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Five things I love about summer in Oak Bay

I love this island. I grew up on it here, not too far from Butchart Gardens. I went to Stelly’s Secondary School and now that I’m working and living in Oak Bay, I’m learning lots about this community. Because life is life and summer is summer, I have some extra time on my hands these days. Here’s a few things I love to do around here.

Oaky Bay Avenue, Garden Works
Garden Works on Oak Bay Ave is an excellent place to quench your gardening thirst.

Oak Bay Avenue

Strolling around Oak Bay Avenue is the perfect meeting of two things I like to do: walking and window shopping! (I also like doughnuts so Discovery Coffee is a delicious destination.)

Doughnuts that are so delicious at Discover on Oak Bay Avenue
Thanks, Discover Coffee, for having the best doughnuts!

I often find myself popping into Good Things Consignment and finding little gems. It’s always exciting as I never know what I’m going to find in there. This, and stopping into Garden Works by the clinic, are also favourite activities to do with friends. There’s lots of shade on Oak Bay Avenue, which is good for me because I burn easy. Also, it has a remarkable number of PokeStops and PokeGyms, if you’re into that. I’m not. Okay, actually I am.

I love Good Things consignment on Oak Bay Ave
Consignment shopping is fun on Oak Bay Ave.

Oak Bay Marina

I love visiting the marina and walking along the pier and the shoreline. The ocean sounds and smells are good for my soul. And the seals are adorable. ADORABLE. A friend showed me the tricks they do for the little fish you can buy at the gift shop.. they all do something different. Also, the Marina Restaurant has fantastic sushi! If you’re into that. Which, again, I am.

Gonzales Hill

Gonzales hill, which is not too far from Gonzales beach or Abkhazi Garden, is really fun. There’s an old observatory up there. Going up Gonzales Hill is a nice mini hike despite being named a hill. The view up there at sunset (or anytime) is gorgeous. You can also drive up most of the way if you’re with folks that are less into walking. I’ve seen hawks and eagles up there too, which is always a treat.

The view from Gonzales Hill Oak Bay
Okay, not every day in Oak Bay in the summer is sunny. :)

Beach Drive

You can get to Beach Drive from Gonzales Hill if you take the stair route or from the end of Oak Bay Avenue. It’s a lovely area and you can walk, or ride your bike, along road and through the golf course. It can be windy, but all the better to enjoy the sights and smells this island and surrounding ocean have to offer.

Beach Drive Oak Bay in the background and a kite surfer in the foreground
Ocean sports are happening at every turn. #choosetomove

YMCA gym

Okay, this is not technically Oak Bay. But it’s part of my world, and you can walk to it, so I think it counts! I love the gym there! My fantastic friends recently introduced me to gym life, (light) weightlifting, and cardio. They’ve helped me to realize I can do my routine at my own pace and care less about what everyone else there thinks. I’m getting stronger slowly but surely. Also, the people there are awesome. The workers are friendly and helpful. I tried a spin class once and I almost passed out but had fun. The change room is quiet and comfortable. I like to look outside while I’m getting swole. Just kidding. I’ve never been interrupted there by a stranger, so that’s a bonus. There seems to be a strong culture there of good etiquette. By far my favourite is stretching after in the stretching room and cooling down there.

Olivia talking a selfie in Oak Bay
I hope you’re all having a great summer everyone!

Just goes to show we’ve got lots of options in the neighbourhood! If you’re into that.