Ways to visit Sidney (Sidney-by-the-Sea)
A visit to Sidney typically starts at the waterfront, where you’ll find many of the town’s top attractions. See a giant Pacific octopus at the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea, comb the surface of Glass Beach for shiny treasures, and follow the Sidney Seaside Sculpture Walk, a waterfront walkway featuring public artworks and offering views of Mount Baker and the Salish Sea.
If you have some time to further explore, there are several distilleries and vineyards nearby. Alternatively, make the 15-minute drive to Victoria’s Butchart Gardens or take the short boat ride out to whale feeding grounds around the Gulf Islands and the Haro Strait.
Things to know before you go to Sidney (Sidney-by-the-Sea)
- Sidney is a must for wildlife enthusiasts, with the waterways of the Salish Sea playing host to many animals, such as sea lions, bald eagles, and killer whales.
- Sidney is also known for its high concentration of independent bookstores, most of which are located in and around Beacon Avenue.
- If you want to fish off Sidney pier, purchase an appropriate license online or at the Home Hardware Store on Beacon Avenue.
How to get to Sidney (Sidney-by-the-Sea)
Sidney is set on the north end of the Saanich Peninsula, just a 5-minute drive from Victoria International Airport. BC Ferries run year-round services between Vancouver and Swartz Bay, just north of Sidney. International ferries also connect Sidney with Fidalgo Island and San Juan Island in Washington state.
When to visit Sidney (Sidney-by-the-Sea)
With mild year-round temperatures and very little snow, Sidney can be visited year-round, though the weather is most pleasant between May and October. May through October is also peak whale-watching season in the region.
The Gulf Islands
Sidney is a perfect launching pad for travelers exploring the nearby Gulf Islands, known for their scenic shorelines, wildlife-filled waters, and slower pace of life. Many whale-watching cruises travel near the islands, where southern resident orcas are frequently seen. Boats also connect Sidney to white sand-bordered Sidney Spit—part of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve—where you can spend a day lazing on the beach and swimming in the sea.
- Gulf Islands National Park Reserve
- Victoria Butterfly Gardens
- Church & State Wines
- Butchart Gardens
- Mt. Tolmie Park
- Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites
- Victoria Chinatown
- Race Rocks Ecological Reserve
- Old Town Victoria
- Government Street
- Fisherman's Wharf
- Victoria Bug Zoo
- Miniature World
- Fort Street
- Victoria Inner Harbour