Thanks to its old-world elegance, walkable streets, and temperate weather — Victoria oozes romance. Here, mundane tasks, like grocery shopping, can feel like a date. But it’s not just the city’s day-to-day living that’s filled with couple-worthy activities. There’s an impressive selection of romantic things to do in Victoria, BC.
19 Date Ideas in Victoria, BC
If you’re looking to add some extra va va voom to your romantic Victoria getaway, we have you covered. This list includes date-worthy restaurants, scenic views, heart-thumping activities, and more!
1. Explore Hatley Park and Castle
You may recognize Hatley Park and Castle from the movies. Thanks to the majestic nature of this national heritage site, it’s appeared in Hollywood hits, like the X-Men films. MacGyver fanatics, the popular build-something-from-nothing ‘80s TV show, will have also seen it making a prominent appearance. And that’s just the beginning of the list.
But this Elizabethan-style castle isn’t just open to movie producers. Its grounds are free to walk year-round and make an ideal location for picnics, weather permitting. Tours of the interior are available seasonally and will resume in the spring.
Insider Tip: The scenic lagoon is the ideal place to take a picture.
2. Stroll Through The Butchart Gardens
Few things scream romance more than flowers, except perhaps 55 acres of them. The Butchart Gardens are the premier floral destination on Vancouver Island, offering year-round floral displays, exquisite dining options, and photo-worthy backdrops. If you’re looking to wow your partner with an exceptional date — The Gardens are a sure win.
Insider Tip: Located within the original Butchart family residence, The Dining Room offers both tea and dinner. This elegant affair is certainly date-worthy, but be sure to make a reservation, as they can fill up fast!
3. Book a Double Kayak Tour
There’s something uniquely beautiful about finding a working rhythm with your partner. Matching your significant other stroke-for-stroke naturally builds confidence that can become innate. Taking a double kayak tour through the picturesque Inner Harbour offers a beautiful backdrop for finding this grove. Not to mention, the central location in downtown Victoria gives you easy access to a plethora of toast-worthy pours and decadent restaurants.
Insider Tip: Always dress for the weather. Nothing will ruin a good tie more than being uncomfortable.
4. Explore the City in a Horse-Drawn Carriage
Cars. Phones. Emails. Text messages. These modern conveniences have become so interwoven in everyday life we can feel lost without them. But prior to their existence, courtship was conducted with intention. Love letters were scrawled by hand. (It was, after all, the only option.) Dates were planned well in advance. And inviting a lady for a ‘ride’ signaled that there would be horses and carriages. (Get your mind out of the gutter.)
Take a cue from days past and explore the city by hoof and wheel. These old-school tours typically take you through exquisite gardens, past iconic landmarks, and through some of the city’s premier neighborhoods.
Insider Tip: Tour operators can typically be found outside the BC Parliament buildings.
5. Take a Scenic Trek up Mount Tolmie Park
Does your ideal date involve stretching your legs (without working up a sweat) and scenic views? Mount Tolmie Park offers both. The park itself offers a plethora of gravel walking trails. And from the summit, just 164 feet incline from the parking lot), you’ll be treated to a panoramic view of Greater Victoria and the surrounding region. The view includes:
- Mount Douglas
- Olympic Mountains
- San Juan Islands
- Mount Baker
- Cascade Mountains
Insider Tip: Mount Tolmie is located near the University of Victoria, a picturesque campus that is another excellent place for a stroll.
6. Sip Your Way Through Cowichan Valley
Cowichan Valley may well be the sweetest slice of wine country you’ve never heard of. Its vineyards are young in comparison, only dating back 100 years compared to their ancient 1,000-plus ancestors. But don’t let their relative baby status fool you. This fertile valley produces such exceptional grapes it was formally given a sub-geographical indication (sub-GI).
Thanks to its burgeoning status, it has yet to be commercialized. The growers are often seen in the tasting rooms, sometimes even pouring the wine. And the vineyards themselves are relatively accessible — making a tasting through this region an exceptionally delightful experience.
