There’s nothing like a vacation or the adventure of discovering a new destination to bring you and your loved one closer together. Cozy restaurants, beautiful boutiques, scenic views and live music, Nanaimo is a surprisingly romantic destination for your getaway.
After check-in, head out for a day of exploring – we think you’ll find our unique neighbourhoods and shops unexpectedly charming.
Start your day by picking up a warm drink and a baked good for your morning of wandering from either Drip Coffee, Buzz Coffee House or Remedy Coffee Bar. Make your way to the harbourfront walkway to stroll hand-in-hand along the shoreline. This paved path captures the essence of the city, from picturesque seascapes to the local charm of restaurants and shops.
With its cobbled walkways, hidden shops, sweet treats and clothing stores, there’s something for every palate in the Old City Quarter neighbourhood. Visit Lobelia’s Lair for a couple’s spiritual reading. If you’d like to keep your future a surprise for the time being, still plan a visit to browse their gifts; pick up a candle, incense and some crystals to have your own spiritual experience at home.
Around the corner is Windowseat Books, where you could pick up a good book for the evening once you’re tucked in bed; we suggest reaching for a steamy read! Peruse the area a little longer, relax at Bocca Café or White Rabbit Coffee; both are good spots to decompress with an afternoon pick-me-up.
Located within the historic Merchant’s Bank building, The Vault Café is a bohemian, laid-back establishment that is hard to miss with their vibrant pink exterior. You can’t continue on your way until you take a photo! What says love like a bright pink backdrop and you two cuddling in centre frame? You might want to pop in to check what live events they have scheduled for the weekend; they’re known to host a variety of talented artists.
It’s time for lunch! Visit The Nest Bistro or Gabriel’s Café for a delicious local dish – both restaurants serve up fresh food and great hospitality. Or perhaps head to The Arbutus Lounge at Arbutus Distillery. They pair spirit tastings with pizza from their in-house stone pizza oven.
Commemorate your trip by shopping for the perfect memento at the many great local stores: Island-ish, Timber + Gray, Local by Lucid, and Artzi Stuff.
After a day of exploring, get ready to heat up the night! Entice both your taste buds and your sense of romance over dinner at Astera’s or La Stella Trattoria. Both restaurants are passionate about fresh ingredients and have sensational menus.
You can either call it a day and return to your hotel or take in some live music in an intimate setting at one of the many venues in town The Corner Lounge, The Vault Café, The Queens, or The Nanaimo Bar.
Start your day with breakfast in bed or maybe venture out to Mon Petit Choux, Coco Café or Gabriel’s Cafe, where you can sip on your favourite hot beverage and enjoy a sit-down meal.
A great way to bond as a couple is by getting active in nature, and there’s no shortage of trails in and around Nanaimo! Our outdoor playground balances a peaceful environment with active offerings for every fitness level. A few suggestions would be Ammonite Falls, Neck Point Park or Pipers Lagoon. These coastal and forested gems are a few of our go-to places to soak in the natural beauty.
For the art lovers who would prefer to stay indoors, explore the work by local and emerging artists at the Nanaimo Art Gallery, Gallery Merrick, or Hill’s Native Art. Or plan ahead and see what special events the Port Theatre has scheduled while you’re in town.
After working your legs and fuelling your mind it’s time to feed your belly. Cozy up at Craft Fare, with a menu full of comfort food, you’re bound to find a favourite, swing by the relaxed eatery of Baby Salsa Mexican Restaurant, or head to Lighthouse Bistro and Pub, where they serve up fresh and local pub fare.
Chase your lunch down with one of our world-famous Nanaimo bars! Visitors and locals alike love this sweet treat – pick up a Nanaimo Bar Trail guide to taste your way around. Hearthstone Bakery and Mon Petit Choux are good places to start.
We can probably all agree that one of the more restful and romantic ways to spend an afternoon is being pampered at the spa. Try the treatments at Nanaimo Elements Holistic Centre & Spa, Pure Spa, or Kiyo Salon & Day Spa.
Would you rather sip than soak? There are libation options a plenty! White Sails Brewing, Wolf Brewing, Cliffside Brewing and Longwood Brewing & Distillery are all great spots to taste the local craft beer. Don’t like beer? Sample local wine at Chateau Wolff Estate Winery (only open Saturdays in the winter!) or Millstone Estate Winery.
