10 Things to Do on Victoria Day Long Weekend 2024

People walk on a suspended walkway at the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver

Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

For many Vancouverites, Victoria Day Weekend is the unofficial start of summer. It’s a time to get excited about the warmer weather and get outside to visit gardens, hiking trails, seasonal events, and more. In 2024, the Victoria Day long weekend is from May 18 to 20. Here are 10 ideas to help you plan your weekend adventures.

Visit Stanley Park

Couple cycling in Stanley Park. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Rishad Daroowala

Stanley Park is the green heart at Vancouver’s core. Spring is the start of seawall season, when locals and visitors alike take to bikes, rollerblades, and sneakers for a trip around the Stanley Park Seawall. Build some extra time into your day to explore the rest of the park. You can delve into the forested interior, learn about Indigenous culture and connect with nature. Our Stanley Park visitor guide has all the details.

 

Vancouver Comic Arts Festival – May 18 and 19

Visitors at the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival

Photo: Vancouver Comic Arts Festival/Facebook

Head to the Roundhouse Community Centre on May 18 and 19 to enjoy the Vancouver Comic Arts Festival. This free two-day event celebrates comics and graphic novels. Visit the vendor fair and exhibition to see creators and artists from around the world. You can also attend readings, panels, and workshops.

 

Go on a Bike Ride

Biking on the seawall in Vancouver

Biking on the seawall at English Bay. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Cycle City Tours

With separated bike paths and designated bike lanes crisscrossing the city, Vancouver is a bike-friendly city. You can rent a bike from local shops, or book a guided bike tour. If you’re making a short trip, try the Mobi bike share program which has bikes at hundreds of docking stations around the city. Use our guide to Vancouver’s car-free bike paths to find ten scenic bike ride suggestions.

 

Shop at an Outdoor Market

Shoppers at the West End Farmers' Market in Vancouver.

West End Farmers’ Market. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Vision Event Photography Inc.

It’s outdoor market season in Vancouver. On Victoria Day long weekend you have lots of markets to choose from. Kick off the weekend at the Shipyards Night Market in North Vancouver on Friday night.

On Saturday, shop for fresh veggies at the Trout Lake or Riley Park Farmers’ Markets. Or head to the West End Farmers’ Market to celebrate their first market of 2024. On Sunday you can visit the Kitsilano Farmer’s Market or the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market, which opens for the season on May 19.

If you’re looking for something unique, visit the Eastside Flea, open on both Saturday and Sunday. They have an eclectic mix of local vendors selling handmade, vintage, and artisanal goods. Or take the Skytrain south to the Richmond Night Market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to wander through stalls selling fashion, electronics, and delicious Asian street food.

 

Take a Hike

Hikers on the top of the Stawamus Chief near Vancouver

View from the top of The Stawamus Chief. Photo: Destination BC/Ben Girardi

While there is still snow in the mountains, spring hiking is in full swing closer to sea level. It’s a great time to follow trails to waterfalls, through the forest, or to lakes. Our list of the best spring hikes in Vancouver has lots of ideas to get you started. Read our tips for safe spring hiking before you go.

 

Fort Langley May Day Parade and Celebration – May 20

May Day parade in Fort Langley

Photo: Fort Langley May Day

The historic Fort Langley neighbourhood holds Vancouver’s largest Victoria Day celebration each year. The May Day event takes place on May 20th this year. This is the festival’s 102nd year and it includes a pancake breakfast at the Lions Hall in the morning, a parade starting at 11 am, and a community celebration at Fort Langley Community Park in the afternoon.

While you are in Fort Langley, take some time to browse the boutiques on Glover Road or visit Fort Langley National Historic Site. Take a stroll through the surrounding streets and see if you recognize any of the buildings. This area is a popular filming location and has been the backdrop to numerous TV shows and films, including over 20 Hallmark movies!

 

Go Whale Watching

A humpback whale breaches in the Salish Sea

Humpback whale. Photo: Sierra Hamilton/Eagle Wing Tours

May is a great time to go whale watching in Vancouver. You can spot humpback whales on their annual migration along with orcas, porpoises, seals, sea lions, eagles and lots more. Boats leave from both downtown Vancouver and Richmond. Our guide to whale watching in Vancouver has all the info you need to help you pick a tour.

 

Enjoy Spring Flowers

Laburnum Walk at VanDusen Garden

Laburnum Walk. Photo: Destination Vancouver/VanDusen Botancial Garden

Victoria Day weekend coincides with peak spring bloom in Vancouver, so it’s the perfect time to visit a garden. VanDusen Botanical Garden explodes with colour at this time of year. Walk the paths through the rhododendrons and rose garden. Don’t miss the spectacular laburnum walk. As a bonus for vintage car buffs, the Vancouver All British Field Meet Classic Car Show takes place at the garden on May 18.

Other gorgeous gardens in Vancouver include the Quarry Gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park, UBC Botanical Garden, Nitobe Memorial Garden, and the Rose Garden at Stanley Park. You can see several gardens in one day on our self-guided garden bike tour.

 

Take a Car-Free Day Trip

A woman looks at Howe Sound from the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge at the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Photo: Destination BC/@entre2escales

Get out of town for the day this long weekend. It’s easy to explore the forests, mountains, beaches, and islands outside Vancouver without a car thanks to public transit, shuttle buses, and ferries. Our guide to car-free day trips has six scenic options.

 

Bicycle Film Festival – May 18

Promo poster for the Bicycle Film Festival

Photo: Bicycle Film Festival

Vancouver is a bike-friendly city, so come celebrate life on two wheels at the Bicycle Film Festival. Presented by HUB Cycling, the Bicycle Film Festival includes two back-to-back programs of short films at the Rio Theatre on May 18. The early show highlights bike adventures while the late show focuses on urban cycling.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , ,

Say Your Piece

Please be nice, we delete offensive and mean spirited remarks.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.