Our picks of places to go and things to do to make the most of your month on Vancouver Island.

CELEBRATE CANADA DAY HERE - Victoria’s Inner Harbour and Legislature Lawns are the place to be for Canada’s July 1st festivities, featuring the B.C. capital city’s impressive line-up of local performers, family-friendly activities and multi-cultural events, culminating in a spectacular fireworks show over the Inner Harbour. The Coast Capital Living Flag is among the day’s events, with 2,300 free red and white t-shirts available. Last year’s event featured 3,600 participants and earned the title “Largest Living Flag” in the country. The Family Zone has been expanded and will now include face-painting, a bouncy castle and features by The Bateman Foundation Gallery of Nature and The Victoria Bug Zoo.

SIP & CELEBRATE HERE - The Phillips Backyard Weekender is the homegrown highlight of summer for the 19 and over crowd in Downtown Victoria. From July 26 to July 28, the Phillips Brewery backyard transforms into an outdoor music super-party for three unforgettable nights, set against the backdrop of the beloved local craft brewery—rain or shine. Among the scheduled live entertainment—Danny Brown, Dirty Projectors, Steel Pulse, and many more. Get your tickets here

REV YOUR ENGINES HERE - The Oak Bay Collector Car Festival celebrates its 20th year in Victoria, when nearly 300 special-interest cars line Oak Bay Avenue Sunday, July 28. Approximately 15,000 spectators gather to ogle the intriguing and obscure vehicles on display, with pop-up shops and food stations providing delicious local cuisine and ice cold beverages. 

ROW & ROAR HERE - More than 60 dragon boat teams from across Canada and the U.S. take to the water for the 17th Annual Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival at Maffeo Sutton Park July 5, 6, and 7. Thousands of volunteers help put on the festival, which also features food trucks, a marketplace, beer garden and multi-cultural entertainment. Proceeds from the event are donated to the Nanaimo Hospital Foundation and Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. Spend an incredible day on the waterfront cheering on paddlers during more than six hours of racing per day. 

SHOP UNDER THE STARS HERENanaimo’s Commercial Street Night Market runs every Thursday through July (and August), from 5pm to 9pm. Commercial Street, from Terminal Ave. to Church and Chapel Streets, closes to traffic as artisan vendor booths sell everything from food to crafts, beverages to curios. Live entertainment enlivens the streets while family activities include bouncy castles and climbing walls—the perfect way to while away a warm summer evening by the sea. 

SUPPORT & CELEBRATE TOFINO HERE - Now in its tenth year, the Tofino Saltwater Classic fishing derby kicks off July 5, 6, and 7. Founded and hosted by former NHL pro Brendan Morrison, the event raises money for Tofino’s most important community initiatives. The fun (and ocean adventures) last all weekend long, with weigh-ins held at Tofino Resort and Marina dock and a Saturday evening post-fishing, story-telling session over appetizers and drinks, followed by a dinner and silent auction.