Updated August 7, 2019

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 one, 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 – August 31 – September 2

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

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

When it comes to live entertainment in Victoria, September’s got it in spades! Everyone from pop superstar Carly Rae Jepson, to fiddle duo Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas, to Led Zeppelin cover band Led Zepagain 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. Pizza Nights at Merridale Cider – Every Sunday

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!

5. Great Canadian Beer Festival – September 6 – 7

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 27th 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 Manitoba’s Torque Brewing. Cheers!

6. AndrenaLINE Zipline Tours – September

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.

7. Terry Fox Run – September 15

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. Irish Times 15th Anniversary Celebration – September 17

Voted the number one pub in Victoria for 10 years running (and best Irish pub in North America just a few years back!), downtown mainstay Irish Times is throwing a 15th birthday bash for the books! With free samples of their favorite menu items from throughout the years – think shepherd’s pie and fish & chips – plus drink specials and wall-to-wall live music, you won’t want to miss out on this local milestone!

9. Victoria International Wine Festival – September 19 – 21

Savor some of the world’s finest wines from deep Merlots to light Pinot Grigios at the Victoria International Wine Festival. With over 300 wines from more than 11 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.

10. Harvest on the Harbour – September 20

Enjoy a night out under the stars for a great cause at this year’s Harvest on the Harbour! Dine on a gourmet meal, bid on luxe items in the silent auction and hit the dance floor with live music throughout the night – all set on the waterfront courtyard of the Delta Marriott. Proceeds for the event go to the BC Children’s Hospital, making it the perfect excuse to get dolled up for a date night.

Want to make your night out even easier? Book your stay at the Delta itself and make the elevator your ride home for the evening!

11. Victoria Vintage Halloween Fair – September 20 – 21

For the first time ever, the ongoing Victoria Vintage Fair is gettin’ spooky! Browse through two floors packed with all the makings for an unforgettable Halloween costume, from retro pieces and costume jewelry to vintage shoes and one-of-a-kind accessories. While you’re there, be sure to enter their Raffle o’ Halloween Delights, take in some tunes courtesy of The Saltines and snap a selfie at the Vintage Halloween Photo Booth. By the end of your visit, you’ll be all set to hit the pumpkin patch!

12. Brewery & The Beast – September 22

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!

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