Things to Do
Newcastle Island Marine Park (Picture BC photo)
Nanaimo is an urban oasis that sits comfortably between the Strait of Georgia to the east and a surrounding Vancouver Island landscape of peaks, valleys and forested wilderness.
The result is the best of both worlds as cosmopolitan pursuits are balanced by a vast range of recreational opportunities. All the urbane pleasures of a modestly big city – dining, shopping, museums, festivals and art galleries included – can be enjoyed here.
Self-guided walking tours allow visitors to discover Nanaimo's rich history while exploring a smartly restored downtown streetscape that circles from the inner harbour up the hill to the Old City Quarter.
A focus of activities is the remarkable waterfront in the centre of "Harbour City." Take a morning, noon or evening stroll along the Harbourfront Walkway, which stretches for 4km/2.5mi from the downtown harbour to Departure Bay. Shop, dine, grab a designer coffee, cast a line off the fishing pier, picnic at Maffeo Sutton Park or take a dip in saltwater Swy-A-Lana Lagoon along the way. The pedestrian-only Lion's Great Bridge allows one to march on towards the ferry terminal.