Welcome To Nanaimo
Host City of the 2019 Heritage BC Conference: Interpreting Heritage: Identity, Culture, Environment.
(Courtesy of Tourism Nanaimo)
The city of Nanaimo is a classic West Coast community, offering natural beauty at every turn, and vast recreation potential. Nanaimo has one of the longest shorelines in Canada, and a forested mountain backdrop just outside downtown. Here, you can go from the wilderness to the city centre in just a few minutes, and spend more time in the places you want to be.
Nanaimo, BC is located on the east coast of Vancouver Island, 113 km north of Victoria, and 55 km across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver. The city projects out into the strait like a headland, affording waterfront on three sides and spectacular ocean views at every turn. The local landscape is defined by Mount Benson, which rises 1,006 metres (3,300 feet) just west of Nanaimo, and the Nanaimo River estuary, the largest estuary on Vancouver Island, which flows into Nanaimo Harbour at the south end of the city.
Getting to Nanaimo
You can reach Nanaimo by car from communities to the south like Ladysmith and Victoria. Drive to Nanaimo from the north from communities like Courtenay and Campbell River.
BC Ferries, with 2 terminals at Departure Bay and Duke Point, links Nanaimo with Vancouver. See BC Ferries for ferry routes and schedules.
Nanaimo has multiple options to fly in. Nanaimo Airport (YCD) is just 18km south of Nanaimo and has many local and international flights. Taxi, shuttles and rental cars are available to take you to and from the airport. Seaplanes and helicopter transportation are available near downtown as well.
Things to do in Nanaimo
Locals “Things to do in Nanaimo” Itineraries:
Hannah’s Nanaimo 360° – Tourism Nanaimo’s Hannah shares her Harbour City favourites
Past & Present – A 2-day tour featuring museums, architecture and killer sunsets.
The Weekender– Enjoy history, culture and shopping this weekend in Nanaimo.
Catch of the Day – Enjoy craft brew, wine and your fresh-caught seafood along the water in Nanaimo.
The Real Nanaimo Harbour City – From sweet treats to a day out on the water, this is the authentic Nanaimo experience.
Hikers Paradise – Find Yourself in Our Woods – Walk the beaches and groves of Nanaimo, while experiencing food and fun west coast style.
Historic Nanaimo – Tour BC’s 3rd oldest community from walking through a replica mine to firing a cannon!