After all your activities have worked you up an appetite once again, there are plenty of tasty options to choose from: Eve Olive, Nanaimo’s first vegan restaurant, the newly opened Melange restaurant, or sit by the fire at the longtime eatery Crow and Gate Pub.
We hope you enjoy your weekend in Nanaimo! Be sure to tag #ExploreNanaimo in any of your favourite snaps!
Book Your Stay Now
The Inn on Long Lake is more than just a place to spend the night in our newly renovated guest rooms—your experience starts from the moment you step onto your own private balcony and let your gaze stretch across the tree-lined waters of Long Lake.
20 acres of rural hospitality. The comforts of home, nature's bounty, and fine Island country living.
The Best Western Dorchester Hotel is conveniently located right downtown near the bustling Nanaimo Harbour, offering excellent views, professional service, immaculate rooms and extensive hotel features for your enjoyment.
Open year round, Rondalyn Resort offers fun for the whole family! Full-service sites and charming camping cabins.
2 bedrooms w/ ensuites, kitchen & living area with harbour views. Garden patio, laundry, parking. Private entrance. $95 - 1 bedroom or $160 for both.
Close to ferries, city centre, bus route, golf, bowling, bike trails, lake fishing and swimming, nature trails. Amenities incl. full/partial/unserviced hookups, wireless internet, games room, store, boat rentals, playground, hot showers and laundry facility.
Nice Rooms - Great People When you stay at Travelodge Nanaimo you can look forward to excellent service, a comfy room and a price that will make you smile. Located only 2 minutes from the BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal, and historic downtown Nanaimo.
Bluebird Motel is centrally located just 5 minutes away from many of Nanaimo's favourite spots such as Terminal Park shopping centre (McDonalds, Starbucks, Cobbs Bread, TD Bank, Burger Kings, etc), Departure Bay Ferry Terminal and Marina.
Luxury accommodation 1050 sq ft ~self catering Salish Suite, private entrance - or deliciously original Gourmet Fusions~ B&B. Both have private balcony views of the Sea, fine linens, spacious and immaculate bathrooms, and comfortable living space. Views of Departure Bay
Located in the heart of Nanaimo's Arts, Shopping & Harbourfront district, the Coast Bastion Hotel is Nanaimo’s premiere hotel and conference centre. Relax in Minnoz Steak & Seafood Restaurant and Lounge, and/or our onsite spa and salon.
The Grand Hotel Nanaimo is located in the north-end of Nanaimo in British Columbia. We are a 72-room property featuring Traditional, Deluxe, Executive, and Honeymoon suites that offer the most modern technological amenities.
The Marinaside Resort has the most luxurious hotel in Nanaimo. We have the largest hotel suites on Vancouver Island. Our Presidential suites are 700+- square feet, has a full hi-end kitchen (not kitchenette), complete with cooking wares.
Nanaimo’s Painted Turtle Guesthouse is an accommodation for travelers to Vancouver Island and Nanaimo, providing unrivaled amenities and a home-away-from-home whether you are staying for one night, a week or a month. We offer a variety of flexible accommodation options.
"A lakeside retreat in an old growth forest in the middle of thriving Nanaimo " Use our local knowledge to enhance your visit to Vancouver Island and use Long Lake as your base for day tours to Island destinations.
Oceanfront camping on scenic Gabriola Island. Walking distance from the ferries and close to the village center. Kayaking rentals and tours run right out of the park!
Descanso Bay Regional Park is one of those undiscovered gems.
We offer immaculate, spacious, and luxurious short-term accommodations to both Vancouver Island locals, and visitors alike. Our affordable rental homes are comfortable and fully furnished, providing all the necessities you would find in your own home.
Closest to BC Ferries Departure Bay! Dave and Marlene warmly welcome you to our spotless clean, comfy, 1 bedroom oceanview suites featuring a separate bedroom and full kitchens with full size stoves and ovens. We also offer cozy and economical studios.
Ken built WurHere B&B in 2007. There is the main house with 2 separate suites attached. Each suite is fully self-contained with a private entrance and a private deck area.
The Waterfront Suites and Marina offers residence-style accommodation for guests visiting Nanaimo for business, university studies or pleasure. Originally designed as bachelor suites, our rooms are very spacious and come equipped with full kitchens and private balconies
Days Inn Harbourview is centrally located in the city of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
Visit Page's Resort & Marina on beautiful Gabriola Island and you will be welcomed to secluded, fully equipped seaside cottages, a pristine campground surrounded by forests and offering ocean views, and a full service marina providing quiet nightly moorage.
