Ten things to do in Nanaimo

Ten things to do in Nanaimo

A floating Pub, bathtub races, Nanaimo Bars and more

Located on the shores of the Salish Sea, on traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation, Nanaimo’s rich history and culture, as well as natural amenities, make it an attractive destination for vacationers. Consider exploring this guide, choosing your favourites from our suggestions, and finding more that we can add to the list in future editions. Share your adventures with us on social media, using the hashtag #ExploreNanaimo.

Photo by Sean Fenzil

Enjoy a Nanaimo Bar

Nanaimo feels pride in its signature dessert and enjoys Nanaimo bars in all their many forms. “It’s kind of this iconic Canadian dessert,” says Diedre Tansey, food blogger. “When you get the texture and get the flavours right it is just amazing.” Cafés, bakeries, restaurants and breweries have tinkered with the treat in some fun ways to co-operate on creating the Nanaimo Bar Trail. tourismnanaimo.com

Watch world-class bathtub racing

There’s one mode of ocean transport, more than any other,that people identify with Nanaimo – bathtubs.The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race is the main event every year at the Nanaimo Marine Festival. The weekend consists of a series of events, with concerts, street fairs and other family activities, a Sailpast parade, fireworks and more leading up to the great bathtub race on Sunday morning.“Bathtub weekend is iconic,” says Greg Peacock, Loyal Nanaimo Bathtub Society commodore.This year’s race will be held July 21, when skippers piloting boats made from tubs will attempt to navigate a 58-kilometre course starting and ending at Maffeo Sutton Park. The Nanaimo Marine Festival is July 19-21. bathtubbing.com

Photo by Jordan Dyck

Learn about the Bastion

Nanaimo’s iconic Bastion was built in 1853 by the Hudson’s Bay Company and is the last of the original free-standing HBC bastion forts. Operated as an exhibit by the Nanaimo Museum, it is open for tours daily during the summer season. Every day at noon during the summer, museum staff fire the historical cannons next to the Bastion, located on Front Street.

Dive in

Nanaimo has some of the best temperate water diving in the world. There are three artificial reefs – HMCS Cape Breton, HMCS Saskatchewan and the Rivtow Lion – and an undersea garden of natural phenomena awaits. Snorkel excursions are also available.

Float at the Pub

Take the Protection Connection ferry to Protection Island’s Dinghy Dock Pub, Canada’s only registered floating pub.

dinghydockpub.com

Canoe or kayak the Marine Trail

The Salish Sea Marine Trail is a network of identified and mapped land access points for paddlers. The B.C. MarineTrails Network is continuing to develop campsites, make dock improvements and install signs. bcmarinetrails.org

Zip It

WildPlay Element Park partners with the City of Nanaimo to offer a zip line attraction right over the Sway’ A’Lana Lagoon at Maffeo Sutton Park.

Photo by Brandon Infanti

Climb a Mountain

If you can handle a brisk pace on some of those aforementioned walking trails, then it might be time to see if you can step it up and ascend the summit of Mount Benson. Set aside five to seven hours for a round trip, and expect some steep spots, but the reward at the top is Nanaimo’s best views. Start your hike at the trailhead to the Witchcraft Lake Regional Trail on Benson View Road.

rdn.bc.ca/mount-benson-regional-park

Photo by Photo by Sarah Étoile

Experience Saysutshun

Saysutshun/Newcastle Island Marine Provincial Park, just a 10-minute water taxi ride across the channel from Maffeo Sutton Park, features a perimeter trail and other walking trails, a campground, amenities and First Nations culture.Saysutshun in the Hul’qumi’num language means ‘training for running’ and competitive canoe pullers used to run the island’s trails to build strength and endurance.

See what’s on stage

The Port Theatre, an 800-seat downtown venue located steps away from Nanaimo Harbour, stimulates and enhances artistic, cultural and economic activity on central Vancouver Island. The theatre’s programming includes a range of cultural events designed to meet many diverse interests.“I’m always looking for interesting artists, some emerging, some better known, some very well established…” says Bruce Halliday, Port Theatre general manager. “A very simple measure of success is watching an audience leave the auditorium and there’s a buzz after the show.”

Porttheatre.com

For more information visit Tourism Nanaimo or Nanaimo Hospitality Foundation

ActivitiesBoatingBritish ColumbiaCanadaCultureFamily activitiesHikingIndigenous tourismPaddlingSip and SavourTheaterThings to dovancouverisland

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ten things to do in Nanaimo

Ten things to do in Nanaimo

Ten things to do in Nanaimo

Ten things to do in Nanaimo

Just Posted

The City of Nanaimo’s finance and audit committee has recommended spending $200,000 from reserves on a feasibility study and conceptual designs for a community centre in the south end. (News Bulletin file photo)
City of Nanaimo will study options for south-end community centre

Finance committee recommends spending $200,000 from reserves for feasibility study and concept plans

First responders on scene at Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School south of Nanaimo on Thursday afternoon. (Karl Yu/The News Bulletin)
One child airlifted after quad accident at Nanaimo district school

First responders called to Qwam Qwum Stuwixwulh School at around 3:30 p.m.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 65 new cases in Oceanside health area April 4-10

The Nanaimo Clippers’ game against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs slated for Thursday, April 15, has been postponed due to a “potential positive COVID-19 test result,” says the BCHL. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo Clippers’ game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Junior A hockey team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Transit exchange locations considered during the public engagement process as part of downtown mobility hub planning in 2019. (City of Nanaimo image)
City of Nanaimo to re-examine Terminal-Commercial for a permanent downtown bus exchange

City wants to do ‘due diligence’ as it proceeds with work on downtown mobility hub

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

Beef to the beefers. Please season your beefs. We require a little more spice in our Wednesday-morning work beef huddle.
Beefs & Bouquets, April 14

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Most Read