Nanaimo is a thriving coastal city with a wide variety of activities for families looking for fun or adventure enthusiasts seeking life-changing outdoor experiences.
With a flourishing art scene, endless hiking and biking trails, a variety of restaurants and a very mild climate, Nanaimo is the perfect place for the ultimate Vancouver Island experience—it all starts here!
Get outside and explore
Jordan GeisbrechtOutdoor enthusiasts will love Vancouver Island’s year-round lush landscape. Easy access to the ocean and forest mean there are plenty of fun things to do: Neck Point Park with its scenic and natural features make it a stunning walk along the shoreline. Keep your eyes on the water for seals, seabirds and sometimes even orcas.
Ammonite Falls is an authentic West Coast experience with a forest trail leading to a cascading waterfall that flows in winter and spring. The steady roar of water against the Douglas fir backdrop is unforgettable.
Bowen Park is stunning in the fall and winter seasons with winding trails along the Millstone River and a duck pond to explore.
History and culture thrive here
Jordan GeisbrechtThe Nanaimo Art Gallery always has an exciting exhibition on the go. The Nanaimo Museum and Nanaimo Military Museum offer self-guided tours so history buffs can fully immerse in the area’s unique history.
Morden Colliery Historic Provincial Park is an easy walking trail rich with coal mine history including building remnants and the only remaining coal tipple on Vancouver Island. Download the OnThisSpot app to taking a self-guided walking tour of Nanaimo.
Take a leisurely walk through the Old City Quarter to explore the abundance of unique shops and this special place’s arts and culture. The pace here is laid back and friendly—the perfect spot to enjoy coffee and a Nanaimo Bar!
Sip, savour and enjoy
Jordan GeisbrechtNanaimo is home to some of Vancouver Island’s best farm-to-fork options, including a new concept for The Modern Cafe. The Nest Bistro, Melange, The Mahle House or Asteras are also delicious options with innovative menus. If a great breakfast or brunch is on your list, Gabriel’s Cafe is a local favourite.
Treat yourself to a sweet experience along the Nanaimo Bar Trail with dozens of unique takes on the traditional Nanaimo-born dessert. There are vegan and gluten free options, too!
If you love a great cocktail (or coffee!) and live music, Minnoz Restaurant and Lounge, The Vault Cafe or the Nanaimo Bar are the places to be. Popular downtown Ale Trail stops where you can sample a flight of local craft beers are White Sails Brewing and Cliffside Brewing. The Longwood Brew Pub, Wolf Brewing, Arbutus Distillery and Longwood Brewery are a short drive from downtown.
Nanaimo is the perfectly accessible and affordable starting point for your next Vancouver Island adventure. With cycling, hiking, shopping, learning, snacking and more to explore, it all starts here!
Start planning your Nanaimo getaway at tourismnanaimo.com/StartHere