Insider Tip: Rather than worry about driving, book a guided wine tour that handles the transportation for you. Plus, make sure to scope out Cowichan Valley’s top wineries before you go!
7. Walk Above the Clouds at Malahat Skywalk
Dubbed ‘the ultimate natural high,’ the Malahat Skywalk includes a 600-meter TreeWalk above the forest floor and a 32-meter spiral tower that rises above the treeline. The lookout provides panoramic views of the surrounding area, including:
- Finlayson Arm
- Saanich Peninsula
- Mount Baker
- Cascade Mountains
Insider Tip: Make the view and overnight affair. Book a room at the luxurious Villa Eyrie Resort. If you look closely to the east, the resort’s exquisite views include the top of Malahat Skywalk’s Spiral Tower.
8. Set Sail on a Romantic Sunset Cruise Through Victoria’s Inner & Outer Harbours
Ringed by rocky shores and salty seawater, Victoria offers a host of water-based tours. The city, with its close proximity to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, is well known for its whale watching. Indeed, the most romantic are the evening cruises that offer stunning sunset views. Among the tour operators, 3-Hour Sail and Prince of Whales are two of the most popular.
Insider Tip: Look for a sunset cruise that starts at least one hour before sunset, as this will give you a better chance to see wildlife.
9. Watch the Sunset
Not quite ready to test your sea legs, but all in the on the sunset views? Victoria has you covered with sweeping vistas, elegant skylines, and a plethora of public parks. Discover our seven favorite places to watch the sunset in Victoria, BC.
Insider Tip: if you’re hoping to score a great sunset picture Momento, be sure to bring a tripod (even for your phone). This will help you capture the best images in low-light settings.
10. Take an Urban Hike Through Beacon Hill Park
Victoria, BC, is home to a plethora of public parks, ranging in size and typography. Beacon Hill Park is undoubtedly the crown jewel of its collection. This 200-plus acre park stretches from the edge of the city’s downtown core to the Salish Sea.
It offers a wide range of walking trails, views, picnic locations, and playgrounds (there’s even a petting zoo, open seasonally).
Insider Tip: Looking for another fabulous place to stroll with incredible views? Moss Rock Park is located less than one mile from Beacon Hill Park. Though smaller, it is typically less crowded and offers exceptionally stunning views.
11. Explore Canada’s Oldest Chinatown
Founded more than 150 years ago, Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and the second oldest in North America. The wood shacks that originally comprised this distinct suburb have long since vanished, but remnants of this historic landmark remain.
Chinatown is officially located on Fisgard Street, between Government Street and Store Street. Here you’ll find The Gates of Harmonious Interest, the entrance to the extremely narrow Fan Tan Alley (it spans just 3 feet in sections!), and its sister alley — Dragon Alley.
But don’t hesitate to explore beyond this one-block radius. Chinatown’s shops and restaurants expand beyond this historic core.
Insider Tip: Come with an appetite. Chinatown is home to some of the city’s most unique restaurants.
12. Dine with Seals at Fisherman’s Wharf
After WWII, Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf was built to accommodate commercial fishing vessels. The original wharf was 120 meters long (390 feet) and could moor up to 60 fish-packing ships. Located in Victoria’s Middle Harbour, locals quickly learned they could buy the freshest catch (for a deal) down on the docks.
While the watery location hasn’t changed, the free use of the docks began transitioning into the consumer-based destination it is today by the end of 1947. Now, this eclectic floating pier is home to a collection of floating homes, shops, and food vendors.
It’s also frequented by a variety of wildlife — not the least of which are seals. Though feeding the animals is strongly discouraged, they’re undoubtedly attracted by the scraps that inevitably fall to the deck and water.
Insider Tip: From Victoria’s Inner Harbour you can walk along the streets and pedestrian-only pathways that line the waterfront. But for a more unique experience, consider catching a ride in one of Victoria’s Water Taxis (aka Pickle Boats). These pedestrian-only ferries allow passengers a beautiful view and the chance to streamline their path.
