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NanaimoCanada

Take a ferry to one of British Columbia’s oldest cities and enjoy its cosmopolitan mix of a college town, a waterfront resort and an old mining boomtown.

Nanaimo is Vancouver Island’s second-largest city and a convenient access point for the island’s natural landscape. Located on the east coast, Nanaimo is nestled between island’s mountainous interior and the scenic Strait of Georgia. Explore Nanaimo to experience a perfect balance of Vancouver Island’s history, local culture and beautiful scenery.

Stroll along the Harbourfront Walkway to see the lively city center crowded around Nanaimo’s port. Here, alongside seafood restaurants and delightful teashops, you will find the Bastion, one of the last remaining outposts of the Hudson Bay Company. Visit this mid-19th-century tower at noon to hear the midday cannon. Browse the intriguing exhibits in the nearby Nanaimo Museum to learn about the city’s history as a coal mining boomtown.

Enjoy one of the mildest climates in Canada and swim at Nanaimo’s picturesque beaches. Try diving off the island’s coast and see beautiful multihued reefs growing around the wreck sites of three ships. Spot octopus, sea lions and eels in the clear waters.

Take a passenger ferry to one of the islands around Nanaimo Harbor. Newcastle Island is a small wooded landmass only a 10-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo. Wander the beaches, check out the tide pools at low tide and try local seafood at the island’s bistro. The larger Gabriola Island, known as the “Isle of the Arts,” is a great place to explore Nanaimo’s artisan culture. Tour the small galleries and buy souvenirs at a boutique.

Head inland from Nanaimo to discover the impressive mountains and valleys of Vancouver Island’s interior. Take a wine-tasting tour of the Cowichan Valley south of the city. Explore the forested trails of the western mountains, crowned by Mount Bastion. Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a favorite destination due to its beautiful waterfalls among wooded canyons.

Nanaimo is located 34 miles (55 kilometers) from Vancouver across the Strait of Georgia. Reach Vancouver Island by ferry or plane and make this scenic mining town your first stop.

Top Hotels in Nanaimo

THE Beach Club Resort
THE Beach Club Resort
3.5 out of 5
181 Beachside Drive, Parksville, BC
The price is CA $188 per night from Oct 30 to Oct 31

Located in Regional District of Nanaimo, this romantic hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Vancouver Island University Parksville Campus and Parksville Beach. Rathtrevor ...

4.3/5Excellent! (760 reviews)

"was awesome, great room, great view, and the weather was nice. will go back."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 22, 2020

THE Beach Club Resort
Coast Bastion Hotel
Coast Bastion Hotel
3.5 out of 5
11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC
The price is CA $132 per night from Oct 29 to Oct 30

Located in Regional District of Nanaimo, this eco-friendly hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Bastion and 2.2 mi (3.6 km) from Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. Nanaimo ...

4.4/5Excellent! (948 reviews)

"Easy to find. Nice location down by the harbour. Spacious room with a great view."…"

Reviewed on Oct. 27, 2020

Coast Bastion Hotel
Days Inn by Wyndham Nanaimo
Days Inn by Wyndham Nanaimo
2.5 out of 5
809 Island Hwy S, Nanaimo, BC
The price is CA $115 per night from Oct 30 to Oct 31

Located in Regional District of Nanaimo, this hotel is within 2 miles (3 km) of Nanaimo Museum, Bastion and Protection Island. Newcastle Island Marine Provincial ...

3.8/5Good! (961 reviews)

"Good. The front desk was kind and nice. I was surprised with the deposit money for any broken things during your stay. Otherwise i love our one night stay.😉😊"…"

Reviewed on Oct. 13, 2020

Days Inn by Wyndham Nanaimo
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Vacation Rentals in Nanaimo

Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort
Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort
3 out of 5
1175 Resort Drive, Parksville, BC
The price is CA $129 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Located in Regional District of Nanaimo, this condo is within a 10-minute walk of Parksville Visitor Centre and Craig Heritage Park and Museum. Riptide Lagoon ...

3.9/5Very Good! (256 reviews)

"The location was beautiful Very close to the ocean"…"

Reviewed on Oct. 17, 2020

Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort
Ocean Sands Resort
Ocean Sands Resort
3 out of 5
1165-Resort Drive, Parksville, BC
The price is CA $149 per night from Oct 30 to Oct 31

Located in Regional District of Nanaimo, this beachfront condo is in a provincial park and within 1 mi (2 km) of Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf and Rathtrevor ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (242 reviews)

"Beautiful view. Hosts are so helpful. Very peaceful here!"…"

Reviewed on Oct. 6, 2020

Ocean Sands Resort
Shorewater Resort
Shorewater Resort
3 out of 5
3295 Island Hwy. West, Qualicum Beach, BC
The price is CA $107 per night from Nov 1 to Nov 2

Offering direct access to the beach, this Regional District of Nanaimo condo is 1.9 mi (3.1 km) from Heritage Forest and within 9 mi (15 km) of Eaglecrest Golf ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (171 reviews)

"Great location on the beach, clean and everything that you need. We had two grandkids with us and each had their own bed, so they were happy. Easy check in and out."…"

Reviewed on Aug. 19, 2020

Shorewater Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Nanaimo

Top things to do in Nanaimo

Reviews of Nanaimo

4

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
178
5 - Excellent 25.64841498559078%
4 - Good
376
4 - Good 54.178674351585016%
3 - Okay
119
3 - Okay 17.146974063400577%
2 - Disappointing
17
2 - Disappointing 2.4495677233429394%
1 - Terrible
4
1 - Terrible 0.5763688760806917%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Mar 25, 2020

We visited when the Corona virus issue was just becoming serious...so we didn't get to shop or visit any tourist destinations but we did see many parks and beaches that were just gorgeous

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 23, 2020

Neck Point Park was very beautiful. A great many trails to walk

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 15, 2020

When in Nanaimo, we like to stop at Hearthstone Artisan Bakery for an unbeatable Nanaimo Bar treat! This time we bought classic, peanut butter and Irish cream. Judges were tied -- all three choices were delicious!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

Mar 2, 2020

Drove through the town so no comments

4/5 - Good

Tia

Feb 27, 2020

Nice small town

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Feb 23, 2020

Nice place

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Nanaimo

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