August in Victoria BC

August in Victoria BC begins with a splash. On the first Sunday of the month a large crowd happily descends on Victoria’s Inner Harbour for Symphony Splash,  one of the biggest annual orchestral events on the continent. It always ends with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture with carillon bells and cannon fire with fireworks concluding a memorable evening.

Festivals and special events run throughout the month. Take in the spectacular annual Victoria Dragon Boat Festival, from 18th to 20th August in 2017. Watch 2,500 paddlers in 90 colourful dragon boats dramatically race. The festival includes many opportunities to learn about native culture.

The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival runs from 23rd August to 3rd September 2017 at numerous locations featuring 350 artists in 58 shows. Buy a festival button or attend one of the free events. There’s drama and comedy, music and theatre.

Free Summertime Movies are screened on Friday and Saturday evenings in Beacon Hill Park at the Cameron Bandstand. The 2017 programme includes the original version of Dirty Dancing.

Summer markets continue with local artisans and growers proudly displaying their ware: Bastion Square, James Bay, The Hudson, Saanich Fairgrounds, North Saanich and the Sidney street market.

Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria (20th August in 2017).  Cyclists bring speed, verve and colour on three routes, from 45km to 140km for beginners to experienced riders.

Arts and Music in the Gardens on 26th and 27th August – over 50 artists set up in the nine acres of themed gardens at The Gardens at HCP on the Saanich Peninsula.

… and don’t forget the impressive illuminations and concerts every evening at the Butchart Gardens and their Saturday night fireworks.

Saanich Peninsula restaurants

You can enjoy dining at a wide variety of Saanich Peninsula restaurants during your visit to Greater Victoria.

The peninsula has several small communities with their neighbourhood restaurants and you will also find dining establishments here and there on the peninsula, perhaps with fine ocean views.

The retirement community of Sidney-by-the-Sea also draws the sailing community moored at local marinas so there are many restaurants within a short walk of central Beacon Avenue.

Saanichton, in the centre of the Saanich Peninsula, Cordova Bay on the east coast and Brentwood Bay on the west coast offer smaller choices. But quantity does not always equate with quality.

Zanzibar is one such example. The cafe is on the same site as the old Carden Street West in Brentwood Bay, open for lunch and dinner, Tuesday to Saturday. You’ll spot an international flair in their menus which definately set the taste buds racing. Our local newspaper, the Times-Colonist, reviewed Zanzibar with this introduction: “I apologize to residents of Central Saanich. It’s going to become even more difficult to secure a table for dinner at the local spot you favour”, knowing the results of its favourable comments.

Consider some al fresco dining on impulse too as an alternative to Saanich Peninsula restaurants and cafes. Pop into a farm stand, a vineyard or a community market for local food and drink. Then find a spot on a beach, in a park, on a hilltop for some memorable outdoor dining.