With spring shining a light on longer days and the gradual lifting of restrictions, there’s no better time to get out and explore our own backyard.
And after a decidedly challenging year for restaurants, attractions, tour operators, hotels and others, it’s never been more important.
Of course, from daytrips to overnight escapes, with so many Nanaimo-area possibilities, exploring close to home offers some pretty exciting prospects indeed!
Here are some of our favourite local pleasures and pastimes – what are yours?
- Farm to fork: Central Vancouver Island enjoys a delicious diversity of growers and producers, with many welcoming visitors or sharing their goods at local farm markets. Delight in the antics of the baby goats at Yellow Point Farms (or the Yellow Point Alpacas!), learn about bee-keeping at Fredrich’s Honey, or pick up the ingredients for a picnic lunch or a locally sourced dinner from the farmers market.
- The great outdoors: One of BC’s most picturesque locations is also home to some stellar opportunities to get out and explore. Some, like Muffeo-Sutton Park are well-known to locals city-wide, but others take you a little further off the beaten track, like the Mt. Benson Loop and the Ammonite Falls Trail. Some, like the Cable Bay Nature Trail, offer an easy excursion the whole family can enjoy, while others, like the Abyss/Extension Ridge, are a little more challenging but so worth the effort. Where’s your happy place?
- Adrenaline rush: Infuse your adventures with a little adrenaline – dive beneath the ocean with a scuba diving tour to an off-shore artificial reef, try your hand at stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking, take a catamaran adventure or cast your line on a deep sea fishing tour. On land, take to the treetops at Wildplay, where heart-pounding adventures range from bungee jumping to zip-lining. Local trails are also a hit with cyclists, whether tackling the rugged single-track or cruising cross-country.
- Sip & Savour: After a day full of adventure, quench your thirst for adventure with one of Nanaimo’s purveyors of flavour. Pull up a chair at Longwood Brewpub, sip the locally inspired pours at Wolf Brewing Company, sample small-batch offerings at Cliffside Brewing – Nanaimo’s newest microbrewery – or experience the award-winning White Sails Brewing. Of course, wine enthusiasts will find a lot to love, too. Sample French oak-aged vintages in the Chateau Wolff Estate tasting room, or relax on the patio at Millstone Estate Winery, backdropped by the acres of vineyard.
- Historic experiences: Explore the Snuneymuxw people’s deep connection with the land with a summer sail to Saysutshun (Newcastle Island), take in 24 exhibits focusing on Canada’s military past at the Vancouver Island Military Museum, or enjoy a self-guided downtown walking tour past some of the city’s storied locations. While downtown, stop by the Nanaimo Museum to explore a replica coal mine, learn about the life of the early Snuneymuxw First Nation, and explore the origins of the Nanaimo’s World Championship Bathtub Race.
No matter your interests and passions, you’ll find so much to experience and explore here in Nanaimo. And remember, as public health guidelines evolve, locals and Island visitors alike are urged to follow current safety protocols.
To plan your summer staycation, visit tourismnanaimo.com today!