swimming and other activities are found at local beaches on lakes, rivers

Beaches in Victoria fall into two categories: for wildlife and for people. Not all the beaches are on the ocean! There are some very nice freshwater lakes in the area, including Elk, Beaver (to the north) and Thetis (to the west). For a clean sandy beach, you might try Cadboro Bay (near the University of Victoria ) or Willows Beach in Oak Bay. For a more rugged beach, look beside Dallas Road (south of downtown), or by Mount Douglas or a bit further north on Cordova Bay. Here’s an overview of the better beaches in the Victoria area:

Wildlife Beaches

Here are some of the best beaches close to town for observing nature at its best:

Beach Area Best Road Access

East of Victoria

Beacon Hill Park Victoria Dallas Road
Gonzales Bay Oak Bay Beach Drive
McNeil Bay Oak Bay Beach Drive
Cadboro Bay Saanich Cadboro Bay Rd

North of Victoria

Island View Beach Central Saanich Patricia Bay Hwy (17) to Island View Rd
Patricia Bay North Saanich Patricia Bay Hwy (17) west on Mills Rd
Tsehum Harbour North Saanich Patricia Bay Hwy (17) to Macdonald Park Rd
Moses Point North Saanich Patricia Bay Hwy (17) west on Lands End Rd

West of Victoria

Esquimalt Lagoon Colwood Oak Island Hwy (1A) to Ocean Blvd
Witty’s Beach and Lagoon Metchosin Sooke Rd (14) to Metchosin Rd
East Sooke Regional Park Sooke Sooke Rd (14), south on Gillespie Rd, west on East Sooke Rd
Whiffin Spit Sooke Sooke Rd (14) past Sooke to Wiffen Spit Rd

 

Willows Beach in Oak Bay

People Beaches

These beaches are ideally suited for people to enjoy the ocean sunshine. Generally, these beaches have change rooms & showers, picnic tables, even playgrounds. Please keep in mind that you are not allowed beach fires in Victoria and Esquimalt, though you may in Oak Bay, Saanich, Central Saanich and North Saanich – if you get a fire permit from the municipal fire hall.

Generally, the lake beaches don’t have lifeguards, though Thetis Lake, and North end of Elk Lake do (in season).

Beach Area Best Road Access

East of Victoria

Gonzales Bay Oak Bay Beach Dr east of Victoria Golf Club
Cadboro Gyro Park Saanich Cadboro Bay Rd
Willows Bay Oak Bay Beach Drive south of Uplands Park

North of Victoria

Cordova Bay Beach Saanich Patricia Bay Hwy (17) to Cordova Bay Rd
Elk and Beaver Lake Park Central Saanich Patricia Bay Hwy (17) to Beaver lake Rd or Brookleigh Rd
Sidney Spit Marine Park Sidney Island Patricia Bay Hwy (17) to Sidney, then onto ferry to Sidney Island

West of Victoria

Saxe Point West Esquimalt Esquimalt Rd to Fraser St
Thetis Lake Park View Royal Island Hwy (1) to Six Mile Rd
Witty’s Beach Park Metchosin Sooke Rd (14) to Metchosin Rd
East Sooke Park Sooke Sooke Rd (14), south on Gillespie Rd, west on East Sooke Rd
Prior Lake (clothing optional beach) View Royal Island Hwy (1) to Six Mile Rd