As part of a recent guestagrammer series, Zoey shared her top Nanaimo spots with us.

Hello folks I’m Zoey . While I now spend most of my time in Victoria, I was born and raised here in Nanaimo. I’m a Uvic student and a co-founder of the Uvic Photography Excursion Club. The outdoors have always been a huge part of my life and I’m pumped to share some of the lovely places my hometown has to offer.

Ammonite Falls

Definitely worth the short hike out to see these impressive falls. Not only do you get to enjoy an adrenaline-pumping, final climb involving a rope and some courage; but if you’re willing to a bit of digging you might find an ancient shell or two fossilized in the river bank. My dad took me here as a kid when I was in the standard “8-year-old-dinosaur-loving-phase” and I haven’t stopped coming back since. This shot was taken in the winter and while the falls aren’t flowing near as high this time of year they’re still quite a sight to behold.

Neck Point

Holy views!! I think one of my favourite things about my dear hometown is how impressive the mountains across the Georgia Straight look on bright, clear days such as this one. If you want to really take in their glory head out to Neck Point and enjoy some easy coastal exploration. It’s

Pipers Lagoon

I will always hold firm in my belief that Pipers Lagoon is the ideal place for sunset watching. I can’t count how many times I’ve taken evening treks down to Pipers for a little photo shoot, swim, and sunset with my friends over the years. The best part: every night is different. Sometimes you get soft pinky hues, other nights there are bold orange glows followed by purple skies. Either way, Pipers is the place to be at approximately 9:30 pm on a summer night.

Beach Estates

Any guesses as to where this is? Deep down a forest trail perhaps? Wrong! These lovely falls are a mere 2-minute walk into the woods of Beach Estates Park which is right behind Brooks Landing Mall. I love that little places like this exist in seemingly urban areas. Certainly makes getting my daily nature intake a whole lot easier. Nanaimo is full hidden gems like this one, and when they’re so easy to access, it’s hard to find an excuse to not go searching for them.

Jack Point

Jack Point is quite the interesting place. It involves a drive through an industrial park and the first portion of the trail runs right alongside the Duke Point Ferry Terminal. An odd experience when you have a gorgeous coastline to your left and a mill to your right. As you continue on though you’ll find some sweet sandstone cliffs covered in tons of little eroded caves. They definitely brought out the inner child in my friend and I as we spent the better part of an hour attempting (somewhat successfully) to climbing through them.

Old City Quarter

The Old City Quarter is quite possibly the cutest place here in Nanaimo. All of the shops offer their own unique charms and it’s easy to spend an afternoon exploring this colourful little maze. It has everything from coffee shops, to clothing boutiques, to waffle houses; there’s even a tattoo parlour. So if you haven’t been I definitely recommend checking it out