I’m always excited to share the places I love in Nanaimo. As a resident, there’s something to do all around me, and my Nanaimo 360 is all about sharing the food, culture, and adventure that we have here. With the clear summer days we’ve been having in Nanaimo, I’ve asked my sister to come visit from Vancouver for 48 hours of dining, playing, and exploring.
With downtown to downtown flights, and just a 20-minute ride, she comes over via Helijet. From there, the shuttle drops her downtown, and we meet up for breakfast at Mon Petit Choux on Commercial Street. Whole foods are at the heart of what they do at this French bakery and bistro, and you can tell in the abundance of flavour in everything on the menu.
From there, we decide to embark on the BC Ale Trail, making sure to start off with Longwood Brewery. We’ve rented a vehicle from National Car & Truck Rental, so it’s easy to zip between breweries while she samples the flights. Longwood Brewery follows a farm to table, or farm to keg, style of brewing. Their ingredients are local, so she’s really getting an entirely Nanaimo inspired experience. After Longwood, we swing down to White Sails Brewing, then over to Wolf Brewing Company.
We’ve got more than homegrown beer, though. Nanaimo is home to the Vancouver Island Symphony, and their Sound Bites series mixes two of our favourite things: local musical talent and food. We opt to go to the earlier show, so we can nosh on some delights from Minnoz before sitting down to an hour-long show of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.
While most folks like to end their day at the Longwood Brew Pub, some of us are fans of starting it there. The Sunday Brunch is a feast, and it’s worth carving out some time to enjoy the roast beef, eggs benedict, and many other dishes that await.
Thoroughly satisfied, I want to give my sister a send off, an experience that will leave her with memories worth sharing back in her hometown. After all, let’s spread the Nanaimo good word. Wee hop in our rental car from National and swing down to Wildplay Element Parks.
We opt for the everything-in-one package—go big or go home. We leave our wits behind us and decide to embrace our free spirits, taking the step off the 150-foot-high bridge bungee jump and plunging down to the coursing waters of the Nanaimo River. That’s just the beginning, and we can’t wait to scramble across aerial adventure courses and strap into the primal swing.
Our 48 hours in Nanaimo went by quickly, but my sister will be thinking just how vast of an experience she had until she comes back for another go.
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