If you have a car, you can drive to Nanaimo in only an hour and a half.
Alternatively, you can take the Vancouver Island Connector Bus from Victoria to Nanaimo. Ask the front desk at Ocean Island to book you in as Ocean Island guests get 10% off trips with the BC Ferries Connector.
Nanaimo is a city and ferry port on the east coast of Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada. At its heart, the Nanaimo Museum displays exhibits on the city’s industries and indigenous peoples. Near the Harbourfront Walkway, the Bastion is an 1853 wooden tower with cannon firings in summer. Shops and cafes fill the Old City Quarter. Offshore, on Newcastle Island, trails lead to beaches and First Nations sites
Ever heard of the Nanaimo bar? If you haven’t, you’re in for a treat (literally!). The Nanaimo bar, which is a no-bake cookie bar with custard filling, is a Canadian dessert named after Nanaimo. When in Nanaimo, one should eat a Nanaimo Bar! Lucky for you, we tasted them all and know where to find the good ones! Go to Serious Coffee or Perkin’s Coffee for a traditional bar, but if you are in for something special, try it deep fried at Pirate Chips.
1. Protection Island
Home to bunches of hippie cabins, two regional parks, and one floating pub, walking around Protection Island is a fun way to spend an afternoon. The locals love to chat with travellers, too.
2. Newcastle Island
A great place for a summer picnic, Newcastle Island is a short boat ride from downtown Nanaimo. Go for a short hike, check out the marine life, and visit the old dance hall.
3. Westwood Lake Park
A beautiful park with trails all around Westwood Lake. Of course it comes with great views of mountains and in summer you can go for a swim!
Old City Quarter
The Old City Quarter is located in the old downtown core of Nanaimo. There are some lovely local businesses there together with great food places.