We’re gonna take a look at the top eight best beaches in Victoria, BC. Our southern island is a pretty special place to spend some time by the sea and I want to share some of my favourite local spots where I think our west coast is best imagined. Whether is beaches, coves and everything in between, this is my top eight.
Here are the top 8 beaches to visit in Victoria
8) Island View Beach
Number eight on the list is island view beach. Sitting in central Saanich is a bit of a mixed beach. There is quite a bit of rock, so it’s not pure sand which may not be the best for sunbathing. But it does have some really nice views of James Island, the San Juan Islands and Mount Baker on a clear day. The other advantage of Island View Beach is there’s a campground. So many places to pop tents and some nice open trails, and flat spots to play with kids or dogs. The disadvantage is the lack of walking distance amenities, but nonetheless, it’s an expansive beach with so many places to explore.
7) Esquimalt Lagoon
This is one of two beaches in the Westshore that I’ll be mentioning. It is a very popular spot for those that live in Colwood and Langford and even Metchosin because it has kilometres of sandy beach. With views of historic Fort Rod Hill, a national historic site and views both over towards Metchosin and again, those beautiful Olympic Mountains, Esquimalt Lagoon is number seven. The only reason it isn’t rated high is that it can be a very busy place, and even driving in and looking for a place to park can be hectic!
6) Witty’s Lagoon
Back in the Westshore in sleepy Metchosin is a neighbourhood called Albert Head – just off of Duke Road. Much like Esquimalt Lagoon, Witty’s Lagoon is blessed with lots of tidal pools, and sand bars, and depending on the time of day there is plenty of sand to lounge on or play! There’s about a 15-minute walk through the coastal forest, passing waterfalls, and beautiful groves of fir trees to get to this secluded little spot.
5) Cordova Bay Beach
Located in Cordova Bay, specifically in McMorrow Park, Cordova Bay Beach is next on the list. Right near The Beach House Restaurant, this beach sees lots of residents in both the summer and winter months. It’s a beautiful sandy stretch with incredible views out toward the San Juan Islands, and on a clear day, you can even see Mount Baker. The only downside to this beautiful long sandy beach is that it faces east so it does not have the best exposure to the sun, especially in the afternoon.
4) Dallas Road Beaches
On Dallas Road, there are plenty of beautiful beaches. Spiral Beach, Clover Point, and Ross Bay Beach make up the beautiful shorefront. Now the reason I have it at number four is that although it makes for a beautiful sunny Sunday drive, it’s very rocky! It does face the south which is great and it’s close to some of our best communities in Fairfield and James Bay, but there aren’t a ton of delineating marks or places that distinguish it. For those reasons, all these beaches along Dallas Road are falling at number four.
3) Gonzales Beach
Located in Gonzales Bay, and in the heart of Fairfield you can see this beach is incredibly sheltered, very sandy, and faces south. So, on a clear day, you’d be able to see the Olympic Mountains. Gonzales Beach is quite a special place in Victoria. The reason it’s number three rather than number one on the list is that, in the summer months, it can feel like a party beach because of the proximity to downtown. If you’re looking for a family-friendly fun and PG-rated experience this is probably not the place they end up.
2) Willows Beach
Set in Oak Bay, one of the more affluent neighbourhoods in Victoria lies Willow Beach. Located here is Cattle Point, which actually got its name around the mid-19th century because paddle steamers that used to have cattle abroad would basically throw them off into the water to swim to the shore here at Cattle Point, hence the name. It is now part of uplands park which is a beautiful wooded area and a great place to take a coastal walk but back to the topic at hand, what’s great about Willow’s Beach is that it’s one of those places where you can drive and still hang out in your car and enjoy the scenery, or hop out, take a walk. In one of Victoria’s most beautiful neighbourhoods of course, you have these amazing views of the Olympic Mountains looking over the other side of the bay. You also have some incredible summer events like the Oak Bay Tea Party which happens every year at the park! So Willow’s Beach is a beautiful sandy, sheltered beach to relax at all year round. It’s tough to call this number two on the list, but there’s one that just does it much better.
1) Cadboro Bay Beach
Without further ado, the best beach in Victoria, BC is Cadboro Bay Beach! Set in Cadboro Bay, of course, these are some of the best sailing waters, with Victoria Yacht Club close by. It’s also one of the sandiest and most vast beaches in our core but not only that but it’s also got a great space for kids and dogs to play. Down at the other end, the North end of the beach is dog friendly, and on the south end we’ve got some of the most daunting stairs so if you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a fitness buff this is a great way to get a workout in. There’s lots that this beach has to offer, more than anything it’s shelter. Not a lot of wind, tons of sand and tons of space! If you come to spend more than a couple of hours here, you’ll know exactly what I mean and why Cadboro Bay is number one on the list.
Honourable Mentions that didn’t quite make the list:
Finnerty Cove / Queen Alexandra Beach
Honourable mention number one is Finnerty Cove or Queen Alexandra Beach which happens to be tucked in below the Queen Alexandra Centre. This is a really special little beach that only locals know about, it has a really nice sandy and sheltered area with a relaxing gazebo. The perfect place for some serenity.
This beach is down at McCauley Point Park, which is one of the most spectacular parks in Victoria. The reason it isn’t on my top eight list is that it isn’t much of a beach, but does have some fantastic amenities, such as a big climbing wall, a great boat launch and an off-leash dog park. It does hold some of the best views of our Pacific that you’ll find in the core of Victoria.
A favourite spot of the students at the University of Victoria. This beach does have a special place in my heart. The sand quality here is probably in the top three of all the beaches I’ll rank as you’ll read, however, because it does face north which means at a certain point of the day you do lose a bit of sunlight. It’s also a more distant neighbourhood and a little more tucked away in Saanich.