• Menu
  • Menu
A photo of the Parliament Buildings on the May long weekend Victoria, BC.

May Long Weekend in Victoria BC: Escape to Enchantment

Are you looking to plan a memorable May long weekend in Victoria?

Look no further! With an abundance of outdoor activities, delicious dining options, and unique attractions, Victoria is the perfect destination for a fun-filled getaway.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to make the most of your Victoria Day long weekend in Victoria!

May Long Weekend in Victoria

Hi folks! Wondering where to spend the upcoming May long weekend? Let me pitch you the idea of Victoria, BC. It’s not just a stunning destination; it’s also the perfect place to jump-start your island adventures.

With a host of activities celebrating Victoria Day, the city truly comes alive. The famous Victoria Day Parade is the highlight, marching down Douglas Street to the Inner Harbour, where you’ll find music, food, and entertainment for the kids.

This holiday not only brings together locals but also attracts plenty of visitors from Vancouver and beyond, all eager to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday in her namesake city.

⛴️ Coming in from Vancouver? Check out our article on how to get to Victoria from Vancouver before you leave the dock.

What is Victoria Day?

What exactly is Victoria Day? The holiday commemorates the birthday of Queen Victoria. It is considered a national holiday and is observed on the last Monday before May 25th. In 2024, this places the long weekend from May 18th-20th.

Serving as an unofficial start of summer, this holiday is often marked with outdoor activities, gatherings, and parades. For islanders, it’s a perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors or sneak in a quick trip outside of the city.

For most, the connection to Queen Victoria has become somewhat tenuous. Nevertheless, the holiday is still a special time to enjoy the warming weather, spend time with family, and celebrate their civic pride.

Related: Victoria in May: Celebrating Spring’s Finale

How is Victoria Day in Victoria Celebrated?

In this section, we will delve into the various ways in which this holiday is celebrated in the city of Victoria. From parades to outdoor activities and family gatherings, there is something for everyone to enjoy on this special long weekend.

the Victoria Day Parade in Downtown Victoria.

The 2024 Victoria Day Parade

Date: May 20th, 2024 | Time: 9:00 am |Location: Douglas St.

The 124th Victoria Day Parade in Victoria kicks off at the Mayfair Mall, right on the outskirts of downtown Victoria, and winds its way down Douglas Street all the way to Courtenay Street in the picturesque Inner Harbour. This route offers a scenic urban backdrop that perfectly showcases our beautiful city as the parade progresses.

As a local, I’ve attended the parade many times, and each year, the vibrant display of colourful floats never fails to impress. The creativity and effort that go into each float are evident, and they bring a splash of colour and joy to the street.

But the parade isn’t just about the floats; it also celebrates music and community spirit. With numerous marching bands, community organizations, and local musicians participating, the air is filled with an array of sounds.

One of the highlights, especially for first-timers, is the atmosphere outside the Parliament Buildings once the parade concludes. Here, the festival continues with more music, live performances, and an assortment of food stalls. The area becomes a lively hub where parade-goers gather to enjoy the rest of the day.

➡️ Performances take place outside the legislature place from noon – 5 p.m. throughout the weekend.

Other Things to Do During the May Long Weekend in Victoria

Not a parade person? Well, don’t worry. As the crowds jockey for a spot along Douglas Street or on the Parliament Buildings’ lawn, Victoria’s top attractions and Vancouver Island’s myriad of outdoor attractions are ripe for the taking.

Let’s take a look at a few alternatives for your Victoria May long weekend.

A photo of a midway game at the Luxton Spring Fair that takes place on the May long weekend in Victoria, BC.

Check out the Luxton Spring Fair

If you’re heading over to Victoria for the May long weekend, let me tip you off about a fantastic family-friendly event not to be missed— the Luxton Spring Fair. Just a short drive from downtown Victoria in the charming community of Colwood, this fair is a highlight for anyone visiting with kids.

The Luxton Spring Fair is bursting with activities that promise fun for the entire family. Imagine a weekend filled with thrilling midway rides and classic carnival games; how can you lose?

And let’s not forget the food and drinks—from cotton candy and hot dogs to local delights, there’s enough to keep everyone fueled and ready for more fun.

Related: Things to Do in Victoria with Kids

the rose arch at Victoria's Butchart Gardens.

Explore the Wonders of Butchart Gardens

Don’t miss the chance to stroll through the breathtaking Butchart Gardens, Victoria’s most celebrated attraction. The Victoria Day long weekend is an ideal time to visit, as the gardens are in full spring bloom, showcasing an array of colourful flowers that create a tapestry of vivid hues and fragrant scents.

As you wander through the various garden spaces—from the Sunken Garden’s enchanting arrangement to the Japanese Garden’s serene beauty—you’ll understand why Butchart Gardens is a cornerstone of Victoria tourism.

And getting there couldn’t be easier! Catch the Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle that runs from the Inner Harbour directly to the gardens. It’s convenient and allows you to relax and enjoy the scenic drive without any worries about navigation or parking.


