May is a beautiful time of year to explore Victoria, and what better spot to celebrate Mother’s Day this year! Enjoy fantastic activities, mouth-watering food and visit iconic hot spots with your mom (or mother figure) during the entire month of May.
PLUS, save on Mother’s Day Packages from $119 USD pp/do. Packages include ferry, a stay at the Royal Scot Hotel & Suites, plus chocolates and a card for mom.
The Inner Harbour of Victoria. Credit: Destination Greater Victoria.
1. Explore Victoria by Water
Victoria Harbour Ferry offers guided tours of Victoria’s iconic Inner Harbour. Experience tales of Victoria’s rich history and learn how the city became the hub that it is today. Or, opt to hop on a harbour ferry as a unique ride to popular destinations in and around downtown such as Fisherman's Wharf, Red Fish Blue Fish, Chinatown and more!
For more information, please visit Victoria Harbour Ferry's website.
Brunch at Heron Rock Bistro. Credit: Heron Rock Bistro.
2. Celebrate Mom with Brunch
Brunch is always a great Mother’s Day treat. Take your loved one to one of Victoria's most popular brunch spots. Our favorite brunch options include:
-Heron Rock Bistro (435 Simcoe Street | 11-min walk from the Black Ball terminal): Casual Canadian bistro with classic brunch options.
-The Ruby (642A Johnson Street | 16-min walk from the Black Ball terminal): Funky spot serving up creative brunch options.
-Jam Cafe (542 Herald Street | 18-min walk from the Black Ball terminal): Popular spot for delicious brunch classics including eggs Benedict and pancakes.
Mount Douglas Summit.
3. Hike to Some Incredible Views
Work up a sweat and enjoy an incredible hike located in the Greater Victoria area:
Mount Douglas: Hike 1.2 miles (2 kms) to the peak of Mount Douglas where you can find spectacular views of downtown Victoria and the Haro Strait.
Mount Work: Located in the District of Highlands, roughly a 30-minute drive from downtown Victoria, this scenic hike will make you “work” for the incredible view!
Thetis Lake: Enjoy popular hiking trails through a West Coast rainforest that surrounds the beautiful Thetis Lake.
Afternoon Tea at The Pendray Tea House. Credit: The Pendray Tea House.
4. Enjoy a Classic Victorian Afternoon Tea
Looking for an authentic Victoria experience? Enjoy an afternoon tea at one of our favorite spots:
The Butchart Gardens: Enjoy picturesque views of The Butchart Gardens before diving into an unforgettable afternoon tea experience. Pick out your choice of tea to sip on, and enjoy sweets and savory sandwiches.
Pendray Teahouse: Located in the Inner Harbour of downtown Victoria, the Pendray Tea House offers an antiquated experience with a tranquil setting. Try a unique spin on afternoon tea — West Coast Afternoon Tea — with sustainably sourced seafood.
Lobby of the Willow Stream Spa. Credit: The Willow Stream Spa.
5. Relax at a Luxury Spa
A perfect way to enhance your Mother’s Day getaway - Treat mom to a relaxing spa day at one of Victoria's spas:
Sapphire Day Spa: The Sapphire Day Spa is known for its unique Ayurvedic treatments which strives to promote harmony between all aspects of the individual.
Willow Stream Spa: Located in the Fairmont Empress, Willow Stream Spa is one of the most popular spas on Vancouver Island. Enjoy their luxury facilities as you are pampered by professional staff.
The Parkside Spa: Stop by The Parkside Spa for a facial or pedicure before soaking in their hot tub for an all-around relaxing experience!
Charcuterie Board with a selection of fine cheeses and local and house-cured meats. Credit: The Collective Wine Bar.
6. Take Advantage of Happy Hour
Victoria is known for some amazing restaurants. Below are a few options that are certain to get your evening started right:
Bodega: Well-known for delicious Spanish tapas and a great selection of wine and unique cocktails.
L’apero: Enjoy an authentic French experience known as “Apero” by pairing their unique selection of cheeses and wine offerings.
Argyle Attic: Low-key whiskey bar with a warm and charming environment. Located above Smith's Pub.
The Victoria Public Market. Credit: Destination Greater Victoria.
7. Check out a Local Farmers Market
Who doesn’t love doing a little shopping, especially at a discounted rate with the US dollar being so strong? Check out these local spots for some hidden delights:
James Bay Farmers Market: Located just up the street from our Victoria terminal, enjoy music from local performers as you check out all the great vendors that gather weekly at the James Bay Market.
Moss Street Market: Featuring a variety of local food and farm vendors with great eats, and other craft and artisan vendors.
Victoria Public Market: Known for having some delicious snacks, the Victoria Public Market is the spot to go if you're looking for some local bites to power yourself through an afternoon shop.
The Royal BC Museum. Credit: The Royal BC Museum, Destination Greater Victoria.
8. Enjoy a Spectacular Show at the IMAX
While you're here in Victoria, why not check out the largest IMAX screen in British Columbia? Located inside the Royal British Columbia Museum, IMAX Victoria offers showings of the most popular movies and documentaries. You can also combine your visit to IMAX Victoria with a ticket to the museum for maximum entertainment!
For current show times and more information, please visit the IMAX's website.
Cycling in Beacon Hill Park. Credit: The Magnolia Hotal and Spa, Destination Greater Victoria.
9. Take a Scenic Bike Ride Through the City
Victoria is rated as the most cycle-friendly city in Canada! What better way to explore downtown Victoria than on a bicycle?
The Pedaler is a perfect place to grab your bike rental before exploring the Greater Victoria area. Located next to the Huntingdon Manor (down the street from our ferry terminal). The Pedaler also offers guided bike tours, including their Castles, 'Hoods and Legends tour (hitting some of the most iconic landmarks in Victoria), and a Hoppy tour (stopping at popular breweries along the way).
For more information, please visit The Pedaler's website.
Shopping in downtown Victoria. Credit: Destination Greater Victoria.
10. Do Some Local Shopping
Victoria is the perfect hybrid for those looking to check out local boutiques or wanting to wander a shopping district! Check out some great shopping options during your getaway to Victoria:
Government Street: Connecting Victoria’s Inner Harbour to the downtown core, Government Street is filled with many local boutique shops that are sure to have something that will catch your eye! Here you'll find a variety of restaurants (Bard & Banker, Irish Times, and Garrick's Head, to name a few), and iconic shops, such as Rogers' Chocolates, Murchie's Tea & Coffee, and many other souvenir shops.
Lower Johnson: Be sure to check out Low Jo too (Lower Johnson Street, off of Government Street); home to many local boutique shops including Rook and Rose (flower and lifestyle), Little Gold (jewelry), and ANIAN (durable, earth-friendly clothing). Market Square, located off of Johnson Street, also has tons of small shops and restaurants to explore.
The Bay Centre: Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, The Bay Centre is a multi-story shopping mall that is filled with a variety of retail options. If you are hungry, check out their new heated outdoor patio that showcases Victoria’s skyline.
Beacon Hill Park. Credit: Destination Greater Victoria.
11. Have a Picnic at Beacon Hill Park
Grab your favorite snacks and enjoy a picnic in the beautiful Beacon Hill Park. Immerse yourself in its ecosystem filled with rich biodiversity, including wandering peacocks, ducks, and turtles. Beacon Hill Park is also filled with amenities such as tennis courts, pickleball courts, a putting green, and an outdoor performance venue.