13. Meander (or Bike) Down Dallas Road
Dallas Road stretches roughly four miles along the southern edge of Victoria. It’s a beautiful drive, but the best ways to explore this scenic route is actually on foot or by bike. The land located between Dallas Road and the ocean is public parkland. A paved walkway borders the street and a host of dirt and gravel paths wind through the park. Those on bikes can quickly peruse all the best places to stop and soak in the view before stopping to relax.
Insider Tip: A section of Dallas Road runs through Beacon Hill Park, making this a great combination walk. This also gives you easy access to Finlayson Point, one of Victoria’s most iconic viewpoints.
14. Explore Victoria’s Boutiques & Shops
For years, Victoria’s shopping scene flew wildly under the radar. But a 2016 spotlight in Vogue changed all that, highlighting how the city’s collection of gorgeous old brick warehouses had become a hub for stylish boutiques and budding designers. Today, the shopping scene continues to thrive with adorable jewelry stores (like Artina’s Jewellery), custom parfums (which you’ll find at Zingaro Floral Perfumery), and exquisitely unique stationary stores (including The Regional Assembly of Text and The Papery).
Insider Tip: If you need another souvenir like a mouse needs a hatrack, consider stopping by Rogers’ Chocolates. Established in 1885, this heritage landmark is best known for the Victoria Creams.
15. Make Dinner a Candlelight Affair
When you’re looking for an evening of romance, it’s hard to argue with dining by candlelight. And, Victoria has no shortage of beautifully lit restaurants. A few of our favorites include:
- Tapa Bar
- Vista 18
- Little Jumbo
- Il Covo Trattoria
- Il Terrazzo Restorante
- Brassrie L’Ecole
- Wind Cries Mary
Insider Tip: Reservations. Reservations. Reservations. We cannot stress this enough. These places book up fast!
16. Engage in Some Healthy Competition
There’s nothing like some healthy competition to get the blood pumping, especially when you can enjoy an epic homemade milkshake too! And that’s exactly what you’ll find at Interactivity Board Game Cafe. This local game shop carries a wide array of board games that you can play while you dine (the comfort food-focused menu also features a good selection of libations).
Insider Tip: Not sure which game to try out first? Ask the staff! They can help point you in the right direction. And when you find one you enjoy, you can even buy it (an unopened version) to take home.
17. Savor Breakfast in the Brunch Capital of Canada
Called the Brunch Capital of Canada by Food Network, Victoria is well-known for its mid-day fair selection. Here, eggs and lunch are fused into an elevated meal meant for sleeping in and lingering longer.
Insider Tip: Don’t overlook the plethora of eggs Benedicts (aka Bennies) you’ll find throughout the city. The luscious morning dishes range from traditional (ham and hollandaise) to more exotic offerings (like a poached pear with creamy brie at Jam Cafe and curried chicken with bell peppers, peanut butter, candied almonds, sriracha and cilantro at Spoons Diner).
18. Relax During a Couples Massage
There’s a wide variety of can’t-miss day spas in Victoria, BC (and throughout all of Vancouver Island). Services range from rejuvenating body scrubs and age-defying facials to therapeutic massages and cutting-edge hydrotherapy.
While it’s hard to go wrong with any service, the couples’ massages are specifically designed to enhance the mood. Typically hosted in a private room, they can include everything from sensual bites and libations to exclusive hot tubs and showers.
Insider Tip: Several of Victoria’s spas offer luxurious amenities (either complimentary with your service or for an extra fee). Make sure to leave extra time before or after your massage to enjoy these extra perks!
19. Toast to One Another
The old-world charm of British Columbia’s capital have made it well-known for high tea and finally manicured gardens. But the boutique metropolis is also home to an impressive selection of breweries. Spend the day toasting with a hop-filled libation (or two) to love. Make the outing extra special with a beer flight, allowing you and your partner to try multiple different pours.
Insider Tip: Want to get a behind-the-scenes look at how the beer is made? Schedule a brewery tour. They often include a tasting and allow you to learn more about the pours you love and those you’re soon to enjoy.