Spring has arrived and with it, the sunshine, flowers and longer days. In the beautiful town of Sidney by the Sea, when spring arrives, the entire town becomes a visual interpretation of Vivaldi’s La Primavera. Cloud-like cherry blossoms abound, the sea glitters, birds sing and gardens everywhere erupt in technicolour blooms. It’s the time of year where you can begin to take full advantage of the diverse outdoor spaces this incredible little town has to offer.
The Waterfront Walkway in the heart of Sidney is a 2.5 kilometer, flat, barrier free trail where you can take an easy stroll and enjoy the view or speed it up for a relaxed jog. The walkway is a great way to explore more of Sidney as it passes the Port Sidney Marina, Beacon Park, Beacon Wharf, Diver’s Point, Bevan Fish Pier and Eastview Park. This walk has a stunning view of Sidney Island and Mount baker and is dotted with benches, picnic tables and gardens so you can stop and soak up some sun.
Just south of downtown Sidney and right next to Bazan Bay Beach House is Reay Creek Park, an excellent bird watching spot and a beautiful trail through an environmentally sensitive area. It’s the perfect hike for families or anyone looking for an easy walk through nature.
The Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk is a perfect amble for anyone interested in mixing culture with the outdoors. This open air gallery was unveiled in 2012 and has been a local favourite and a popular tourist hotspot ever since. Each of the pieces interacts with the majestic backdrop of the Salish Sea and Mount Baker and encompasses the beauty, movement and whimsy of Sidney itself.
Right on the edge of the Dalmeny Farm Estate property is the beautiful John Dean Provincial Park. With 14 great hiking trails that range from easy ambles through the trees to steep climbs that reward hikers with stunning panoramic views of the Saanich Inlet and the Salish Sea this is a must for anyone looking for easy to moderate hiking.
Horth Hill Regional Park is a 36 hectare park with numerous trails through native plants and springtime wildflowers. Choose one of the easier perimeter loops for a calm forest walk or if you’re looking to get your heart rate up, you can climb to the summit of Horth Hill and enjoy the view of Satellite Channel, the Saanich Inlet and the Salish Sea.
Just to the south of Sidney, near Prospect Lake Country Cottage, is Mount Work, the dominant hill on the horizon for most of Saanich and Victoria. If you’re looking for a more challenging hike on the Peninsula, this is it.
Beach picnics are a great way to celebrate spring and when you’re in Sidney, there’s no better place for a peaceful, secluded little picnic than Coles Bay Regional Park. This little pebble beach is tucked away in a cove close by Ardmore Executive House and accessed via a short winding pathway. There is a parking lot with trail access to make it easy to bring everything you need for an afternoon of rest.
Sidney’s Lochside Waterfront Park that runs all along Lochside Dr in Sidney offers tons of great picnic spots with lots of benches, tables, beaches, stunning gardens and views. Pack your own favourite charcuterie or grab a bite to-go from one of the local cafes and enjoy it alfresco!
Families with little ones will love a springtime picnic at Tulista Park! This lovely park has playground equipment for kids of all ages and a large grassy area to kick or throw a ball, fly kites or play tag. It’s the perfect spot to lay out a blanket and enjoy a sunny afternoon.
Sidney is the perfect destination for avid cyclists and casual cruisers. The Lochside Regional Trail is a picturesque trail that runs from the Swartz Bay ferry terminal to Switch Bridge just north of downtown Victoria. This extensive multi-use trail winds through urban centers, agricultural land, wetlands, country lanes and suburban backyards and is one of the best ways to explore all of the Saanich Peninsula.
The Flight Path is an almost 10 kilometer trail that loops around Victoria International Airport. Perfect for an easy cycle with the whole family, jogging or walking, this whimsical trail is filled with intriguing pit stops and signage that tells the history of the airport and the importance of the surrounding land. If you’re staying at Patricia Bay Beach House or Heron’s Landing you can jump on your bike at your front door and get there in ten minutes!
Right on the water near downtown Sidney you’ll find Blue Dog Kayaking, the perfect place to take your interest in kayaking to the next level. With day tours and lessons, the experienced staff are ready to make sure that you are a pro when it comes to ocean kayaking.
If you’re a confident kayaker and looking to get out there for some solo exploring, A Paddle in the Park right near Oceanfront Escape, offers guests rentals as well as tours so you can get out for a quick spin or spend the whole day on the water.
Pacifica Paddlesports is the best option for the largest array of rental options. Choose between single or double kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards (SUP) or even a mega SUP suitable for six people!
The spring is one of the best times of year to spot whales as they migrate to their seasonal feeding and breeding grounds. It’s at this time of year that Humbacks, Orcas, Minke and Grey whales can be seen in the Salish Sea and there is no better company to go with while you’re staying in Sidney than Sidney Whale Watching. This locally owned and operated company has been in business for 20 years and is passionate about the marine wildlife that calls this beautiful area home.