Located just a short drive from Victoria is Cordova Bay, a picturesque pebble beach that stretches out more than six kilometers. It’s the perfect backdrop for a long walk by the beach, dotted with idyllic seaside cottages, fine dining restaurants, and a long list of fun outdoor activities to choose from. With so much to see and do, it’s a popular place that’s worth visiting all year round but due to its beautiful swimming spots, the best time to visit is obviously on a bright summer day.

Thinking of heading up to Cordova Bay for a peaceful seaside getaway? Read our Cordova Bay guide to get some inspiration for the best local activities you can do when visiting Cordova Bay and make the most out of your stay.

Experience Leisure at the World Famous Butchart Gardens

Less than 12km away from Cordova Bay are the world-famous Butchart Gardens, a 55-acre garden created by Jennie Butchart over a century ago. The Butchart Gardens are more than 118 years old and located in Brentwood Bay, offering visitors over 26 greenhouses with 900 bedding plant varieties on display.

The Butchart Gardens were originally a quarry, until one woman and her vision transformed the space into a stunning and magical garden bursting with colour and vibrant blooms. The gardens are still run by her family to this day and it’s open to visitors between 9:00am to 4:00 pm during the springtime. In summer, you can even visit the gardens at night till 10:00 pm from Tuesday to Saturday.

Get a Hole in One at the Golf Courses

There are a few golf courses around the Cordova Bay area but the most well-known one is the Cordova Bay golf course, an idyllic golf course spanning 6,701 yards. The Cordova Bay golf course is a fully accessible golf course boasting amazing views of Mount Baker and Haro Strait. Even if you’re not interested in golfing, you can enjoy a long walk on the smooth grass of the golf course and admire your peaceful surroundings.

After enjoying your tee time at the golf course, you can end the day with a special sunset menu in the Bill Mattick restaurant. The restaurant offers both indoor and patio seating and is open to all golfers or visitors who simply want to enjoy a delicious meal or refreshing drink with a beautiful view.

Take a Trip to the University of Victoria

Located a mere 10-minute drive from Cordova Bay is the University of Victoria, one of Canada’s very best universities and the oldest university in British Columbia. With its beautiful architecture and rich history, we recommend visiting if you’re in the Cordova Bay area.

Daily campus tours of this 120-year-old university are available for prospective students and tourists, led by the students themselves. You can visit any day between Monday and Saturday and book your tour from up to three months in advance.

Take a Gamble at a Local Casino

If you’re looking for an activity that’s a little bit more exhilarating to end the day with, you can get your adrenaline pumping at one of the local casinos near Cordova Bay. Online casinos in Canada are very popular, so it’s no surprise that there are also several land-based casinos in the country where Canucks can enjoy some in-person gambling.

One of the closest local casinos near Cordova Bay is Elements Casino Victoria, just 15km away from the beach. You can find over 770 slot machines to try your luck on here, many of which can be played from just $0.01, so you can take a shot at experiencing the thrill of the winning screen without breaking the bank.

Dip Your Toes in the Saanich Commonwealth Place

Visitors who are looking for something a little bit more refreshing to do can visit the Saanich Commonwealth Place, a recreation centre that was built in 1993 for the 1995 Commonwealth Games. Today, it’s a popular facility within the community around the area and it’s also open to visitors from Monday to Sunday.

Drop-ins are always welcome at the Saanich Commonwealth place, and it also has a shallow pool that makes it a great spot for families with kids. Other services available here include a steam room, sauna, full-sized gym, and a café where you can grab a bite to eat after an energising swim in the pool.

Enjoy Outdoor Activities at the Lochside Regional Trail

One of the most varied activities you can do if you’re visiting Cordova Bay is head to the Lochside Regional Trail, a multi-use nature trail that forms part of the Trans Canada Trail. The trail is 34km long and flat for the most part. It’s also one of the most popular trails for a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, bike riding, horse riding, and bird watching too.

The Lochside Regional Trail is also a kid-friendly place even for small ones, so if you’re visiting the area as a family, it’s the perfect place to unwind, relax, and enjoy breathtaking views and wildlife. The trail starts at the Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal and ends at the Victoria Inner Harbour, and you always have the option of renting an e-bike to explore the trail and make it a little quicker to get around.

Sample Fine Dining

Cordova Bay is also home to some of the best places you can eat and drink, not to mention the best dining views you can ask for. Be sure to visit Bill Mattick’s Restaurant on the Cordova Bay golf course which we’ve mentioned above along with other famous spots such as The Beach House Restaurant and the Artisan Bistro. If you’re looking for fine dining options, the latter is a great high-end place that you wouldn’t want to miss out on when visiting Cordova Bay.