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
Locals Know Nanaimo
July 31, 2018
Aaramë from the Nanaimo Art Gallery What is there to do on a rainy day in Nanaimo? Brave the rain and explore nature I’ve lived on the BC coast my whole life, so I’m not afraid of the rain. If it’s a big winter storm, it’s fun to go up to Bowen Park and see how high the river has come up or to go for a walk around Westwood Lake or Morell Nature Sanctuary. I love to bring my camera as there is always something interesting growing in the forest. The trees also usually provide a bit of shelter from […]Read More
The Nanaimo Summertime Blues Festival
July 25, 2018
August 23-26, 2018 The Nanaimo Summertime Blues Festival returns to the harbour city August 23 – 26. Highlighting a long list of top musicians from across Vancouver Island – many of whom are international stars in their own right – this incredible event will showcase some of the very best in Blues. To learn more about this rockin’ festival, we contacted Gerold Haukenfrers from the Nanaimo Blues Society to ask some questions. Here is what we found out: About the Blues We asked Gerold, “what about the blues is so awesome?” This is what he had to say: “Blues music […]Read More
Nanaimo Festival & Events 2018
July 18, 2018
We are more than just a place to live, but a place to have fun. Find out how Nanaimoites make a good time, and walk alongside the locals as they put together an array of unique and authentic experiences to celebrate what makes this corner of the world awesome! The Story It all started in 1967 when former mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney, famously donned a pirate costume, raised his sword, and launched Nanaimo’s first annual Bathtub Race. “Tubbers” and visitors from around the world have been coming to Nanaimo for more than 40 years to take part in […]Read More