Visit Nanaimo - Vancouver Island's Harbour City
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.

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 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

Directions to Ammonite Falls

February 16, 2018

Ammonite Falls is an #ExploreNanaimo favourite, and many folks want to know how to safely reach the magnificent views of this waterfall gem. Hint: If you’d like to see just how impressive the waterfalls are in Nanaimo, check out our Waterfall Wanderings blog post. How To Get To Ammonite Falls To give you the best directions to Ammonite Falls, we reached out to the amazing local guides at Vancouver Island Expeditions. They even offer guided hikes to the falls, if that’s more up your alley. Here’s how to get to Ammonite Falls: Whether you’re a newbie hiker or the next […]

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Nanaimo Landscapes That Help You Reimagine Winter Getaways

January 25, 2018

Usually a destination known for its fog and rain, Nanaimo is no stranger to snow days, but we certainly don’t broadcast ourselves as a snow destination. Rather, the fine hub city is a winter getaway of a different variety; for those seeking to thaw a little, to don a rain jacket over a parka, to get outdoors no matter the weather. It’s the creeping fingers of fog or the bobbing waves on the beach shores that provide the backdrop for this different kind of winter getaway. Low Tide A blast of colour during the grey days of winter, the intertidal […]

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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 […]

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Itineraries

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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