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A snapshot of a beach in Victoria in May.

Victoria In May 2024: Things to Do + Events and Festivals

Victoria in May is a special time when days grow longer, and the air fills with the scent of blooming flowers.

The city’s mild weather beckons visitors from the Lower Mainland and beyond by offering the perfect blend of warm weather, outdoor adventures, and vibrant festivals.

Whether you’re craving a seaside stroll or a lively cultural event, Victoria, BC, in May has something special for everyone.

  1. Why Visit Victoria in May?
  2. Attractions
  3. Outdoor Activities
  4. Indoor Activities
  5. Events
  6. Victoria May Weather
  7. FAQS

Why Visit Victoria in May?

Imagine a place where the promise of summer begins to unfold, where every corner is bursting with colour and life. This is Victoria in May. From kayaking on the crystal-clear waters to exploring the city’s rich history and culture at various festivals, Victoria is the perfect destination for your May getaway.

As the South Island’s mild weather finally comes to fruition, the city comes alive with various events, outdoor activities, and indoor attractions that cater to a wide range of interests.

You can celebrate the city’s namesake regent at the Victoria Day Parade, hike or bike the city’s beautiful parks and trails, or if you’re lucky, hit up one of Victoria beaches.

And the best part? The pleasant weather comes without the summer crowds, ferry lineups, and jacked-up prices at Victoria hotels. Whether you’re a foodie, a nature lover, or a culture enthusiast, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Victoria in May.

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

What are the Top Tourist Attractions in Victoria in May?

In Victoria during May, the city’s most popular attractions begin to ditch their rainboots and pull out their summer clothing. The city’s legendary parks and gardens are finally in full bloom, and its galleries and museums are prepared for the increase in visitors with a variety of events and workshops.

To my mind, there is no better time to sneak in a visit to one of Victoria’s top attractions. So, let’s get started planning your May Victoria itinerary.

the world's fourth highest totem pole in Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, BC.

Enjoy Beacon Hill Park’s May Majesty

Embrace the beauty of Victoria in May with a visit to the iconic Beacon Hill Park, where spring is in full swing and the early hints of summer begin to unfold. As May brings warmer, sun-kissed days, the park transforms into a vibrant tapestry of colours, with flowers blooming in every corner.

Whether you’re a nature lover keen on bird-watching and flower-gazing or looking for a serene spot to enjoy outdoor activities like biking, kite-flying or leisurely walks, Beacon Hill Park is the place to be.

  • Check out the world’s fourth highest totem pole, erected by Chief Mungo martin in 1956.
  • Enjoy the ocean views and Victoria’s best sunsets along Dallas Rd. waterfront.
  • Take your children to Beacon Hill Children’s Farm to meet an array of furry friends at this popular petting zoo.
  • Wander amongst the park’s beautifully landscaped gardens, grasslands, ponds, and bridges as you enjoy some time for peaceful self-reflection.

Did you know? Beacon Hill Park was first set aside as a public space by Sir James Douglas in 1858.

Related: Victoria’s Best Parks & Gardens: A Guide to the City’s Greenspaces

 the rose arch at Victoria's Butchart Gardens.

Savour the Enchanting Beauty of Butchart Gardens

Step into a world of floral fantasy this May at Victoria’s renowned Butchart Gardens, where the splendour of spring blooms awaits to enchant your senses. The stunning botanical display attracts over one million visitors annually, making it Victoria’s #1 attraction.

May is the perfect time to visit, as the gardens are ablaze with the vibrant colours of tulips, peonies, and cherry blossoms, yet spared from the bustling crowds of summer.

  • Book your trip: The Butchart Gardens Express Shuttle offers round-trip transport from the Inner Harbour.
  • Stroll Through the Sunken Garden: Marvel at the transformation of a former quarry into a lush, blooming paradise, showcasing spring’s vibrant colours.
  • Explore the Japanese Garden: Find tranquillity among winding paths, serene ponds, and the delicate beauty of spring blossoms in this peaceful retreat.
  • Admire the Rose Garden: Although early in the season, catch the beginnings of what will become a spectacular display of roses in all their varieties and hues.

Pro-tip: Consider booking afternoon tea for a delightful and prototypical Victoria experience.

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

A photo of Victoria's Fisherman's Wharf

Breath in the Sea Air at Fisherman’s Wharf

There’s no better time to experience the lively atmosphere of Fisherman’s Wharf. This vibrant harbour, a stone’s throw from the heart of downtown Victoria, transforms into a bustling hub of activity, inviting visitors and locals alike to indulge in its unique offerings.

