Pipers Lagoon | Tourism Nanaimo
Pipers Lagoon | Tourism Nanaimo

10 of the Best Views in Nanaimo

When a place has as many ‘stop you in your tracks’ views as Nanaimo does, it’s hard to narrow down a list of the best. With so many amazing views throughout the city, the good news is you don’t have to be a mountain climber to appreciate the scenic vistas.

Of course, some views do require a little hard work to get to, but plenty of Nanaimo’s stunning scenes are easy to access and enjoy too.

From panoramic ocean seascapes to the city skyline at sunset or the spectacle of a bustling harbourfront, Nanaimo has views that will both surprise and delight. Here’s a few iconic Nanaimo views to enjoy.

1. Neck Point Park

The meandering trails and secluded coves at Neck Point Park provide unique spots to enjoy expansive views out to the Salish Sea and mainland mountains beyond. Orcas, Sea Lions and Seals are often seen travelling past the rocky shoreline and beaches of this North Nanaimo Park.  Snap a picture of the iconic ‘neck’ of Neck Point from the wooden platform above.

Neck Point Park | Tourism Nanaimo

2. Pipers Lagoon

Not far from Neck Point Park, Pipers Lagoon also offers amazing ocean vistas. From the crescent beach and raised walkway, gaze out onto the mainland mountains and watch as ferries and other ocean vessels pass by. Follow the loop trail to find a view over Three Lagoon Islands Park – known locally as Shack Island – and its colourful wooden cabins.

Pipers Lagoon | Tourism Nanaimo

3. Sugarloaf Mountain

A short uphill walk and gentle scramble over the rocks at Sugarloaf Mountain leads to one of the most unexpected but breathtaking views in Nanaimo. From the top, you are rewarded with a bird’s eye view down to the bustle of Departure Bay beach and across the bay to Saysutshun. In the other direction, gaze over the rooftops of some of Nanaimo’s original neighbourhoods towards the majestic silhouette of Mount Benson.

Sugarloaf Mountain | Tourism Nanaimo
Photo by: @suzannechatwin

4. Bastion Square Park

It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re watching the fascinating coming and going of vessels, seaplanes and people in Nanaimo’s harbour basin. For the best view over this busy harbour and beyond, climb the few steps to the top of the flag mast at Bastion Square Park. From the top enjoy views across the Newcastle Channel to Saysutshun and Protection Island and the harbour walkway and marina below.

Nanaimo Harbourfront | Tourism Nanaimo

5. Mount Benson

The toughest day hike in Nanaimo is rewarded with impressive panoramic views from the top of Mount Benson. As you recover from the vertical hike, take your time to appreciate the views that on a clear day include the Straight of Georgia and coastal mountains to the Northeast, Mount Arrowsmith to the west, most of the residential core of the city of Nanaimo and many of the Gulf Islands.

Mount Benson | Tourism Nanaimo

6. Westwood Lake

Take a slight detour off the 6km loop trail at Westwood Lake to enjoy an elevated view across this pretty watershed. Approx. 1km from the start/end of the trail closest to the boat launch, the trail takes you up a moderate incline. Once at the top, take a side trail to the bluffs where you will be wowed by the almost mirror-like reflection of the mountains and trees onto the lake water.

Westwood Lake | Tourism Nanaimo

7. Jack Point/Biggs Park

See Nanaimo from a different perspective when you follow the trail at Jack Point/Biggs Park. This trail gives a unique view of the south and downtown Nanaimo from across the tidal estuary.  From Jack Point, at the tip of this there and back walk, you can see across to Protection Island and watch as ferries come into dock at Duke Point and make the crossing to and from Gabriola Island.

Jack Point and Biggs Park | Tourism Nanaimo
Photo by : @lithuanianalien

8. Protection Island

This stunning view doesn’t require any walking, just hop on the Protection Island passenger ferry from the downtown boat basin and disembark at the Dinghy Dock Pub. From the deck on Canada’s only floating pub, you can enjoy looking back across to the Downtown Nanaimo skyline while you enjoy a drink and meal. Particularly delightful to view during sunset or after dark when all the twinkly lights come on.

9. Buttertubs Marsh

The protected wetlands at Nanaimo’s Buttertubs Marsh are a haven for bird and wildlife watchers. Head to the top of the bird-watching platform along the western side of this 2km mostly flat loop trail for the best views across the lake. Blue herons, Canada Geese, ducks and barred owls can be spotted here as well as Western Red Painted Turtles which nest in the sandy banks.

10. Lantzville Loop

Follow the 4.5 Lantzville Lookout loop to the lookout point for sweeping views across Nanoose Harbour to Nanoose Bay and the Winchelsea Islands further out. This hike is steep and wet in parts so walking poles are recommended.



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