Right in the middle of downtown Victoria, a stunning outdoor oasis called Beacon Hill Park offers the chance to spend the day surrounded by natural beauty (but still stay in the city). This 200-acre park is known as the crown jewel of Victoria, and it’s a popular spot for locals and visitors alike. The stunning landscapes are reason enough to stop by, but Beacon Hill Park also hosts a variety of fun areas and activities to keep you engaged for hours. From sports fields to water parks to petting zoos, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy, and it’s completely free. If you’re visiting Victoria, be sure to stop by and enjoy the top seven things to do in Beacon Hill Park.
If you’re visiting with the family, your first stop must be the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm. This hands-on animal experience offers kids and adults the chance to touch, see, and interact with all types of farm animals. From chickens to bunnies to splendid peacocks, there are plenty of animals for everyone. The baby goats are the most popular among visitors, and a fun daily goat stampede is sure to put a smile on your kid’s faces, too! Donations are requested, and the farm closes for the winter season.
Make a Splash in a Water Park
During the summer, Beacon Hill Park opens two fun splash parks where kids (and brave adults) can cool off. The areas have fun features like a giant spraying watering can, tall sprinklers, and timed ground fountains to keep you entertained and on the move. It’s perfect for all ages and completely free, making it a great (and popular) way to spend a hot summer afternoon!
See the Story Pole
No trip to Beacon Hill Park is complete without a visit to the famous story pole. Erected in 1956, this 128-foot totem pole is one of the largest free-standing totem poles in the world. It was constructed by Mungo Martin, Kwakiutl tribal chief and renowned carver, and it celebrates the area’s rich First Nations history. The pole is impressive in itself, but it also offers a stunning view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and is surrounded by some of the garden’s most scenic landscapes. It’s a must-see on any Beacon Hill Park trip!
Take A Stroll
No true park is complete without a scenic walking trail, and Beacon Hill Park has them in droves. Footpaths spread throughout the park’s 200 acres, winding past vibrant gardens, over picturesque bridges, and next to majestic garry oak trees. They’re all easy to navigate, so they’re perfect for everyone in the family. You can also view a variety of roaming wildlife throughout the park, so watch out for strutting peacocks! One of the most popular paths leads to the summit of Beacon Hill, where you have a stunning panoramic view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State.
Try Lawn Bowling
If you’ve never tried lawn bowling, you’re striking out. Beacon Hill Park has a professional lawn bowling green, where you can try your hand at this world-wide sport. The objective is simple – roll the ball over the grass and try to be the closest to the target ball – but the game is surprisingly challenging (and a whole lot of fun!). Beacon Hill Park is home to the Victoria Lawn Bowling Club, so you may even get a chance to watch a professional tournament!
See a Show at the Cameron Bandshell Stage
Cameron Bandshell, also called The Stage in The Park, is a large outdoor event stage in the center of Beacon Hill Park. During the summer, the park hosts a variety of outdoor events that are fun for the whole family. Daily music concerts, children’s entertainment programs, and evening dances make the Cameron Bandshell the place to be in Victoria during the summer months.
Take A Horse-Drawn Carriage Ride
One of the most popular ways to experience Beacon Hill Park is on a magical horse-drawn carriage ride. These 45-minute tours wind through the 200-acre park, providing stunning views of manicured lawns, vibrant flowers, and peaceful ponds. They also pass some of Victoria’s other popular sights, like St. Anne’s Academy, the Church of Our Lord, and the Empress Hotel. The tour is led by a knowledgeable guide who will share stories, explain the park’s history, and point out interesting tidbits along the way.
The best part about Beacon Hill Park? It’s within walking distance of many of our Victoria vacation rentals! That means it’s an easy way to spend a long afternoon enjoying one of Victoria’s best attractions. View our available downtown Victoria rentals and book yours today!