From savouring the freshest seafood at quaint food stalls to embarking on exhilarating water-based adventures like kayaking or whale watching, Fisherman’s Wharf promises an unforgettable experience.

  • Taste Local Seafood Delicacies: Don’t miss the opportunity to try fresh seafood right from the source. From fish and chips to succulent crab, the food stalls at Fisherman’s Wharf offer the freshest catch of the day.
  • Kayak Around the Harbor: Rent a kayak and paddle around the vibrant harbour. May’s calm waters make it a perfect time for beginners and seasoned kayakers alike to explore the scenic views from the water.
  • Photograph the Colorful Houseboats: The wharf is famous for its brightly painted floating homes. These make for a picturesque photo op, capturing the essence of Victoria’s quirky and charming side.

Pro-tip: Visit via the iconic ‘Pickle Boat’ harbour ferry for the true Fisherman’s Wharf experience.

What Outdoor Activities Can You Do in Victoria in May?

As the weather warms up in May, Victoria offers a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy. From breathtaking hikes in lush parks to exciting whale-watching tours, there is something for everyone to explore and experience.

In this section, we will discuss the various options for outdoor activities in Victoria during May.

A group hikes along a trail near Victoria in May.

Hike Victoria’s Beautiful Parks and Trails

Visiting Victoria in May offers the perfect opportunity to explore the region’s stunning trails and paths. With the weather warming up, it’s an ideal time to lace up your hiking boots and immerse yourself in the natural beauty that surrounds this vibrant city.

From the lush, green canopies of local forests to the breathtaking coastal vistas, each trail offers a unique glimpse into the area’s diverse landscapes. Here are a few of my faves:

  • Mount Douglas Park: For panoramic views of Victoria, the San Juan Islands, and Mount Baker, head to Mount Douglas. Various trails range from leisurely strolls to more challenging hikes up the mountain.
  • Galloping Goose Regional Trail: Stretching from Victoria to Sooke, this multi-use trail is perfect for a leisurely hike, bike, or run. Enjoy the scenic route dotted with forests, lakes, and ocean views.
  • Dallas Road Waterfront Trail: This picturesque trail hugs the Victoria coastline, offering stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Ideal for walkers, runners, and cyclists alike, it’s a favourite for those looking for a leisurely stroll close to the Inner Harbour.
  • Juan de Fuca Marine Trail: For the more adventurous, this coastal trail on the island’s west coast offers rugged terrain and breathtaking ocean views. While the entire trail is a multi-day hike, shorter segments offer a taste of the Pacific Northwest’s coastal beauty.

Related: Victoria in Spring: From Cherry Blossoms to City Charms

A Victoria Zodiac Whale Watching tour travels through the Inner Harbour.

Set Sail on a Victoria Whale Watching Tour

Embarking on a Victoria whale watching tour during May is an unforgettable experience, thanks to the warming weather and the increased presence of majestic whales in the waters around Vancouver Island.

This time of year, the marine life is particularly vibrant, offering you the chance to witness orcas, humpbacks, grays, and minkes in their natural habitat.

  1. Visit the Viator whale watching portal to research the various tours on offer.
  2. Select the option that best fits your desired departure point and preferences. At Viator, you’ll receive a low-price guarantee, buy now, pay later tickets, and a coveted whale sighting guarantee.
  3. Be prepared for the weather by dressing in layers and bringing sunscreen, sunglasses, and a waterproof jacket. Remember, it’s always cooler out on the water.
  4. Enjoy the thrill of seeing these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat.

Did you know? The Salish Sea’s peak whale watching season is between April and October.


Related: Nanaimo Whale Watching Tours: Experience the Marine Majesty

a bike sits in front of the Parliament Buildings on a Victoria bike tour.

Cycling Around the City on a Victoria Bike Tour

Exploring the city on a Victoria bike tour in May offers an unparalleled way to experience the city’s charm and natural beauty. While renting a bike and going solo can be an adventure, joining an organized tour provides added benefits.

You’ll be led by an expert guide who shares fascinating insights about Victoria’s history, culture, and hidden gems that you might not discover on your own. Not to mention, you’ll see the city with a group of like-minded travellers.

  1. Visit Viator’s Victoria Bike Tour portal to browse through the various tours on offer.
  2. Select your tour of choice and departure date. Check the weather forecast to plan the best day for cycling around the city.
  3. Stay hydrated and bring along snacks for energy.
  4. Respect traffic rules and watch out for pedestrians.

