Located along the east coast of Vancouver Island, BC is the beautiful city of Nanaimo. Home to just under 100,000 residents, Naniamo offers varied landscapes. A vibrant and exciting city, Nanaimo is full of things to see and do. Here is a list of some of the best things to do whether you are visiting, living in or moving to Nanaimo, BC.
#1 – Visit The Harbourfront Walkway
The Harbourfront Walkway runs along the Newcastle Channel and downtown waterfront areas. The multi-use trail provides some of the best views in Nanaimo and is dotted with popular shops, restaurants and more.
#2 – Whale Watching and Sightseeing Cruise
There are many companies that offer whale watching tours in the area. You can choose from a variety of options including scuba diving, kayaking and more. Visitors jump at the chance for the once-in-a-lifetime experience to enjoy with family and friends. Whether you live in or are planning to move to Nanaimo, this is one attraction that everyone must try once.
The Nanaimo Art Gallery is home to an impressive collection of formal, contemporary art exhibits. Their mission is to create a welcoming environment where everyone can enjoy art in all forms. Found in the heart of the city, Nanaimo Art Gallery hosts a large number of community events, exhibitions and education programs throughout the year.
#4 – The Old City Quarter
Located downtown, the Old City Quarter is home to much of the city’s rich history. Visitors can enjoy a slew of restaurants, shops and spas which are mixed throughout the scenic area. Buildings found in the Old City Quarter date back to the late 1800s and early 1900s and showcase some of the city’s rich history.
#5 – Pipers Lagoon Park
Nestled along the waterfront of Nanaimo, Pipers Lagoon Park is a popular place for those looking to get away from the noise and bustle of city life. Featuring walking trails, beaches and much more, the park is perfect for getting back to nature. An 8-hectare park, Pipers Lagoon offers views of historic Shack Island and the southern point of Neck Point Park.
The Nanaimo Museum is home to the area’s largest collection of historical artifacts and documents. Visitors can explore through a variety of galleries and exhibits including the Maritime Museum, the Coal Mining Exhibit and much more. Found in vibrant downtown Nanaimo, the museum is nestled among cafes, bistros and one-of-a-kind shops.
#7 – Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park
Located in Newcastle Channel, this ferry-accessible island is home to many serene and beautiful trails. You can also enjoy a wide variety of beaches and much more. Spanning 363 hectares, Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park is located next to a commercial area that is home to shopping, restaurants and entertainment options.
Nestled in the Nanaimo River Valley, Ammonite Falls is a true hidden gem. Visitors can enjoy some of the most spectacular falls and hikes throughout this region which includes many waterfalls. The trail itself is roughly 5.5kms (3.4 miles) and offers visitors beautiful scenery and a chance to reconnect with nature.
#9 – Gabriola Island
Gabriola Island, often referred to as Isle of the Arts, is located just minutes from downtown Nanaimo via ferry. The island features some of the best beaches in all of British Columbia as well as a variety of other attractions. Located on the island are over 70 artist studios which routinely host a series of events, shows, live performances and more. A calm and tranquil escape from city life, Gabriola Island is a must-see.
Found at the foothills of Mt. Benson, Westwood Lake Park is one of Nanaimo’s most popular recreational areas. Regardless of the time of year, visitors and residents alike flock to the area of its well-groomed 5.1km trail network, beautiful beach, dog park and children’s play area. Providing a tranquil and scenic escape from the city, Westwood Lake Park is a well-deserved favorite.
#11 – Golf Courses | Mini Putt
There are many golf courses located throughout Nanaimo which feature both public and private options. The city also has a few mini-putt courses which are great for those looking to take a break from the beach. Some courses found throughout the area include Nanaimo Golf Club, Pryde Vista Golf Course, and Beban Park Golf Course and Driving Range.
Nanaimo is a beautiful city that has lots of things to do. Whether you are a resident or planning to visit, the city is an exciting and vibrant place to spend time with family and friends. Whether it be a simple day of shopping and dining throughout the historic district or venturing to one of the expansive and scenic parks, Nanaimo has something for everyone.
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