Sip on local spirits and we’ll find the best sunrise & sunset spots in Nanaimo & Region. Depending on what time of year you are visiting, the sun will be rising and setting at different times of day, anywhere from 5:10 AM at summer solstice to 8:10am at the winter solstice. For sun set you will be heading to see the views at about 9:25pm during summer solstice and 4:20pm during the winter solstice.
*Please be sure to hire a guide or assign a designated driver.
The trail up to the view point on Sugarloaf Mountain is only a few steps from the parking lot and is a premier location to take in some stunning sunrises. You’ll be overlooking Departure Bay and Newcastle Island and if you’re lucky you might see the first ferry of the day leave the terminal.
Take a morning stroll along the water front, and through Commercial Street up towards Old City Quarters and spend some time checking out the boutique shopping, gift shops, art gallery and museums. This is A Walk Through Time and much of what you will be walking by are historical buildings here in Nanaimo.
The Longwood Brew Pub is a great location to enjoy local craft beer paired with excellent pub food in a casual atmosphere. They also serve a Nanaimo Bar Cheesecake that is not to be missed.
DISTILLERY/BREWERY TOUR & TASTING
Longwood Brewing – has been a favourite with locals for some years now. They have a great variety of craft beers and also add some seasonal beers and ales to their selection. Pre-planning is also important with this location as they are only open Wed-Fri 2pm-6pm. If you are wishing to tour the brewery it is recommended to book the tour in advance.
Arbutus Distillery – is a craft distillery specializing in high quality spirits. They are located conveniently in central Nanaimo and their tasting bar is open to the public and ready for you to sample some of their spirits. This stop may require some pre planning as they are only open Tues-Fri 11am-6pm and Sat 12pm-5pm.
Wolf Brewing Company – has a tasting room open 7 days a week at 12pm serving everything in their core lineup, seasonal and special, small batches. You can also book ahead of time to get a tour with the Brew Master.
Make your way back down town to White Sails Brewery settled into a historic building. The ambience; combined with great beer provides for a great way to end the brew tour. They have a few snacks to munch on or you can order from your local favourite restaurant for delivery and enjoy your beer and dinner right there.
For dinner head into the north end of town and enjoy a great meal in any of these places. Riso Foods in Lantzville serves great locally inspired Italian cuisine. Nori, is a Japanese restaurant, popular with locals and visitors. Or check out Simon Holt for a great selection of seafood and lots of live music.
Depending on the time of year this activity may come before or after the sun sets, but you can head to Vancouver Island’s only official Whisky Bar at the Grand Hotel. Here you will find an impressive selection of over 140 different Whiskies from around the world. So sit back and enjoy a drink in the casual Grand Cru Lounge.
While you’re in the north end of Nanaimo head either to Sebastian Beach in Lantzville or Blueback Beach in Nanaimo to catch a spectacular view of the sun setting over the ocean. For Sebastion Beach it is a short and easy walk straight onto a long stretched bay with plenty of space to find a private spot to see the sun set. Blueback Beach is a secluded beach at the bottom of a steep set of stairs, but you get rewarded with some stunning views and get to explore a local’s spot.
Good Morning! Ready to start the day with the sun? Try heading out to Roberts Memorial, which is a 1km trail from the parking lot to the Oceanside picnic tables. Another option is to head over to Yellow Point Lodge to watch the sun come up.
Since today’s morning sun spots are south of Nanaimo, it would be best to try some breakfast places in the Cedar/Yellow Point area. Why not try Coco Cafe whose mission it is to operate a successful social enterprise that provides employment, training and socialization opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
As a morning activity take a nice drive through the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail where you can find many unique artisan shops along the way. One stop you will find that is not listed on the trail guide is Cedar Valley Hop Yards which is where you can see how the hops are processed and grown before they get distributed to the local breweries.
A perfect spot for a lunch break is the Crow and Gate Pub as it is an English/Country Style pub that offers tranquil surroundings, amazing food and tasty drinks.
Traditional Tea at the Grand Hotel served between 1:30 and 3:00 pm Sunday/ Monday and 1:30 to 4:00 pm Tuesday to Thursday. Enjoy an afternoon with a traditional English Afternoon Tea served in style and elegance. House-made blackcurrant scones with Devonshire clotted cream and preserves, a selection of miniature sandwiches and pastries, and your choice of sixteen varieties of international loose leaf teas.
Millstone Winery – is a family-run, 6-acre vineyard nestled in the Millstone River valley. A beautiful setting to sit back, relax and enjoy happy hour. Open Monday through Sunday 11am- 5pm
Chateau Wolff Estate Winery – overlooks Mount Benson and is a beautiful back drop to taste the tannins of perfectly aged wine. Tastings are available by appointment or on Sundays 12pm-4pm
The Bold Knight is the ultimate steak and seafood restaurant. You can also get fresh local ingredients here and sip on the same wine from earlier.
Neck Point Park – is a great walk to the shore at Sunset Beach where you can sit at one of the many benches or picnic tables to watch as the sun dips below ocean horizon. If you’re staying out there after the sun has set it would be recommended to bring a light for the return walk.
Pipers Lagoon – is another top place to watch the sun go down. Walk along the beach and watch as the sun reflects off Shack Island. The lagoon features scenic trails with ocean viewpoints making it a perfect place to enjoy both sunrises and sunsets.