Richards Marsh | Tourism Nanaimo
Richards Marsh | Tourism Nanaimo

Top 10 Things To Do in Nanaimo

#1 The Nanaimo Bar Trail

So you’ve got a sweet tooth, do you? Follow this self-guided tasting trail to discover all the secret variations of the legendary Nanaimo Bar dessert. Your taste buds will love you!

Nanaimo Bar | Tourism Nanaimo

#2 Whale Watching Tour

Ever wondered what it’s like to see whales blowing and skimming across the ocean waters? Head out with Vancouver Island Whale Watch on a tour and keep your eyes peeled for orca, humpback, and other marine mammals!

Vancouver Island Whale Watch | Tourism Nanaimo

#3 Visit Saysutshun (Newcastle Island)

Just minutes from downtown Nanaimo’s Maffeo Sutton Park, a visit to Saysutshun is the perfect addition to your itinerary! Check out the island for just a few hours or stay and play for the weekend. Seasonally, a ferry runs from Maffeo Sutton Park to the island. The island offers basic tenting sites, walking trails, an interpretive centre, a bistro, and much more! Plus, you can learn more about the island’s important connections to the Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Saysutshun Island | Tourism Nanaimo

#4 Craft Beverages and Culinary Tour

Welcome fellow wine snobs, beer fanatics and bonafide foodies from far and wide – we can’t wait to share our tasty vittles with you! Book a culinary, craft beverage and/or Estate Winery tour with one of our fun and knowledgeable local guides to treat your palate to the Island’s finest. Learn more about the BC Ale Trail.

Breweries | Tourism Nanaimo

#5 Uncover History

Discover the history of Nanaimo with a visit to one of our museums. Immerse yourself in Nanaimo’s indigenous history and culture and explore the city’s coal mining past with a walk through a replica coal mine shaft at Nanaimo Museum. Or uncover Nanaimo’s proud military history at the Vancouver Island Military Museum.

Museum | Tourism Nanaimo

#6 Discover Downtown

Find quaint shops, heritage buildings, and culinary experiences, and attend an event in Diana Krall Plaza or the Old City Quarter historical district.

Commercial Street Tyler Cave | Tourism Nanaimo

#7 Artisan Trail

For the ultimate artisan experience, we recommend driving along the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail loop. There are plenty of beautiful stops along the way, providing a chance to visit farms, meet local growers, and chat with artists who are famous for crafting one-of-a-kind creations!

Artisan Tour | Tourism Nanaimo

#8 Fishing & Crabbing Charter

Whether you are an experienced fisherman or have yet to feel the thrill of catching a meal on a hook, Nanaimo & Region’s fishing and crabbing charters will not disappoint! One of our local guides can get you out on the water, where you’ll be able to catch fresh seafood and bring it ashore for a feast!

Crabbing in Nanaimo | Tourism Nanaimo

#9 Paddle’s Up

Nothing clears the mind and calms the spirit like a good paddle. The protected waters of the Nanaimo region’s lakes and harbours are full of secret coves and inlets to explore by kayak, canoe or paddleboard. This is one of the best ways to spot rare wildlife or catch the perfect coastal sunset!

Paddling Kayaking | Tourism Nanaimo

#10 Nanaimo’s Natural Wonders

With some many nature-rich parks to chose from in the Nanaimo region, peace and quiet is never hard to find. Common favourites include the tidal lagoon at Pipers Park, sandstone rock formations at Malaspina Galleries, the Abyss fault line, and Ammonite Falls. Ask a local about their favourite natural wonders!

Pipers Lagoon | Tourism Nanaimo


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