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.


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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

Longwood Stock – 5 Facts About Beer

September 17, 2018

5 Interesting Facts About Beer The oldest surviving recipe for beer can be found in a ancient sumerian poem called Hymn to Ninkasi. This piece of literature dates back nearly 4,000 years. Pilsner “is the most popular beer in the world.” – Spruce Eats Beer can also be a dessert… at least at Cold Front where they use beer from Longwood Brewery in their Chocolate Stoutnik flavoured gelato 😛 Nanaimo hosts an annual beer run which takes place in April each year. “Cenosillicaphobia is the fear of an empty beer glass.” – Factslides *To prevent yourself from a cenosillicaphobic-induced panic […]

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The Nanaimo International Jazz Festival

It’s only natural that Nanaimo, with it’s rich and vibrant music scene, play host to such an incredible event as the Nanaimo Jazz Festival. Last year was the first of these festivals; this year, in 2018, it returns for the second time to welcome performers from across the globe. On September 21-23, musicians will gather in our pocket of Vancouver Island for a tremendous weekend of musical performances and celebration. Recently, we connected with Festival Administrator Jill Smith, to learn more about this incredible event. Here is what we found out: Last year was the inaugural Nanaimo Jazz Festival; what […]

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M-Con – Nanaimo’s Comic-Con

There’s nothing better than a weekend of nerding out, and this year’s M-Con (Nanaimo’s very own comic con) did not disappoint. Although we are still a full year away until the next one, here is a teaser to get your mind thinking about M-con 2019. To get some more info on the event, we contacted Addy Davies, M-Con Organizer. Here is what we found out: The Story Behind M-Con What is the history/ story behind M-Con Nanaimo? We simply wanted an awesome event on Vancouver Island, to benefit our local communities and to help our future generations through a comic-con […]

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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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