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

Farmers’ Markets in Nanaimo

October 15, 2019

There are many reasons to enjoy the Farmers Market. You can buy bread from the baker who baked it. You can buy meat from the people who provided a humane an stress-free environment for the animal and you can buy produce harvested by the farmer who planted it. Locally grown foods are the most flavourful, nourishing, environmentally friendly and they support a circular economy. Shopping at a farmer’s market creates connectedness through interaction and helps build a strong community of caring individuals. Tips on how to get the most from your Farmers’ Market Experience Arrive early. Many vendors have regular […]

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Gabriola Island Thanksgiving Studio Tour

September 7, 2019

Gabriola Island is known as the Isle of the Arts, and for good reason. This Gulf Island, located a short 25-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo’s downtown, is home to many talented artisans offering creations from jewelry to furniture, ceramics to paintings and sculpture. The 23rd Annual Gabriola Island Thanksgiving Studio Tour provides the public with a rare opportunity to step into the workshops for more than 80 Isle of the Arts Artisans. Fall in love with, and take home, a unique treasure. What: Gabriola Island Thanksgiving Studio Tour When: October 12-14, 2019 Where: Various Artists’ Workshops on Gabriola Island Access […]

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Nanaimo Museum – Historical Fall Lantern Tours

Nanaimo’s mysterious, exciting, strangely wonderful past is on display this Fall with the following guided walking tours offered by Nanaimo Museum staff. What: Crime & Punishment Lantern Tour – Nanaimo Museum “Fatal love triangles, muddled motives, and severe consequences all play a part in the murderous stories told on the new Crime & Punishment Lantern Tour this October. Guests will join a Nanaimo Museum tour guide on a walk through downtown to sites related to crimes and punishments in Nanaimo at the turn of the century.” When: Choose from the following dates and BOOK early. These sell out! Friday, October 4th […]

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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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