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.

#ExploreNanaimo

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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

An artist haven on a wild coastline

May 9, 2019

Jordan Dyck Explores Gabriola Island ‘The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.’ The act of seeking these places is becoming a lot more difficult than ever before. However, there are still environments that allow for that unique feeling of connectedness to the outdoors in a modern world. One of those places, is Gabriola Island, otherwise known, as the Isle of the Arts. A small island that’s a 15-minute ferry ride distance from Nanaimo, Gabriola Island hosts a deeply embedded arts community that thrives on this wild coastline. An artists haven, Gabriola […]

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Crafting A Farm Fresh Nanaimo With These Creative Locals

April 26, 2019

Written by Jordan Dyck (Follow along with her travels over @joordanrenee on Instagram). An escape from city life for some, a place to call home for others. A city that borders lush rain forests, crashing coastlines, bountiful farmland, and even a slight urban sprawl, Nanaimo wears many faces to those who experience it. On first glimpse off the ferry, you may see similar big-box retailers to those on the mainland. You may be tempted to stop by that drive through on your way to another island destination, but you’d be missing some of the most delicious, most unique, creative businesses […]

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Festival Nanaimo Celebrations

March 5, 2019

The Signs of Seasonal Change in Nanaimo The days are getting longer bringing with them better weather and the sights and sounds of seasonal change. New spring bulbs and floral buds are breaking free every day. As seedlings start to push through sun-touched soils and new growth paints the landscape in various hues of green, we receive a sense of vitality that comes with rebirth/new life – and what better way to revel in this uplifting and refreshing energy than through the act of celebration. What is Festival Nanaimo? Stradling the spring equinox (20th March 2019), Festival Nanaimo is a […]

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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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Area Maps