Thanks to its rolling mountains and easy access to beaches, Nanaimo offers plenty of viewpoints to capture memorable sunsets.
Here are the five best places to watch the sun go down in Nanaimo:
1. Mount Benson
The summit of Mount Benson is one of Nanaimo’s most iconic destinations, offering 360-degree views of the city and surrounding mountain ranges. Watch as hues of purple, pink, and orange dance over the water as the sun casually falls below the mountains in the west. The journey to the summit takes roughly two hours and scales nearly 1,000 meters in elevation. Because it will be dark when you begin your descent, you’ll need a headlamp to light the way back to your car.
2. Pipers Lagoon
Located along Hammond Bay Road, this waterfront park offers a small gravel trail separating the ocean and a small lagoon. This unique park offers exceptional opportunities for birdwatching and cozy sunset views. Bring a blanket and pull up a seat on a bench or piece of driftwood and watch as the sun sets across the largest swath of the Strait of Georgia. Or, pack a picnic and enjoy your dinner on the beach for the ultimate waterfront view! While you’re here, be sure to also check out driftwood artwork colourful residences on Shack Island at the far end of the walking trail.
3. Neck Point Park
Just down the road from Pipers Lagoon is Neck Point Park. While the locations will provide similar views, Neck Point Park’s shoreline is considerably rockier and is the more popular option for those in search of a short hike, the perfect photo, and great scuba diving. Several trails intersect, making it easy to customize distance if you’re walking. And, if you’re lucky, you might even see seals and sea lion resting on the rocks just down from the path.
4. Sugarloaf Mountain
A short walk for a beautiful view. Located in Departure Bay, Sugarloaf Mountain is a short walk that starts at 3160 Marion Way that climbs up to a clear bluff that offers far-reaching views of the bay, nearby islands, and coastal mountains.
5. The Waterfront, Sway-a-lana, & Jack Point
Nanaimo’s waterfront is the city’s most popular place to unwind, inspire, meet new people, and reconnect with friends. Grab an ice cream cone or gelato and walk along the paved trail from Jack Point to the Nanaimo Yacht Club and back. The Harbourfront Walkway is wheelchair accessible, making it easy for everyone to enjoy, and there are several park benches along the way should you wish to rest your feet and enjoy the views. Enjoy the calm waters with views of Protection Island and Saysutshun Island (formerly known as Newcastle Island), and watch as seaplanes and ferries pass through the bustling waterways.