Usually a destination known for its fog and rain, Nanaimo is no stranger to snow days, but we certainly don’t broadcast ourselves as a snow destination. Rather, the fine hub city is a winter getaway of a different variety; for those seeking to thaw a little, to don a rain jacket over a parka, to get outdoors no matter the weather.
It’s the creeping fingers of fog or the bobbing waves on the beach shores that provide the backdrop for this different kind of winter getaway.
A blast of colour during the grey days of winter, the intertidal life clings to the surfaces until the ocean cloak comes back to cover its shoulders, on display for those nearby.
The Temperate Rainforest
In the heart of winter, when the days are as damp they get, the ferns thrive. Fractal arms extend from the stems, growing beneath the shadows of the snow-tipped tree canopy, and the dense rainforest gets a rest before spring renewal.
In the Mountains
Reaching the summit of Mount Benson, the great sentinel of the Harbour City, is a tour de force, rewarded by the views above the clouds—and when clear, the saluting tips of mainland mountains across the ocean. This trek is the closest you’ll get to a white winter most of the time in Nanaimo, thanks to its snow capped tips.
Where the paths have bent to the will of the carving waters, waterfalls cascade down a centuries old chute, and any renegade spray freezes on the river bed. The banks icicle over the side, and Ammonite Falls has put on its winter coat.
When it’s time to shield ourselves from the nip and add a little bit more warmth in our days, Nanaimoites sink to the plush velvet chairs of a local cafe. Our cupped hands wrap around steaming tea, and we’re surrounded by good company. Come join us sometime.
Plan your visit
If you’d like to start planning your own trip to Nanaimo, browse our itineraries for more activities!