It’s hard to believe it. Once again summer has flown by in a blur of beach sand-filled shoes and sticky ice cream covered fingers. For a lot of us, Labor Day means summer is unofficially (the first day of fall isn’t until September 22) coming to an end. But this last long weekend allows us to dig out our picnic gear, flip flops, and sunglasses one final time and send summer off in style. Whether you’re finally taking that much-needed summer break or need a quick weekend getaway, soak up summer’s last hoorah with these 12 things to do in Victoria, BC this September.

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1. Saanich Fair – September 3 – 5

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Come one, come all to the annual Saanich Fair, a classic weekend of fun for the whole family! Just a 20-minute drive north of Victoria, the fairgrounds offer endless entertainment, such as rides and roller coasters, dog and horse shows, petting zoos and live performances. PLUS, you’ll also be able to pick up local goods and produce from regional farmers.

2. Eagle Wing Open Boat Whale Watching – September

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Discover the island’s incredible marine life in the most thrilling way possible – in an open-air speedboat! Explore the pristine waters of south Vancouver Island as you zip along on a whale watching tour with Eagle Wing.

Under the guidance of an expert onboard naturalist, you’ll search for orcas, humpbacks and minke whales as well as Steller sea lions, harbor seals, bald eagles and lots more! Book this tour with Clipper, learn more.

3. Catch a Show – September

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When it comes to live entertainment in Victoria, September’s got it in spades! Everything from internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Emmett Cohen, to Drag Race icon Alyssa Edwards, to vocal powerhouse Serena Ryder have performances scheduled throughout the month. With shows hosted at historic venues such as the Royal Theatre and the McPherson Playhouse, it’s an excellent opportunity to peek inside some of Victoria’s most opulent spaces!

4. Great Canadian Beer Festival – September 9 – 10


Credit: @greatcanadianbeerfest

Soak in the last of the summertime sun at the Great Canadian Beer Festival. Celebrate British Columbia’s finest breweries and cideries in the most appropriate fashion – by filling a cup! In its 28th year running, the festival will feature more than 90 craft breweries from BC and beyond. Sip on hometown faves such as Driftwood Brewing or brews from far-flung visitors like Halifax’s 2 Crows Brewing Co. Cheers!

5. AndrenaLINE Zipline Tours – September

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Indulge your inner adventure junkie and breathe in some evergreen-scented forest air with a high-flying zip line tour! Ascend to the top of the course by way of an all-terrain MOG truck. Then, strap in for eight zip line crossings, (ranging from 150 to 1,000 feet!) two suspension bridges and a fully-narrated tour on the unique environment of the area’s coastal temperate rainforest. It’s the perfect opportunity to say farewell to summer with one last exciting hurrah in the great outdoors! Book this tour with Clipper, learn more.

6. Rifflandia – September 15 – 18

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Headlined this year by chart-topping heavy-hitters Lorde and Charli XCX, Rifflandia is back to take over the city with four days of genre-spanning music, family-friendly activities, great food, and lots more. R&B your genre of choice? Head to the ARC Stage. Wanna see NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal spin some vinyl at a DJ set? Plant yourself at the Phillips Main Stage. Are you a punk rock devotee? Make your way to the Rifftop Stage to catch Pussy Riot and Bikini Kill. However you piece together your schedule, it’s bound to be an unforgettable weekend!

7. Terry Fox Run – September 18

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Honoring famed Canadian athlete and humanitarian, the Terry Fox Run is back to raise money and awareness for cancer research. As per Fox’s wishes, the race is non-competitive, inclusive of all ages and entrants pay by donation to keep it accessible to any socio-economic standing. The run is truly open to all! Whether you’re looking to lace up your running shoes and join in or cheer on the fleet of participants, it’s sure to be an uplifting event for everyone.

8. Victoria International Wine Festival – September 18 – 24

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Savor some of the world’s finest wines from deep Merlots to light Pinot Grigios at the Victoria International Wine Festival. With over 400 wines from more than 13 different countries, your cup will runneth over with options! Nibble on small plates paired with each glass as you chat with sommeliers about the vintages. Whether you’re a budding aficionado or looking to sip some regional vintages among friends, this is the wine event to fit the bill.

9. Brewery & The Beast – September 22

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Ready for a day of indulgence? Satiate your inner foodie with an array of sustainably-sourced, meaty dishes from more than 60 chefs and restaurants from around Vancouver Island, paired with a pint from local hop heavyweight Phillips Brewing. Dance off the feast with the musical stylings of The Electric Timber Company, and toast to the official last night of summer!

10. Capital City Comic Con – September 23 – 25

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Let your geek flag fly for a weekend packed with cosplay, celebrities, comedy and a celebration of all things pop culture at Capital City Comic Con! Whether you’re looking to shop for comic book rarities or meet a bona fide member of the USS Enterprise, Comic Con is a must-attend event for self-proclaimed nerds to unite. Plus, with an array of comics and gaming stores all around town (and The National Toy Museum of Canada calling Victoria home) the geektastic vibes don’t stop at the convention doors!

11. Live Music On The Covered Patio at Merridale Cider – September 24 – 25

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Tuck into pizza fresh out of a brick oven coupled with a frosty hard cider at Merridale’s ongoing Pizza Night series! Choose from a selection of pie toppings, ranging from classic to contemporary (including cider-cured ham!) to pair with a pint of their crisp, house-made ciders. All this, set to the sounds of live music on Merridale’s utterly charming open-air patio. It’s hard to think of a better way to spend a summer Sunday!

12. Foggy Isle Film Festival – September 29

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The island’s annual dark comedy and macabre-centric film event is back to its original cabaret-styled roots for the Foggy Isle Film Festival‘s fourth year. Grab the popcorn and settle in for a jam-packed lineup from filmmakers from as far away as Australia to nearby Victoria locals. Celebrate all things darkly hilarious, eerie, and downright weird alongside fellow cinephiles right in the heart of downtown Vic!

 

With plenty of festivals to attend, craft beer to drink and live music to dance to, now is the perfect time for an end of summer escape to Victoria! Between wandering along the city’s picturesque coastline trails and exploring historic landmarks and pocket neighborhoods, be sure to carve out time for a few of these fabulous events to fully experience the city’s rich culture.

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Feature image: Destination Greater Victoria