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
Bathtub Weekend 2018
July 16, 2018
July 20th-22nd It all started in 1967 when former mayor of Nanaimo, Frank Ney, famously donned a pirate costume, raised his sword, and launched Nanaimo’s first annual Bathtub Race. “Tubbers” and visitors from around the world have been coming to Nanaimo for more than 40 years to take part in this now world famous festival and race. This year’s Bathtub Festival — a part of the larger, month-long Marine Festival — takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park & Sway-a-Lana Lagoon on the weekend of July 20th to 22nd. The Scoop, Or “Bail Bucket” if You Prefer With a mix of […]Read More
Commercial Street Summer Night Markets 2018
July 12, 2018
June 21 – August 30 Taking place over eleven consecutive weeks, from June 21st to August 30th, The Commercial Street Night Market makes for an amazing downtown Nanaimo experience. Between 6pm and 9pm on Thursday evenings, Commercial Street, the city’s ‘main street’, will be closed to vehicle traffic to allow pedestrians to enjoy 100+ vendors, local merchants, booths, exhibits, and tents. Food trucks will be parked along the street for a tasty and convenient bite. Many permanent downtown businesses, sidewalk cafes, art stores, and clothing shops, etc., will be joining in on the fun by extending their hours until […]Read More
The Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival 2018
July 5, 2018
July 6, 7, & 8, 2018 Maffeo Sutton Park, 10 Comox Rd, Nanaimo, BC Also, check out The InFrinGinG Dance Festival happening the same weekend. This year’s 16th annual Nanaimo Dragon Boat Festival (July 6, 7, & 8, 2018) hosts 72 teams from Vancouver Island, Western Canada, and the USA. The event takes place at Maffeo Sutton Park on Nanaimo’s downtown waterfront. Dragon boat racing is an exhilarating sport to take part in or to watch, so you won’t want to miss it! There’s no better way to gain insightful information than talking with the experts, so we contacted Leslie Sutton, the […]Read More