Victoria B.C. is an incredibly scenic, ocean-side city. For those that want to enjoy a quiet morning stroll, or like to take it easy rather than hike a mountain, there are plenty of stunning walks that are calling your name. From winding paths accompanied by soft ocean breezes, to shady walkways tucked into beautiful parks, Victoria’s scenic walks let you in to the most calming side of the city you can find. Many pathways are wheelchair accessible with minimal elevation ensuring everyone can come along. Exploring Victoria’s scenic walks let you get your exercise, relax, visit with friends and enjoy the city at an easy pace.
The Victoria Inner Harbour is a unique highlight and a must see for any tourist! In fact, it is without a doubt considered one of the Top Things to do in Victoria. Besides providing guests with an abundance of things to see such as various water traffic, street performers and the historic buildings that overlook the water, it makes for a fantastic afternoon stroll. Although the official harbor stretches between the Laurel and Songhees Points, crossing the Johnson Street Bridge can be worth the visit, as you can look out across the water to Laurel Point and explore the area of Esquimault. You can even catch a water taxi on the way back, as they run between Esquimault and the downtown harbor daily.
Dallas Road makes for a beautiful drive, as described on our Top Things to do in Victoria page, but the stretch of pathway that loops along the coastline from Ogden Point to Ross Bay is also a spectacular walk that is enjoyed by many all year round. The pathway can be broken into sections and includes sites such as Mile 0, the world’s largest totem pole and various parks to enjoy along the way. With many beach access stairwells, green-space to play games, or relax in, and plenty of benches with scenic views, it’s no wonder this pathway one of the top walks for both locals and tourists alike. Take an ocean-view jog with the Ogden Point Breakwater as an end destination, or gather your friends for a weekend picnic, or a beach day – regardless, somewhere along the Dallas Road walkway, you’ll find the perfect spot for what you’re looking for and with a spectacular view.
A popular place to run, Ogden Point is a long concrete walkway that takes visitors out to a fantastic viewpoint. In fact, Ogden Point is one of the busiest ports-of-call for cruise ships in Canada, and has four piers for large vessels. Taking a walk to the end rewards visitors with the opportunity to see not only incoming cruise ships, but also ferries and naval vessels as well. Besides the lighthouse, another popular spot along the walk is Na’Tsa’Maht – The Unity Wall mural depicting local First Nations Art along the 762m concrete breakwater. Each phase of the mural depicts different cultural aspects and is an ongoing project that will eventually become the largest mural in Canada and span both sides of the breakwater. Considered a classic must-see site for tourists, Ogden Point has definitely made our list of Top Things to do in Victoria and is well worth the visit.
Besides being home to a petting zoo, playground, tennis courts, a waterpark and many gardens and ponds, Beacon Hill Park also features an abundance of beautiful woodland and shoreline trails. With plenty of peacocks and other birds wandering freely, beautiful native and exotic trees, benches dedicated to loved ones, and plenty of other features, it is a popular destination for many in Victoria. Plus, it is the perfect place to spend a sunny day. It is definitely one of the Top Things to do in Victoria and makes for a day well spent.
The 55km stretch that makes up Galloping Goose Trail is the perfect place to walk, bike, jog, rollerblade or even ride a horse. Each area offers a unique landscape and aspect of Southern Vancouver Island. Starting at the east end of the Johnson Street Bridge, the trail passes by many landmarks and checkpoints such as the Selkirk Trestle, Switch Bridge, Matchosin, Roche Cove and the Sooke Basin before ending near Leechtown, an old mining town just beyond the trail that is now mostly overgrown or disappeared. The areas of the trail that are located in Victoria and Saanich are paved and a great place for wheelchairs, strollers and other wheeled traffic, although it should be noted that these sections are not open for horseback. Areas outside of these, such as the Langford section, are unpaved and better for mountain bikes and horses. It is attainable to do the entire trail in one day on a bike, although isn’t recommended except for experienced bikers.
The Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk and stunning pier are two incredible places for an afternoon stroll in the town of Sidney, just twenty minutes outside of Victoria. The Bevan Pier has long been a favourite crabbing spot for locals. Located right next to the old fish market and with incredible views of the Salish Sea, you can watch the ocean traffic come and go, spot marine birds and sea creatures, try your luck at fishing, or crabbing, and, if you stay for sunset, watch an incredible show.
The Sculpture Walk, on the other hand, is a relatively new installment, finding its place along the Salish Sea in 2012. From Beacon Park and heading south to the Sidney International Ferry Terminal, the area becomes a stunning, outdoor art gallery with the ocean and mountains as an unforgettable backdrop. Many of the unique sculptures are for sale, and some are pieces commissioned by the city. Each has its own flair and unique touch with numerous portrayals of life’s aspects. There are ten sculptures all together, each done by a different artist. You can easily walk both the pier and Sculpture Walk in an afternoon, and even check out the Distillery or Aquarium while in the area.