Related: How to Get to Butchart Gardens from Victoria: No Car, No Problem

A piping band plays at the Highland Games and Celtic Festival on the May long weekend Victoria, BC.

Sneak in Some Culture at the Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival

As North America’s longest-running celebration of Scottish and Celtic arts and culture, the Victoria Highland Games takes place right here in the heart of Victoria at Topaz Park.

Prepare to be swept away by the stirring sounds of pipe bands and the graceful movements of highland dancers. The air will be filled with the melodious tunes of bagpipers and an array of Scottish, Celtic, and folk music bands, setting a festive backdrop that feels like a step into the Highlands.

But there’s more to the games than just music and dance. Dive into your Scottish roots at the Clan and genealogy booths or indulge in some refined tastes at the single malt whiskey tasting booths.

A look at what you can expect to find when having high tea in Victoria BC.

Indulge in Afternoon Tea

If you find yourself in town for the May long weekend, indulging in Victoria afternoon tea is a must-do activity. After all, what better way to celebrate Victoria Day, the most regal holiday on the city’s calendar, than by partaking in this quintessentially British tradition?

This elegant experience offers a taste of Victorian luxury and a relaxing way to enjoy the city’s charming atmosphere.

For a classic experience, you can’t go wrong with the Fairmont Empress, which has been serving tea for over a century. Another great option is the Pendray Inn and Tea House, known for its beautiful setting and exquisite tea selection.

Escape the City to the Island Wilderness

If you’re looking to escape the crowds, why not venture into the stunning wilderness of Vancouver Island? It’s the perfect time to enjoy the great outdoors, with the island offering a plethora of activities for nature lovers.

For those keen on camping, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park provides an idyllic setting along the coastline with options for both tenting and backcountry adventures. If hiking is more your style, the trails at East Sooke Regional Park offer breathtaking views and varied levels of difficulty.

Whether you’re a local or a visitor, taking the time to explore the natural beauty around Victoria will surely rejuvenate your spirit. So grab your gear, and let’s make the most of this Victoria Day long weekend in the great outdoors!

Related: The Best Day Trips from Victoria: Gateway to an Eco-tourism Paradise

A Prince of Whales Zodiac Whale Watching Tour departs from Victoria

Dive into Adventure in the Waters Around Victoria

More of an aquaphile than a landlubber? If so, you’re in luck because the local island waters offer a treasure trove of activities that are perfect as the temperatures start to warm up.

Embarking on a Victoria kayaking tour is a great option, with the area’s sheltered inlets and scenic coastlines providing the ideal backdrop for paddlers of all skill levels. Paddleboarding in Victoria is another great option if you’re looking to get a bit of exercise while soaking up the sun.

And let’s not forget about the exhilarating Victoria whale watching tours! These tours are a highlight for many visitors, offering the chance to see majestic orcas, humpback whales, and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat.

Enjoy a Family Gathering at a Local Park or Beach

Looking to enjoy the outdoors while staying closer to town? Well, I can relate. Victoria Day in Victoria provides the perfect opportunity to hit up one of my favourite Victoria Parks or Victoria’s best beaches for a picnic or BBQ. Provided the weather co-operates, here are a few of my top options:

  • Beacon Hill Park: Located close to downtown, this iconic park offers lush lawns, scenic ponds, and peacocks roaming freely – perfect for a family-friendly picnic.
  • Willows Beach: With its wide, sandy beach and calm waters, Willows Beach in Oak Bay is ideal for a seaside BBQ or picnic. Enjoy the stunning views of the Olympic Mountains while you dine.
  • Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park: A popular spot for outdoor enthusiasts, this park has designated picnic areas with BBQ stands ready for your use, set against a backdrop of forest and lake views.
  • Gyro Park: Situated in Cadboro Bay, this beachfront park includes a sandy beach, a large grassy area, and a playground with a sea monster sculpture that kids love.
  • Clover Point Park: Located on the Dallas Road waterfront, this spot offers expansive grassy areas for picnics and kite-flying, with panoramic views of the ocean.

Victoria May Long Weekend Weather

The weather in Victoria during the May Long Weekend is typically mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 12 to 18 degrees Celsius. However, some years will offer (early) summer-like conditions, so keep your fingers crossed!

Mainlanders typically have a love-hate relationship with May Long. Its late spring timing offers so much promise, but it often ends in disappointment, with grey skies and showers.

However, owing to its Mediterranean climate, Victoria is much drier than the Lower Mainland, particularly at this time of year. So, what do you have to lose?

Ready to Enjoy your May Long Weekend in Victoria?

There you have it—my little spiel on why Victoria is the place to be for the May long weekend. Every year, it’s a blast to see new and familiar faces, take part in unique events, and soak in the late spring sun.

So, why not make it your new tradition? Come for the history, stay for the fun, and leave with summer-ready spirits.

Enjoy your May long weekend in Victoria!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Verified by MonsterInsights