Summer in the city is finally upon us!
It’s important that we maximize our sunny, warm-weather days here in Greater Victoria – and luckily for us, there’s NO shortage of ways we can spend a sun-drenched day in the city.
I thought I’d share some of my favourite places to go for a run or for a walk, watch the sun set, and pick up a light lunch. If you ask me, that’s a day well-spent!
Trust me, it wasn’t easy to pick only a few – but these were the top contenders…
Favourite Places to Run/Jog/Walk
As you might know, I am training right now for the Victoria Goodlife Half-Marathon on October 13th, 2019 with my Westcoast Run Clinic with Jason Ball of BDHQ, so every week I am checking out some great local running spots with our group.
However, once the clinic is done, you can bet I’ll be hitting up some of these locations for a leisurely walk with Kingston (or maybe an occasional run to keep up the fitness!).
Dallas Road/Beacon Hill Park
Paragliders, dog-walkers, cyclists, kite-enthusiasts, runners, and walkers alike all flock to the fantastic seaside trails with a view across the Strait of Juan De Fuca! I love taking Kingston here for his afternoon walks year-round – I always run into familiar faces.
Living in the Songhees means I am fortunate to be able to enjoy the waterfront any time of the day; and the scenic route is perfect for a run or walk! It tends to be less busy than Dallas Road (because there is less available parking), and it even made it into my sunset list below.
The network of trails around Thetis Lake is incredible – offering tons of different routes surrounded by lush, West Coast rainforest and amazing lake views. You can choose from Upper or Lower Thetis Lake trails, and both are moderately challenging. Just be sure to bring a buddy and have adequate resources – it can be easy to get turned around if you’re not familiar with the place.
Also known as the “chip trail” and Mystic Vale, this is a beautiful, wooded oasis inside the city. It’s cool, and shaded and incredibly peaceful! It’s an easier terrain, so it’s ideal for a light jog or a relaxed walk with your loved ones.
If you’re looking for a long run (10KM or longer) these winding trails are a great bet! There are several parking lots to choose from, and you’ll experience great scenic views of the regional park area from most routes. On weekends, this spot is busy!
Best Places To Watch the Sunset
Stroll along the two main footpaths of Finlayson Point; surrounded by seaside bluffs and the beaches, and you’ll find spectacular views of the sun setting across the horizon. This is an awesome spot to walk along the rocks and see the waves crashing up against them!
Sunsets from the Songhees are especially beautiful – this vantage point offers you a clear perspective of the sun setting over the water; often with magnificent shades of orange, pink, and violet. I live here, so I’m lucky to see them most days!
This is known as the ultimate spot to drive and park to check out the sunset in Victoria! You’ll drive up the mountain and then watch the night falls over the lights of the city. It really is worth checking out at least once this summer.
Summer is a special time in the Inner Harbour – there’s TONS of activity, entertainment, and people milling about. Listen to a local busker play, watch a magic show, or grab an ice cream cone as dusk falls. You might even be able to watch the sunset from a rented kayak in the water, if you’re lucky!
If you’re enjoying a walk along Dallas Road near sunset, be sure to stick it out a little longer and take in the show from the Breakwater/Ogden Point. People sometimes say they feel like they’re standing at the edge of the world here!
Top Light Lunch Spots
Summertime calls for lighter, locally-sourced West Coast fare – here are some of my go-to’s this season:
This is a Victoria classic! Friendly, lively staff and tight seating – you might need to take it to go. The sushi is always fresh and delicious every time!
Red Fish Blue Fish
Head to the wharf on a sunny day and pick up some fish tacos from this cool, up-cycled shipping container on the pier. Did you know they’ve been featured in a Lonely Planet guide and On Food Network Canada’s Eat Street?
This is a place to celebrate and be entertained by the chef! A fantastic restaurant to host a lunch with friends, family, and to enjoy a special occasion. The food is amazing!
With locations downtown, Vic West, and in the Westshore, I’m guaranteed to have a good Mexican lunch wherever my work day finds me! Locally-owned and family run, and amazing service every time.
Fresh, flavourful, and healthy – this spot is a hidden gem! The service is always friendly and down-to-earth, and there are always unique new sandwiches to try.
Well, there we have it – some of my favourite spots to spend a summer’s day in Victoria.
What would YOU add to the list? Please leave your comments!
Photo: Rebecca Wellman Photography
Thanks for reading,