Family-operated,centrally located, minutes from Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. One & two bedroom kitchenette units.
UPSCALE, AFFORDABLE We promise to spoil you with welcome tapas, quality linens, chocolates on your pillow and sumptuous artful breakfasts. We are a close walk to the ocean, the bistro, and mid island. Enjoy the full upper floor of our home. Check us out on Trip Advisor
Getaway accommodations on an enchanting waterfront acreage. 12 spacious guestrooms plus a self contained cottage. Kiwi fruit grown here too. Gazebo in the vineyard, pets on approval, great for retreat groups, reunions, weddings. 20 minutes south of Nanaimo.
53 acres of forested waterfront, with 300 spacious sites and premium facilities. Multi award winning park. Minutes to town, in a world of its own!
Providing modern comforts and excellent service, just a short drive from the Nanaimo Airport and the Nanaimo Ferry Terminal. Ideally located off the Trans-Canada Highway, making it easy to explore the island has to offer!
The Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) was founded in 1995 at Wildwood Ecoforest, and is dedicated to the principles and practices of ecoforestry. We have stewarded Wildwood Ecoforest since 2001 and now hold the property in trust on behalf of the public.
Value Lodge Motel is one of the largest motels located on Vancouver island. At our lodge we offer comfort at an affordable price.
Located in the heart of North Nanaimo’s shopping district, the Best Western Northgate offers a warm friendly atmosphere with all the conveniences of a home away from home. Offering cleanliness and comfort in 72 newly renovated rooms.
VIU Residences provides comfortable, affordable and convenient accommodation including breakfast and Wi-Fi. Close to transportation hubs and sports facilities, we offer suites, apartments and dorms with kitchens and living space.
This lovely 40 acre campground features 100 beautiful campsites, 52 of them fully serviced RV sites, that will remind you of the camping trips of your childhood. Venture out into the countryside, and enjoy the Vancouver Island Wilderness.
Spectacular Executive Oceanfront B & B at Rocky Point. Gourmet Breakfasts, private decks, hot tub overlooking the ocean, luxurious king beds. Enjoy our fireplaces, games room, cappuccino bar, flat screen tv & WiFi. There are extensive gardens, wildlife, sea lions.
Overlooking Bowen Park, this 2-storey budget motel is a 4-minute walk from the waterfront, a 15-minute walk from Downtown and 2 km from BC Ferries Departure Bay Terminal. Simple rooms have Internet access, TVs, minifridges, microwaves and coffeemaking facilities.
Make your day trips from the elegant, spectacular harbour view rooms and suites of the BEST WESTERN Dorchester located in Nanaimo's city centre.
Stay at our non-smoking Ramada Nanaimo hotel to get the most out of your trip to Vancouver Island. Our Nanaimo hotel near Vancouver Island Conference Centre offers easy access to the BC ferry terminals and popular area attractions.
Located easy walking distance from Downtown Nanaimo, our motel offers rooms and suites with kitchenettes, air-conditioning, cable TV and free high-speed wi-fi. We're pet-friendly, have our own laundry facilities and tons of free parking right at your doorstep too.
Conveniently located near downtown Nanaimo, the Colonial Motel is within walking distance to the Departure Bay ferry terminal, Maffeo Sutton Park, and many other prime locations.
Your budget will think you skimped by finding a cheap hotel – but you’ll know better as you enjoy the comforts of this motel and the convenience of being in the centre of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.
You will be the only guests. Private entrance, a sitting area with your cold breakfast and a microwave. Separate bedroom with a queen size bed and fold out cote. A four piece ensuite. Fully fenced back yard with huge cedar trees. Most pets welcome.
Located 2 blocks from the Old City center, Harbour Seawalk, and “The Great Canadian Casino” at Port Place Mall. 28 rooms with a variety of bed combinations. Air conditioned. One 2 bedroom family suite with full kitchen. Small pets welcome at no extra charge.
Nanaimo’s best value motel! Total of 42 comfortable rooms Plenty of FREE parking Licensed Restaurant (Pier 97) on premises FREE Cable TV FREE in-room coffee/tea FREE in-room toiletries FREE in-room WiFi FREE wake-up calls Telephone and clock radio
We have been offering guests a simply clean, quiet and comfortable accommodation with sea view since May 2015. There are two guest's rooms and a 450 square feet lounge in the guesthouse. All units have a private bathroom and views of the sea and garden.