Nanaimo

Travel Guide
Port Alberni featuring a marina

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.

Ramada by Wyndham Nanaimo
Ramada by Wyndham Nanaimo
2.5 out of 5
315 Rosehill Street, Nanaimo, BC
The price is CA $140 per night from Oct 1 to Oct 1
Situated in Nanaimo, this hotel is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Bastion and 1.3 mi (2.1 km) from Departure Bay Ferry Terminal. Nanaimo Museum and Nanaimo Regional General ...
4.1/5Very Good! (965 reviews)
"This property is ok. It’s not in a great neighbourhood and there are no decent amenities within walking distance. If a decent price point is what you are after, the hotel is clean seems to be well kept."

Reviewed on Sep. 15, 2021

Ramada by Wyndham Nanaimo
Coast Bastion Hotel
Coast Bastion Hotel
3.5 out of 5
11 Bastion Street, Nanaimo, BC
The price is CA $167 per night from Oct 14 to Oct 14
Located in the heart 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 Museum ...
4.4/5Excellent! (954 reviews)
"It would have been nice to have breakfast included and free parking, however, parking is very cheap compared to other hotels, about $9 a day. Balcony was very small but the view was fabulous. Parking was plentiful in the underground parking that is provided by the hotel, and connected to the hotel. ..."

Reviewed on Sep. 22, 2021

Coast Bastion Hotel
Best Western Northgate Inn
Best Western Northgate Inn
2.5 out of 5
6450 Metral Drive, Nanaimo, BC
The price is CA $144 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 8
Situated in a shopping district, this hotel is 0.4 mi (0.6 km) from Woodgrove Shopping Centre and 1.8 mi (2.9 km) from Long Lake. Departure Bay Ferry Terminal ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (658 reviews)
"Room was huge"

Reviewed on Sep. 18, 2021

Best Western Northgate Inn
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.
Private 1BR Suite Ocean & Landscape Views
Private 1BR Suite Ocean & Landscape Views
Nanaimo, BC
The price is CA $115 per night from Sep 25 to Sep 25
Located in the heart of Nanaimo, this vacation home is within 3 mi (5 km) of Pipers Lagoon Park, Departure Bay Beach, and Long Lake. Woodgrove Shopping Centre ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
"This was a great vacation home :) It’s in a great neighbourhood."

Reviewed on Aug. 6, 2021

Private 1BR Suite Ocean & Landscape Views
Breath Taking Views of Nanaimo's Harbour Front! From Sea Planes to BC Ferries...
Breath Taking Views of Nanaimo's Harbour Front! From Sea Planes to BC Ferries...
Nanaimo, BC
This family-friendly vacation home is located in the city center, within 1 mi (2 km) of Bastion and Nanaimo Museum. Nanaimo Aquatic Centre and Beach Estates ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (23 reviews)
Lovely
"Enjoyed our stay in a lovely, private home. Our host was very accommodating helping us find secure storage for our bikes, and responded very quickly to our questions.Will definitely go back."

Reviewed on Sep. 16, 2021

Breath Taking Views of Nanaimo's Harbour Front! From Sea Planes to BC Ferries...
Oceanfront Suite - Just minutes away from downtown Nanaimo! Special offers
Oceanfront Suite - Just minutes away from downtown Nanaimo! Special offers
Nanaimo, BC
This family-friendly Nanaimo condo building is located by the ocean, within 1 mi (2 km) of Departure Bay Ferry Terminal and Beach Estates Park. Nanaimo Museum ...
4.9/5Exceptional! (35 reviews)
Great location
"Great location, nicely stocked kitchen, clean place and great communication"

Reviewed on Aug. 26, 2021

Oceanfront Suite - Just minutes away from downtown Nanaimo! Special offers
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.

Top things to do in Nanaimo

Cities near Nanaimo