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 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 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

@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 […]

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Nanaimo Events This September

September 7, 2017

There’s plenty happening around town this month! It’s a month of live music and theatre, shopping and gaming. Here’s the list of Nanaimo events for the month of September: September 11: Nanaimo Bar Trail Run. This event starts at the Diana Krall Plaza at 9:30am. Cost is $15 September 15-16: Shakespeare By The Sea. Head down to the Pioneer Waterfront Plaza to see Hamlet in just 42 seconds! Tickets are $29 and be purchased through the Port Theatre. September 15-17: Nanaimo International Jazz Festival. Hailing from New Orleans, impressive jazz musicians will take the stage in Nanaimo! There are both […]

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A Primer On Nanaimo Bird Watching

September 6, 2017

Nanaimo is known for its natural beauty: the trails, waterfalls, and parks that are home to feathery friends of flight that watch from their perch. Local birder Spenser Smith shares his passion for birdwatching in Nanaimo, and highlights some great spots for you to check out. Can you tell us a bit about yourself, and your passion for birdwatching? I am a writer, editor and photographer in the fourth year of my creative writing and journalism BA at Vancouver Island University (VIU). Social media analytics excite me, and I sometimes spend hours reading restaurant reviews on TripAdvisor for entertainment. I […]

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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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