Did you know? Victoria is considered Canada’s most bikeable city due to its extensive network of bike lanes and trails.


Related: The 13 Best Victoria City Tours for Travellers & Locals

What Indoor Activities Can You Do in Victoria in May?

If you find yourself in Victoria in May and the weather isn’t quite cooperating, don’t worry! There are plenty of fun and interesting indoor activities to enjoy in this charming city.

Let’s have a look at some of the top things to do indoors in Victoria during May.

The exterior of the Royal BC Museum in Victoria, BC.

Soak in the Culture at Victoria’s Museums and Galleries

Diving into the top Victoria museums and galleries is a must for any visitor wanting to fully embrace the city’s rich tapestry of art and culture. Whether you’re an art aficionado or a history buff, there’s something to spark your curiosity and awe.

On the occasional rainy day in May, these cultural havens offer the perfect refuge, allowing you to explore the creativity and heritage of the region in comfort. Here are a few of my favourite options:

  • Royal BC Museum: Discover the natural and human history of British Columbia through captivating exhibits and IMAX films. For my money, it’s the best museum in BC.
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria: Explore a diverse collection of art, ranging from historical works to contemporary pieces by Canadian and Indigenous artists.
  • Mark Loria Gallery: Focuses on high-quality indigenous artwork. Known for the owner’s passion and representation of the top Canadian Indigenous Artists for more than 40 years.
  • Craigdarroch Castle: Step back in time in this Victorian-era mansion, which tells the story of Victoria’s wealthy Dunsmuir family through its preserved architecture and furnishings.

Pro-tip: After visiting the Royal BC Museum, wander across the street to Thunderbird Park to check out Victoria’s most impressive collection of totem poles.

Related: How to Spend One Day in Victoria

a group gives a cheers in a victoria brewery

Explore Victoria’s Vibrant Craft Beer Scene

Victoria, BC, in May, is not just about blooming flowers and scenic landscapes; it’s also a prime time to dive into the bustling Victoria craft beer scene. With a vibrant community of local breweries, each offering unique and innovative brews, Victoria has earned its reputation as a hub for craft beer enthusiasts.

Taking an organized Victoria brewery tour provides not only a taste of some of the finest handcrafted beers but also insights into the brewing process, stories behind the brews, and the opportunity to meet like-minded beer lovers.

  1. Research Craft Brewery Tours: Look for guided tours that feature visits to local breweries for tastings and a behind-the-scenes tour.
  2. Book a Tour: Visit the Viator brewery tour portal to receive a low-price guarantee and buy now, pay later tickets.
  3. Engage with Guides: Interact with tour guides to learn about the history, culture, and significance of the local craft beer scene. Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of local breweries.
  4. Sample the Suds: You’ll receive tasters of the top beers from each brewery you visit on your tour. Cold beer, great conversation, and new friends. How can you go wrong?

Pro-Tip: Not a beer drinker? Then you can take a Victoria food tour to savor the authentic flavors of Victoria’s diverse culinary landscape while gaining insights into the city’s culture and history.


Related: Victoria’s Best Bars: A Newbies Guide

a pair of ladybugs at the victoria bug zoo.

Check out the Creepy Crawlers at the Victoria Bug Zoo

Visiting Victoria with kids? Well, the Victoria Bug Zoo is an adventure your kids won’t forget and a perfect plan for families exploring Victoria. This unique zoo offers an up-close look at the fascinating world of insects and arachnids, making it an exciting educational experience that children of all ages will enjoy.

With knowledgeable staff offering interactive tours, your little ones can safely learn about and even handle some of the friendly critters, turning apprehension into admiration. Here are a few highlights to check out:

  • Giant Walkingsticks and Leaf Insects: Marvel at these camouflage masters and learn about their survival tactics. The Chinese Green Mantis is a particular standout.
  • Tarantulas and Scorpions: See these often-misunderstood creatures up close, showcasing the diversity and beauty of the arachnid world.
  • Ant Colony: Watch the mesmerizing activity of an ant colony at work, offering a glimpse into their complex social structures.

Related: Victoria in April: Embrace the Spring Splendour

What Events Are Happening in Victoria in May?

May in Victoria, Canada, is a lively and eventful time, with plenty of opportunities to explore and discover. From parades to festivals, there is something for everyone in this beautiful city.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the exciting events happening in Victoria in May.

