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.


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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

A Sneak Peek At What Vancouver Island Market Has In Store This Winter

November 14, 2019

Vancouver Island is a haven for artisans, which makes finding that perfectly unique gift for your friend, colleague, or family member incredibly easy. Whether it’s gourmet treats, handmade goods, artisanal soaps, or personalized trinkets, there’s literally something for everyone on your list—most of which are sourced from local resources and ingredients found right here on the West Coast. With the holidays fast approaching, it’s the perfect time to check out what some of the local creators have to offer. This year, while sustainably top of mind for many, why not try giving something that uses local resources and supports local […]

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Made in Nanaimo Gift Guide for the Holidays

November 12, 2019

By Mei Dunlop & Maria Bassett It’s that time of year again! The holidays are just around the corner and there are so many great gifts made right here on Vancouver Island. From gourmet food items to treasured trinkets, and everything in-between, if you can imagine it, it’s probably being made right here on the island. This is the perfect time of year to shop locally with sustainably top of mind. The Vancouver Island Market makes it easy to support local by purchasing from people who are growing, baking, and making in own backyard! At the Vancouver Island Market, we […]

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The Ultimate List Of Rainy Day Activities In Nanaimo

October 15, 2019

When you live on Vancouver Island, you learn to fully embrace the rain and when you visit Vancouver Island, you end up with an appreciation for the relaxing reflection that comes with of a good west coast rain! 1. Hit The Trails: Mountain Bike or Hike Don’t let a little rain get you down, embrace it! With good wet-weather gear, getting outside can offer a whole new perspective on an activity you.Even on the coldest days, there is always a warm place to welcome you inside when you’re done. Nanaimo is ripe with opportunities to hit the trails, our mountain […]

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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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