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.
Top 5 Captures of 2017
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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
7 Galleries That Show Nanaimo Is So Much More Than A Pit Stop
December 21, 2017
That’s where the ferry comes in, right? Nanaimo’s a major access point to Vancouver Island, thanks to two ferry terminals from the Vancouver area, but it’s a shame to treat it as just that, a pit stop on your way through. Next time you’re heading our way, spend a night or two, and we guarantee it’ll be worth it. 1. We made a whole trail around a dessert There must be custard in the veins of Nanaimoites, because we reserve a very special place in our hearts for the layers of chocolate, custard, and coconut base that make up the […]Read More
Cold Weather Activities in Nanaimo
December 15, 2017
While we’re certainly not heralded as snow destination, Nanaimo does get its fair share of chillier days. If you’re travelling during the off season, you can reap all the benefits of areas being less crowded, a stunning fog that rolls over the city, and year-round hikes. The city’s weather is mild in comparison to other parts of Canada, but we still like to bundle up from time to time and hide away from the frost! Here are a few cold weather activities for your stay in #ExploreNanaimo. Shop Local Nanaimo’s downtown streets fan out from the center, the Bastion, with […]Read More
On This Spot: Jump Back In Nanaimo’s History
November 3, 2017
Andrew from the new On This Spot app chats with us about the app, his favourite points of comparison, and a bit of Nanaimo’s history. Can you tell us a bit about On This Spot? What do people need to know? The On This Spot app takes people on guided walking tours through the history that surrounds them. At each stop on their journey users will find themselves standing on the spot a historic photo was taken. They can view a then and now photo comparison, use the built in camera to create their own, and read about Nanaimo’s history […]Read More