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

A Local’s Guide To The Abyss & Extension Ridge Trail

January 15, 2020

A huge, seemingly bottomless fissure in the earth, a fairy circle, sweeping views of the Salish Sea and peek-a-boo views of Mt. Benson: this is an outdoor experience not to be missed. Commonly known to locals as The Abyss, Extension Ridge – a 4.5km section of The Great Trail (formerly known as the Trans Canada Trail) – is a stunning hidden gem in Nanaimo and a favourite playground for mountain bikers, hikers and dog walkers alike. A Brief History Of The Abyss The trail is not only rich in curious points of interest and picturesque views but history too! According […]

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5 Photo-Worthy Waterfront Parks In Nanaimo

January 7, 2020

Among the many things that make this city a special place, the sheer number of waterfront parks in Nanaimo makes it worthy of much coastal exploration. From long, meandering trails to short walks to pebble beaches, these coastal gems are a perfect afternoon activity for anyone yearning for the ocean air. Here are some our favourite waterfront parks in Nanaimo: Neck Point Park Neck Point Park is a gorgeous 36-acre waterfront park found at the end of Morningside Drive, just off of Hammond Bay Road. Beachcombers rejoice! Neck Point has four beaches for the public to explore; Finn Beach, Indian […]

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The Harbour City’s Best: Sushi in Nanaimo

Nanaimo is the place for superb, even sometimes extravagant, sushi. This city boasts a wide variety of cuisine. However, there are few dishes Nanaimo does better than this traditional Japanese food. From downtown to the North end, it’s a guarantee there’s a nearby sushi spot worth its weight in Sake. Firehouse Grill Once filled with firetrucks and equipment, Nanaimo’s old firehall is now home to a high-end and stylish restaurant. Located downtown Nanaimo on Victoria Street, the Firehouse Grill is the perfect place to grab a bite on your way to enjoy the delights downtown has to offer. Here, where […]

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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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