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
Hammond Bay Studio Tour 2018
May 17, 2018
Discover your 360° What Makes Art Beautiful? What makes a piece of art beautiful? This is a question often asked of artists and something that is hard to define. When we interviewed local painter and lead organizer of the Hammond Bay Studio Tour, Carla Stein, we asked this very question. Carla responded by stating that “beauty, as the saying goes, is in the eye of the beholder.” While Carla couldn’t say what makes art beautiful for everyone, she finds that skill and understanding of the materials an artist chooses to work with can greatly enhance the conceptualization of an artist’s […]Read More
Nanaimo’s Latest: Vancouver Island Whale Watch
April 27, 2018
Jilann, one of the masterminds behind Nanaimo’s latest venture, Vancouver Island Whale Watch, is one half of a tour de force duo, coming into the Nanaimo travel landscape with a goal to provide the best in sustainable whale watching. The company’s launchpad is Nanaimo’s downtown harbour, making it easy for travellers to walk aboard and get out on the water. We sat down with her to learn about how the company got started, why she loves Nanaimo, and what to expect. Give us the low down. What do travellers to Nanaimo need to know about Vancouver Island Whale Watch? We’re […]Read More
#ExploreNanaimo Photo Showcase Contest
March 2, 2018
Nanaimo’s locals are the experts when it comes to showcasing the Harbour City, and we’d love to see what you’ve been capturing! As part of our stakeholder event on March 22, Tourism Nanaimo will be hosting a photo showcase at White Sails Brewing. We will shortlist a selection of the best #ExploreNanaimo captures, put them on display and announce the winner at the event! We’ll even purchase the rights for the winning photo at $250 CDN, and the winner will go home with a #ExploreNanaimo prize package worth another $250 CDN. How to Enter How do you enter? Submit your […]Read More