Nanaimo, “the Harbour City”,is the second largest community on Vancouver Island. It’s the second major ferry terminal on the Island and receives traffic for all points north and west, so it’s a busy place that people often pass through on their way to somewhere else. Yet there are many reasons to stay a few days in Nanaimo and explore all the city has to offer. We asked our Nanaimo innkeepers for a few reasons why you need to visit the Harbour City.
Gordie & Janice at Long Lake Waterfront B&B love the Harbourfront Walkway, a stretch of 4.5 km running along the waterfront from the downtown harbour to Departure Bay. Along the way you can shop, grab a coffee or an ice cream, have a picnic, or dip your toes in the saltwater Swy-A-Lana lagoon.
Also from the Harbourfront Walkway you can take a 10-minute ferry ride to Newcastle Island, a provincial marine park, which dominates the view from downtown. Hike or bike the forested trails or explore the beaches. A second island in the Nanaimo harbour is Protection Island, and it is home to Canada’s only registered floating pub, the Dingy Dock.
Karen at Hammond Bay Oceanside B&B loves the walking trails and the more than 200 green spaces in the city. Hammond Bay is located between Pipers Lagoon Park and Neck Point Park, two very different parks. There is drive up diving from Neck Point Park, and great diving in the Nanaimo area in general with three wrecks that have been sunk in the area.
Of course two of Nanaimo’s major claims to fame are the Nanaimo Bar and the International Bathtub Race. Pick up a self-guided tour brochure for the “Nanaimo Bar Trail” at the Visitor Centre and don’t forget to taste this sweet chocolaty treat! The Great International World Championship Bathtub Race is held in July from Maffeo Sutton Park, and has been a famous local event for 48 years. so you’ve got to see it at least once!
Of course, all of our Nanaimo Bed & Breakfast innkeepers have insider knowledge of their city, so a stay with them will not only give your great accommodations, delicious breakfasts, and outstanding hospitality, but all the best information for an enjoyable stay in Nanaimo!