Day 1

Welcome to the mysterious and historical city of Nanaimo, British Columbia, traditional and unceded territory of Snuneymuxw First Nation.

Explore the ancient, recent and sometimes strange history of Nanaimo in this history-based itinerary, which is perfect for the early days of Fall.

After you arrive in Nanaimo, spend the day exploring Nanaimo’s diverse history with visits to Nanaimo Museum and the Vancouver Island Military Museum.

A walk round the Nanaimo Museum will take you through the history of the region, and features information about the culture of Nanaimo’s First People Snuneymuxw First Nation. There is even a replica coal mine to explore.

Take a break to enjoy a Nanaimo Bar at any of our Commercial Street bakeries, restaurants and cafes. For a different version of the quintessential Nanaimo treat, try the Nanaimo Bar gelato at Waterfront Confections on the Harbourfront Walkway.

This afternoon, visit the Vancouver Island Military Museum, which hosts British Columbia’s most distinctive and extensive collection of military materials. Volunteers are available to guide you through the material and talk about Vancouver Island’s military past.

If you are visiting in October, sign up to spend the early evening on one of the museum’s guided lantern tours, where you will hear more about Nanaimo’s darker side from a local guide.

At the end of a busy day, enjoy casual Tex-Mex dining in a high-end atmosphere at Bar Luna, located at 7 Victoria Road in Nanaimo’s first fire hall. This brick heritage building provides a beautiful backdrop and a stunning view.

Day 2

Treat yourself to a delicious breakfast at Nanaimo’s eye-catching Vault Cafe, on Wallace Street. Enjoy the funky decor and welcoming atmosphere of this eclectic Nanaimo favourite.

Catch the (seasonal) foot ferry from Maffeo Sutton Park to the tranquil beauty and soul-soothing respite of Saysutshun, (formerly Newcastle Island). Traditional territory of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. The island was once a Snuneymuxw Village site and is a place of healing for Snuneymuxw people. Enjoy a snack from the Saysutshun Bistro and take a walk around the island to enjoy the beauty and peace of this wide-open space.

Note: The ferry to Saysutshun is seasonal (ends mid-October) – check the website before you set off.

This afternoon why not take a self-guided tour of downtown Nanaimo, or register for a guided historical walking tour.

Before you leave, make time to shop in the Old City Quarter, featuring charming historical buildings housing shops for all – booklovers, fashionistas, gourmands and more.