Posted on 25 Sep
On Vancouver Island—where the weather provides a scenic, full spectrum of seasons—enjoying the early days of autumn is a true delight. Here, we highlight nine places on Vancouver Island that capture this colorful time of year.
Elk Lake Trail - This six-mile trail around Elk and Beaver Lakes, located just 20 minutes north of Victoria, meanders through the changing leaves and provides a flat, easy path for jogging or hiking.
Church and State Winery - Set high over acres of vineyards, Church and State is Vancouver Island’s largest winery. Its Tasting Bar and Bistro boasts a gorgeous view and fresh seasonal fare—pair their parmesan polenta fries, pan seared wild halibut and syrah braised beef cheeks with the winery’s palate-pleasing creations.
Butchart Gardens - Thirty miles north of Victoria sits the Butchart Gardens, which is home to 26 greenhouses and a Japanese Garden filled with colorful maple trees—all ideally suited to autumn tours. Don’t leave without stopping by the Coffee Shop for a freshly baked pastry and a cup of herbal tea.
Take a Ghost Tour - Get in the mood for fall with a creepy ghost tour around Victoria, notorious for being the most haunted city in British Columbia. Book a guided tour with local favorite, Ghostly Walks, who may take you by Bastion Square, formerly a courthouse ruled by Sir Matthew Ballie Begbie (AKA “the hanging judge”) and one of Victoria’s most haunted spots.
Tour Hatley Castle - If the fall weather proves damp or just a touch too cold, this is an indoor activity that will not disappoint. Located about 20 minutes west of Victoria, this 111-year old stone mansion has been popular filming location for movies such as X-Men and Deadpool. Explore the estate’s 40 rooms and manicured grounds—and keep an eye out for friendly ghosts.
McNab's Corn Maze - Now this is a truly unforgettable early autumn activity. Put on some sturdy closed-toe shoes, grab some snacks and dive into McNab’s seven-acre corn maze, located 60 miles north of Victoria and open now through October 31. How long it takes is up to you (it could be hours). When you finish up, hop on a hay ride over to the pumpkin patch or scope out the fresh veggies at the produce stand.
Spend the Day in Coombs - With the tourist season subsiding, a visit to the Old Country Market in Coombs will be much easier—be sure to pick up some Market Bakery cheese bread, honey glazed donuts from Billy G’s Donut Shop and greet Willy, Nibbles and Minyon, the resident goats. On the way home, stop at Cuckoo's for a hearty, homemade Italian-inspired meal.
Merridale Cidery - Starting October 7th, Merridale Cidery 40 minutes north of Victoria will start serving their fall brunch menu, which is likely to include farm fresh eggs and brick oven bread among other locally sourced goodies. Every item on the menu pairs perfectly with seasonal flavours and a crisp glass of apple cider.
Spend the Weekend at Yellowpoint Lodge - Yellowpoint Lodge is the ideal place to recharge after a busy summer. Situated 90 minutes north of Victoria and surrounded by 185 acres of private, protected coastal rainforest, you can book a cozy cabin, watch the leaves change and enjoy more than than a mile-and-a-half of pristine Strait of Georgia waterfront.