How to get herePlanning your transportation to and from Nanaimo is easily tailored to the type of experience you’re looking for 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
Art 360°: Nicholas May’s Top Spots in Nanaimo
October 13, 2017
We’ve been thrilled with just how many folks have been sharing their #Nanaimo360 with us, whether it’s through photography or stories. And we wanted to know what would happen if we asked an artist to share their Nanaimo 360 through their medium. Nicholas May, an extremely talented local artist, stepped up to the plate with his stunningly detailed pen and ink illustration. Below you’ll also find the inspiration behind Nick’s work. Enjoy! Ammonite Falls I moved away from Nanaimo at the start of high school. After high school, I went through what I refer to as my most formative years. […]Read More
The many colours of Nanaimo, through the lens of Jonah Ferguson
September 26, 2017
Hey travellers, @jonahswferguson here and I will be taking over the Tourism Nanaimo page for the next few days! I grew up in Nanaimo and chose to pursue photography as a way of sharing the beauty I was constantly coming across on my hikes around Nanaimo and Vancouver Island. This particular shot was captured as I was on my way out of town one morning, and caught this view out of the corner of my eye. Many of you will probably recognize this tree, and I have always thought it would make a great photo, but it wasn’t until this […]Read More
@ZoeyTPhotography’s Nanaimo 360°
September 13, 2017
As part of a recent guestagrammer series, Zoey shared her top Nanaimo spots with us. Hello folks I’m Zoey . While I now spend most of my time in Victoria, I was born and raised here in Nanaimo. I’m a Uvic student and a co-founder of the Uvic Photography Excursion Club. The outdoors have always been a huge part of my life and I’m pumped to share some of the lovely places my hometown has to offer. Ammonite Falls Definitely worth the short hike out to see these impressive falls. Not only do you get to enjoy an adrenaline-pumping, final climb […]Read More