The Seaside Touring Route is actually a cycling route with little signs that guide you from downtown Victoria along Dallas Road and Beach Drive through to Oak Bay.

The public has access to beaches (and lots of benches) all along Dallas Road-about 4 kilometres (2.5 miles) from Ogden Point to the Ross Bay Cemetery. I have highlighted some of my favourite benches on this route, but I invite you to explore it on your own. Find a stairway, follow it down, and see what you might find-a secluded beach, outcroppings of rock great for sunbathing, and large driftwood for sitting. In some places you can walk along the beach to the next stairway.

The south side of Beacon Hill Park borders this route. In spring the purple camas bloom on the hillside. Look for the world’s tallest totem pole on the east side of the park.

At Clover Point, on a windy day, you will find kite flyers, windsurfers, and paragliders. Dogs jump and run, enjoying the off-leash area. A wide, cement path connects Clover Point to Ross Bay Cemetery. It can be a protected place to walk and sit when the wind is from the north or west.

The route continues on to Gonzales Beach with a climb to a bench near the Gonzales Observatory. There is a viewpoint at King George Terrace with Trafalgar Park and McNeill Bay below. Hilltop benches are at Anderson Hill and Walbran Park. Following Beach Drive will lead you to the last benches, two of Oak Bay’s designated Heritage properties.

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