What to do
What to do
It’s the many options from sea to sky that attract visitors to Nanaimo. Discover the things to do here in Nanaimo, from outdoor adventure to festivals and events. Discover what to do
Where to stay
Where to stay
Nanaimo has no shortage of comfortable lodgings, from hotels to campgrounds. Check out our booking tool to find accommodations in Nanaimo and book your stay. Discover where to stay
How to get here
How to get here
Planning 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.

#ExploreNanaimo

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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 Spirit

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 Explorer

Cultural Explorers are most likely to be seen exploring heritage sites and museums. CE's also love to interact with locals.

Authentic Experiencer

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

Winter Activities in Nanaimo

December 3, 2019

Beat the cold: stay warm and entertained with these winter activities in Nanaimo While we’re certainly not heralded as snow destination, the Harbour City gets its fair share of cold weather. Luckily, there is an abundance of winter activities in Nanaimo to keep you busy and entertained during the more dreary months. There are many benefits to travelling during the off-season. Reap the benefits of less crowded areas. Enjoy a stunning fog that rolls over the city and year-round hikes. The city’s weather is mild in comparison to other parts of Canada, but we still like to bundle up from […]

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Four Random Facts About Nanaimo

#1. You Can Dive Sunken Wrecks In Nanaimo Here’s a fun fact about Nanaimo you might not know: it is home to three fascinating wreck dives. In 1997, The HMCS Saskatchewan, a 366-foot navy destroyer, was sunk off the shores of Nanaimo to create an artificial diving reef. Subsequently, the Saskatchewan was joined on the ocean floor by the HMCS Cape Breton, a retired Canadian Supply Ship, now recognized as the World’s Largest Artificial Upright Reef. Later in 2005, the Nanaimo Dive Association sank a third vessel, the RivTow Lion, a retired deep-sea rescue tug. These three wrecks attract dive […]

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The Best Kids’ Stores in Downtown Nanaimo

If you’re out shopping for the wee ones in your life, there are plenty of amazing kids stores Downtown Nanaimo. Pumpkin Pie Kids The first stop on anyone’s kids’ shopping spree should be Pumpkin Pie Kids. This fabulous kids’ store is located in the Old City Quarter and has been open for 21 years. They have a massive assortment of children’s items; baby gear for bath time, teething items, diapers, baby carriers, the list goes on and on! There’s also babywear for casual, formal, swim and sleep, plus formal and casual wear for girls and boys up to size 8. In […]

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Itineraries

The Real Nanaimo Harbour City

From sweet treats to a day out on the water, this is the authentic Nanaimo experience.
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Hikers Paradise – Find Yourself in Our Woods

Walk the beaches and groves of Nanaimo, while experiencing food and fun west coast style.
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Historic Nanaimo

Tour BC’s 3rd oldest community from walking through a replica mine to firing a cannon!
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Wolf & Waterfalls

After walking to waterfalls, explore Nanaimo's local craft beer and food scene.
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Area Maps