How to get herePlanning your transportation to and from Nanaimo is easily tailored to the type of experience you’re after on Vancouver Island. Learn about travelling by air, land, or sea. Discover how to get here
Nanaimo, British Columbia
The city of Nanaimo is a classic West Coast community, offering natural beauty at every turn, and vast recreation potential. Nanaimo has one of the longest shorelines in Canada, and a forested mountain backdrop just outside downtown. Here, you can go from the wilderness to the city centre in just a few minutes, and spend more time in the places you want to be.
Nanaimo, BC is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, 113 km north of Victoria, and 55 km across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver. The city projects out into the strait like a headland, affording waterfront on three sides and spectacular ocean views at every turn. The local landscape is defined by Mount Benson, which rises 1,006 metres (3,300 feet) just west of Nanaimo, and the Nanaimo River estuary, the largest estuary on Vancouver Island, which flows into Nanaimo Harbour at the south end of the city.
Nanaimo is the place to find natural wonders, festivals, culinary joys, and so much more. Discover your Nanaimo 360 by browsing things to do, places to stay, and how to get here.
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What’s Your Travel Type?
Have you ever wondered what type of traveller you are? Whether you’re more of a history buff, or perhaps a thrill-seeker? Destination Canada created this quiz to help you better understand exactly what type of traveller you are. If you’d like to see an itinerary that matches your traveller type, check out our custom itineraries.
Free Spirits are most likely to be seen at a tourism hot spot, participating in a group tour, or dining out at a top restaurant.
Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.
Authentic Experiencers are most likely to be seen in nature reserves, hiking and enjoying the great outdoors, at a heritage site or a museum.
Latest blog posts
Local Insight: How To Get To Blueback Beach In Nanaimo
July 4, 2019
Photo by Dana Wacker Blueback Beach is one of Nanaimo’s best-hidden gems. Located in North Nanaimo, below roughly 200 stairs, the beach offers breathtaking views of the coastal mountains and sunset all at once. The shore itself is a mixture of small-to-medium sized rocks at first, but quickly transitions into a long sandbar, making it a great place for swimming, wading, and floating. Despite the stairs, the walk to the beach is actually quite short, only 300 meters. The park is open all year-round, making a great place to beat the heat in the summer or a quiet hideaway in […]Read More
6 Best Places To Watch The Sunset In Nanaimo
June 11, 2019
Thanks to its rolling mountains and easy access to beaches, Nanaimo offers plenty of viewpoints to capture memorable sunsets. Here are the six best places to watch the sun go down in Nanaimo:Read More
An artist haven on a wild coastline
May 9, 2019
Jordan Dyck Explores Gabriola Island ‘The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.’ The act of seeking these places is becoming a lot more difficult than ever before. However, there are still environments that allow for that unique feeling of connectedness to the outdoors in a modern world. One of those places, is Gabriola Island, otherwise known, as the Isle of the Arts. A small island that’s a 15-minute ferry ride distance from Nanaimo, Gabriola Island hosts a deeply embedded arts community that thrives on this wild coastline. An artists haven, Gabriola […]Read More