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
Swimming with the Fishes
October 22, 2018
As we arrived and entered the facility, we were greeted by the smell of smoked and candied salmon, and the sounds of whirring machinery. Dozens of workers were stationed at various points along a production line, with piles of fish at one end, and hundreds of sealed cans at the other; it was mesmerizing watching the cans make their journey along the complex processing line, being filled, sealed, and labelled as they were transported up the walls, over the walkways, and to their destination on large transporting carts. We were then guided to the smokehouse, where we were shown racks […]Read More
Nanaimo Grape Escape – Vancouver Island’s Wine Festival
October 15, 2018
Can you tell us about the wine festival? Nanaimo Grape Escape is taking place at The Grand Hotel Nanaimo on Friday October 26 from 7pm-10pm. The Nanaimo Wine Festival has been around for over 20 years, but this year we have a whole new venue and event. There will be 200 different wines to sample and Chef Ian Ter Veer is preparing the food. You can experience live music, while sampling wines from around the world. What can visitors expect? The opportunity to sample 200 different wines from around the world, including wines local to British Columbia. This event also […]Read More
Paddles & Pods: A Day Out On The Water
October 11, 2018
On a bright August morning, six of us set out from the Nanaimo harbor in 3-double kayaks, guided by JD Girard of Brackish Adventures. Our skilled teacher and guide lead the way towards Saysutshun, previously known as Newcastle Island. As we maneuvered through the sailboats moored in the channel, their residents waved, returning to their morning coffee soon afterwards. We were directed to a sheltered cove on Saysutshun, where we could survey the whole channel and harbor. Taking a moment to just lower my camera and admire the view of the Nanaimo shoreline, I was filled with a sense of […]Read More