Oak Bay, located in the Greater Victoria area of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada, is a picturesque and charming coastal community known for its beautiful landscapes, affluent neighborhoods, and outdoor recreational opportunities. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Oak Bay:
1. Oak Bay Marina
This marina is a popular spot for boaters and visitors alike. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the docks, where you can admire the yachts and fishing boats. You can also rent kayaks or paddleboards to explore the calm waters of Oak Bay.
2. Willows Beach
One of the most beloved beaches in the region, Willows Beach is perfect for picnics, beachcombing, and relaxing by the water. During the summer, it’s a great spot for swimming and sunbathing, while the off-season offers peaceful walks along the shoreline.
3. Oak Bay Avenue
This charming avenue is the heart of Oak Bay’s shopping district. Stroll along the tree-lined streets and explore boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and cozy cafes. The European-inspired atmosphere makes it a delightful place to spend a lazy afternoon.
4. Oak Bay Beach Hotel
The Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a luxurious and inviting waterfront resort that offers a perfect blend of modern comfort and classic elegance. Nestled along the scenic coastline, the hotel boasts stunning ocean views, beautifully appointed rooms and suites, and top-notch amenities such as a rejuvenating spa, seaside hot mineral baths, and a fine dining restaurant. With its picturesque location, exceptional hospitality, and a range of leisure activities, the Oak Bay Beach Hotel provides visitors with an unforgettable retreat that captures the essence of relaxation and coastal charm.
5. Abkhazi Garden
This hidden gem is a stunning example of a traditional Georgian-style garden. It was created by Prince and Princess Abkhazi in the 1940s and is now open to the public. The garden features winding paths, rare plant species, and a teahouse where you can enjoy afternoon tea.
6. Victoria Golf Club
The Victoria Golf Club, located in the heart of Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a prestigious and historic golfing destination that combines a rich heritage with a world-class golfing experience. Established in 1893, the club offers a meticulously designed 18-hole course set against breathtaking ocean views and lush landscapes. Catering to golf enthusiasts of all skill levels, the Victoria Golf Club provides a challenging yet enjoyable game in a timeless and elegant setting, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking an exceptional golfing experience on Vancouver Island.
7. Cattle Point
This scenic lookout offers panoramic views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. It’s a great spot for whale watching during migration seasons, as well as birdwatching and enjoying the coastal scenery.
8. Anderson Hill Park
This park offers a short hike with rewarding views of the surrounding area, including Mount Baker on clear days. The trail is relatively easy and suitable for families and casual hikers.
9. Maritime Museum of British Columbia
Image Source: https://mmbc.bc.ca/visit/
While not directly in Oak Bay, the Maritime Museum in nearby Victoria is worth a visit for those interested in maritime history and artifacts, as it showcases the maritime heritage of British Columbia.
10. Oak Bay Recreational Centre
If you’re looking for some indoor activities, head to the Oak Bay Recreational Centre. It offers a variety of amenities, including a swimming pool, fitness facilities, skating rink, and sports courts. You can join fitness classes, swim laps, or play a game of basketball or tennis.
11. Uplands Park
Uplands Park, situated in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a captivating natural sanctuary renowned for its diverse ecosystems and captivating vistas. The park’s expansive meadows, Garry oak trees, and rocky outcrops create a unique habitat for numerous plant and animal species. Ideal for leisurely strolls and nature exploration, Uplands Park offers a serene escape with its network of trails, providing visitors an opportunity to witness indigenous flora and fauna while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding ocean and mountains—a tranquil haven for nature enthusiasts and those seeking a serene outdoor retreat.
12. Oak Bay Tea Party
If you happen to visit Oak Bay in early June, don’t miss the annual Oak Bay Tea Party. This fun-filled community event features carnival rides, live music, food vendors, and a parade. It’s a delightful experience for both locals and visitors.
13. Moss Street Market
Although located in nearby Victoria, the Moss Street Market is worth mentioning as it’s one of the region’s most popular farmer’s markets. Open from spring to fall, the market showcases a wide range of fresh produce, artisanal products, crafts, and more.
14. Beacon Hill Park
While Beacon Hill Park is technically located in nearby Victoria, it’s worth a mention as it’s just a short drive from Oak Bay. This expansive park is a true urban oasis, featuring beautiful gardens, ponds, and walking paths. Don’t miss the Beacon Hill Children’s Farm, where you can interact with friendly animals.
