If you’re feeling energetic—or even if you’re not—plan on walking or biking at least a small section of Marine Drive, which follows the shoreline of Juan de Fuca Strait from Ogden Point all the way to Oak Bay. The section immediately south of downtown, between Holland Point Park and Ross Bay Cemetery, is extremely popular with early rising locals, who start streaming onto the pedestrian pathway before the sun rises.
Out of town, Goldstream Provincial Park , beside Highway 1, and East Sooke Regional Park, off Highway 14 west of downtown, offer the best hiking opportunities.
You can rent bikes at Sports Rent, just north of downtown (1950 Government St., 250/385-7368) from $7–10 per hour or $30–40 per day.
Daily through summer, Ocean River Sports (Market Square, 1824 Store St., 250/381-4233 or 800/909-4233, www.oceanriver.com ) organizes guided 2.5-hour paddles in the Inner Harbour ($65 pp). They also offer kayaking courses, sell and rent kayaks and other equipment, and offer overnight tours as far away as the Queen Charlotte Islands .
Sports Rent (1950 Government St., 250/385-7368) rents canoes, kayaks, and a wide range of other outdoor equipment. Expect to pay about $40 per day and from $160 per week for a canoe or single kayak.
The best beaches are east of downtown. At Willows Beach, Oak Bay, most of the summer crowds spend the day sunbathing, although a few hardy individuals brave a swim; water temperature here tops out at around 17°C (63°F). Elk Lake, toward the Saanich Peninsula, and Thetis Lake, west of downtown along Highway 1, are also popular swimming and sunbathing spots.
The classic way to see Victoria  is from the comfort of a horse-drawn carriage. Throughout the day and into the evening, Tally-Ho (250/514-9257) has carriages lined up along Menzies Street at Belleville Street awaiting passengers. A 15-minute tour costs $50, a 30-minute tour is $90, a 45-minute tour costs $115, or take a 60-minute Deluxe Tour for $1705. These prices are per carriage (up to four passengers). Tours run 9 a.m.–midnight and bookings aren’t necessary, although there’s often a line.
Big red double-decker buses are as much a part of the Victoria tour scene as horse-drawn carriages. These are operated by Gray Line (250/388-6539, www.graylinewest.com ) from beside the Inner Harbour . There are many tours to choose from, but to get oriented while also learning some city history, take the 90-minute Grand City Drive Tour. It departs from the harbor front every half hour 9:30 a.m.–4 p.m. (adult $25, child $12.50). The most popular of Gray Line’s other tours is the one to Butchart Gardens  (adult $49, child $16, including admission price).