A DELICIOUS WEST COAST TREAT
A sweet Canadian city tucked into the east coast of Vancouver Island, only 55 km across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, British Colombia. Surrounded by water and spectacular ocean views, it’s a growing urban center where sea lions play and seaplanes take flight. Nanaimo was originally established as a Hudson Bay Company trading post, later becoming known for coal exports. A harbor sheltered by islands, Nanaimo used to be considered mostly at gateway to the mainland but has evolved into a growing vibrant urban center that has lots to offer.
Explore the revitalized downtown core and enjoyable harborfront walkway, with a new museum, art galleries, shopping, dining, heritage buildings, public plazas, and even a swimming lagoon. Be sure to catch the daily cannon firing ceremony, with accompanying bagpipes. Discover stunning natural wonders such as the fascinating Abyss, a perfect meter-wide slice in the ground; striking Ammonite Falls; or the remarkable views from the top of Mount Benson.
Nanaimo’s beautiful setting provides plenty of opportunities for recreational pursuits as well. Go hiking, biking, or embark on a custom catamaran cruise or fishing and crabbing charter. Try world-class scuba diving around artificial reefs or snorkel with playful harbor seals. The protected waters of the city’s lakes and harbor are made for exploring by canoe, paddleboard, or kayak.
Those with a sweet tooth will want to follow the famous Nanaimo Bar Trail—a self-guided tasting trail of coffee houses, bakeries, and restaurants to try different versions of the city’s delicious namesake, the famous Nanaimo bar, a sweet chocolatey treat. For a real taste of Nanaimo, embark on a culinary tour—sample local food, visit craft breweries and wineries, and talk to local producers.