5 Top-Rated Campgrounds near Victoria, BC
The best campgrounds and RV parks in the Victoria area all within 30 to 40 minutes from downtown. Tenters or those with smaller trailers will find beautiful forest campgrounds to the north and west of the city center. RV parks, some of which also offer tenting, can be found along the oceanfront in Saanichton, not far from the international airport. Some campgrounds are seasonal, operating from spring until fall, others are year-round. In campgrounds that are not all first-come, first-served, reservations are generally accepted during the prime summer months only. For a complete look at the top camping options, see our list of the best campgrounds in the Victoria area.
1. Goldstream Provincial Park Campground
Goldstream Provincial Park is an incredibly popular park in the Victoria area, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. It's particularly well-known for hiking and home to three of the best hikes around Victoria. The campground is set in a heavily wooded area with large trees. It's well off the highway, so you don't have to worry about traffic noise. Sites are big, level, and offer a high degree of privacy. If you are looking for an outdoor nature experience close to Victoria, this is the best place to come.
The Goldstream Campground is open year-round and offers reservable sites from approximately mid-May to early September. Facilities include flush toilets and hot showers.
2. Spring Salmon Place (KWL-UCHUN) Campground, Sooke Potholes Regional Park
Sooke Potholes Regional Park encompasses a spectacular portion of river with a series of waterfalls. Many people day trip here from Victoria to see the falls from the overlook or walk along the river and even swim below the waterfalls. At the end of the road leading through the park is the Spring Salmon Places Campground, just beyond the overlook for the falls. The campground is jointly managed by the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the T'Sou-ke Nation and operates on a seasonal basis only, from approximately the middle of May to the middle of September. All sites are first-come, first-served.
The setting is beautiful. Campsites are cut into the forest and set below large trees. Sites vary wildly, from large with plenty of privacy to small, exposed sites near the edge of the campground road. A river runs along the edge of the campground, and you do get an away-from-it-all feeling and experience.
3. Island View Beach Regional Park Campground
Located about a 25-minute drive north of downtown Victoria, on the way towards Victoria International Airport, this campground is perfect if you are looking for a place to set up along the ocean. The pebble beach stretches out along the shore, and views look out to distant islands. A paved walking trail runs along the waterfront, and you feel like you are far from the city. The tent campground is set behind trees, which block the wind. You won't find much by way of privacy here. Tents are set up along the side of the road on grass, one right next to the other, with no trees in between. The RV area is separate from the tents but just a short distance down the road, in a cleared area above the beach, with uninterrupted views over the ocean.
The campground is open from the Victoria Day weekend to Labour Day weekend. Reservations can be made up to 30 days in advance. The campground has a total of 47 sites, which include RV sites, tent trailer sites in the trees, and tent sites. Five RV sites and 11 tent sites are first-come, first-served. Facilities are limited to pit toilets and there are no showers.
4. Beachcomber RV Park
Beachcomber RV park is a well-maintained park right along the oceanfront overlooking a calm bay and backed by a natural wall. The property juts out on a point, and the pebble beach continues around the point, for excellent views in a couple of directions. The grounds are mainly grass and largely cleared of trees. Oceanfront sites are truly oceanfront, with unimpeded views and water access just steps from your unit. If you are looking for a basic RV park right on the ocean, you won't be disappointed here. This park offers water, electricity, and Wi-Fi, but is suited for self-contained units. It does not have washrooms, showers, or laundry facilities.
5. Oceanside RV Resort
Another popular RV park near the airport, the Oceanside RV Resort has immaculately maintained grounds with beautiful gardens and large trees in some areas. The park looks out over a pleasant little bay with often calm water. Although Oceanside has year-round and seasonal sites, they also offer 69 full-service overnight sites. Unlike the other RV parks mentioned here, this park is adjacent to a residential area, so it has a less remote feeling than many of the others. You'll find all the necessary amenities here, including 15, 30, and 50-amp power; water; sewer; some pull-through sites; Wi-Fi; and picnic tables. They can also accommodate large RVs.
Where to Stay if You Decide not to Camp
If you want to spend your time mainly in Victoria, the campgrounds can be a little inconvenient due to their distance from the city. Also, if the weather isn't cooperating, it's sometimes nice to check into a hotel for a couple of nights. Below are a few options for travelers who are looking for quality but don't want to spend a lot of money on a room.
- Mid-Range Hotels: For a wonderful location at a reasonable price, it's hard to beat the Days Inn by Wyndham - Victoria on the Harbour. This hotel puts you in the heart of the tourist scene and steps from the city's beautiful harbor. Families may enjoy the Hotel Zed, another good-value hotel. This property is known for its funky and colorful rooms and decor and features a ping pong table and other games, as well as a pool and hot tub. From here, you'll have to drive in to downtown, but nothing is very far away in Victoria. The James Bay Inn Hotel Suites & Cottage is a historic property within walking distance of the Inner Harbour. They offer a variety of accommodation options at different price points, ranging from small rooms with double beds to two-bedroom connecting family rooms, and even a private cottage.
- Budget Hotels: If your main concern is price, you can find some deals in Victoria, although they are few and far between. The Mayfair Motel offers clean rooms, friendly staff, and is only a short distance from downtown, but there are good connections on public transport to downtown. Another good choice is the Robin Hood Motel, which is a bit farther out, but again, very clean with helpful staff.
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- Hiking: You might think you have to travel "up island" if you want to find good hiking, but in fact, you can find some great hiking trails within minutes of downtown. For a look at the options, see our list of the best hikes around Victoria. If you are taking some time to travel around the island, chances are Tofino is on your itinerary. The old-growth forest here contains some of the oldest trees in Canada, and the seemingly endless stretches of beach make this an incredible area to explore on foot. Don't miss our top hikes in Tofino article. Chances are, there are numerous great hiking areas around the island you haven't even considered. For some ideas, see our article on where to go hiking on Vancouver Island.
- Camping: Whether you are looking for a remote hike-in oceanfront tent site, where you can wake up to a still and quiet morning, or an RV park on the outside of a fun tourist town, you can find it on Vancouver Island. For ideas and tips on where to look for these experiences, have a read through our guide to the best places to camp on Vancouver Island. And again, if you are heading up to Tofino, be sure to look through our list of Tofino campgrounds.