic Peninsula, snow-capped Mount Baker and maybe even a pod of orcas! In less than three hours you’ll arrive right in the heart of the city’s Inner Harbour with a wealth of activities awaiting you. To get your trip planning kicked off in earnest, we’ve collected up 10 things to do in Victoria, BC this May.

1. The Butchart Gardens City Tour – Now – November 30

Credit: @seeusoontravel

Guys, trust us. No visit to Victoria is complete without a visit to the world-renowned Butchart Gardens! While we firmly believe that there’s no wrong time of year to go, springtime – with its verdant foliage and billions of blooms – is a particularly compelling time to plan a visit. Plus, with complimentary luggage delivery or storage at the Clipper terminal, this trip could not be easier! Just hop off the Victoria Clipper ferry, drop off your bags and enjoy a guided tour of the city on your way over to The Gardens. Cruise by historic spots like Bastion Square and architectural marvels such as the more than 100-year-old Victoria City Hall before arriving at The Butchart Gardens’ front gates. Easy as pie! (Or, easy as house-made berry trifle from their Blue Poppy Restaurant. Yum!)

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2. Browse a Farmers Market at Sea CiderThree times weekly starting May 2

Celebrate the natural bounty of Vancouver Island (with a side of beautiful orchard scenery) at a Sea Cider farmers market. Mingle with the growers, see the best of what’s in season, and stock up on treats like chocolate, baked goods, and local wine at one of the cidery’s thrice-weekly markets. (Insider tip: The vendors change regularly, so be sure to check their calendar before visiting if there’s something specific you’re seeking out.)

Credit: @gabrielleassaf

3. Celebrate Mothers Day – May 8

Show mom how much you love her with a day of pampering in Victoria. Does she have a green thumb? A trip to the world-famous Butchart Gardens is just the ticket! Want to make her feel like royalty? Spend a regal afternoon sipping Afternoon Tea at the historic Fairmont Empress. Is Ina Garten her idol? Make a trip to Oak Bay Beach Hotel for their gourmet Mother’s Day Brunch, complete with a sweeping oceanfront view.

Credit: @muksaranghae

4. North Park Multicultural Festival – May 8

Gather up the whole family and head to Royal Athletic for Park for the North Park Multicultural Festival. Spend a day under the sun enjoying live performances, sampling food from across the globe, and browsing unique hand-crafted goods. Plus there are plenty of activities for the kiddos – face painting, anyone? And the kicker is, it’s all free!

Credit: @wearenorthpark

5. Glitterbomber at Phillips Brewery – May 14th and 15th

What’s a more perfect pairing than live music and cold beer? Well, how about live music, cold beer, and fresh air? If that sounds like your ideal springtime evening out, we’ve got some great news! Phillips Brewing’s beloved Backyard festival is back with a bang with synth-pop legends, Future Islands, headlining the show. We’ll raise a glass to that!

Credit: @ouryyjlives

6. Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival – May 21st and 22nd

From bagpipes and drums to whisky school and caber tossing, the Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival is bound to make you feel like you’ve traveled across the pond! Nibble on a meat pie and sip your way across two different beer gardens, then catch some live Celtic music and Irish Dance performances.

Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival
Credit: @victoriahighlandgames

7. Just for Laughs Comedy Night – May 22

Yuck it up with some of Canada’s most hilarious up-and-coming comedians at Just for Laughs Comedy Night. Hosted by seasoned pro Rick Mercer, take in an evening of laughs with a young, diverse crop of comics including Ramy co-star Dave Merheje and JUNO award-winner Ivan Decker. Add to that the opportunity to take in a show at the historic Royal Theatre and this is truly a can’t-miss night out.

Credit: @julianhpbarabas

8. Victoria Day Parade – May 23

Take in the largest event of the year in BC’s capital city at the Victoria Day Parade! Enjoy live music from Canadian and American marching bands, cultural performances and incredible floats along the two-mile route. After the parade, stroll over to Centennial Square for “Celebration Square,” a free event with activities the whole family can enjoy.

Credit: @richardleongauthierphotography

9. See Avril Lavigne Live – May 25

With early-2000s nostalgia at an all-time high, this is the perfect time to see the princess of pop punk herself Avril Lavigne perform in her home country. Grab a pre-show cocktail at nearby Citrus & Cane before rocking out to your favorite TRL-era throwbacks for the evening. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on the eyeliner!

Credit: @avrillavigne

10. Swiftsure International Yacht Race – May 28 – 30

What better way to enjoy a spring day than from the water’s edge! Find a spot along scenic Clover Point to catch the Swiftsure International Yacht Race, the largest of its kind on the West Coast. Watch as more than 200 yachts jockey for the best starting position before they head off with their sights set on the finish line at Ogden Point!

Credit: @nwyachting

Overflowing with blooms and replete with waterfront vistas, Victoria is the perfect place to usher in the sunshiny splendor of springtime! Discover a few of Victoria’s hidden gems in between activities or check out our Instagram feed for ideas on how to explore around the city over the much anticipated Memorial Day weekend!

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Feature Photo: Scott Meis