One of the things we Islanders love most about Vancouver Island is its mild weather, making it feel like summer stretches on and on. September on the South Island means days that are still long and comfortable, with average temperatures falling between 19°C (66°F) and 11°C (52°F). September also means the last of the summer festivals; the taste of ripe, juicy apples and blackberries; sampling refreshing beers at local breweries; romantic couples’ bike rides along the Island’s beautiful trails; and sampling jams and chutneys at local farmers’ markets.
You can still visit all the famous Victoria & Saanich Peninsula establishments in September while enjoying smaller crowds and shorter wait times than you would in July. If you’re considering a trip to the Island in September (and we recommend it), here are some events, activities and destinations we think you and your crew might enjoy.
Victoria Ghostly Walks
Learn about Victoria’s sordid past the spooky way! Ghostly Walks offers a variety of spine-chilling tours of Old Victoria. With over 500 ghost stories in their roster of tales, you’ll be sure to hear something that keeps you up at night. You can book your walk at the link below.
Victoria Harbour Ferry Ballet
Taking inspiration from the RCMP musical ride, the Victoria Harbour Ferries have been performing their aquatic ballets since 1990. Head over to the Steamship Terminal in the Inner Harbour for the best seats in the house. Afterwards, stay and take a ride on one of these adorable watercraft to one of their many stops along the Victoria waterfront. Performs at 10:45am on September 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25 and 30.
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
Take in classic and modern art exhibitions in this refurbished 1889 mansion and attached galleries. With almost 20,000 works of art, the Art Gallery has the most extensive public collection in BC and is a vibrant and active part of Victoria’s artist community.
Capital City Comic Con
The Comic Con phenomenon has been a mecca for all things geek and pop culture since 1964 when the first Con debuted in New York. So whether you love cosplay, superheroes, wizards, or zombies, Capital City Comic Con is the place for you to play and be a kid again. 2022’s comic con runs from September 23 – 25. Tickets are available at the link below.
Rifflandia Music Festival
Come out and dance it up at the Island’s final (and arguably best) music festival of the season! The 2022 festival runs September 15 – 18 and features talent such as Lorde, Charli XCX, Ben Harper, Cypress Hill, Black Pumas, Lauv, Cat Power and more. All ages are welcome (though the beer garden is 19+).
Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival
For over three decades, Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival has taken over downtown Victoria for a celebration of indie spoken word, drama, musicals, dance, comedy, magic, theatre for young audiences and more, playing at venues all across the city. The festival starts in August but continues through to early September (September 4th in 2022).
Pedaler Cycling Tours: Hoppy Hour Ride
Victoria is a mecca for cyclists and craft beer lovers alike – so why not combine the two? Enjoy a 3-hour, 9.5km guided tasting tour: get some exercise, see the sights along the Selkirk Waterway and visit three of the city’s best breweries. Book your tour at the link below.
Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse
Come and sample delicious (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) organic, artisan ciders and snacks such as local charcuterie at this beautiful venue. Look out over the orchards and across Haro Strait to James Island as you enjoy the local flavours of the Saanich Peninsula. Reservations are required (link below).
In 1912, the Butchart family began their conversion of a decommissioned limestone quarry into a world-famous botanical masterpiece with a sunken garden, an Italian garden, a Japanese garden and a glorious rose garden. The blooms are still bright here in September, but the crowds are thinner. Until September 11, visit the garden after dusk to see the Night Illumination transform the garden into a fairy wonderland.
The Saanich Fair
The Saanich Fair is an Island institution dating back to 1868. The fair began as a way for a small group of pioneer farming families to have an annual gathering dedicated to celebrating their farms, gardens and homes. While kids of all look forward to the midway rides, live entertainment and mini-donuts, the barns and stands full of prize animals and crops, as well as baking, preserve and craft competitions herald back to the fair’s pioneer roots.
Victoria and area is a hotspot for amazing outdoor markets! This is far from a complete list but does offer some of the highlights.
Esquimalt Farmers Markets
The Esquimalt Farmers Market provides a community-focused marketplace that serves as a community gathering point and offers access to healthy local food and local craft creations. They offer two weekly markets in Esquimalt:
- Monday nights, 4:30 – 7:30pm at Gorge Park (1070 Tillicum Rd.)
- Thursday nights, 4:30 – 7:30pm at Memorial Park (1200 Esquimalt Rd.)
James Bay Community Market
James Bay Community Market is a vibrant community market in the heart of historic James Bay, Victoria. Join them for fresh produce, food, live music and local crafts. Takes place 9:00am – 3:00pm on Saturdays at the corner of Menzies & Superior.
Moss Street Market
The Moss Street Market runs May through October, rain or shine, every Saturday from 10:00am – 2:00pm at the Sir James Douglas school grounds (401 Moss St.) Visit to check out their array of local and organic farm-fresh produce, local foods, handmade crafts, artisan clothing and inspiring services.
Peninsula Country Market
Visit the Saanich Fairgrounds (528 Stelly’s Cross Road) any Saturday in September between 9:00am – 1:00pm for over 50 local community vendors, farm-fresh food, music and more.
Sidney Farmers Market
The Sidney Farmers Market is home to a variety of vendors selling fresh local produce, food and beverages, jewelry, pottery, glassware and more. The market is happening in Sidney through September, on Sundays 10:00am – 2:00pm in the parking lot at the Mary Winspear Center (2243 Beacon Ave.)