As the weather warms up, the thriving coastal city of Nanaimo is open for fun with endless safe and exciting things to see and do!
There’s something for everyone in Nanaimo, from the family looking for kid-friendly activities to the outdoor enthusiasts seeking adventure.
With a thriving art and history scene, endless hiking trails, a smorgasbord of outdoor activities, and a variety of restaurants fit for any foodie, it’s the perfect spot for a weekend getaway — that’s not too far away.
Newcastle Island. Photo provided by Nanaimo Hospitality Association.
History buffs are in luck with the ease of self-guided walking tours, courtesy of the OnThisSpot app.
With 400 photo opportunities and six walking tours across downtown Nanaimo, Saysutshun (Newcastle Island), and Departure Bay, anyone with a smartphone can peel back the years in an unprecedented new way and discover how the city has evolved over 170 tumultuous years!
For the art fans, the Nanaimo Art Gallery is nestled among intriguing boutiques and cafés, just waiting to be explored. There’s always a fascinating exhibition going on, so make sure you check out their website before planning your trip!
The Old City Quarter is one of the many treasures of Nanaimo. Take a leisurely walk one afternoon, explore the abundance of unique shops and discover the art, history, and culture of this special place. The pace here is laid back and friendly, so grab a coffee and enjoy!
Wolf Brewing. Photo provided by Nanaimo Hospitality Association.
For the adults, there are four local breweries open with their distinct flavours and selection: Wolf Brewing, White Sails Brewing, Cliffside Brewing, and Longwood Brewing. All these breweries have excellent protocols in place for social distancing and takeout options, so choose a designated driver and work your way down!
For a sweeter experience that’ll satisfy the whole family, try out the Nanaimo Bar Trail.
With dozens of unique takes on the Nanaimo Bar, along with other edible and non-edible versions, including martinis, pedicures, soaps, and more.
If you’re a fan of the outdoors and adventure, you’ll be in good company here. Nanaimo is home to a side of the west coast you won’t want to leave. If fishing is your thing, Westwood Lake and Colliery Dam Park are stocked with trout and offer a few great spots to drop a line for an afternoon. You can easily pick up a freshwater fishing licence from Cabela’s on the way.
For the adventure lovers, check out Neck Point Park to experience the true character of Nanaimo. Known for its historic, scenic, and natural features, this is a stunning walk along the shoreline and through winding trails of Garry Oak groves. Make sure you bring your camera for this one!
Ammonite Falls is another excellent choice for a more moderate hike that’s enjoyable any time of year. The falls are named for the collection of ammonite fossils in the area, including one that might be the largest ever found on Vancouver Island!
Cold-water snorkelling is popular among locals and visitors alike, and there are three amazing diving outfits to choose from: Sundown Diving, Sink or Swim Scuba, and Nanaimo Dive Outfitters. The best way to spend a Saturday is slipping into a wetsuit, booties, gloves, and a mask and exploring the local waters.
Visit the city on the water and soak in that west coast living!
Head to openforfun.ca to plan your visit to Nanaimo.