15. Oak Bay Library
For book lovers, a visit to the Oak Bay Library is a must. This quaint library not only offers a vast collection of books but also hosts various community events, book clubs, and workshops for all ages.
16. Play Golf at Uplands Golf Club
Golf enthusiasts can extend their golfing experience by playing a round at the Uplands Golf Club. This private club offers a challenging course with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
17. Oak Bay Lighted Boat Parade
If you visit Oak Bay during the holiday season, don’t miss the annual Lighted Boat Parade. Watch as beautifully decorated boats glide along the coastline, spreading festive cheer and creating a magical sight.
18. Gonzales Bay
Image Source: https://coastview.org/2023/01/18/gonzales-bay-victoria/
Just a short distance from Oak Bay, Gonzales Bay is a local favorite for catching breathtaking sunsets. Pack a blanket and a picnic, and settle in to witness the sky light up with vibrant colors as the sun dips below the horizon.
19. Cadboro Bay
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cadboro_Bay
Cadboro Bay, nestled in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a charming coastal enclave that offers a blend of natural beauty and recreational activities. Its crescent-shaped beach is a popular destination for beachcombing, picnics, and swimming, while the bay’s calm waters make it ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding. The area is home to the University of Victoria’s marine research facilities, adding an educational dimension to the bay’s appeal. With its welcoming atmosphere, stunning views, and a variety of seaside activities, Cadboro Bay presents a quintessential West Coast experience for visitors of all ages.
20. Whale Watching Tours
Embark on a memorable whale watching excursion from nearby Victoria. Several tour operators offer trips to spot orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, and other marine life in the Salish Sea. It’s a thrilling experience that allows you to witness these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
21. The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden
After exploring the beautiful Abkhazi Garden, make sure to visit the teahouse on-site. The teahouse offers a delightful selection of teas, along with delicious treats and light meals. Sit on the patio surrounded by the lush garden and enjoy a tranquil afternoon tea experience.
22. Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park
Discovery Island Marine Provincial Park, located near Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a captivating marine sanctuary that offers a pristine natural environment for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Accessible by boat, this protected park features rugged shorelines, lush forests, and diverse marine life, making it an excellent destination for hiking, wildlife watching, and snorkeling. With its network of trails, picturesque beaches, and opportunities for kayaking, the park invites visitors to immerse themselves in the unspoiled beauty of the Pacific coastline while enjoying a range of outdoor activities.
23. Oak Bay Golf & Country Club
Image Source: https://golfinontario.ca/golf-courses/oak-bay-golf-club/
If you’re looking for a premier golfing experience, head to the Oak Bay Golf & Country Club. This private golf club offers an 18-hole course surrounded by stunning landscapes, providing a challenging and enjoyable round of golf.
24. Oak Bay Collector Car Festival
Vintage car enthusiasts will appreciate the Oak Bay Collector Car Festival, where classic and collectible cars are put on display. This annual event allows visitors to admire the unique vehicles and chat with their passionate owners.
25. Royal Victoria Yacht Club
Established in 1892, the Royal Victoria Yacht Club is one of the oldest yacht clubs in Canada. While it’s a members-only club, if you’re a visiting sailor, you can contact the club for guest privileges and enjoy the facilities and hospitality.
26. Oak Bay Bathtub Race and Marine Festival
If you visit Oak Bay in the summertime, you might be lucky enough to catch the annual Oak Bay Bathtub Race and Marine Festival. This fun-filled event features a quirky bathtub race in the waters of Oak Bay, accompanied by a lively marine-themed festival with food vendors and entertainment.
27. Victoria Butterfly Gardens
Located a short drive away in Brentwood Bay, the Victoria Butterfly Gardens are a magical attraction that will transport you to a tropical paradise. Wander through lush gardens filled with free-flying butterflies, exotic birds, and tropical plants.
28. Oak Bay Night Market
During certain times of the year, Oak Bay hosts a night market, offering an enchanting experience as vendors line the streets with stalls filled with crafts, artisanal goods, and local treats illuminated by twinkling lights.
29. Oak Bay United Church
Admire the architectural beauty of the Oak Bay United Church, a historic and picturesque church that stands as a prominent landmark in the community. The church’s stained glass windows and intricate design make it a captivating sight.
