Summer is definitely the best season in Victoria, if only because it rains slightly less than usual. Many UVic students will be heading home while school is not in session, but, if you’re lucky enough to be sticking around, here are three things that you should probably check out.
With the postponement of Langford’s legendary Rock the Shores, Victoria is sadly down one music festival this summer. The good news, though, is that despite this loss, Victoria is still stuffed to the brim with festivals throughout the season. Highlights include: FernFest — situated next to the Belfry Theatre, it’s probably Victoria’s quaintest music festival; Victoria International JazzFest — featuring artists from a plethora of genres, with reggae star Ziggy Marley headlining this year’s lineup; and the Phillips Backyard Weekender — hosted on the premises of Phillip’s Brewery (because we all know the beer is why we go to these festivals anyway).
Also, keep an eye out for whoever is playing the Canada Day celebrations. As confederation turns 150, increased arts funding means there’s sure to be a special musical guest gracing the stage at the Legislature.
Make sure to bring: Lots and lots of water — for the inevitable sunburns and the inevitable drinking.
I mean, sure, you don’t need homemade jam, homemade bread, or homemade wooden swords, but it’d be cool to have them, right? These wares and more are all available at any one of Victoria’s many summer markets. In fact, it’s probably a safe bet to say that Victoria has the highest market per capita rate in the world.
Here’s just a few: James Bay Market, Breakwater Market, Moss Street Market, Bastion Square Market, Sidney Market, the Salt Spring Market, Oaklands Market, Ship’s Point Night Market, Victoria Flea Market, and the Victoria Public Market.
Google any of the above to find their easily accessible locations, and you’ll have enough homemade jam/wooden swords for years to come.
Make sure to bring: Cash. This is Victoria, dude. There’s no hi-tech debit sh*t in these parts.
The great outdoors
A hike in Victoria is a good idea at any point throughout the year, but the summer season provides more sunlight to cram in as many outdoor activities as possible, ranging from the obvious to the obscure. The former category involves hiking (and no, every dude on Tinder, walking up the Mt. Tolmie trail does not a hike make). If you do want to go on some proper hikes, you’ve got options. For beginners, Lone Tree Hill is a great place to start. For the more experienced, you can’t beat the ocean view on the East Sooke Trail.
And if you’ve walked every trail from here to Ucluelet, why not take to the sea? There are plenty of kayaks for rent in Victoria, and you could even take surfing lessons if you wanted to venture out a bit farther into the Pacific. Whatever you choose, make sure to get outside before the sun begins its six-month hibernation in October.
Make sure to bring: A friend! If you’ve got one. You’ve got a friend, right? Uh-huh. Sure.
These are just a few options. do250.com, tourismvictoria.ca, and tripadvisor.ca all have more ideas for summer fun, but any and all of these suggestions are great opportunities to enjoy your break from the stress and hardships of university.
Oh, and you’ll probably get great Instagram photos, which, in the grand scheme of things, is probably the most important thing of all.
The Victoria JazzFest 2017 runs from June 23 to July 2. Tickets range from $25-80 and are available at jazzvictoria.ca.
The Phillip’s Backyard Weekender runs from July 7-9. Early bird tickets are available for purchase for $75 at backyardweekender.com.
FernFest 2017 takes place on June 16 and 17. It’s free to attend, but this is Fernwood, so you’ll need either a pair of Blundstones or Birkenstocks in order to fit in and those will run you about $200.