Victoria Day Parade

Date: May 20th, 2024

Celebrate Victoria Day Weekend in style in Victoria, BC, where the city comes alive with a vibrant array of festivities that honour both the historical significance of the holiday and the city’s namesake. The May long weekend is packed with events that cater to all ages, making it a perfect time for visitors and tourists to immerse themselves in the city’s festive atmosphere.

The centerpiece of the weekend is the renowned Victoria Day Parade, a spectacular display of marching bands, colorful floats, and lively performers that travels up and down Douglas Street.

Oak Bay Tea Party

Dates: May 30th – June 2nd, 2024

The Oak Bay Tea Party is an annual event held at Willows Beach in the suburb of Oak Bay. It features a parade, food vendors, live music, activities for children, and the highlight – a tea party with delicious treats. The event celebrates the community spirit and maritime heritage of the area, attracting locals and visitors alike.

The Oak Bay Tea Party has been a tradition since 1963, initially organized to raise funds for a new Oak Bay fire truck. Over the years, it has evolved into a beloved community event, reflecting the warmth and camaraderie of Oak Bay.

Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival

Dates: May 18th – 19th, 2024

The Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival is a vibrant event celebrating Scottish culture with traditional music, dance, and athletic competitions such as the caber toss and hammer throw. Visitors can savour Scottish delicacies, browse artisan crafts, and enjoy pipe band performances.

The festival is the longest-running Highland Games in North America. It’s held at Victoria’s Topaz Park.

Victoria May Weather

If you’re planning your first visit to Victoria, BC, in May, you’re in for a treat! This enchanting month marks the transition into the full splendour of spring, offering mild and inviting weather. With an average low of around 8°C (46°F) and an average high of 17°C (63°F), May in Victoria strikes a delightful balance between cool mornings and comfortably warm afternoons.

Precipitation in May tends to be moderate as the city begins to dry out from the wetter winter and early spring months. You can expect an average of 33mm (about 1.3 inches) of rain spread across the month, meaning there’s plenty of sunshine to enjoy the outdoor activities, gardens in bloom, and vibrant events that Victoria is famous for.

What to Pack

To make the most of your visit to Victoria in May, here are some essential items to pack:

  • Light Layers: The key to comfort is versatility. Pack a mix of short and long-sleeved shirts, a warm sweater, and a light jacket for those cooler mornings and evenings.
  • Waterproof Jacket: Just in case you encounter one of May’s gentle showers, a lightweight waterproof jacket will keep you dry without adding bulk.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: Victoria’s charm is best explored on foot, from its historic downtown to its scenic coastal paths.
  • Sun Protection: Sunglasses, a hat, and sunscreen are must-haves for those beautiful, sunny days that characterize late May.

Victoria, BC, in May FAQs

There are endless possibilities in the beautiful city of Victoria during the spring season. Some popular options include visiting the famous Butchart Gardens, taking a scenic hike, exploring the colourful houseboats at Fisherman’s Wharf, or visiting a local museum or art gallery.

May in Victoria boasts mild and pleasant weather, perfect for outdoor exploration. With average temperatures ranging from 8°C (46°F) to 17°C (63°F), visitors can enjoy the spring air with cooler mornings and warmer afternoons. Although May sees an average of 33mm of rain, there are plenty of sunny days, making it an ideal time to visit.

Absolutely! May’s mild weather and blooming landscapes make it perfect for a variety of outdoor activities. Hiking the local trails, kayaking around the Inner Harbour, or biking along the scenic routes are great ways to experience Victoria’s natural beauty. Don’t miss the chance to explore the city’s gardens, like Butchart Gardens, which are especially vibrant this time of year.

Families will find plenty to do in Victoria during May. Visit the Victoria Bug Zoo for an up-close look at insects, or explore the Royal BC Museum to learn about the region’s history and natural world.

The Beacon Hill Children’s Farm and taking part in the Victoria Day Parade and festivities are also must-dos for families seeking fun and engaging experiences.

Victoria is a fantastic place to visit in May. The city’s weather is becoming warmer and more inviting, the natural scenery is at its peak with spring blooms, and there’s a buzz of activity with outdoor events and festivals.

Whether you’re into outdoor adventures, exploring local culture, or simply enjoying the beauty of the gardens and historic sites, May is one of the best times to experience all that Victoria has to offer.

All packed and ready for a getaway to Victoria in May?

As our exploration of Victoria, BC, in May comes to a close, we hope you’re inspired to pack your bags and experience the magic for yourself.

From the serene beauty of its gardens to the excitement of its festivals, Victoria is a place where summer memories are made.

Let the adventure begin to Victoria in May, and discover the joy of island life.

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