Nanaimo, the Island’s second largest city, has evolved into a lively urban centre with its smartly restored downtown and walkable harbor front.
Many visitors arrive in Nanaimo via its ferry terminals, floatplane services, cruise ship terminal and revitalized airport. Great hiking and cycling trails, kayaking and boating opportunities, ziplines and even a bungy jump zone are within walking distance of downtown. Explore the Old City Quarter before catching a passenger ferry to Protection Island for a pint at Canada’s only floating pub and restaurant. While you wait for your meal, the kids can even fish through the floor of the restaurant.
Outdoor pursuits are available wherever you’re based on the island. Milner Gardens and Woodland is one of Vancouver Island’s favorite public gardens. Scuba divers can explore artificial reefs in Nanaimo’s harbour. Meet locals and their canine companions on beachside promenades. Golfers can roam between 19 courses in the region while their non-golfing partners opt for whatever pleases them: shopping, culinary tours, birdwatching and kid-friendly outings to wildlife and barnyard petting zoos.