30. Bike the Lochside Regional Trail
Image Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lochside_Regional_Trail
Cycle along the Lochside Regional Trail, which passes through Oak Bay and provides a scenic route along the coastline and through picturesque countryside. The trail is also suitable for walking and offers a refreshing way to experience the natural beauty of the area.
31. Trafalgar Park
Trafalgar Park, nestled in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a charming neighborhood park that offers a serene and inviting space for relaxation and recreation. Boasting open green spaces, mature trees, and well-maintained walking paths, the park is perfect for leisurely strolls, picnics, and outdoor gatherings. Its playground facilities cater to families with children, while the tennis courts and sports fields provide opportunities for active play. With its peaceful ambiance and versatile amenities, Trafalgar Park provides a delightful local escape for residents and visitors alike.
32. Fairmont Empress
The Fairmont Empress, located in Victoria, BC (near Oak Bay), Canada, is an iconic luxury hotel that exudes timeless elegance and historic charm. Overlooking the picturesque Inner Harbour, the Empress offers opulent accommodations, impeccable service, and a rich history dating back to 1908. With its stunning architecture and lush gardens, the hotel provides a captivating setting for guests to indulge in world-class dining, afternoon tea, and relaxation at the spa. Seamlessly blending classic grandeur with modern comforts, the Fairmont Empress promises an unforgettable experience for travelers seeking sophistication and a taste of Victorian-era luxury on Vancouver Island.
33. McNeill Bay
McNeill Bay, located in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a tranquil and scenic coastal destination that captivates visitors with its natural beauty and serene atmosphere. With its sandy shoreline, rocky outcrops, and stunning ocean views, the bay offers a serene setting for beachcombing, leisurely walks, and picnics by the water. Its calm waters and gentle waves make it a popular spot for kayaking and paddleboarding, while the nearby play area and park facilities cater to families. McNeill Bay’s captivating blend of coastal charm and recreational opportunities make it an inviting destination for those seeking a peaceful seaside experience.
34. Walbran Park
Walbran Park, situated in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a hidden gem of natural beauty that provides visitors with a serene escape into a lush and tranquil environment. Characterized by its dense forest, meandering trails, and a cascading creek, the park offers a rejuvenating space for hiking, birdwatching, and reconnecting with nature. The peaceful ambiance and rich biodiversity, including towering trees and native plant species, create a unique habitat that invites exploration and quiet reflection. Walbran Park’s immersive natural setting makes it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful retreat amid the beauty of the West Coast landscape.
35. Carnarvon Park
Carnarvon Park, nestled in Oak Bay, BC, Canada, is a vibrant community gathering place that offers a blend of recreational facilities and green spaces. With its sports fields, tennis courts, and playgrounds, the park caters to active individuals and families seeking outdoor fun. The expansive lawns provide ample space for picnics, frisbee games, and relaxation, while the seasonal wading pool offers a refreshing escape during warmer months. Featuring a welcoming atmosphere and diverse amenities, Carnarvon Park is a favorite local destination for both energetic activities and leisurely enjoyment in a lively park setting.
36. Finnerty Gardens
Finnerty Gardens, situated near Oak Bay in Victoria, BC, Canada, is a botanical paradise that enchants visitors with its meticulously designed landscapes and vibrant floral displays. Nestled within the University of Victoria’s campus, the gardens offer a serene retreat for nature enthusiasts and garden lovers alike. With a diverse collection of plants from around the world, including rhododendrons, magnolias, and exotic trees, Finnerty Gardens provides a peaceful setting for leisurely strolls, photography, and quiet contemplation. The seasonal changes in foliage and the garden’s harmonious layout make it a captivating destination for those seeking a tranquil and visually captivating outdoor experience.
37. The Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens, located near Oak Bay in Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada, is a world-renowned horticultural wonder that captivates visitors with its breathtaking beauty and meticulous landscaping. Established more than a century ago, the gardens feature a stunning array of themed floral displays, vibrant blooms, and meticulously maintained landscapes that change with the seasons. Visitors can explore various garden areas, from the Sunken Garden’s dramatic terraced layout to the tranquil Japanese Garden and the fragrant Rose Garden. The Butchart Gardens offers a harmonious blend of nature, artistry, and horticultural excellence, providing an unforgettable experience for those seeking to immerse themselves in a captivating and serene botanical oasis.
Places and Things To Do