Victoria BC in the Fall 70 things to do
Victoria BC in the Fall

While the days grow shorter and the mornings crisp, fall may very well be the best time of year to visit Victoria, BC. Colorful leaves, mild weather, and stunning autumn blooms minus the summer crowds make this stunning seaside city an excellent choice for a quick and relaxing getaway.

Whether you choose to hop a flight direct from downtown Seattle to Victoria’s Inner Harbour or take our wheeled plane service from Paine Field, Boeing Field or Friday Harbor airport, zipping up to Victoria is an easy international escape.

Ready to get planning? Discover 70 unique and exciting things to do in Victoria, BC this fall, ranging from the best places to grab a bite to can’t-miss iconic landmarks!

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False Bay. San Juan Islands. Colleen Michaels header
False Bay. San Juan Islands. Colleen Michaels

Fall in the San Juan Islands is particularly unique. The weather is still sunny (thanks to the 247 average days with sunshine), while the summer crowds have begun to thin. Farm tours and festivals abound (thanks to Savor the San Juans). And, the foliage is bursting with color. In short, there are a plethora of fun things to do in the San Juan Islands this fall. 

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Museum of Glass Cone by Gagliardi Photography
Museum of Glass. Image by Gagliardi Photography

If your travels take you to Tacoma (which they should because Seattle’s sister-city is filled with underrated gems), do yourself a favor and visit the Museum of Glass. It’s a celebration of art, history, and the science of glassmaking. The captivating institution is home to the largest and most active museum glass studio on the West Coast.

Displays feature works by some of the most renowned glass artists from the 20th and 21st centuries. While exhibits lean towards contemporary art, classics are also on display. But the real draw here is the museum’s Hot Shop.

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Whitney Page and Melanie Trygg of Smörgåsbord on Orcas
Whitney Page and Melanie Trygg of Smörgåsbord

Fashion has a tendency to come with waste. New styles encourage new production and the inevitable casting off of yesterday’s trends — whether they be a wardrobe update or a home decor refresh. It’s only natural to feel the conflicting juxtaposition between discovering a new sweater or prized vase and protecting Mother Nature. At Orcas Island’s Smörgåsbord, located in the heart of Eastsound, two moms challenge this status quo. 

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Klahoose Wilderness Resort
Klahoose Wilderness Resort
Image provided by Klahoose Wilderness Resort.

Whether it be a remote wilderness lodge, a comfortable resort on the beach or a refined hotel in the city, there is getting away and then there is truly escaping. Being open to new experiences, whether that be trying new local foods, stepping out of your comfort zone by kayaking through a deep fjord or being brave and pulling up a chair to connect with strangers over a shared meal are all certain to make your experiences richer.

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Whale Museum in Friday Harbor
Friday Harbor Whale Museum

Few things are more thrilling than seeing an orca in the wild — except, perhaps, protecting them. Protection comes in all forms at Friday Harbor’s Whale Museum. Visitors are introduced to orcas, invited to learn about their habitat, and encouraged to participate in the preservation of these gentle giants. 

Founded in 1979, the museum is located on First Street. It’s just one block above the Friday Harbor Marina in downtown Friday Harbor. This year-round activity is housed in the historic Odd Fellows Hall. Constructed in 1982, the two-story wood structure served as a hub for the community’s social life.

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de Havilland Beavers docked in Desolation Sound
de Havilland Beavers in Desolation Sound

Known to some as the Harley Davidson of the sky, the de Havilland Beaver’s squat-nosed appearance has a rugged handsomeness.

With its pug-nosed fuselage and no-nonsense radial engine, this is a go-anywhere machine. In fact, unlike the majority of fixed-wing aircraft, the Beaver can get out of pretty much any situation it can get itself into.

The preferred choice of nearly all bush pilots, Beavers have been flown to small mountain lakes, glaciers, and remote beaches. They’ve carried torpedoes and delivered parts to stranded boats. They’ve been used as crop dusters, passenger caravans, and sightseeing apparatuses. You think of it, a Beaver can probably do it.

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Maggie in Friday Harbor
Maggie in Friday Harbor

On the edge of the US and Canadian border, where the ocean flows freely between the two countries – water-locked drops of island oases can be found. With the Olympic Mountains lining the horizon and old-growth forests aplenty, the 250 days of sunshine beckon visitors and delight locals.

Friday Harbor, the largest of the San Juan Islands’ towns, is home to some of the finest restaurants, coffee shops, and artists’ studios and galleries. Here, whale watching enthusiasts enjoy the sights of resident and transitory pods; outdoor adventurists explore a variety of parks and trails; and boaters take full advantage of known and lesser-known coves, marinas, and shorelines.

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Andrew and Emily Youngren at Printshop Northwest
Andrew and Emily Youngren

In today’s screen-filled world, the opportunities to flex creative muscles with tangible objects can feel few and far between. But there’s a special magic when we let go of the digital mockup and allow our minds to wonder, ‘What if?’ To experiment with colors and stencils. To make something completely unique.

That’s exactly the kind of experience Andrew and Emily Youngren offer at Printshop Northwest. At their boutique San Juans printing chain (they have locations in both Orcas Island’s Eastsound and San Juan Island’s Friday Harbor) they sell a host of pre-printed and design-your-own clothing.

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Pebble Beach on Orcas Island sunny day
Pebble Beach on Orcas Island

Despite being the largest island in the San Juans, Orcas is a tad slim on public waterfront. But for those in the know, Pebble Beach offers 150 yards of crescent-shaped magic just waiting to be explored.

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