Day 1: Explore Downtown
The lands around Nanaimo have always been traditional gathering grounds for the Coast Salish peoples, and the city remains a gathering place for travellers to this day. The city has grown plenty since its beginnings as a small Hudson’s Bay Company outpost and coal mining community in the 1800s, though has managed to maintain its historic feel. Book a timed admission to the Nanaimo Museum to learn about the city’s vibrant culture and history—the Snunéymuxw Exhibit is an interesting showcase of Indigenous culture, art, and traditions.
Spend time browsing boutiques, sampling food, and enjoying the architecture in Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, where you’ll find a collection of independent businesses and heritage buildings. Download the On This Spot app to learn more about popular historic sites around town.
For some physically distanced art appreciation, stroll through Nanaimo’s outdoor art, featuring 25-plus murals on a building at the corners of Commercial Street, Terminal Avenue, and Wallace Street.