From Nanaimo, it's just a short trip by boat, plane, or vehicle to some of the most beautiful spots on the West Coast. You'll find several charter companies based in Nanaimo Harbour, offering daily tours to places like Desolation Sound, the Southern Gulf Islands, and the Johnston Strait. Most providers also offer multi-day skippered boat charters for fishing or sightseeing. There are also several airplane and helicopter tour operators in Nanaimo, which provide aerial tours of the coast and central Vancouver Island.
For sightseeing closer to town, you can hike up Mount Benson with a local outdoor adventure company, or get in touch with the Nanaimo Community Heritage Commission for a historic tour of the city.