Summer is the best time to savour island living and spend a day in the country. Along the winding roads of Nanaimo’s Cedar and Yellow Point area you’ll meet cute animals, taste locally grown flavours and pick up unique handmade gifts.
At the other end of the city, you’ll find seasonal produce and more animals to bond with.
There are enough activities to fill a day of country delights.
Start at the Market
If you’re visiting on a Sunday, start your day at the Cedar Farmer’s Market. This market, open mid-May to the end of October has people lining up down the street to enjoy the live music and all things homemade, locally grown, ethically raised and sustainably harvested.
Meet some farmyard friends
Next, head to Yellow Point Farms where you can enjoy a close-up encounter with the adorable baby dwarf goats, babydoll sheep, Kune Kune pigs, mini ponies and chickens. Book a private tour to learn more about the running of the farm and maybe even help feed the baby goats. The roadside farm stand sells delicious blueberries (available frozen out of season too!)
Buzz in to Fredrich’s Honey
Head to Fredrich’s Honey to hear the hum of the bees and see their ‘condo’ hive towers at this farm where the family beekeeping history spans generations and continents. The shop sells honey, salves, lip balms, soaps, and beeswax candles.
Take a break for a bite to eat.
If you’re exploring without children, stop at the Crow and Gate Pub, an olde English-style pub set in stunning gardens. Another great choice for family-friendly eats is the Coco Café where you’ll find a variety of options and friendly service.
Stock up on some locally-grown produce
After lunch, head to Yellow Point Cranberries. One of the suppliers for Ocean Spray cranberry juice, this family farm has a great store where you can pick up jams, dips and treats. In summer, book a tour of the beautiful cranberry fields and hear all about their unique harvesting method.
Just down the road, you’ll find McNab’s Produce Farm and Corn Maze. Stop by the roadside farm stand for fresh veggies on this property that has been farmed by the same family for more than 50 years. Visit the farm animals or, starting in late August, try not to get lost in the corn maze.
Time for more baby animals?
If you have a little more time, head north to Lantzville where you’ll find Superior Farms.
This family-owned farm grows seasonal flowers, veggies and plants. Kids love interacting with the farm’s bunnies and mini animal breeds: cows, horses, pigs and goats while their parents check out some unique offerings in the gift shop.