“I like Nanaimo because it is the gateway to our coastal playground where one can golf, ski, and kayak on the same day, and sail the next!” Dr. Gerry Vaughan
Image: Dr. Laura Barron at Mount Washington.
Nanaimo has been coined the "Hub City" due to its central location on Vancouver Island. You can access mountains, oceans, lakes, hiking, and mountain biking all within 5 minutes from any point in Nanaimo. If you prefer a day trip, Tofino, Mount Washington, Victoria, or Vancouver are all within reasonable driving distance.
Anytime you feel like surfing, whale watching, sailing, skiing, kayaking, shopping or just lazing around at the beach – you can do it. With each one of these destinations being all approx. 2 hours by car via BC ferries or 20 minutes by float plane or Helijet, your options for last-minute trips and excursions are endless...
Nanaimo's Must Do list
- Outdoor Walks and Hikes: Enjoy some of Vancouver Island's most beautiful scenery.
- Go out for some Food and Drink: Endless choices for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- Shopping: Large name-brand stores to quaint local shops and thrift stores.
- Swimming and Outdoor Recreation: Lakes, Rivers, or Oceans – you get to choose.
- Farmer's Markets: Get the freshest produce and other goodies daily from various markets.
- Sailing, Kayaking, or even Bathtub Racing: Ultimate boater's dream!
- Theatre and Music: Have you ever attended a Symphony in a park?
- Dinghy Dock Pub & Restaurant: Ever been to a floating pub? You will arrive by ferry.
- Nanaimo Bar Trail: We have all had a Nanaimo bar but who has had it deep-fried, in a Martini or Cupcake?
- Golfing: No such thing as a golf season here, when you can play nearly year-round.
- Swimming, Skating, Clubs, Organizations, Classes, and more at Nanaimo Recreation & Parks.
- Indoor Rock Climbing at the Romper Room.
- Cannon Firing, every summer day beside the Bastion, presented by the Nanaimo Museum.
- Adventure to an obstacle course in the trees, zip-lining, and even bungee jumping at WildPlay Element Parks.
- Ever been in a human-size maze? Will you make it out? McNab's Corn Maze.
- Both inside and outside playgrounds to choose from!
- Afternoon or close camping trip over to Saysutshun, Newcastle Island. Watch out for the Blond Racoons!
Up for a day trip?
- Festivals and Events – Tourism Nanaimo
- Surfing – Tofino & Coastal BC
- Skiing/Snowboarding – Mount Washington
- Whale Watching – Ocean Ecoventures
- Visit the Gulf Islands - Vancouver Island Travel
- Wineries & Craft Breweries – Tourism Nanaimo
- Vancouver is 20 minutes away by seaplane or Helijet, and Victoria is 1.5 hrs. drive